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About pendragoncrw

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  1. pendragoncrw

    First new system in 4 years, recommendations wanted.

    Given the price drops, both the X2 and E6300 look like they would fit within the price range. For all intensive purposes is there a large architectural difference that affects their performance. My biggest concernw would be the maturity of motherboards/chipsets. Unless I'm mistaken, it will be largely new designs for the Core Duo and I'm not a big fan of early adopting.
  2. pendragoncrw

    First new system in 4 years, recommendations wanted.

    I have an older Adaptec 39160 hanging around. Just found it yesterday going through my gear drawer. Haven't touched SCSI in about 6 years when my 15k Cheetah died on me. I'll definitely take a look at that. Thanks for the information regarding prices and such. I may go ahead and purchase some accessory items (power supply, sound card, etc.) to spread the cost out a little.
  3. The system I've been using for my day to day work and gaming is as follows: P4 2.5 Northwood 2gb DDR PC3200 Xfx Geforce 6600GT AGP 60gb ATA100 hard disk SBLIVE Platinum Windows XP Professional As my workload increases and I've been adding some video and audio editing (one level above home videos, etc, but below studio quality post production, etc), increased working with large files, and of course games that suck more power, the system has begun to seem sluggish to me. I gave it a re-format a week ago (3 years without one) and while that helped some things, it still seems sluggish. After looking around, it seems there is not much in the way of a cost-effective upgrade path for this machine. About the only thing I could do is shop around for a Socket 478 processor and get a modest increase at a not very good price. Everything now seems to be DDR2, PCI Express, SATA, new sockets, dual-cores etc. For me this means new video card, powersupply, hard disk, basically a whole new rig. Based on the market and the upcoming releases from AMD and Intel, is now an appropriate time to be looking at a new system or would it be more prudent to wait until mid-summer, end of summer? I am platform neutral if that comes into play and cost is a consideration, probably around $200 for both the motherboard and processor. Thanks, Chris
  4. pendragoncrw

    Help with testing hard drives

    If the drive is having problems, look in the windows event log. In the System category you are likely to see messages such as "Disk" "The device \\disk\hardisk1 has a bad a block" This will point you to the culprit.
  5. I have a client who brought their machine in and said that they tried to fix an error message themselves by using the system recovery CD's provided with the computer. The recovery CD's simply slap a factory image on the hard disk erasing whatever is already there (4 years worth of documents, pictures, and music) I have not gotten the machine yet so I don't know if the recovery CD's did a full format, quick format, just put the image on etc. What software tools do you all recommend for such recovery? I have used ActiveUndelete with good success, but that was about a year ago and I haven't had such a case since (most clients call before deciding to fix things on their own). It is my hope that all the data was stored in locations the factory image didn't write over. All suggestions are welcome including commercial products, free products, and Linux. Many Thanks, Chris
  6. pendragoncrw

    Bad Power Killing Hard Drives?

    I did some newsgroup poking around and there were a few comments that, whether true or not, matched up with the client. 1. Pumps for things like fountains, ponds, etc. can have a strong adverse effect on power lines if they are not properly isolated. This client has a series of fish ponds and fountains in the backyard all using pumps and not properly seperated from the rest of the house current (share circuit breakers with regualr house circuits) 2. A bad doorbell transformer can also wreak havoc with the line. The client's doorbell stopped working about 3 years ago but the transformer was never removed/disconnected. There is also a guest house which recieves its electricity from the junction box on the main house. Inside the guest house is an old refrigerator of questionable functionality. I've instructed them to have an electrician come out and give the house a thorough examination, but the detective part in me wants to figure out exactly what it is.
  7. pendragoncrw

    Bad Power Killing Hard Drives?

    I should add this problem seems limited to only devices with motors. VCR, DVD player, hard disks. Not toaster ovens, clocks, stereos, etc. Perhaps there is a dirty power condition that adversely affects motors?
  8. I just got a call from a new client who said the hard disks in his laptop and desktop (both 2 year old dells), died. Both of them were making the reptitive seek noises as they tried to read data from the drive but couldn't. Two drives seemed pretty coincidental to me so I asked some more questions. Both computers began experiencing the symptoms within 2hrs of each other. I'm beginning to think there is a problem with the power to the house, surge protector, something and when I ask if they had any previous problems I get this: 3 VCRs in 4 years 2 DVD players in 2 years And another desktop and laptop dead hard disk set (2.5 years ago). This is beginning to seem pretty strange to me. Based on my experience with dirty power and power problems in old houses, I'd be inclined to blame these two new hard disk deaths on bad power as well, but some things still don't add up. 1. Why just the hard drives? Why not the power supplies or the mainboards? 2. Why both at the same time?? I've seen computers in which the power supply goes up smoking but the hard disks are okay. I'm most concerned that if I don't get to the root of the problem, in some other indeterminable amount of time I'll be looking at 2 dead hard disks again. Any suggestions welcome. Many thanks, Chris
  9. pendragoncrw

