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Posts posted by Piyono

  1. Quick update:

    Practically ALL files that come into my computer via my network card become corrupted. I've performed several tests transferring files to my computer and to my co-worker's computer from various network locations both inter and intra, and the MD5 signatures of a majority of the files transferred differ from my computer to his.

    I'm running Memtest86 as I type this; it's been running for about half an hour now. I'm checking the error summary periodically and there are more every time I look. Right now the count is:

    Test 1: 0 Errors

    Test 2: 0 Errors

    Test 3: 354 Errors

    Test 4: 211 Errors

    Test 5: 2 Errors

    Tests 6-11: 0 Errors

    I don't understand the significance of these findings yet, but if they're of any severity at all it might just explain the problems I'm having.

    Any insights?


  2. NRG...

    That little piece of free software...



    I just retrieved EVERYTHING from the hidden EZ-BIOS partition!

    Mind you, I haven't checked the data for integrity yet (I'm typing with one hand while copying files with the other -- kidding) but it seems quite intact.

    I have to say I'm very impressed!

    (Not to mention very relieved)

    I'm off to write a thank-you note to the writers of PC Inspector.

    Thanks to you, too, NRG!


  3. Thanks for the tip, Frank.

    Unfortunately, that trick only works for EZ-BIOS installed with EZ.exe from an original EZ-BIOS installation disk (at least as far as I can tell). Those are really hard to come by as I discovered (although I did finally uncover a copy on a private FTP site by Googling for ez.bin). Current versions of MaxBlast and similar DDO utilities integrate the EZ-BIOS installation files. Regardless, the ez /mbr switch didn't work.

    There just doesn't seem to be any way of awakening that crippled partition.

    Of course, there's a great, rich irony in all of this:

    I am the biggest proponent you are ever likely to meet for data safeguarding practices. "Backup your files in triplicate!" I can often be heard preaching to friends, clients, family, complete strangers and anyone else unfortunate enough to come within earshot. Many an hour have I spent in explanation that one's data is one's most valuable resource; that a hard drive or a CPU can be replaced, but the blood sweat and tears of thirty-seven hours hard labour poured into that research paper are gone forever if the only copy goes up in smoke the night before submission.

    I tell the same thing to people reinstalling their OS. Burning a CD? Burn TWO for crying out loud! Are seven years' worth of business files not worth the extra five minutes of prep work?

    Heck, I tell the same thing to everyone. All the time.

    Except to myself. This time.

    Hindsight is 20-20 as much as great losses are sobering. None of you can even begin to imagine how hard I'm kicking myself right now. I remember sitting there, studying the drive configuration and consciously collecting all my client's data and moving it (read: retaining only one copy) to this partition. A doomed EZ-BIOS partition that I installed. There is a CD writer on this machine. Did I burn a backup? No, of course not. Did I make redundant copies to the other installed hard-drive or to the attached ZIP drive? Goodness, no. I just sat there and flagrantly violated my own prime directive. The picture of oblivion; inviting trouble over by name. Sure, nobody could have known that the partition would vanish, but that's the point of backing up. You do it because you don't know what's waiting around the corner. I should have seen it coming.

    Serves me right.


  4. It was time to format a client's Win98 Machine which was long overdue for an overhaul. I backed up all his data to drive E which was the second partition on the primary master drive, a 40GB Maxtor DMP60 with EZ-BIOS installed. I nuked the C partition and reinstalled Windows only to find that the computer was now booting from C, but from an older installation of Win98 on the primary slave drive -- an old Samsung. Strange? I'll say.

    After rebooting a few times I noticed that the EZ-BIOS loader line had disappeard from the boot sequence, so I fired up MaxBlastII and tried to uninstall/reinstall it. However, I couldn't uninstall EZ-BIOS from the primary master until it was uninstalled from the primary slave, as well. Don't ask me why, but rather than uninstalling it from the slave, I decided to simply unplug the slave and reboot so that MaxBlast wouldn't see a second drive. It worked, and in that session I uninstalled EZ-BIOS. When I rebooted the second partition was gone.

