OT: Follow up to computer problem

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First off, thanks for the replies and interest. I also posted to a couple WinXP-specific groups, and got 3-4 revelant replies (and several OT replies re: cross- vs. multiple posts).
After many re-boots using different boot disks, &tc., I was still unable to get the WinXP repair module or re-install to work. After a few attmepts, I finally got Norton's emergency disk to boot; it recognized a fault in the WindXP registry and repaired it (at least it saod so). But still no progress otherwise (re-boot cycle continued).
Then, after several boots from the WinXP disk, it finally cited a "missing or corrupt C://win32...... " file, and allowed me re-format and re-load WinXP. That was Friday night.
Since then, it's been pretty stable, I've had it on since, and re-boot often to test; it's done the re-boot cycle once, and I got 3-beeps once, but otherwise it's OK.
I'm able to read all the partitions and recover her files, and even load the WinXP SP2 and SP3 updates.
I'm still suspicious about it though. I've found some compatible MBs on E-bay for cheap, so I'll probalby swap it out ASAP.
Thanks again for all your input.
-Zz
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Zz Yzx wrote:

My guess is that the occasional beep code you're getting is a keyboard error as I believe Swingman indicated. This will happen if the BIOS thinks a key is stuck and will occur if a key is being held down at the exact time the BIOS checks for the keyboard.
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On 8/22/2010 9:17 AM, Zz Yzx wrote:

Did you ever determine which BIOS your system is using?

While it sounded more like a corrupted OS installation instead of a hardware problem, one can also easily suspect a motherboard issue from the symptoms.
Recently replaced the mb on my four year old Dell XPS 1210 laptop, which had a vaguely similar rebooting issue that all indications pointed to bad RAM, which turned out not to be the case.
Good to hear it appears to be resolved for the moment and, more importantly, that you able to access the data.
... and also thanks for the follow up, which is rare in itself. :)
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You might want to consider saving all your data and doing a complete reinstall of the OS and programs. It really helps other things to start clean every once in a while. And while you are at it a upgrade to an inexpensive larger HD to can rule out possible disk problems. This really is a pretty straight forward and easy to do.
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I am not pushing Linux. I do keep a current Ubuntu disc to check computers people bring to me. When it starts, don't load it on you machine unless you want to, just work from the CD. It will ask you if you want to test the computer memory and hard drive(s). If they are in good shape, and Ubuntu starts, you know the computer hardware is fine and you know you have a corrupted Windows installation. While in Ubuntu you can see all files and it would be possible to copy to a flash drive or whatever anything you don't want to lose.
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It's too bad most ppl are so terrified of linux. In reality it's become almost braindead easy to use, anymore. I've been using it so long I'm actually more intimidated by Windows due to the fact I no longer know what Windows is really doing. I know exactly what linux is doing and 100 times out of a hundred, whatever it is, it's not trying to screw me over like Windows, but I digress.
You might want to try knoppix, as it's a liveCD tweaked for the sole purpose of operating as a liveCD and runs faster in that mode rather than being just a nice "by the way" feature to try before a perm install. It also has more apps included specifically to deal with Windows OS issues. There's also an O'Reilly book detailing these great knoppix Windows hacks.
http://www.knoppix.net/books/knoppix-hacks.html
nb
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I've got a couple different versions of Linux installed and running. I stick with Windows on my primary PC because I'm comfortable with it, the UI is usually very, very good, and almost everything's exposed through the UI so it can be discovered.
Linux still has a long way to go before it's ready for mainstream acceptance. The versions I've used have had some really uncool things going on, for example I spent as much time outside of the UI in LinHES trying to configure the machine properly as I spent inside it. On a Debian PowerPC box, the clock reset to 1900 (Mac epoch). Rather than asking me to confirm the time, the system booted into GNOME and started asking me if I wanted to delete files.
Puckdropper
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On 2010-08-23, Puckdropper <puckdropper> wrote:

I'll agree to the first part. Windows had pretty much standardized the desktop and UI. No complaint there. In fact, I can set up my Slackware Linux box so it looks identical to an older M$ Windows box. Even native Linux desktops look pretty much like Windows.
As for "everything's exposed", that's just not true. What exposed is what M$ allows you to see. Nothing more, nothing less. I've got a cranky XP box that occasionally jes drops the NIC connection. No options, choices, reconfigures, or anything else will re-establish it. Only reboot! That golden M$ fix-all that's been Windows' solution for everthing for the last 25 yrs. REBOOT!!

It will never happen till M$ stop extorting computer mfr's to install their software.

Well, duh! What is LinHES? A variation of a distro based on a variation of another distro. IOW, someone has hacked their own version of linux. Can't even do that with Windows. Is that good or bad? Depends on how you look at it. Not as good a solid basic distro of linux, but hey!, someone is making their own operation system the way they want it. It's called choice.

