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View Full Version : Wiped this computer and now reloading everything.



Milo Christensen
12-08-2010, 09:37 AM
Why doesn't Windows have some kind of self-repair mechanism built in, that's what I want to know? One little hard drive hiccup on startup and poof!

Formatted the hard drive, took forever.
Loaded a two year old version of Vista, took forever.
Loaded the drivers for the wireless card and the webcam. That was quick, but it took forever to figure out that I needed to select the drivers from the Dell CD and load them each individually.
Reloaded the super-duper security software that turns out, when you read the reviews, to be a lemon, but I paid good money for it. It had to download four hundred something updates to security threats like viruses, trojans, spyware, ad nauseatum, and then run a scan, which, of course, took forever.
Told Windows to update itself, half a gigabyte and 103 critical updates to download and install, I went to bed because that was ridiculous.
It stopped halfway through (#63) sometime in the middle of the night to ask me if I wanted to install IE8, so the rest of the download had to be restarted and that took forever.
Reloaded Skype, that wasn't too bad. Skype plays nicer now than it did when it had conflicts with some piece of Dell loaded webcam software that allegedly recognizes your face. Why I would want my computer to recognize my face is beyond me.
Of course, I've got my sign on to the Forum reloaded, but I had to find my password, which was safely written down on a MSLPOP (Milo's stupid little pieces of paper) and that took forever.
Onward to:



Open Office
Picasa
Sketchup
Get my pics and docs off the flash drive thingy. Flash drive thingys are kind of neat. 4 gigs on a thingy smaller than the remote car door opener thingy.

I know I'm forgetting something, but I can't for the life of me remember what I'm forgetting.

Paul Pless
12-08-2010, 09:40 AM
I know I'm forgetting something, but I can't for the life of me remember what I'm forgetting.there must be an apple store in lansing

Paul Pless
12-08-2010, 09:43 AM
well the koolaide drinkers have convinced me that apple devices are infallible

PhaseLockedLoop
12-08-2010, 10:06 AM
[QUOTE=Norman Bernstein;2800629]All of this could have been avoided had you cloned your system disk. For a lousy $40 or so, you can get a small (250Gb) second hard drive, and with free software (lots of them, I'm using a free one from Seagate) you can clone your hard disk. If your system disk fails or your machine gets corrupted, you just unplug it, and plug in the clone. Within 1 minute, you're back up, with ALL your applications intact.
QUOTE]

Can you back up to a large (say, 64gig) flash drive? Assuming you don't have more than that to back up.

Milo Christensen
12-08-2010, 10:26 AM
It's funny, Norm, when I was in the small business network installation business, I'd never install a system without a backup device and I would instill in the business owner a fear of what would happen if he didn't follow the backup regimen I gave him. Just never seemed that important to me to go through any of that rigamarole at home. I'm thinking I should follow your advice, drives are now so cheap it's stupid to spend three days of my life getting a computer back up and running. Although it has been a very educational experience and I have a much better idea about what I need on this machine and what kinds of crap M$FT and Dell had loaded on here that just devour system resources. This is going to be a much leaner, cleaner, far faster machine when I'm done with it.

I will get a clone drive. Query - can I partition to clone the system drives of two computers?

peb
12-08-2010, 10:32 AM
And you think that a crashed system drive on a Mac would be any easier?

Actually, I have direct experience with both, having lost a hard drive on a MacBook and on a Windows Vista machine. In both cases, I had data backups, but the system images were not up to date as to applications and such, so I did a clean install. Amount of time was about the same, complexity was about the same.

I will say that Apple's Time Machine backup program is very good, one of the few (if any) pieces of software I believe to be superior to Microsoft's standard offering.

Old Dryfoot
12-08-2010, 12:51 PM
+1

Cloning is the way to go for sure. Y>

Install the OS and drivers
Update as needed
Install applications
Create a clone image
Replace clone image as needed.

John Meachen
12-08-2010, 05:18 PM
Lots of good advice in this thread.One missing piece,load Linux.Almost any application is out there,mostly free and a lot less overhead for your computer to cope with.

SchoonerRat
12-08-2010, 05:32 PM
I'm not sure, but I don't think so... I don't know how you'd differentiate between the two, at boot time... but I could be wrong about that.

Most PCs will give you the choice of startup drives with a keypress during startup. I haven't done much Windows work for I while, but you might try F8 or F11. I've never tried this with multiple volumes, but the system treats them as separate drives; come to think of it, I've never tried this with multiple hard drives. Well...GOOD LUCK!

ccmanuals
12-08-2010, 05:36 PM
All of this could have been avoided had you cloned your system disk. For a lousy $40 or so, you can get a small (250Gb) second hard drive, and with free software (lots of them, I'm using a free one from Seagate) you can clone your hard disk. If your system disk fails or your machine gets corrupted, you just unplug it, and plug in the clone. Within 1 minute, you're back up, with ALL your applications intact.

(It's not quite perfect... you will lose recent emails, if you're not backing up your Outlook .pst files... but that's another story).

for that matter, it can be cloned to a thumb drive.

Stan D
12-08-2010, 05:47 PM
I'm surprised you could update Vista. I was somewhere in MS land recently and read that some versions of Vista were not being supported, while XP still is. I made the jump to 7 and couldn't be happier.

bucheron
12-09-2010, 12:36 AM
I would instill in the business owner a fear of what would happen if he didn't follow the backup regimen . . . . .



Yeah as a programmer and system supporter from mid-70s to late 80s the first question of a client regardless of the problem was "Where are the backups?" Three generations were kept.

Yet in the PC era I cannot think of any application where it is easy to take a backup. Most make it difficult to get to the data files and for some reasons "settings" are thought of as different from data and are stored somewhere else.

I am trying to take my emails off a multi-user Thunderbird application and put them on another computer. No Can Do so far.

There may be a plug-in that does it but why is backing-up an extra. It should be a standard feature.

SchoonerRat
12-09-2010, 01:46 PM
for that matter, it can be cloned to a thumb drive.
I don't think you can boot from a thumb drive, can you?

Old Dryfoot
12-09-2010, 01:56 PM
I don't think you can boot from a thumb drive, can you?

Most newer systems can boot from USB but not all of them support it.

ccmanuals
12-09-2010, 02:05 PM
Booting from a thumb drive is a very common practice.