    Laptop HD Near Death: Recovery Tips Appreciated

    Hmm. Tried the freezer trick, after being in their for 1/2hr the drive was not recognized by the BIOS period. After it warmed up (5 min) it was recognized by the BIOS continually, but still disappearing in device manager. There are a few logic boards on ebay, so I will inquire of the client if they want to try it. Looks likes it about 50$ for a 50% chance of success. Thanks, Chris
  10. pendragoncrw

    Laptop HD Near Death: Recovery Tips Appreciated

    My brother has an HP ZE4200. It has a 30gb 4200rpm hitachi drive in it. The thing reaches 60 celcius when being used a lot. Those laptops fry the hard drives. My new HP ZV6000 keeps the hard drive at a cool 35 celcius. 214951[/snapback] Thanks for the tips. I should add that the hard disk is ALWAYS recognized by the BIOS during bootup. Think the freezer trick is worth a go? Chris
  11. A client brought to me an HP Pavillion ze4400 laptop with a dying hard drive. It started out with BSOD's, but by the time I saw it, it had progressed to the "click of death" while trying to startup. My usual tactic in these situations, if the customer does not want to spend the $$$ for professional data recovery is to place the driver in a hot swap tray in my testbed, copy the data off and burn a DVD. In about 95% cases, this has been succesful. This drive, however seems to behaved differently. First, although the drive is jumpered as master, it is only recognized in my test bed when it is the only device on the secondary IDE channel and then it is recognized as Slave. There are no cable select settings, etc. and I've never had master/slave problems in my rig before. Being that the drive came out of an hp/compaq laptop, I wrote it off as the usual Compaq wierdness I have become accustomed too out of much of their gear. After the test bed boots up, it does not recognize the hard disk. If I go into device manager and select "scan for new hardware", the drive shows up, gets a drive letter and I can access it from explorer, for about 30secs. During those 30 seconds I can browse the directory structure and open some files. After those 30 secs it disappears from explorer and device manager. Rescanning in device manager brings it back, again for 30 secs, before disappearing again. My question: What would cause the drive to disappear from device manager and are there any utilities, be it Linux or otherwise, that might work around this disappearing behavior? My suspicion is that the drive is going into some sort of self-protective shutdown, but that's just a guess. Many thanks, Chris
  12. pendragoncrw

    Gigabit Switches

    Hope this isn't considered hijacking, but it seems like an appropriate place. I would greatly benefit from having a gigabit ethernet connection between my main workstation and my fileserver which sit right next to each other. Could I buy 2 gigabit ethernet nics, hook them up with a crossover cable, direct all traffic to the file server from the workstation to the gigabit nic through the use of a hosts entry and have a working setup? Thanks, Chris
  13. pendragoncrw

    Strange Case of Missing Data

    The On-Track software found more data that had been deleted over the history of the machine, but none of the missing documents. This is beginning to sound more malicious to me so I'll be checking into the personal situation of the computer a bit more. There are a few "Found" directories the result of check disk, but opening any of the files with the OnTrack software shows they are nothing more than temp files. Chris
  14. pendragoncrw

    Strange Case of Missing Data

    Everything out of My Documents is what has gone missing. All her programs, etc. are still there and have remembered their customized settings, etc. The machine still has a boatload of spyware on it too. It's like something nuked My Documents and that was it. I'll try the OnTrack software and see. Thanks, Chris
  15. pendragoncrw

    Strange Case of Missing Data

    I should add the drive has 2 partitions, a 40gig NTFS and a 15gig FAT32. The FAT32 has the OS install, programs, etc. which seems backwards to me since the FAT32 is usually the recovery and the NTFS is the OS partition. The machine is a Sony Vaio. Methinks the guy at circuit city isn't telling the truth about something.