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October 12, 2006

Computer Problems

-- by Dave Johnson

My hard drive crashed - actually it looks to be a Windows problem? - so I had to reformat and reinstall everything. I've been at it since this morning... Back to normal by tomorrow.

Posted by Dave Johnson at October 12, 2006 7:18 PM

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Comments

"...it looks to be a Windows problem? - so I had to reformat and reinstall everything."

An all too common misconception. The "Nuclear Option" of fixing windows config problems. Next time, seek wiser counsel.

To avoid this problem entirely, get a second HDD and Norton Ghost. Periodically (every week or two or three or four) image your %systemroot% drive (typically your C:\ drive) to the non-%systemroot% drive. Then, in the event of a corrupt drive config or actual failed HDD, you can mount the Ghost image in a matter of minutes and be back to the point in time at which the image was taken.

Often, short of the nuclear option or image remount, one can use the information from this Microsoft Knowledge Base article: How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting to fix the problem (unless the problem is hardware related).

If the problem is hardware related, the KISS protocol dictates opening the case, reseating all cables, memory modules, etc, before proceeding further unless the source of the hardware problem is obvious: clicking, non-responsive HDD, etc.

HTH

Posted by: Aaron Adams [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 13, 2006 8:54 AM

Or do what every experienced Windows sysadmin has told me:

Every six months or so -- nuke the entire site from orbit -- it's the only way to be sure.

It's WINDOWS!

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 13, 2006 10:07 AM

Ok Since nobody else will say it...

Get a Mac.

I had enough of Windows in 2000 and I switched and never looked back. My expereince is fewer problems, nicer computer.

Posted by: Molly Bloom [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 14, 2006 7:33 AM

Well, Apple just had a software update that rendered the LCD on a client's Macbook unusable. The machine came with a bent frame which prevented the DVD drive from properly processing disk. Another client had a G3 that wound up spontaneously rebooting every few minutes when I added a second drive to it. The first client, I installed software on their system, which then proceeded to fill up the hard drive with 24 GB of log file entries. Judging by my experience, Macs are no more reliable than PCs.

That said, I do like Mac OS X, I like the way it manages installation of new software, I like having access to real Unix underneath (and open source software for it such as ClamAV and Amanda), and I like the very slick and friendly user interface.

Posted by: Thomas Leavitt [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 14, 2006 9:16 PM

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