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And the nightmare continues

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Old 12-14-2006, 12:00 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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And the nightmare continues

well, i had no warning on this one and i'll spare you all the details, but another drive crashed windows.....HARD! basically, i ended up re-installing windows again! rebooting would not bring windows back. repair console wouldnt bring it back. running windows install as a repair action wouldnt work. i'd get a blue screen of death about no windows config and no alternate or log to back up from and then it would reboot in a loop.

i'm sure it's the drive. if i connect the drive the machine runs like tree sap. if i physically disconnect the drive, it's fine. so, it seems pretty clear. the drive still works. the data is still there and i can still retrieve it, but the drive now has an expected shelf life of zip.

and since i've re-installed this version of windows xp several times, including all the new hardware on this new machine, microsoft activation got pissy with me and forced me to call rather than activate over the net. cute.

so, xp is up, is activated, but about all i've got running again is zone alarm so i could connect. no service packs or anything else yet. but, at least it's working again.

the only bright note in all this, for those that have been following, is windows is now back on C: rather than K: lol. that just always seemed wrong

anyways, i'll be somewhat tied up the next few days getting service packs and re-installing stuff and saving stuff off the bad drive.

oh, and just because this has been relevant in a couple of recent threads, it was a maxtor drive that went bad. roughly two years old or so. DRIVES NEED TO LAST LONGER! can i get an amen, please!
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:36 AM
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Lasa Lasa is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Here in Florida we are flying our flags at half-mass and are observing a moment of silence at 9:00 am in your drives honor. Sorry for your lose.
Seriously, that bites!

Good luck,
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:41 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

I think accepting the default installation and using C: as your main drive was wise, and should improve your chances of a problem free install.

Although there should be no good reason not to use separate partitions/drives, I've noticed that these are always the installs that give most problems. Often re-directs get lost/deleted/corrupted by updates and patches, and can cause all sorts of unwarranted problems.

The euphemism KISS (Keep it simple stupid) is definitely one I recommend when setting up Windows, as most "Help" documentation is based on default installs, making future Troubleshooting much simpler if that is what you have.

Good luck Craig, have fun.
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:47 AM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Originally Posted by Kraellin
...oh, and just because this has been relevant in a couple of recent threads, it was a maxtor drive that went bad. roughly two years old or so. DRIVES NEED TO LAST LONGER! can i get an amen, please!

I had a Maxtor external drive die just after the warranty died. I've been using a Western Digital for almost a year and so far, so good.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:01 AM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Sorry to hear of your problems. I hope it's smooth sailing from here out.

I haven't had any problems with Maxtor drives and I've been using them for ages. I usually end up replacing the old ones because the capacity is too small rather than any other reason. I'm using an over 8-year-old one as a dedicated scratch drive right now. The drives use S.M.A.R.T (Self Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology) and the computer bios can warn you if the drive goes out of spec if you haven't disabled it. There are also free for personal use utilities (, for one) that let you examine the S.M.A.R.T data stored on the drive. You can sometimes spot problems before it's too late.

Maxtor is now owned by Seagate. I understand that Seagate will continue the brand for lower capacity drives, but they will be manufactured using Seagate facilities and subcontractors. Don't know how that will play out, but I have noticed that they have increased the warrenty period to 3 years from 1 recently.

I recently (two weeks ago) had to replace a motherboard that failed with no warning and had to go through a similar OS reinstallation song and dance process because the old motherboard chipset drivers were incompatible with the new motherboard and Windows couldn't boot. It's no fun.

Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:34 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:22 PM
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Sorry to hear of your troubles.

Last edited by Cupcake; 12-16-2006 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 12-14-2006, 03:27 PM
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Re: And the nightmare continues

thanks guys

well, the beat goes on. i've got directx 9.0c installed, all critical updates, most of the other updates, service pack 1, service pack 2, all but one driver for my devices and i cant seem to quite figure out what that device is yet. it's simply labeled as a 'mass storage device' and that can be anything from a diskdrive to cd rom to a dvd rom to a flash card slot to a pci expansion card. lol. i'm currently leaning towards the pci expansion card. but havent found that driver yet.

i had trouble getting my internet connection back, but my isp provider helped me sort that out.

