Some preventative advice (thanks Acronis)

Acronis sweet

Acronis sweet (Photo credit: Luigi Rosa)

I’m killing time. Right now I’m waiting for updates and downloads to complete on my office work computer, a machine that I went to great trouble to make bulletproof. For example, I run a top-end Intel SSD and have a disk image backup.

Today, my machine gave me a BSOD after uninstalling a troublesome program. Acronis Enterprise Server. So, just to help people who might have issues or are considering using this program, I though I’d write about it while I wait for the updates to complete, since Acronis forced me to install a fresh copy of Windows 7 Professional.

This is one of this cases where a program started out great, then as corporate weaslism takes hold due to the success, the program becomes more bloated, fragmented, dependent on more libraries, license tiered, and overall more difficult to manage and less rewarding in actual use.

At my office we used to love this program, because it had a great feature that allowed you to image your disk to a state where windows didn’t have anything except the generic/basic boot drivers installed, allowing you to image to another mobo/processor combination. This days are long gone and we’ve relegated Acronis to the scrap heap because it has become an enterprise level mess in more ways than one.

I still had Acronis on my main work machine, but this morning the background program for it started doing weird stuff, utilizing a lot of CPU space. My usual checks for malware/virus came up zero, and I had no explanation for why the Acronis background server program was using a lot of CPU cycles. So, I decided to uninstall it.

Big mistake, HUGE mistake.

After uninstalling Acronis, I found I was in a boot loop, and right after the Win7 animated logo, I’d get a BSOD. Safe mode – same thing,  and attempts at OS repair (using Windows tools and third-party tools) came up with no success at all. I also thought it might be related to a recent bungled Microsoft patch which causes a BSOD boot loop after Windows update installs it and the user reboots for the first time, and downloaded the removal tool as a bootable ISO to burn to CD. No joy there either.

I’ve never had the de-installation of a program hose the operating system. Never. 

It makes me wonder what sort of “tentacles” Acronis attached to the OS without telling me. So, needless to say, Acronis is now permanently off my list, especially since I had used it as a backup program to keep a disk image. My backup image included the Acronis program, so since trying to remove it caused the problem in the first place I was in a no choice situation – a fresh install of Windows 7 Pro was the only way forward.

I spent the entire morning on the mess Acronis created, and I’ve not got a single thing done today other than deal with that mess.

After a  fresh install of Windows 7, which gets me back to the desktop, but of course I have a lot of work ahead putting programs and files back into place, along with 147 Windows updates, and likely more after that.

I know many of you will throw out the standard gloating snippets like:

  • Get a Mac
  • Run (pick your distro) Linux
  • Run FreeBSD or CentOS or some other OS

etc…

…with tales of fantastic other-worldly levels of reliability, so let me just say in advance that until this incident, I have had wonderful reliability with Windows 7 and I have far too much invested in programs and systems to move. So, those aren’t options for me.

Thanks for killing time with me while I wait for the updates to download and install.

I have to reboot now to finish. See you in a few hours.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

190 Responses to Some preventative advice (thanks Acronis)

  1. BQ says:

    I’ve used Acronis for some time. However I have relied exclusively on their CD version to replicate hard drives and never left the installed version running on my machine. Of course, there are some tasks you can’t do from the CD but for the sake of imaging HDDs it works well.

  2. greg2213 says:

    Ouch.

    Once upon a time, a long time ago, I installed Trumpet’s Winsock program. It was shareware and when the time expired the software took other pieces of the OS with it. As it turned out this was a designed feature, not a bug. (Yes, that’s what the tech dude said.)

    I had Acronis once, but lost it in some re-install. I don’t think I’ll grab a copy now. Thanks. :)

  3. philjourdan says:

    Actually I have had lots of programs hose up Windows – on both installation and removal. Avast is one that I never install on Vista as I have had it hose 2 installations.

    But given what you said about its earlier capabilities, it has to have tentacles in the HAL in order to give you a fresh image to clone. And I suspect that you applied an SP to it, and when you uninstalled Acronis, it dutifully recopied the old HAL file back (which was outdated due to the SP).

    About the only thing you can do is re-install Windows. And write a blog warning other people about it! :-)

  4. archonix says:

    I used to recommend Debian when people had windows problems. These days I recommend whisky. Talisker for preference.