    I popped the drive out of my client's PC and into one of mine to check it with Partition Magic 7, which warned me of some fishy partitions and, saw only unpartitioned space after the first visible parition.

    I plugged the drive back into my client's machine reinstalled EZ-BIOS, figuring that it was required to access the vanished partition.

    No go.

    I'm royally screwed if I can't get wake up this partion -- all my backups are on it.

    Stupid, I know, but we're all entitled to an oversight now and then.

    Any suggestions?


  5. Very annoying bug of late won't allow me to install any software that comes packed using the standard Windows Installer (the blue/gray square icon with the sails).

    Any attempt to run the installer results in this message:

    The contents of this file cannot be unpacked. The executable you are attempting to run has been corrupted. Please obtain another copy of the file, verify its integrity and try again.

    I have my finger on the "Wipe Out and Reinstall Windows" button.

    Any ideas before I cave in?


  6. Hmmm... looks like my original reply got lost in space. Here's the summary:

    My mom needs it to print out feature sheets of houses she's showing, and everyone in the house will use it for general color printing, as well. It'll be supplementing our ancient LaserJet 4, which we bought new in 1996, and which has served us well despite a long life of neglect and physical abuse (practically every door on the thing has snapped off, including the front-loading paper tray, and the main magazine, which was rendered useless after the machine was dropped from table height a few years ago).

    I've not crunched the numbers, but I'm guessing that a laser printer offers lower Total Cost of Ownership than any modern inkjet, in terms of durability and consumables.



  7. My mother just decided to buy a colour laser printer before the end of the tax season. She has her eyes set on a LaserJet 4600, but she's seeking my councel on the matter.

    Problem is, I no nothing about these machines, save for the published specs, all of which seem pretty impressive to my untrained eye.

    Is the 4600 a good printer in its price range or should we look elsewhere?


  8. I'm looking for an image batch processor which can execute multiple batch processes on an image at once. For example, for a website I'm working on I require a small, medium and large size of all the images in a gallery. Rather than batch resize and rename each size group independently, I'd like to run a process which resizes each image three times, renames each processed image with the appropriate file extension.

    A logical diagram of the process might look like this:


    Every file in the cue would have all three batch processes applied to it.

    This is important to me because I often process one or two images at once, and most programs' batch processes are too cumbersome to apply to just a couple of files, but I don't want to resize and rename and move every file three times.

    ACDSee won't do it.

    FireWorks won't do it.

    Photoshop might do it but I don't know how.

    BatchIt! Ultra won't do it.


  9. One of my 60GB D740X drives just bit the big one. It happened very suddenly yesterday. I managed to recover some of the data but I'm still out of about 20GB of recording sessions. Can't wait to tell the bands.

    Here's how it happened (in point form):

    USB 1.1 Flash Card reader and USB 2.0 HD both plugged in.

    Unplugged Flashcard reader without unmounting.

    Windows (2000) error message: "Don't do that"

    Plugged Flash Card reader back in to unmount properly but accidentally unmounted USB HD instead.

    Turned off HD

    Unmounted Flahscard reader and Unplugged.

    Turned back on HD

    Error: "Drive Not Formatted. Format?"

    Shut down computer and removed HD from USB enclosure

    Connected HD to IDE channel.

    Windows takes forever to boot

    Finally in Windows, drive is accessible but some folders not accessible due to I/O error

    Salvaged what I could

    Restarted computer

    Windows still boots slow, drive recognized, now all folders are accessible, start copying remaining data but I/O error cuts operation short

    Reboot computer and forget to skip Windows' diagnostics. Windows "fixes" bad drive - Now folders still visible but data no longer accessible

    Spinrite reports 33hr job time. Waiting till weekend.

    In case anyone's curious, I put a mic to the drive and recorded it making this sound as it tried to access certain sectors. Disregard the tone change midway through the recording -- I was moving the mic.

    Sounds like physical damage, huh? I guess data recovery software is out of the question (but I'll still try Spinrite).

    Now a question: does it seem more likely that the drive was damaged somehow by the USB plugging described above, or due to the fact that it was always on the move in my napsack? I will add that I was not unduly rough in handling and trasporting the drive in its enclosure.