i may have also made one very fatal error in this whole mess. windows is back on as C: and that's good, but it's on a partition with only 10 gigs. i thought, how could windows possibly use up 10 gigs! hah! when i first tried to get service pack two, i actually got rejected for 'insufficient disk space'. i had to go delete a bunch of stuff off the c: drive or move it. i'm afraid i may have created a new problem having windows on such a small partition. if nothing else, it will force me to keep a pretty clean install. but it's amazing all the junk that windows puts on your machine and then all the junk other programs throw into 'documents and settings' and then there's the windows swap file and the temp files and internet cache files and..... good lord!

and i hear vista is even worse! by far!

so, i may be in here some time down the road whining and complaining about THAT mistake

i'm posting most all of my embarrassing mistakes so that maybe others can avoid these same pitfalls.

i was also amazed at how badly microsoft has made the repair facilities of xp. you almost cannot get a command prompt now and you cannot copy or delete files from what is now the replacement for DOS. you can only work within c: and cant access other drives. you can view the directories, but you cant alter them! this just makes things much more difficult.

i also found out you cant alter system or root partition sizes like you could in win98. you can on logicals under certain circumstances, but not the system partition! that kinda sucks too. i used to use partition magic on win98 and you could basically change all of it. on xp, IF you have unallocated space, you can add that to a logical, under certain circumstances. i do like NTFS, but this part of it is worse that FAT 32.

oh, and part of the problem with disk space on c: was that i had windows install OVER the old windows installation. that left some junk that wasnt necessary, like my old user account and temp files and internet files and other junk in 'docs and settings'. so, that might not have been the wisest thing either. still, i just wanted to get up and running and i purposely wanted to have windows not wipe out some things in the hopes of being able to recover outlook express settings, i.e. favorites and that sort of thing. so far, i'm not sure i have saved those things and may have lost it all anyways. havent really tried yet. but soon.

microsoft also informed me over the phone when getting the activation key that i would NOT ever be able to activate this online again. i would ALWAYS have to phone them on a new install, at least with this copy of XP. pheh! i think they went a bit paranoid and far on this stuff.

still have a lot of stuff to do.... outlook express, try to recover old favorites for i.e, re-install psp 11, which requires psp 10, which requires psp 9 (lol). gotta find that one missing driver or remove that expansion card, transfer all data off the harddrive that's going bad, install filter forge and get a new key for that also... frankly, i'm tempted to go back to win98 as my main machine. it crashed fairly often, but this current hassle is just outrageous. i'd also be tempted to go linux if it werent for psp and some other things, but not yet.

oh, i also physically moved my harddrives in their bays. they were all stacked next to each other and i noticed during the crash period that things were QUITE HOT. this may have been due to the drive going bad and it may be that the drive went bad due to heat. so, i've separated the drives by one empty bay between each. 3 drives, 11 bays (2 hold cd rom and dvd burners and one for the floppy with 2 empties there) (yeah, i like cases with LOTS of expansion room).

so, anyone got a Mac they want to sell me?
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:37 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues

Been there - suffered that, but never again.
Symantec Ghost 10 is your solution!! Crash your system and your back up and running 100% in 5 or 10 minutes. Wipe out your hard drive, you just need to drop any new drive in and your back up 100% restored in 5 or 10 minutes. It's the best $69 you could ever have spent.
Good luck rebuilding.
Regards, Murray
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:29 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: And the nightmare continues


thanks. yes, i have ghost 10. just not installed yet. it wouldnt work before because i went from one set of older hardware to a completely new set and the hardware layer wouldnt have recognized things.... or at least that was my understanding. in this particular case, i hadnt installed ghost yet and hadnt backed things up yet, so i couldnt do it this time either... my mistake there.

now, here's an interesting bit of addition to this whole mess. my old windows account is still there, but not active. so, my old browser stuff is there along with a number of other things and this is part of the reason i dont have a lot of room on the c: drive right now. i've been clearing things out of there and gotten a bit more space on c: now and will continue.

this just goes to show that i know less than i think i do and that if i knew more i'd still probably know less than i did when i thought i knew more about something i knew almost nothing about while believing i knew it all .... and if any of that made sense to you, then you're in as bad a shape as i am

edit: oh, and one last little oddity is that i cant currently set retouchpro as my home page because apparently my old account stuff is being read somehow somewhere in documents and settings, so when i said that old stuff wasnt active, apparently that's not quite the case. so again, i dont particularly recommend this method of re-installing windows. you'd think microsoft, being that they offer this option of doing things this way, would have deleted those old files or at least not made them semi-active in the new installation. just another oddity of windows.
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