  5. Gary Hladik says:

    I feel your pain, Anthony, though my own OS problems over the years are dwarfed by yours.

    What replaced Acronis?

  6. Robert says:

    I’ve been using acronis for 7 years to image my servers before upgrading. Best product i’ve found

  7. sleepless4slc says:

    I use acronis to disk clone MS servers to refresh my hard disks every 3 years, the old disks become target practice

  8. Tregonsee says:

    I largely agree about the program going from great to not-so-great. I use the home edition, and it has bailed me out over the years on several occasions. The most recent yesterday. I back up daily, so I simply booted to the recovery CD and reinstalled the entire drive. Took about 30 minutes total, and I was back to the previous evening.

    If you are careful not to use some of the more exotic features which do things to the MBR, etc, it works very well. Not much of a recommendation, but it still seems better than the alternatives.

  9. sleepless4slc says:

    I heave the old version for xp, 2000, win2003server. I have a second hard disk with the new version for win7, win8 win2008 and windows2012 server. I only image hard drives to new hard drives and I store the old disks in the fire safe as a hot backup for a couple of years until the next image then the become target practice.

  10. Paul Jackson says:

    As someone who installed slackware linux before Win95 was released, I’ve got to say windows has come along way, but any time your installing or unistalling programs that do low-level stuff like virus detection, disk imaging, some custom networking stuff your heading into “there be dragons here” territory. Another one that borks your machine on uninstall is AT&T’s DSL/WiFi software.

  11. Sean says:

    “My backup image included the Acronis program, so since trying to remove it caused the problem in the first place I was in a no choice situation – a fresh install of Windows 7 Pro was the only way forward.”

    Do you have system restore turned off? Turn it on and next time try restore to an earlier state, and pick a time before the offending software was installed.

    Had a similar issue withe installing the latest version of explorer – which I rarely use except, but occasionally need for an app that is not chrome compatible. Uninstalling it gave me major problems, and using the microsoft’s automated repair feature for the new problem just make something else break, so went back and used system restore, and bazinga! It usually solves most of the uninstall glitches.

  12. _Jim says:

    ” … along with 147 Windows updates … ”

    What’s an “update”? (I think I turned off updates on all but one computer here. Running the latest Service Packs, but that is all.)

    PS. Longtime WIntel PC user here, back as far as Win 3.0 (because PCs would run MathCad and other eng s/w at the time!)

    .

  13. DirkH says:

    Over the years platforms (hardware and OS) have become more interchangeable. Due to emulation, virtual machines and cross language compilers.

    I found a toolchain that allows it to compile a C++ program into Javascript and run it with up to 50% of native compiled C++ code.

    Have yet to try it out myself. The chain is basically
    C++ – Clang – LLVM – Emscripten – Javascript – ASM.JS – run stuff in browser

    More here:
    http://badassjs.com/post/47031840270/link-excellent-article-clarifying-mozillas-asm-js

    Many language- and platform-transgressing possibilities there. Will explore this further. Of course, performance hinges on availability of a Just in time Javascript compiler in the Browser / Javascript engine; but that is available on Windows and Linux in the form of Mozilla / Firefox.

  14. J Martin says:

    I use Acronis as a full image cloning /system backup / system recovery tool a lot, but I use the boot disc version and never the installed version. It has served me well for several years for both Windows servers and PCs.

    Symantec do an installable image recovery software called Symantec System Restore. I don’t know what range of features it provides.

    For Linux I have started using Mondo backup after years of using command line cpio. Haven’t had to use Mondo in anger yet, but that’s only a matter of time.

  15. gareth says:

    If you want to clone your drive try Clonezilla. Runs stand-alone from a CD or bootable USB stick (see Pendrive Linux) so not dependent on the OS on the drive and produces a clone image that you can load into another drive or back into the existing.

  16. R2D2 says:

    Big fan of Acronis

  17. Jim Walsh says:

    I think I would have restored the PC to a back-up with Acronis boot media before going through the level of hassle you outlined. Actually, I think first I would have poked around the Acronis support forums to see if there weren’t a simpler explanation like,,,,,off the top of my head…one of your drives failing causing an Acronis operation to take longer than expected. Anyway. Good luck. I don’t think Acronis is perfect, but their backup products have saved my bacon a few times. A complete reinstall would be the very last on a long list of things I would do.

