February 22nd, 2006

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Picture Post - She is alive, alive....Well Sort Of....

sprintpcs_Uf4HT.jpgSo lets see, 12 hours, 2 cans of Mt. Dew, and one new hard drive later, I have a computer again! So I finaly gave up trying to restore my current windows install on my old hard drive. I finaly just shoved the new drive in and reinstalled windows on it.

I guess I should backup and tell you all what happend from the start. If you read my post from yesterday (Tuesday), then you know that when I got into my office around 2pm, I noticed that my display did not look right, and really quickly figured out that it was an error message. That error message was: "Windows 2000 could not start beacuse the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM". So I fixed that error by fallowing the directions on a Knowledge Base document put out by Microsoft. So, after fixing that problem, I rebooted the computer and got another error much like the same. This time the error said "Windows 2000 could not start beacuse the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINNT\SYSTEM32\NTFS.SYS". This time I fixed the error by using the Recovery Console like I had to for the first error, only this time I replaced NTFS.SYS with one from the Windows 2000 install cd. So, again after I fixed that error, I rebooted the computer.

sprintpcs_4t1ZW.jpgThe next serveral errors that I got were during the bootup of the computer, and they were the famous Microsoft "Blue Screen of Death" much like the one at the right here. They were also STOP errors which I might add are really fun to try and figure out. Basicly the error looked like this: STOP: c0000221 {Bad Image Checksum}. The Image "Filename" is possibly corrupt. The header checksum does not match the computed checksum". I fixed five of these errors (imagehlp.dll, ole32.dll, oleaut32.dll, wldap32.dll, and wow32.dll) before just giving up, beacuse to fix each one, I had to boot into the Recovery Console, which takes about 3 mins, and then type all the commands, and I finaly just got piseed off, and said "To Hell With It All", and removed the old drive, and put the new one in.

Anyway right now I am not sure how much data I have really lost. I think my Outlook PST file maybe shot, but I do not know, and I still have a few tricks that I can pull out of my hat. LOL. Right now, the old drive is being scaned by windows to try and fix bad clusters on the drive and repair or move the data of them, so I am hoping that will help some. As it stands right now, if this scan does not fix anything, I would say I lost 33% of my data on the drive. But, on the plus side of things, some of the things that I really need to save, I was able to save. So that was nice. Granted, there are still things that I want to save that right at this second in time, I cant. But, as I said I have tricks that I can use. So, I am remaing hopeful that I will only lose 10% or less of data.

sprintpcs_USqxe.jpgSpeaking of the old drive, here she is in her new home, an 2.5" USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. Right now I have the lid off it to provided for extra air movment. I must say it looks really slick with the cover on. I think I might pick me up a few of these, cus they run on there power from the USB, and really are no bigger then a Video Ipod. It would make it really easy to use for backing up my home computer, which I must say I need to get back in the habit of doing, cus if had happend to my home computer and not my work computer, I would have been so fucked!

Anyway, as of right now which is around 1:15am on Wednesday, Feb 22, I have: 
* Reinstalled Windows 2000
* Patched the system
* Installed Anti-virus software
* Installed SpyBot S&D
* Installed MS Office XP
* Installed PC Anywhere
* Recovered some files
* Got Music Back Running

But I still have to get many more things done on my comptuer before I am done with this new fun little project.
* Setup PC Anywhere for host mode
* Install GreatPlains / Dynamics
* Install SQL Tools
* Install Apache 2.0
* Install PHP
* Install SQL
* Install DVD Stuff
* Install Roxio Easy CD Creator\
* Install Autocad 2002
* Get E-mail set backup.
* Install all the little tools I had.
* and more I am sure I am forgetting.

Well, I think I am finaly going to leave the office. Its almost 1:30am now, and I have been working for almost 12 hours and I only got in the office at 2pm. How sad is that. Also I have not had dinner yet, but I am just now getting hungry. Someone was watching out over me for going to Chilacas for lunch and getting a big burrito for lunch. That is prob the only thing that saved me during this time. Now the only thing is, I have one choice for dinner, and that would be MCD, cus most are 24 drive-thru around town now. Also, I never expeceted to stay this late, but I now have my comptuer to a point where I can do the crap that should have gotten done today, like taking care of the Verizon bill and other fun fun stuff like that. Well, I am going to be a total zombe at school, but such is life.

Peace,
Kevin

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Voice Post

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Basicly what the phone post says is that I was able to rescue my Outlook PST file. I am very very very happy about that. That was the one file that I thought was a total loss, but I was able to save 99.99% of it. I think I might have lost 1 or 2 e-mail's but over all that is not bad at all, consdering I have thousands of e-mails.

So really that is what I spent my whole afternoon doing. I tried many differnt methods to recover it, including using Knoppix, a verison of linux that I have that runs completely off a CD. Well that Knoppix allowed me to get about 13.5 mb of the file copyied over, where as Windows would crap out, claim data error, and not copy any part of the file. The problem with only getting 13.5 mb, is that my Outlook PST files is over 100mb. LOL. But, I was able to figure out that within that 13.5mb part, there were things in there and they still in tack.

So after screwing around with that for a while I gave up using Knoppix, put the bad hard disk in an anti-static bag, and put it in the freezer for about 20 min. I know as werid as it sounds, it shrinks the size of the read/write head. When the head is having issues reading / writing, it heats up, and grows, which creates more issues, and putting it in the freezer is a trick to shrink the head. After pulling the drive out of the freezer, I tried just connecting it to my computer, and of all the simple things, opening the file. Well, that worked, which at first suprised me. But after thinking about it for a few seconds it makes sense. When I was trying to copy the file off the bad disk, it needed to access every part of the file. When I opended it, due to the was the PST file is built, it basicly opens an index, and then loads on demand what it needs from there.

Anyway, from there I started moving over that I could. Well after getting the major stuff (Contacts, Calendar, Inbox) I started to run into some disk access issues. So I had been talking to my mom off and on all afternoon, trying to trouble shoot some things. Well one of the things she suggested, was to use the import / export tool. Well I did that, and it was easy going from there. So that is a major load of my back right now.

So really that took my whole afternoon, and I stayed until 7pm taking care of some other things that needed to be done, and cleaning my office again. Things had gotten a little messy in all the action over the last few days, and I really do not want it to get out of hand again! Also today I found a data recovery software that is bascily what the pros use, so I downloaded and installed that to my system today, and that is now running tonight on the drive.

Well I guess I will find out how that went when I get into the office Thursday afternoon. So I feel a little better and am really glad that I got my all my e-mail's / calendar / tasks / contacts back. I guess I will set outlook back up to download my e-mail. I have been living off of webmail now since Monday evening, an its getting a little old.

Well, I guess I should be getting bed. I have another long day ahead of me.

Peace,
Kevin
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