Sometimes you just have to start all over

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Catherall, Sep 28, 2001.

  1. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Last week, during a new virus scare, I updated IE5.5 to service pack 2, updated my virus definitions, scanned the drive...completely clean. Then I decided to perform some further maintenance on my computer and ran Scan Disk and Defragment. Everything went well. However, after all this I noticed my computer would lock up frequently. It would just completely freeze (mouse and all). I would also occasionally get the blue screen of death during startup.
    So last night, in an effort to fix things, I ran Scan Disk and Defragment again. I left during the defrag (who wants to sit and watch it for an hour or more) and came back to a completely frozen computer. It froze 85% of the way through defrag!! I could have killed the thing. I hit the reset button (nothing else I could do). Luckily the computer was still alive and I could get Windows to start. I use Zone Alarm for firewall security, and that had some major problems trying to get going (it wouldn't start). So I uninstalled it. I was really worried about my data and afraid that Windows would really give me even more problems now. Who knows what I lost when defrag crashed. So I backed up everything to CD-R (thankfully that worked still) and wiped out the hard drive. Completely deleted the DOS partition and recreated it, reformatted the drive and started all over again. 6 hours later (2 am) I had my smooth running, slick machine all over again.
    I built this computer just over a year ago and this is the second time I've had to do this. It's a pain to have to back everything up and hope you didn't forget anything. Then getting Windows to reinstall all that hardware again. Then there's all the software and setting up everything just the way you like it. I've still got at least another 6 hours of work to do on it installing some more of my software, but it runs better then ever now. We'll see if I still get the system freezes or if that's all over with.
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i've rebuilt my pc at least 4 or 5 times. talk about a royal p.i.t.a. total invested time? probably 4 or 5 days! ugh!
    i feel your pain! [​IMG]
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    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  3. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Yeah, on two seperate occasions, i've had my Registry TOTALLY DELETED from my computer...
    I was doing something installing or whatever, then suddenly it freezes.. i restart, it goes into DOS REGISTRY CHECKER, and boom! BSOD, saying something i have no registry or corrupted VFAT watever...
    I think the first time was a hacker with a trojan in my computer
     
  4. Greg Rakaska

    Greg Rakaska Stunt Coordinator

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    Pardon me if I am telling you something you already know. But just to be sure, I will mention this.
    When you run Defrag, do you disconnect from the Internet, shutdown Zone Alarm, and all Antivirus? You should also stop all non-essential programs by ctrl-alt-del and "end task" If you run Win9x, all you need running is systray and explorer.
    I am in IT and work with these things all the time, and sometimes I still forget to do this. I have had bad results with defrag when I left AV running.
    If you already knew this, perhaps someone else reading this thread will benefit.
     
  5. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Thanks for that advice Greg. I did shut down ZoneAlarm and turned off my cable modem, also turned off the screen saver. But I didn't ctrl-alt-del all other programs. I'll remember to do that next time...if there will be a next time. I'm a little skiddish about using defrag again anytime soon.
    Incidentally, IE has been freezing up on me again lately. Just tonight it froze twice while trying to post to the HTF. The freezing is usually while I'm using IE and has only been happening since installing service pack 2. I went to MS's product update page and downloaded the recent Windows updates package. It's been smooth so far. If it happens again then I'll upgrade to IE 6.
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    The best way to run Defrag and Scandisk is in SAFE MODE...
    there are almost no writing from the HDD, so it wont interrupt your Defrag/Scan...
     
  7. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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  8. Dominik Droscher

    Dominik Droscher Supporting Actor

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    The built in defrag mode is a huge PITA (in Win9x and 2k). I prefer third party solutions. At the moment I am very happy with Speeddisk which comes with the Norton Utilities.
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    -Dominik Dröscher ICQ: 25318265
    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes."
     
  9. Greg Rakaska

    Greg Rakaska Stunt Coordinator

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    Aaron:
    It is my opinion that *well-made* custom built PCs are less problematic.
    Most brand name PCs are pre-loaded with so much crap that they are just accidents just waiting for a place to happen (imho).
    However, many home builders don't ave enough experience the first few times through, therefore they may have more problems initially than when buying a Compaq Presario, or HP Pavillion from BestBuy. Especially if their first build is using a non-Intel CPU or PCI chipset.
    Don't get me wrong, two of my three PCs are non-Intel. I still have an old Cyrix PR200 running which has had fewer problems than my wife's Gateway PIII! My laptop is AMD based.
    Non-Intel CPU's require a bit of research in newsgroups and such to assure that you don't buy any components with well-known problems that don't yet have solutions. Some VIA mobos and SBlive cards had problems with AMD Athlons when they were first released. Solutions eventually became available.
    Also, persons sometimes create problems for themselves when upgrading PCs and using previous hard drives w/o blowing away the old O/S entirely (installing Win ME over Win 95 for example).
    I have never bought a brand name PC for myself, and have far fewer problems than with the Compaqs I use at work.
     
  10. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Two words for you all: Norton Ghost.
    You create one partition for your operating system and the necessary programs you always install (as few as possible though, IMHO, especially if some of them need frequent updates). Then, when you have everything "just so", drop to DOS mode and run Ghost on the partition, and create one big multiple hundred megabyte file on another partition that is an exact copy of your boot partition.
    Then, boot back to windows and burn that sucker onto a CD-R or CD-RW.
    Next time you have to reinstall? Start Ghost from a DOS boot disk with CD drivers and just use it to recall the file system level backup you did before with Ghost and reboot the system... hey presto, the same clean reinstalled Windows you backed up with Ghost.
    Elapsed time to "reinstall"? 10-15 minutes, tops. Plus the time what you need to install the frequently updated apps you didn't include in the Ghost backup.
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    /Kimmo
     

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