  18. Steve C says:

    I don’t know about Windows 7, but I’ve just had to do a ‘Repair Install’ on my workshop machine’s XP. It had broken its registry, and wouldn’t start at all, safe mode included – not from uninstalling some unfriendly bloatware, just a seriously aging HD (!). The beauty of a Repair Install is that at least it leaves all your installed software installed, and it doesn’t wipe the drive before installing. Naturally, as a competent computer user, you’ll have all your data safely backed up, like we all do …

    I’ll quote the process for XP, but it might be as well to search for “Windows 7 repair install” as it may be different a few generations on. It could also be worth learning how to make a slipstreamed install disc with as many as possible of the updates on it to save time (or at least to keep the ones you’ve already downloaded in a safe place) if this process is still there in 7.

    For XP, then, the process is:
    – Boot from the install CD;
    – DO NOT run the Recovery Console when invited, but continue ‘installing';
    – A bit further down the line, ‘Setup’ finds the old installation and offers to try and repair it: this time you accept (in XP, press R);
    – Keep going through the install process (you will need the CD key);
    – After the usual reboots you should have the original installation back in running order.

    Nothing quite cures the rage and impotent frustration one feels at these things going down, though it helps quite a bit if you don’t have to find installers and reinstall / set up everything you use as well. My (not-quite-) trusty old box is ticking over happily again, although whether I get round to finding it a new drive depends on how long it lasts this time ;-)

    As for Acronis, I’m with BQ. Some things just work so much better from a CD.

  19. We have all been advised to rotate backup media. One active, One offsite, One ready for refresh.

    But maybe we should also rotate backup software. It might be easier to learn and manage one backup software, but should that software be our one point of failure?

  20. Eric Worrall says:

    Windows 8 / Metro IMO will be the final straw which switches you to Mac ;-)

  21. William McClenney says:

    Gave up on Ghost when migrating to System 7. Tried a few backup programs recommended by my IT gurus at work, and settled on Acronis Home. Worked great for me for almost 2 years before my sister moved to System 7, so I recommended it to her. She used it for many months and then got a virus that hosed her system. After booting from the Acronis-made boot CD, she found it could not restore from her backups. None of them.

    Even though it seems to work flawlessly on my system, I now know of 2 incidents where it went completely off the rails, yours, Anthony, is the second case. Beginning to think it might be time to change to something more reliable. Any suggestions anyone?

  22. KPO says:

    Seagate still has the free application called Disc Wizard. It is built on/around/is the Acronis True
    Image program, but trimmed down some due to it being a free version.I have used it to create a system image backup of the OS drive, but you can create an image of any partition/drive. Restored the OS partition successfully every time. I think at least one of your HDD’s must be a Seagate though. Runs on my Win7 64bit no problem.

  23. Matthew W says:

    “I’ve never had the de-installation of a program hose the operating system. Never. ”

    That’s a real bummer !!
    ===============================================================
    Eric Worrall says:
    May 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm
    Windows 8 / Metro IMO will be the final straw which switches you to Mac ;-)
    ===============================================================
    I’ll never go MAC, they’ll have to pry my XP out of my cold ,dead hands:
    http://bacontime.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/windows-8/

    Long live XP !!!

  24. thisisnotgoodtogo says:

    With my windows 7 I get “no boot manager” messages if a hard drive is on while the SSD contains the WIndows and also is the first boot or only boot device I list. That’s even if I put every other thing listed as “disabled.”
    I think it’s an SSD thing.

  25. Matt in Houston says:

    Are you certain some of the other windows updates aren’t adding to the fouling of your system? I have spent about 12 hours (6 last Wednesday and about 6 today, weekend in Atlanta in between) attempting to get my laptop to update properly- nothing gives so far and managed to wreck my system 3 times today and finally had to restore to an earlier image after the last run wouldn’t let me even get into a bootable config. I have run registry cleaners, chkdsks, memory tests, malware scans, yada yada yada, no joy. And I still can’t run the latest updates, even after running the ms update tool that supposedly resolves such update issues. My desktop doesn’t have any of these issues though and running a very similar load on it. I am now preparing an excellent volume of Rebecca Creek Batch#2 for easing my pain, I highly recommend it =). Best of luck…

  26. Matthew W says:

    _Jim says:
    May 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    What’s an “update”? (I think I turned off updates on all but one computer here. Running the latest Service Packs, but that is all.)
    ======================================================
    I have several XP machines that I haven’t updated in 5 years !!!
    Works just fine.

