Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Windows Vista (Part 2)

My hard drive crashed!

I had just got done installing two Service Packs for Visual Studio.NET 2005 Pro and I rebooted. Half way through the boot I saw a blue-screen for about half of a second. I could not read it all but it said something about "registry corruption". It rebooted and I never saw that message again but it took me to the screen where you can choose to repair windows or boot using safe mode.

  1. First I tried the repair but it said it was unable to repair Windows.
  2. Then I tried booting into safe mode and that didn't work either.
  3. I tried to restore to the last known good configuration but that didn't work.
  4. I tried to restore the last good restore point but there was none.
  5. One message said to remove any recently installed hardware. I had installed a Creative Sound Blaster 5.1 adapter before I installed Vista and it was working fine but I removed it just in case. That changed nothing.
  6. So then I ran a memory check and it found no errors with memory.
  7. I ran a disk check and it said "A patch is preventing the system from restarting. Repair action: system files integrity check and repair. Result: FAiled. Error code = 0x4005"
  8. I tried to re-install Windows Vista on my c: drive but it needed about 6.5 GB of free space but I only had 6 GB free
  9. I tried install Windows Vista to my second hard-drive and that worked!

I have an 80 GB drive and a 500 GB drive. The 80 GB drive was for my operating system, programs and most commonly used files. The 500 GB was for backup and archived files. I'm planning to get a third drive which will be 500 GB so I can have archive my backup drive. I want to make sure I have at least two copies of my important files in case one hard-drive fails.

Right now I have about 100 GB of files on my 500 GB drive and there is no other copy so if that drive fails, I lose those files so what I'm going to do next is make my 80 GB a backup drive.

Before:

  • 80 GB - C: with Windows
  • 500 GB - F: backup

Now

  • 500 GB - C: with Windows
  • 80 GB - D: backup

I've created a restore point this time. I will definitely use that feature now each time I make a major change to my system. It's like playing a game where you save right before you try something you might regret. Undo!

So it looks as though I've lost another day of productivity. That's about 4 days lost but I don't blame Windows Vista. Hard drives go bad. I've been quite rough with my 80 GB and it's time to retire it.

I'm not sure how well Windows Vista will perform on my 500 GB drive because I have it setup using NTFS as a compressed drive using the smallest partition size. It was meant only for storage and the smaller your partition size, the slower your disk access, but the more compressed your files will be so it's a trade-off. Unfortunately it might be a little slow but only time will tell. So far I haven't noticed it being too slow.

More later in Part 3.

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