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Thread: PC back to life

  1. #1
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    PC back to life

    pc woes:
    had a devil of a day. my hard drive crashed from a corrupted OS. had all my data backed up, but it still took a tech 7 hours to get the machine back up. then i had the fun of re-loading every program, conjuring up the original discs, downloading drivers, re-booting many times, resetting preferences, special settings, etc. in several programs and still have to dig up some records for imageprint and silverfast and figure out how to put my e-mail history back together.

    is there a good way via intelligent backup to not just restore your data, but all the programs and preferences?

    jm

  2. #2
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    Re: PC back to life

    I use Macs for which there is an application called "SuperDuper!". It clones any drive to a backup volume so that one can very easily and quickly restore or simply boot from the backup, depending on needs. One can copy his/her OS and applications (including prefs) separately if that's how your system is configured, or the backup could include your data as well if it's on the same volume. One can do backups incrementally so that only files which have changed are updated. I often travel with a clone of my laptop (mini external FW drive) so that I can simply boot from the external should I have any catastrophe while traveling. This allows me to use a friends' Mac in a pinch as well, so that my system is available (by booting their machine from the portable drive) should a real mess occur.

    I mention this not to flaunt a Mac solution, but with the hopes of describing a few desirable features which you might hope to find in a PC application. Years ago I tried Dantz Retrospect (available for Mac and Windows) but I didn't care for it, though I would expect that the application has evolved. Surely some PC users will have suggestions for a good backup utility.

    Edit to add these two links that may point towards something for you. I'm not knowledgeable of the best Windows options, so hopefully another member will have good input.

    http://alexking.org/blog/2007/02/10/...ackup-software

    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum...fm/998653.html
    Last edited by Dale Allyn; 13th December 2008 at 16:53.

  3. #3
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    Re: PC back to life

    i read a review of PC Genie that looks promising..

    here is another pesky problem: i can't get my default printer to work. it is hosted by another computer on my LAN, so i set up a printer, browse for the network printer and it sets itself up just fine. then when I go to print, my monitor screens go blank for an instant, all the icons move to the primary monitor (i have two and keep the workday icons on the secondary monitor) and no printing.$#^%^%#[email protected]

    my computer does find the LAN and seems to work fine except for that printer and the jumping icons.

    jm

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    Re: PC back to life

    plugged the printer directly into my PC, installed it using the original disc, tried a test print...same blue screens and jumping icons, no print.

    printer works fine when connected to and printed from, the other LAN pc.

    damn

  5. #5
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: PC back to life

    I think Norton Ghost is another application that you can use to get what you want. My experience with Ghost is that it is a resource pig.

    I wanted to avoid the issues you are having so when I built the pc for our security system I hunted down a board with Intel's matrix RAID and use two HDDs. Hey, HDDs are now cheap, comparatively.

    What matrix RAID does is allow you to define what disk partitions are RAID'd with what flavor of RAID. I set it up so a small partition (A) on the front of both drives is a mirror (copy) of each other. That is where the OS lives, programs, and anything with a 'preference'. Any HDD can boot the system and make it functional. The remaining bulk of the HDDs are partition (B) as striped RAID, data is shared across them, not mirrored. That gives me maximum data storage of multiple HDDs. In the event of a loss of an HDD the system keeps on working. Any HDD can boot the system and immediately make it fully functional at anytime, regardless of what other HDDs are working or not.

    I lost an HDD due to a faulty SATA cable. The system automatically switched over to storing data on the functioning drive. I fixed the cable, rebooted, and the friggin' thing rebuilt the striped RAID partition! Magic!!!

    Using a scheme like this, you only stand to lose data in the striped portion of the RAID'd drives (partition B). If you back up your work on a regular basis you would be good to go. Pop in a replacement drive and the system rebuilds itself, creating partitions on the new drive, mirroring data into partition A, striping data into partition B ...

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    Re: PC back to life

    Oxide Blu
    Intel has been rev'ing their matrix driver and if you haven't picked up a newer version in the last four or five months you might check Intel's site. My understanding is they did some fixes around both bugs as they have with some performance on boot/resume shutdown/suspend.

    jlm
    If you are using Windows Vista (vs XP) the System Protection/System Restore point is actually a good route to back up applications and their settings. A good practice I have gotten in to is to create a ‘protection’ point just prior to installing any new drivers in the event they give poor performance (>cough< video drivers >cough<) so I can restore cleanly without having to trust the driver package actually does a good uninstall.
    -- M.

  7. #7
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: PC back to life

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSlezak View Post
    Oxide Blu
    Intel has been rev'ing their matrix driver and if you haven't picked up a newer version in the last four or five months you might check Intel's site. ...
    Thanks for the heads up on the Matrix RAID updates. I'm using it on a PC where the only application is security. On a security system, one does not update anything for any reason if things are working.

    That said, the next graphics system I build will definitely be Intel Matrix RAID supported, too.

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