Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another day in the fun house!

Number One Son's computer took a dive last night. He's been having problems with it, mostly because he installed a ton of junk programs. It was running very slow. The anti-virus hadn't been updated for months and it hadn't been allowed to run either. MS had a bunch of updates for it, including Service Pack 2. The machine was so slow it wouldn't do the updates!

A registry cleaner found 300 registry errors. I cleaned those out and started on the updates. After it installed SP2, the machine wouldn't boot up. It's showing File: \boot\bcd status: 0xc00014c and gives a "error occurred while trying to read the boot configuration data" message.

OK, no problem.

I can use the Toshiba recovery disk to try to repair it. That's in my toolbox at work. Some might think that's weird, since I'd most likely use it at home, but there's a method in this. I know that anything I leave here will tend to 'migrate.' That is, the various other members of the household move my stuff, or worse, put it away and then forget where it went. So important software resides in my toolbox where it's safe.

Now, Jordan has a ton of music and photos on his laptop. There's a chance the recovery disk will re-format his machine. When I told him, his eyes went big. He'd rather not lose the music, so I hatched an alternative plan. I would try to set up Ubuntu on a USB device, and boot up his computer from that. If it works, we can copy his photos and music onto DVDs.

That's the plan. Let's hope it works.


Blogger Steve A said...

If he got that music from iTunes, you don't want to know how much he spent getting it. As an Apple stockholder, let me know if that HD needs to be reformatted. I sense a stock price uptick coming...

5:35 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I don;t know how much he bought from iTunes, and I'm afraid that if I try to copy it onto a CD or DVD, the DRM will make it useless. Regardless, we have to try to get this fixed, so if the music goes away, well, that's the price that must be paid.

5:58 PM  
Blogger The Donut Guy said...

Burn a Ubuntu CD or DVD form another computer....boot off it, plug in a UBS portable hard drive to the sick computer ...browse your computer hard drive for whatever you are saving and drag it into a folder on the USB drive.

If you have iTunes music...I'd browse here...

I'd also check the music folder as well. If you find Limewire me and I'll discuss how you can find stuff online without Limewire.

After you get everything you need....look up Daren's Boot and Nuke -burn a DVD on another computer and *totally* format the hard drive. You might have a boot sector virus and that's the only way to make sure you get it all.

If you are going to go to the trouble of formatting...may as well go the whole way to a blinking cursor before you start over.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Thanks, George. We have a few Ubuntu users at work, and in fact, I was thinking about using a USB version of that. Unfortunately, I turned my last CD into a coaster here at the house, but there are more safely stored in my work toolbox.

My last laptop had Vista Home Deluxe(?) and it could re-format from a sector on the hard drive. That was convenient, but if you had a hard drive problem, the computer would be toast. Eventually, it ended up as toast anyway.

8:55 PM  
Blogger The Donut Guy said...

As long as you have your son's BIOS set to boot up from a USB should be fine and be able to salvage files.

If your son likes to live on the edge when he browses the web....just install Ubuntu as the OS after you've formatted.

He can use Songbird as a iTunes replacement.

I put Ubuntu on my father-in-laws laptop after all his grandkids took there turn hosing his hard drive:-)

1:02 PM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

I was talking with somebody from Versus last week. The guy told me, "Our cycling audience are much more adept and enthusiastic about technology than some of the viewers of our other offerings.

I have no idea why he has that impression.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Don't diss the hook and bullet crowd, Fritz! I've spent some time over there myself...but them bull riders and wrestlers...well...let's not go there.

3:22 PM  

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