Sunday, 11 November 2007

Windows Install : Bad news

hmm, it seems that my Hardrive is sort of dead. It now says "S.M.A.R.T status BAD", and exit the boot sequence, even when I try to boot on the CD... No good at all...

I tried to boot on the Windows install CD, and copy the Hard Drive to an external disk, but at first the Drive was not even recognized. I then tried to disable (temporarily) SMART in the BIOS, and it boots, but when it seems to never enter into Recovery, the CD seems to not work at all anymore..

There is a high chance that I will not even be able to backup my files to my external removable drive. Even if there are few files I have only on this hard drive, I'm sure there's some...

Plus I worked part of the Week-end to finish some very important programming work, I have almost finished, but it's on the Hard drive...

Update (23:00) : After numerous attempts, I found a fantastic utility program called UBCD. It's a Linux tool (a Windows version is available, but is not up-to-date), but it's not a problem when even your OS can't boot... So I booted on a CD created with UBCD's ISO image. Their is a collection of utilities, and some of them are able to recover hard disks failures... (like with late floppy disks). Using it, I was able to reformat the hard drive (quick reformat, I hope to be able to get back some datas after all this mayhem), and launch the XP installation program. Only time will tell if it will work at the end.

However, I will try another tool (called gdbfn) after that. This tool is seemingly able to recover datas on a hard disk, even after a quick reformat... hmm, and after all that, even if it works, I think I will need to change my laptop... I'm still on SMART option disabled, after all, this is not very good, don't you think ?

I'm doomed !!

Windows XP reinstall

Hmm, it is the second time I have to repair the Windows XP installation on my laptop (I'm blogging on my old, old old Windows ME PC).

The first time it was a problem with the file performing the boot (I don't remember its name). It suddenly appeared as a user file directly under C:\ (it was NOT considered by Windows as a system file, nor was it masked) Sure it was a problem with my Windows installation, because it should never be there, and never be visible by default.And But once I made a BIG BIG mistake, I deleted it... Of course, I could not boot anymore. The reinstalling process was not so simple, because when you phone to the Microsoft help center, which is on the XP box, they just tell you to look on Internet. Hmm, how do you do that if your PC does not want to boot (I was in my mother's appartment, and did not have access to internet) ? Typical of MS$ attitude toward customers :-(
OK I could fix that at the end (by myself, no help at all from Microsoft).

This time the PC (which is almost never connected, I'm using my older PC for that) crashed while doing nothing in particular, and crashed again repeatedly after that (hello happy blue screen, and hello again, and again, and again...). After a while, Windows changed the boot sequence itself (while not, isn't it funny ?), trying to boot on the USB device (seems to happen a lot with XP, my cousins had exactly the same problem with their PC).

You probably would tell me that at this point, a reinstallation was the only thing to do... You are right, of course. But reinstalling Windows is not always simple. First you must be aware that you have to type ENTER as new Install, and not R as Repairing, even if you only want to repair the previous installation (tell me if you understand anything).
OK, and after that Windows try to install on \WINDOWS, yes, not C:\WINDOWS, but just \WINDOWS, a directory which does not exist. So you have to change manually the installation directory...

I'm just at this point now :-(. Windows sucks a lot !!!