  27. John Eggert says:

    I un-installed acronis on a Win 7 machine about a year ago. Can’t remember why now, though I seem to recall it was causing crashes. I’ve moved to Norton Ghost. Windows backup doesn’t run on my machine anymore. Self snipped a paragraph on problems with other operating systems. I’ve seen how those threads turn out and it isn’t pretty!

  28. George says:

    @Sean, system restore usually will not work in this scenario.

    @Anthony, while never been a real fan before, there are some seriously good uses for VMware and Hypervisor. You can build an image from your revitalized machine, or from Windows 7/8, Server, etc., then install that in the VM. You can make copies of the VM in stable form and store it. And, you can then map removable media as a network drive through the VM system for your data. I got my Surface Pro running images of a USB 3.0 Toshiba 1.5TB drive and storing data on it. I was impressed enough that I will get a full copy of VMware 9 when things slow down. I was able to build a firewall and a management server and run it on a Surface (for config testing), and a Windows client. And just turn it off when I am done with no effect on my computer. Kind of nice. And Acronis can BSOD the VM session all it wants…

  29. A.D. Everard says:

    Not nice! Good luck with it all – I hate headaches like that one!

    I agree with you, they get a great product and can’t stop fiddling about or adding to it until it is totally ruined. You’d think someone Up High would realize that and stick with what works. All trying to outdo each other, or last year’s whatever-was-best. They want people to keep buying new stuff, or old stuff with more bells and whistles, then force them to by removing the old stuff!

    Sympathies, mate.

  30. All fascinating stuff, not only from Anthony, which was very interesting, but also from the commentators. Thanks, lads (guys and gals)! Me, I gave up on Acronis a long time ago, but only because the back-up was so slow.

  31. Dodgy Geezer says:

    …I know many of you will throw out the standard gloating snippets like: Get a Mac/ Linux/BSD/ CentOS/etc…with tales of fantastic other-worldly levels of reliability, so let me just say in advance that until this incident, I have had wonderful reliability with Windows 7 and I have far too much invested in programs and systems to move. So, those aren’t options for me…”

    Not said with gloating, and acknowledging that handling a problem and a forced rebuild is not a time you should be thinking about changing your O/S as well, but the belief that you have too much invested in ANYTHING to consider changing it is a dangerous state of mind to be in. For example, Mann, Hansen and Phil Jones all have too much invested in Global Warming to consider that it might not be right.

    All O/Ss can get into situations where they fail. So I wouldn’t take an occasional failure as a necessary reason to change. But If I found the price/performance of my chosen system to be heading downward compared to the alternatives, I’d like to think that I was able to consider them dispassionately, and maybe make a plan for moving over at some time of my own choosing, rather than bite the bullet of a steadily worsening service because I simply could not consider an alternative…

  32. Ian W says:

    Unfortunately, I think all these ‘disk manager’ programs will at some stage walk on something from the OS. I had McAfee do it, Norton Ghost did it (and kept on reappearing after complete re-installs like a ghost ;-) ) So far I have had no problem with Acronis (yet) but then I am not being at all inventive with its use. Its the old thing though keep backups of backups, keep data on separate disks to the OS. Have a spare mirrored machine with same software and NAS disk copy. I also keep a soft copy of the installation software and license keys on a ‘Software’ folder – that has saved me several times.

    But with all computer systems and raid drives – it is a case of WHEN they fail not IF. It is not paranoia it is reality

  33. Patrick says:

    Big user of Acronis Disk Director here, and I like it, it does all I want especially with my virtual machines.

    But, regardless, a massive failure like this is a serious PITA!

