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About ace101

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  1. I'm getting ready to buy two new hard drives, one for housing all my media, and one to back up the data in an external enclosure. I had my sights on the Cavier RE2 WD5000YS, but then I started reading that several people have had reliability problems with the WD 400 and 500 gig versions (over at newegg). Is there a reliability problem with these drives or is it just that since they are selling fast, more DOAs are being reported? It just seems like a lot.
  2. Actually, I just wanted to upgrade my machine by cloning the old hard disk (EIDE) to an SATA disk, and I just can't get it to work. Same everything else, nothing else changed on the machine. I cloned the disk no problems and it's booting fine. But it does the classic locking/rebooting that indicates there's some hardware/driver problem. Clearly it's upset that the drive type changed, but the real problem I suspect is that Windows is attempting to enable the drive by using the wrong controller (since it's SATA vs EIDE). So I figured all I'd have to do is do the Windows Repair thing, and get it to re-determine the devices in the registery. Well, it works ok until the system reboots, after copying all the XP files to the destination disk. It boots, gives me the XP screen, looks like it's going to continue installing, and then an inquire box pops up saying it can't find files it needs and asks for the location of the files. It suggests something like , "GLOBALWORLD\DEVICES\CDROM01\I386" which is a directory on the Win install CD. So now it's lost it's mind about the CD-ROM drive? Why? I try installing a fresh version of Windows, and this doesn't happen, it's all fine. Why is it losing contact with my CD-ROM after boot? So I assume it's the VIA drivers, because I have to load the VIA RAID VT6420 drivers to get Windows XP to recognise the SATA drive during install. It isn't causing XP to load the Raid drivers instead of the standard ATA drivers? I wouldn't see how that's possible. Has anyone had anything like this happen?
  3. Hi all, I have an Asus K8N-SLI motherboard with a 7800GT in it. The CPU is an Athlon X2 4200+. I get some strange graphics glitches in all graphic programs after a while of using the computer. It's not tearing or artifacts that you get with overclocking/overheating. The problem is the graphics all of a sudden start speeding up and slowing down in spurts and continuously until I reboot the machine. In 2D, there is never a problem. It's not heat as I monitor the heat and it's very low on the video card (30C-40C) as is the CPU (35C-45C). However my brand new Antec Truepower 2.0 420 watt power supply is putting out some lazy numbers especially on the 12 volt rail. The numbers are: +3.3v = 3.28v +5v = 4.95v +12v = 11.71v-11.78v It's a dual 12v rail power supply and each supply pumps out 17 amps, which should be enough since I'm only using 1 video card, 2 hard disks, and a DVD/CD player. But that +12v rail has me wondering if it could be causing my video anomalies. It seems to stay pretty stable even under duress, but still that is low. First off, could this be causing my 3D graphics problems and secondly, if it is, is there any way short of opening up the PSU case to get the +12v up to speed?
  4. ace101

