Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oops! Backup not found

I managed to corrupt my network adapter settings on my Acer Extensa 5620 laptop. No problem, I do regular backups and I have an Acronis True Image sector-by-sector backup of my laptop.
Er, no. (!?) I have a backup file labelled "Donn5620.tib", but it turns out to be a backup of another machine. So now I have to use the factory restore CDs. Like I need this in my life! Maybe it's a blessing in disguise, but right now the disguise is pretty effective.
Update 2am: Leaving True Image to do a backup of the broken software, just in case things get any worse. Reinstall will happen later.
Update 11.30am: Backup finished overnight sometime. Now the Acer "restore to factory default" begins, but is interrupted by lunch, etc.
2pm: Windows boot for the "first" time. And the second time, and the third time ...
Now to uninstall the following:
  • McAfee Antivirus
  • Yahoo Toolbar
  • Adobe Reader 8.1.0
  • MS Business Contact Manager
  • Office 2003 Web Components
  • Office Small Business Connectivity Components
  • Acer eDataSecurity Management
3pm: Next, driver downloads from Acer Web site, and start the long and painful process of Windows Update: 104 important and 7 optional (500MB) updates.
Install software:
8pm: Break for dinner and allow Microsoft Update to finish.
10pm: Office 2007 Professional SP2 install.
Installed software:
Midnight: I've had enough for one day. Will try more tomorrow. Downloaded 771MB today.
Monday 2am: Woke up in front of the computer. Ran Windows Update for the umpteenth time, to install Vista Service Pack 2 and numerous other updates. Used up another 219MB.
Monday 1pm: Returned to the office after a long sleep. Feeling like a bear with a sore head. Installing "last 3" Windows updates, including Windows Live Essentials, which is "only" 1.1Mb (I guess they mean the installer), but ends up being much more (90MB) once you choose the apps you want. Microsoft are such liars. And they use language badly: Windows keeps referring to "your" computer instead of "this" computer. They just don't think.
3pm: Re-reading my SQL Server 2008 Express checklist article in order to install it. Also installed a trial edition of Carbonite in case my backup drives get lost or stolen. Thanks to the adverts on TWiT I save some cash.
5pm: Finally finished installing and updating SQL Server 2008 Express SP1. Installation list:
6.30pm: Back to Windows Update for Office XP SP3.
9pm: Installing Access 97, and SP2. Then Visual Basic 6 and its service packs, followed by yet another 22 security updates, some of which just refuse to install. Finally, a quick defrag and backup to call it a night.
Tuesday: forgot to install Nokia phone software, InnoSetup and ISTool. Restored stuff from the TrueImage backup and corrupted the entire file system. Copied data files to backup drive.
Wednesday: Restored a sector-by-sector backup, reinstalled missing apps, copied some data files back.
Thursday: Finally I have a working system to do a complete backup.


Hilary said...

maybe you should upgrade to uBuntu. No hassles, as it is just a text file.

Donn Edwards said...

I have an Ubuntu CD that I use as a live CD for browser testing. If Microsoft Access ever comes out on Ubuntu, I'll switch. I have yet to find a decent replacement for Access on the mac or Linux. MySQL is a replacement for MS SQL, not Access. And Open Office Base sucks.

Steve Hayes said...

I know the feeling.

I have True Image. Sacved me once, when some fancy antivirus thingy brke my laptop. Redtored the Acronis image and away I went.

But that laptop was nicked. It ran XP. The replacement runs Windows 7. One cant restore the image, because the drivers will be all wrong. So 10 days later, I still haven't got it working. I can surf the Web. I can play games, but I can't do any actual work yet.

One compensation is that it's faster -- boots in 2 minutes instead of 25, shuts down in 1 minute instead of 7.

And these things never come with manuals these days, so everything has to be done by trial and error. You can't lie in the bath reading the manual and think "When I get out I'll do that."