  34. John Mason says:

    I had exactly the same issue with a client computer last week. There are tons of articles you’ll fine about their upper filters drivers not being gone after an uninstall and if you do remove the files they point to – viola – you get your bsod on a reboot. And same observations – used to love it, recommend it but it’s become bloatware trying to push their cloud backup. They have a published uninstall tool, but they warn that it might not work either. WUWT?

    I can empathise

    Typically, these days, I just do backup with Microsoft’s own little disk2vhd program. This gives you a nice vhd file which you can mount and restore as you will, or in a pinch can be mounted as a whole pc with a program like virtualbox or Microsoft’s own hyper-v (which now comes with Win8 Pro).

    Also, the built in Microsoft server backup tools in 2008 and 2012 server work fine. Not so much call to buy 3rd party backup programs anymore unless you are looking for a specific feature.

    I use ‘Reflect’ to clone/move/upgrade people to SSD drives from Mechanical Drives because it’s one of the few ‘Acronis’ like programs, that, unlike Acronis, will align the partitions as needed for best speed with an SSD drive.

  35. clipe says:

    I have an older free version of Acronis on an old XP machine suffering BSODs.

    In my case, I’m blaming bad drivers or a bad memory stick or a malware infection.

    Some of the error messages encountered…

    0x0000008e
    coxc0000005
    0x80611c3c
    0xa9317c00
    0x00000000

    And the biggy?

    win32k,sys 0x00000050

    http://www.aumha.org/a/stop.htm

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/894278

  36. Duster says:

    There’s no such thing as as a perfect operating system. As far as my experienced is concerned with various OS, the principle differences are all acquired through habits. Windows captured the world market by MS arranging for the OS and previously DOS to be installed on every machine sold. There nothing wrong with either. Personally, I use Linux at home, releases varies. I have XP on an under the desk system and Windows 7 on a laptop. The biggest handicap Linux has had is the absence of user-level documentation – it all used to be in what I called the language of “man,” – as in “% man ls” – which is designed for grumpy sophonts whose keyboards are full of beard dandruff. Windows and Apple were always – or used to be -superior in documentation, bu the rise of pdfs and cds has put a serious crimp in that. There’s nothing dumber than “help” that requires a connection to the internet, when your problem is getting a computer to boot.

  37. markopanama says:

    No, I’m not going to suggest that you get a Mac. But reading through these comments, it sure reminds me how happy I am to have bitten the bullet and switched years ago. However much pain was involved in the switchover, it was finite – compared with the unrelenting agony of Windows.

    Life is too short for Windows.

  38. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Backups?

  39. Jere Krischel says:

    You can have your cake and eat it too Anthony. Buy a mac, and run Windows 7 in a VMware Fusion virtual machine. Take snapshots all you like to preserve state, and restore back to a known config if things go south.

    Virtualization is your friend :)

  40. jdn2 says:

    Acronis, just like Hotel California: you can check out any time you want but you can never leave

  41. rsandor says:

    Hi Anthony,

    You just might want to be a bit suspicious of your boot drive, or wherever you are storing your system. I had an SSD problem last week along similar lines. Removing Acronis and having your system BSOD might have been a symptom rather than the cause.

    Corrupting disk files on the system disk can cause things going wrong that cause a system repair or other such utilities to find the issue.

    For me, I locally backup to Windows Home Server 2011, and it has a bare metal restore function. Really saves the day.

    SSD’s as boot/system drives for me are incredible time savers. But, I do find the early ones fail a bit more than hard drives, so use a bit of caution. Now that you had one failure, you might want to have a backup facility that would allow a bare metal rebuild quickly. Worst thing would be to go through the pain of a total rebuild, only to be hit by the same problem.

  42. markopanama says:
    May 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    No, I’m not going to suggest that you get a Mac. But reading through these comments, it sure reminds me how happy I am to have bitten the bullet and switched years ago. However much pain was involved in the switchover, it was finite – compared with the unrelenting agony of Windows.

    Life is too short for Windows.

    The Apple Tax: A dollar a day
    The Apple Pax: Priceless.
    Some things are priceless.
    For everything else, there’s Windows.
    (A dolor a day.)

    Incidentally, One can continue to run Windows on a Mac, and gradually migrate over to using the Mac more often.