    External Hard drive Help

    Oops. Now I notice you don't want to use SATA.
  5. ace101

    External Hard drive Help

    I got an AMS Venus DS3 DS-2316SU2SBK USB2.0 and SATA External Enclosure (from Newegg of course), and plopped in a 400 gig Caviar RE2 WD4000YR, and it's an awesome setup. My motherboard came with an external SATA connector, but I tried USB 2.0 first, and even that was good. However, the SATA connection is about the same performance as an internal SATA connection, and it flys. The enclosure uses an Oxford OXU921S chipset which is rated well. It all came up as identified by Windows XP, so I formatted the drive as per normal. No fuss, no muss. I am able to backup an entire machine (a Raptor and another YR, around 50 gigs actual usage) in about 10-15 minutes using Ghost. Then I have XP safely stop using the drive, I unplug it, and do the same on my wifes computer. It's so simple, I wish I'd done this BEFORE my previous hard drive died. But oh well, live and learn. I also use this drive now as an emergency boot device. My motherboards seem perfectly happy booting from it. I keep a bunch of diagnostic tools on it as well. Worth every penny.
  6. I don't get it then. The repair ran but didn't solve the problem. After completion, it still gave me the blue screen of death. The only differenve between the blue screen of death and a successful startup is the hardware setting in the registery. But based on what your saying, I really don't understand what's going on in my situation. It seems like drivers are getting loaded that shouldn't be loaded.
  7. Oops, I meant to say the SYSTEM registery file is in c:\windows\system32\config. It's not in c:\windows\system32\dllcache. I had a brain cramp....
  8. I found out what was going on, and I was able to move the drive over successfully, but it is complex and time consuming. Essentially, this is all about the drivers specified in the registery. When you clone the disk, it carries with it all of the hardware references of the old hardware. It loads them on start up, and crashes the machine even if you load in safe mode. If you try to perform a repair as was suggested here, it will complete the repair but when you reboot, you'll be crashing again. There are ways to remove the drivers and load Windows with generic entries in the registery, but getting the values into the registery is a major pain. Microsoft simply recommends that you buy new hardware that is the same as the old hardware when performing this function. Let me repeat this. They recommend you buy the SAME hardware that you have! So doing it their way (which I tried) requires you to clone your disk and put it on another machine so that you can edit the registery. On this other machine after windows boots, run REGEDT32 and select the Add Hive option. Browse to the cloned hard disk and specify that system (registery) file. It opens under the key you placed it in, and you can now perform changes. It's hairy to do, easy to screw up, and doesn't work all the time. Thanks Microsoft. Anyhow, if you're a masochist, here is a link to the page for future reference. But since their page didn't include SATA drives, it didn't solve my problem. But it made me realize that it was hardware references in the registery, which is essentially a more complex Access database (big understatement, but it works for the analogy). So I wondered if I could export some of this database but not the hardware references. You sure can, you just need to create registery files (export) for each of the sections in the Registery. I copied: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT -- All of it HKEY_CURRENT_USER -- All of it HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -- SOFTWARE HKEY_USERS -- All of it HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG -- Software I double checked that there are only hardware references in the sections I didn't copy. So here's what I did in case some people are foolish enough to try it. Add every responsibility disclaimer here. - Create a registery file for each of the sections I listed above. - Back up the drive you want to copy, to another drive. I'll refer to this as Cloned Drive. I cloned my working source disk to another scratch disk using Ghost. - Perform a fresh install of Windows on your new drive using the machine you wish the drive to reside in when your done. I'll refer to this as New Windows Drive. - Put New Windows Drive into another machine, and copy the registery file SYSTEM somewhere safe. It's in c:\windows\system32\dllcache on XP. - Get both Cloned Drive and New Windows Drive on the same machine and copy (good old fashioned) the entire contents of Cloned Drive on top of New Windows Drive, but either don't overwrite the SYSTEM file or when you're done, copy the SYSTEM file back onto New Windows Drive. - Copy the registery files you created earlier onto New Windows Drive in a easy to find folder. - Put New Windows Drive into your new computer. It will boot. You'll see your icons for your desktop when you log in, but no programs will work because they aren't listed in the Registery. - Double click on each of the registery files you created earlier. You will receive some errors that you are trying to overwrite registery items that are currently in use. That's not a problem. - Reboot. When the new machine comes back up, you'll have all your old settings intact and all your programs will work. This would conceivably work regardless of the before-hardware and after-hardware, because you've set up the new drive to recognize the hardware. Mission accomplished. Why hasn't Microsoft come up with a program that will detect BEFORE trying to boot that the hardware has changed, and allow you to specify the new hardware? Why does the repair function not do this? Repair appears to address files only, although it claims to be resetting the hardware settings in the registery. It's not, I can assure you. There must be some extra dollars in it for Microsoft for them not to have done this. Ron
  9. This is quite strange. I resolved all of the booting issues by following the instructions here. The disk now boots fine. The problem is that when it tries to load Windows, the machine crashes and reboots itself or gives the blue-screen that something in Windows is corrupted and the system shut down to avoid further problems. It does the crash thing when I try to boot to safe mode as well. So I tried to isolate what about the cloned disk is a problem, and I've isolated it somewhat. I clone the drive using Ghost and set it for boot. It is cloning a raid-0 stripe, but seems to read the stripe just fine. It completes without error. I tried installing Windows on this disk from scratch just to make sure that would work, and that works fine. I also made a copy of the Windows directory from the fresh install, and copied it on top of the Windows folder on the drive that was cloned. When I do that, the drive boots Windows with no problem, except I've lost too much information for it to run any programs correctly, and I'm assuming that is because I've replaced the Windows registery in the Windows directory with the one from the fresh install. I also tried just replacing the "driver", "inf" and "cab" folders with the folders from the fresh install, but it had no effect. What would cloning have done to make Windows unbootable? It's hosing something in the Windows directory, but I have no clue what it might be. But why would it be hosing anything? Could it be that the machine the raid-0 clone is coming from has an AGP video card, and the new machine has a PCI-e video card? I thought safe mode only loaded the basic drives so any hardware would work. Could anyone suggest other Windows directories that might need to be wacked and replaced with the clean Windows files? Any ideas would really be appreciated. This is going on four days of backing up and restoring, with no luck and my brain hurts.
  10. A follow on question. Do clone programs such as Ghost care if you are pulling data from a raid or not? I'm reading posts on the web that say you need a program that recognizes raid to correctly clone a disk, and Ghost does support raids. Is that right?
  11. I've been having some real trouble cloning my raid-0 stripe to a single drive. I'm upgrading my disks from the raid-0 to a Raptor (among other hardware changes), and for the life of me, I can't get a working clone. Most of this is my lack of understanding in certain areas. First off is disk handling by Windows XP. I added my new hard disk to the machine with the Raid-0. I used Ghost to copy the disk to the new disk. The disk shows all the files but won't boot. So I found that my drive had been formatted as a dynamic Windows disk, and apparently it needs to be a basic disk, with the OS in a primary partition, which is set as active, and a master boot record is either copied or created on the drive. So I convert my drive from a dynamic drive to a basic drive, set the partition as active, and had Ghost move over the MBR. Ok, now Windows boots....kindof.... Pretty much all my windows applications and settings are hosed for some reason. I happen to look at the new drive and find that it's considered drive F, not C. So essentially all the Ghosted stuff I brought over from my disk, which refers to a disk called C, is broken. So I go to change the drive letter using Microsoft Storage Manager, and it can't change the drive letter of a System disk. Ok, so I take the disk out and put it into another computer, and try to use Partition Magic to change the drive letter. I can change it.....but not to drive C because that's what the system disk is using! The reason why it is set as drive F is that was the drive letter assigned to it when I converted it into a basic drive from a dynamic drive. So I'm lost. Granted I didn't understand dynamic vs. basic disks, but having a drive letter persist from machine to machine is new to me. I tried removing the drive letter from the drive, but still it shows up now on a new machine as drive F. I just want to point out that I realize that being raid-0 isn't what is causing my problems, but the fact that I can't take the raid-0 off-line to copy it is causing the extra hardship. Normally, I'd just take the source drive and target drive and put them on another computer, and clone away. Can't do that with raid-0. What would be the process to format a single drive and clone a raid-0 stripe onto it? Thanks as always guys.
  12. Just throwing in a thought here. What about the Western Digital WD4000YR? It has time-limited error recovery which helps with drive fallout, 16 meg buffers, is designed for 24/7 operation at 100% duty, AND has a 5 year warranty. It has performance specs that are pretty close to the Hitachi 500 in many areas as well. I sound like an advertisement, but those are all pretty nice features for a raid setup. It is a 400 gig disk however, but it's much more affordable. Newegg has them for $210 after a $20 mail in rebate.
  13. ace101

