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  #1  
Old 10-21-2010, 07:29 PM
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CPMcGraw CPMcGraw is offline
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Default Oh, the pain! ... Oh, the agony!

Yesterday I had a system meltdown. My old friend, a scratch-built Athlon machine that I assembled back around 04 or 05, has taken a trip south without permission. I had been trying to baby this machine for as long as possible, because it contained all of my BARCLONE archives, including both posted and unposted designs, and because I had no secondary back-up of any of it.

For the next several weeks, I will be attempting to rebuild my 'posted' archives from messages here on YORF. I think everything listed in the catalog posts (one or two exceptions) is available, so I'm not completely in panic mode. Yet...

If I seem to drop deeper into the void than I have already, at least you'll know why...
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2010, 11:03 PM
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Feyd Feyd is offline
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Good luck. I recently signed up with one of the online backup services (Carbonite) and I'm so glad I did. $55/year and it backs up whatever I want on my home computer. Well worth it if I ever have a problem like you have experienced.
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2010, 08:43 AM
tfischer tfischer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyd
Good luck. I recently signed up with one of the online backup services (Carbonite) and I'm so glad I did. $55/year and it backs up whatever I want on my home computer. Well worth it if I ever have a problem like you have experienced.


I started using Mozy this year as well. Before that I had the system automatically backup to an external hard drive.

I really wish everyone would take steps to automatically back-up their PCs, regardless of how they do it. I keep reading stories like this on the various forums I'm on, and it makes me wince every time. It's not a matter of IF your computer will lose your data, it's a matter of WHEN.

For me, it was 3-4 months after my oldest son was born. All of his baby pictures were lost, except those we had printed. We actually would have lost about 4 years worth of other digital photos as well, but in a chance incident I had copied them over to a laptop to take on a vacation with us. The pictures of my son were in a folder on the desktop and were missed. I also lost a ton of financial information, etc.

Please don't wait until something like this happens to you to start backing up.
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  #4  
Old 10-22-2010, 09:31 AM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPMcGraw
Yesterday I had a system meltdown. My old friend, a scratch-built Athlon machine that I assembled back around 04 or 05, has taken a trip south without permission. I had been trying to baby this machine for as long as possible, because it contained all of my BARCLONE archives, including both posted and unposted designs, and because I had no secondary back-up of any of it.



You did not say how that machine died. Did the hard drive make ugly noises? Did you suddenly get lots of read and write errors?

Otherwise, there is a chance the drive and the data on it may be safe. Try moving the hard drive to another computer to see whether you can access the information on it.


Bill
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  #5  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:02 AM
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Feyd Feyd is offline
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My hard drive started doing strange things on my last computer and suddenly I couldn't boot any more. So I bought a new one and put the old hard drive in it as a secondary drive. Was able to get back all of my old data. I guess the boot sector was pooched.

So right now I have two hard drives in the case plus a 1TB external drive I use for backups and other things.

It's good to have multiple backup paths.
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:14 AM
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CPMcGraw CPMcGraw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
You did not say how that machine died. Did the hard drive make ugly noises? Did you suddenly get lots of read and write errors?

Otherwise, there is a chance the drive and the data on it may be safe. Try moving the hard drive to another computer to see whether you can access the information on it.


Bill


It's a Vista Ultimate system, and I was able to see the files in Safe Mode. There are two drives involved, both set up as "dynamic". I started noticing some erratic behavior a few days earlier which I attributed to a thermal problem, and tore the machine down for a thorough blow-out of dust. This appeared to solve the problem, but within 48 hours the machine had corrupted its boot-up files to the point that Safe Mode was the only way I could get the desktop.

I'm setting everything aside until I can research the problem. I tried attaching one of the drives to my Win7 Pro machine, but it could not import or reactivate the disk.

As far as error messages, I don't use this machine as a primary workstation. It's set up in another part of the computer room and I connect to it through the "remote desktop" feature of Win7. The only indication I got of a serious problem was the machine would not connect. When I hooked it up to K, M, & M, I got a black screen. Not a "BSOD" blue screen, but a solid black nothing screen. The boot sequence gets just past the "rolling status bar" welcome screen, then hangs.

Windows...
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:20 AM
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CPMcGraw CPMcGraw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feyd
My hard drive started doing strange things on my last computer and suddenly I couldn't boot any more. So I bought a new one and put the old hard drive in it as a secondary drive. Was able to get back all of my old data. I guess the boot sector was pooched.

So right now I have two hard drives in the case plus a 1TB external drive I use for backups and other things.

It's good to have multiple backup paths.


The bad thing about this is one of my two drives is in an external case, connected via USB 2.0, and this machine was the only one of my 'big boxes' that could read this drive. I haven't yet tried to attach this drive to one of my laptops, which I'll try today.

If I put a new drive into this box, it will be the third primary drive since being built. The drive in the external case was the original. It got trashed out as a boot drive when it was hit with a virus that clobbered Norton and Zone Alarm in one blow. I put in a new drive and installed Vista when that happened, then slaved the old drive through USB. It had been working that way for two years without any other major issue.
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  #8  
Old 10-22-2010, 02:49 PM
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I'd use a Linux boot disk (Ubuntu Karmic would be a good one) to attempt to access the drives. Windows tends to be rather stupid about dynamic drives from other Windows computers.

They weren't "spanned," were they? As in, two drives appearing as one? (Not the same as mirrored.)
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2010, 03:24 PM
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CPMcGraw CPMcGraw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solomoriah
I'd use a Linux boot disk (Ubuntu Karmic would be a good one) to attempt to access the drives. Windows tends to be rather stupid about dynamic drives from other Windows computers.

They weren't "spanned," were they? As in, two drives appearing as one? (Not the same as mirrored.)



No, thank goodness! Just two separate drives. I'll try that Linux "boot disk" method. So far, no other machine has been able to read the drive. See It, yes, but not read it. What bugs me most is that this drive was made "dynamic" under Vista, but I cannot activate it under Win7. I could understand not being able to read it under XP (older version), but Win7 is a newer version.

I even tried moving the drive to a physical mount on the IDE cable, with the same results.
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  #10  
Old 10-22-2010, 05:48 PM
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CPMcGraw CPMcGraw is offline
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An update...

During my sessions in Safe Mode yesterday, I created a new user account and instructed Vista to auto-logon with the new account. Several resets later, not seeing any improvement, I shut the machine down and let it sit overnight. After reading several horror stories from Vista users over the last two years which sounded just like this problem, I decided to try cranking the machine up and try one of the suggestions offered...

I left the network off, as well as not connecting the external drive. I then watched as I pressed the power button...

"ESCD Update Successful" on the pre-bios screen...

Roll-bar Windows screen...

Black screen, still long, but... WOW! There was my mouse cursor!...

Seconds later, I get the "Welcome" screen image...

Seconds later I get a pretty background and a "Windows update" status message box, saying it was "Personalizing" my configuration...

Seconds later, I get a new desktop with a bunch of icons, and the machine has fully booted up in my "new" user profile...

With some trepidation, I decide to go full-bore, and reconnect the network cable and the external drive. Internet OK, drive starts pulling in all of the partitions on the brick, all of my files are there and accessible! No data loss!

It was a bloody Windows Update!!!

Needless to say, I am going to take some steps to copy my very important data (including the BARCLONE archives) to another disk, and even put them on multiple machines. Since I can now run RockSim (slightly degraded performance) on a Linux box, I will transfer the archives there to act as one backup.
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