  43. Robert M says:

    I do a lot of development in a VM workstation environment. I really like it, Get a solid machine, set up the VM, which is simply a file on the host. Problems? Grab a backup of the file and you are golden…

  44. sl149q says:

    Ditto the comments on Acronis, the Home version booted from CD or USB key works well enough, but it doesn’t support “server” versions of Windows. I’ve never been happy with the installed version. And I have never found the option to make an image bootable on any system usable. When moving images I just let Windows boot using whatever default drivers it needs and then find and install whatever is needed. That usually works well.

    Clonezilla appears to work well too. But the user interface is less than friendly. If you know Linux and have been doing Linux admin for years its mostly recognizable and usable.

  45. peterhodges says:

    ditto on the Clonezilla

    and ditto on the VM, predicated on your having very current multi-core cpu and lots of ram

    And couldn’t you just have restored with your backup, and then just turned off and ignored the Acronis, rather than uninstalling?

  46. Mark in Chico says:

    I’ve hung on to my Ghost 7.5 version which was about when they got NTFS support right. Coworkers recommend Clonezilla, but I haven’t taken the plunge yet.

    One tool I can’t do without is GRC’s Spinrite, which has rescued many hard drives when they’ve gotten flakey. (Even SSD, on level 2 scan.)

    I’m even local! Chico is my adopted home town.

  47. dbstealey says:

    kadaka says:

    “Backups?”

    LOL!

    Me, too. On a wing and a prayer! [well, I do have a basic Time Machine].

    [ I would advise Anthony to upgrade to a Mac... but I don't want to get on his sh*t list. ☺]

  48. foursunspots says:

    I run all my Windows instances within VMware ESXi Server (free). I make incremental copies of each vm. I run the vm’s on Macs, but one could run it on anything.

  49. OldWeirdHarold says:

    I’ve never had a linux distro that I couldn’t hose. All OSes are junk. Things sure were better back in the TRS-80 days.

  50. Mike Smith says:

    Acronis? Yuk!
    Try Macrium Reflect!
    Simpler, faster, and way more reliable.

  51. a2videodude says:

    Another thing worth looking at is using something like Ubuntu 13.04 (or 12.04 for long term support) as a host operating system with a relatively large drive. Then install Win7 in Virtualbox within Ubuntu. I’ve done this and it is remarkable how well-behaved the Win7 virtual machine is. You can also clone the virtual machine and have a “backup”, which is just a big file on the host machine’s disk. I’ve also installed Ecomstation 2.1 on this machine (the current version of OS/2) and all 3 machines run simultaneously. Very cool and all the machines can talk to each other. The host has 4 processors and 10 Gb of RAM, so each machine is still quite spritely. A very cool thing is that you can specify an .iso file as a boot “disk”, making the installation of an operating system within Virtualbox lightning fast. You can also have Virtualbox hosted by Mac OS and Win, but I wouldn’t recommend the latter because of the frequent reboots needed for updates. Not a big problem with Ubuntu, as most updates don’t need reboots and don’t disturb the virtual machines. And with Ubuntu (or any other Linux) you have multiple desktops, so you can allocate a desktop for each machine. I know the pain of having to (occasionally) use MS software, so this fix makes it more palatable.

  52. rbabcock says:

    Run 6 Windows instances using VMWare on my MacBook (not all at once) Win 7, 8 32bit 64bit XP, Server 2008 R2. After installing and basic Windows updates, I snapshot them for a base image. From that point on use the VM and can always snapshot and go back to the base.

    Just added VMWare to a hoss workstation I just bought running Win 8 64bit 32GM i7 and have instances of other Windows OS. Great way to go from one to another without worries. Love VMWare.

  53. sophocles says:

    The point made about running backup or imaging software from a
    removable disc (whether DVD/CD or USB pen-drive) is a valuable one.
    That way the software is not “put into irons” or locked onto the system
    by system software updates. It keeps removals trivial and non destructive.

    Trouble is, it can’t reasonably be done for all software on a system.
    There comes a point where convenience for the user is the over-
    riding factor.

  54. SkylerSam says:

    ShadowProtect by StorageCraft is a far superior product to Acronis. We mainly use on servers, but have several of the desktop versions to – very powerful software.

  55. Acronis is also unable to market well – difficult to find good info on their web site, too many advertising emails, and no link in customer profile to unsubscribe.