    Best Backup Strategy

    Great thoughts all. I especially like the idea of having two backup drives and rotating them in for alternate backups. But I think for me, the most efficient method is: - Automatic backup of all machines (daily incremental) to my "live" hard disk so all files are compressed and in one place - Additionally have an XP script copy important directories from each machine onto the live backup drive in normal folder structure - Store my media on the live backup drive - Backup the entire live backup drive to the external drive - Backup all important files from the live backup drive (including all the media files) onto DVD In the worst case scenario where all backup hard disk drives fail, I'll at least have the critical files on DVD which will allow me to rebuild the machines (big headache of course) and still have my important files.
  14. ace101

    Best Backup Strategy

    Ok I think I have a solution for this. I have 2 WD4000YR drives. I am going to have one live on one of the faster computers, and I'll use it to automatically backup all my other computers on a schedule. I'm also going to use this drive to hold my media files (MP3, Video, etc) which I stream throughout my network. I'm going to buy one of these: AMS Venus DS3 DS-2316SU2SBK 3.5" USB2.0 (type + SATA External Enclosure and load the other WD4000YR into it, and use it to backup the other live 400gig drive, which contains everything from all my computers, plus everything else on that drive. I'll only connect the external 400gig drive when backing up or recovering. This way, I'll be able to automatically back up my machines, and "one stop shopping", or in this case one stop backup, to cover all my files. Sound good?
  15. I need to come to a good strategy for backing up all my machines. I would expect that I will have around 250 gigs to back up considering all the machines. Do most people use an external hard drive for backups? I had thought about leaving the backup hard disk in one of the machines, but that wouldn't protect it from a lightning strike. What do people do for backups?