....and in Windows I get a hundred lil' infuriating pop-ups asking or informing me of a hundered things I don't need or want to know. How do I stop this infuriation time-wasting nonsense? By going into the registry and making some changes. OHMIGOD!! I have to use a registry text editor to go into the registry to change some very touchy registry files using a keyboard and ...and.... holy crap!!... altering text!! Gee, sounds exactly like using the command line in linux. Whodda thunk it.
nb
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I'll partially retract my "everything's exposed" statement. As I think more about it, there's some really advanced stuff that's not exposed in the UI. But most of the stuff I've wanted to do is doable through the UI.
It could be flaky hardware or driver. In that case, it's not Windows' fault. OTOH, it could be Windows' fault. That's actually one of the reasons Microsoft started the whole certification of drivers thing. (I'm not going to say whether or not there's significant financial gain here... I don't know for sure.)
Rebooting works in Linux, too.

I won't deny those contracts prevent change, or that they may be anti-competitive. The last time I heard anything about them was several years ago.

It depends on how you look at it. LinHES is simply Linux set up to support and run MythTV. If you distribute an image, it's the same idea.

I hate the popup notifying me that the touchpad has disabled itself because I plugged in an external mouse. What a waste! Fortunately, Windows 7 has a simplistic interface to not display those messages.
The difference between editing text files and the registry is a messed up text file only messes up the application. A screwed up registry can keep the computer from booting! (I hate the registry. It needs to be dropped and redesigned from scratch. .ini files aren't always a good solution, as sometimes you need to store some sort of binary data.)
Puckdropper
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Agree to the reformat, big time. Some "experts" recommend this once a year.
Also, consider partitioning your hard drive, so your OS is on a different partion than your data. That could be done now, and then your data could remain undisturbed while your reformatting of the OS takes place.
Or perhaps the most smart option, in the current era of terabyte external hard drives for les than 100 bucks, is a total backup on an external drive, done weekly, or so.
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Jim in NC



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And also consider remote (cloud) backup of your data.
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wrote:

Better yet - 2 hard drives in the computer - system and data - and a remote hard drive for backup. To make it really simple, run a virtual machine on your computer - the backup is a single file and can be installed on ANY computer that you can run a virtual PC on - including most Macs.
Personally I wouldn't trust a cloud backup - and you need to get the computer back up on the internet before you can recover ANYTHING from any internet backup service.
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On Tue, 24 Aug 2010 23:29:28 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

If you're going to do that, why not RAID-0 on the two drives? Remove one and put it away. The removed disk is a fully operating backup. Use two, if you want your backup hot.

A single CD should be enough for that much.
Windows sucks for all of these solutions. The programs and OS are too closely intertwined thought the registry. Programs have to be installed. OS/2 was great in this respect. Programs could live on a separate partition as the OS. Replace the OS and everything is back to working. A third partition or drive for data and everything was unlinked. Backup was trivial.
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On Tue, 24 Aug 2010 22:43:20 -0500, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

No, Raid 0 is striped. Raid 1 is mirrored. At the office we have raid1, plus Ultrium tape backup, plus important files copied to a second computer daily, and archived to DVD weekly.

Not when the data excedes 650MB - or 4 GB for DVD, or 8gb for dual layer DVD. Not out of the ordinary to have half a terrabyte on a virtual drive/virtual machine.

OS2 was good for some things - but it just couldn't cut it in the marketplace.
Windows works just fine if you remember it's shortfalls and plan around them.
The VM gets you around a whole lot of them.
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On Aug 24, 11:35pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I've over-thought that so many times I *always* get it backwards. :-/

I know several people who keep multiple mirrors on removable drives and swap them periodically.

You misunderstand. Enough of the system can be put on a single CD to bootstrap the system from a cloud backup. I don't feature backing up a Terabyte over my DSL connection, though.

It couldn't get over M$' contracts with system assemblers. As long as people had to buy a Win license, OS/2 was an additional expense.

It sucks. I had to reinstall XP, recently, on my ThinkPad. I'm still not back to where I was.

It doesn't help any of the ones I'm talking about. The registry is the root of all evil. What a *dumb* idea.
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On 08/25/2010 07:31 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

How they ever thought it was a better idea than the Unix approach of separate config files in text format (making them easily installable, removable, readable, modifiable, parsed, and searched) is beyond me...
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On 8/25/2010 10:06 AM, Steve Turner wrote:

Because you can move a specified part of the configuration by moving one file. Each has a dedicated purpose.
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On 08/25/2010 09:52 AM, J. Clarke wrote:

Surely you're not saying this is a bad thing?
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On Wed, 25 Aug 2010 05:31:04 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

A well maintained registry very seldom causes problems. The one office I spend a fair amount of time in has about 28 windows XP boxes and 2 windows servers - In the last 5 years I've reistalled windows only ONCE except for when a motherboard was changed and the new board wouldn't boot off the old drive because of a video driver issue. ( and this happend 2 or 3 times)
If software developers follow Microsoft's well published rules about drivers and DLL files, everything works just fine. When they don't, a utility like CleanMyPC from registry-cleaner.net sorts things out pretty well in a very short time.
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On Wed, 25 Aug 2010 22:00:46 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

The whole *concept* of the registry is evil.

I've had to reinstall Win on every machine I've owned, well, that had Win on it. After some time they just grind to a halt, if not crash a horrible death.

If the world was perfect we could all be good little communists.
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