Tech Talk

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Saturday, March 30, 2002

Had an almost hard disk crash this week on my Dell Latitude C800 this week. For the past couple weeks it's been hanging up because of tons of disk activity, so I ran defrag, checked Windows XP's disk manager: the disk is healthy. Must be something else. Finally ran Dell's disk diagnostic on it, and the SMART system built into the disk warned of imminent failure: backup and run!

So, I called Dell, got a new disk on the way, and tried to do a full system backup. That didn't work, because the disk had corrupted part of the hard disk, so the backup failed. Figures; that means it's back to the old method of copying all my data off, and rebuilding completely. Copied all 3GB of my data to my new 40GB disk in my server, losing only two inconsequential files to the disk corruption.

Surprise, surprise, the replacement drive turned out to be 30GB instead of 20! Oh, yeah! This is good. I had been using up about 14GB on my old disk, and had to stop synchronizing my website (now weighing in at 6.5GB) onto my laptop. I also store over 7GB of mp3s on my laptop, bringing the total of my data alone to 15GB, in addition to all the software installed. Speaking of which, I've logged another list here, just so I know what I had to install.

It's amazing how much nicer this disk is. It's very quiet, my system performance as a whole is dramatically improved, and I'm ecstatic over being able to store everything on it again. The best way, in my opinion, to back up data is to have it simultaneously in multiple locations. Windows 2000/XP support this with Offline Files, and can check all 15GB (27,000 or so files) of my data in about five minutes on my Fast Ethernet home network.

My installation log:

  1. Windows XP Professional, single NTFS partition
    • Windows Update, grab all the Security, XP, and Drivers updates
    • Update the Video driver
    • VPN into my office, and join the domain
    • Map a data drive and a music drive to the server, setup to be available offline (databases and PST files are not synchronizable, though)
  2. Music Match 7
  3. Access 97
  4. Office XP Premium with Frontpage
    • Connect to my home email server with Outlook
    • Open Krista's and Church mailboxes, too
    • SP1
  5. UltraDev 4
    • 4.01 patch
    • Setup all site definitions
  6. CorelDRAW 9 Suite
    • Set timezone to Taipei (wierd workaround so patches will apply on Windows 2000/XP)
    • SP1 & SP2
    • Reset timezone
  7. AOL Instant Messenger
  8. Publisher XP
  9. Winzip 8
  10. Online Bible 8
  11. WinDVD 3
    • Reactivate online
  12. Quicken 2000
  13. Acrobat Reader 5
  14. Canon Powershot G1 Photo Tools
  15. Quicktime 5 Pro
  16. Wordperfect Suite 8
    • Wordperfect & Quattro Pro
    • SP7
  17. Streets & Trips 2001
  18. Palm Desktop
    • Hotsync only
    • Pocket Mirror standard 3
  19. Adobe Acrobat 5
  20. Trendmicro Officescan


LaRocque Family