    I have True Image Home 2013, haven’t identified any big problems but have to look into curbing some reporting routine as it crashes itself occasionally.

    Meanwhile ESET security suite have made their UI worse, won’t obey command to turn off automatic updates – its attempts to update slow the computer down when not connected to the Internet.

    Just like climate science, this computer stuff lacks quality.

  56. SkylerSam says:

    I should add- please don’t install ShadowProtect on a machine that has had Acronis installed previously, or you will have the same issue as the OP. I believe the issue you have Anthony, is related to a file called snapman.sys – by Acronis which does exactly what you are describing.

  57. JabbaTheCat says:

    I had serious issues with Acronis and then their support personnel on the Acronis forum. Ironically, another sys admin read my posting on the Acronis forum and suggested I use Casper instead. Can’t praise Casper enough, it has never let me down…

  58. JabbaTheCat says:

    @rbabcock
    “Love VMWare.”

    VMWare, now that is a company that know how to run support services for their product. Respect!

  59. Poptech says:

    “Matthew W says: I’ll never go MAC, they’ll have to pry my XP out of my cold ,dead hands:”

    Well this may be true but you will not be able to get security updates after April 8, 2014 so I would recommend looking at using Windows 7 before that time arrives,

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/05/windows-xp-supported-until-2014.html

  60. Poptech says:

    Anthony, what was the Stop Error you were getting? Also were you using a Beta build of Acronis? As this is the only Stop Error I could locate on their site and it is coincidentally associated with uninstalling;

    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/beta/atih2013_release-notes_u1.html

    “ATIHXOXIII-3704 Computer went to BSOD with a stop error of 0x0000008E after removing Beta build”

    If you were I recommend NEVER using Beta builds of anything. I am very interested why this would even happen as backup software should not be messing with lower levels of the operating system or drivers.

  61. Jay says:

    As gareth , peterhodges and MarkinChuico says:
    May 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    “ditto on the Clonezilla says:

    If you want to clone your drive try Clonezilla. Runs stand-alone from a CD or bootable USB stick (see Pendrive Linux) so not dependent on the OS on the drive and produces a clone image that you can load into another drive or back into the existing.”

    Ghost and Acronis, I have had problems with both, but clonzilla is rock solid for making images of drives or partitions, and restoring them. It’s free and opensource.
    It’s tough to beat.

  62. Poptech says:

    There is really no need to use a third party backup program with Windows 7 as you can make images using the built-in Windows 7 backup program,

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/back-up-your-programs-system-settings-and-files

  63. Poptech says:

    “Matt in Houston says: Are you certain some of the other windows updates aren’t adding to the fouling of your system? I have spent about 12 hours (6 last Wednesday and about 6 today, weekend in Atlanta in between) attempting to get my laptop to update properly- nothing gives so far and managed to wreck my system 3 times today and finally had to restore to an earlier image after the last run wouldn’t let me even get into a bootable config. I have run registry cleaners, chkdsks, memory tests, malware scans, yada yada yada, no joy.”

    Third party security software can conflict with Windows updates. I recommend disabling or uninstalling any security software and seeing if it lets you install the updates.

    Registry cleaners will not fix any problems, do not improve system performance and are more likely to induce problems.

    Chkdsk only needs to be run once.

    Not all memory tests are equal; http://www.memtest86.com/

    Not all malware scans are equal; http://home.comcast.net/~supportcd/MalwareRemoval.html#Scan

    Otherwise you should be getting a Windows Update error code that you can reference with Microsoft.

  64. Walter Dnes says:

    Using a program running inside the OS to back up data is OK. Using a program running inside the OS to back up the OS is begging for trouble. It’s like a doctor performing brain surgery on himself. Disk imaging is best performed from an external device (i.e. CD/DVD or USB stick). I don’t care what OS the external media boots (linux/Windows/whatever) it’s a lot safer. In a worst-case scenario, make a track+sector copy of your disk. To restore, plop it back on.

  65. Poptech says:

    “_Jim says: What’s an “update”? (I think I turned off updates on all but one computer here. Running the latest Service Packs, but that is all.)”

    This is not recommended for security updates and can be a highly dangerous practice if you connect to the Internet. Microsoft Service Packs are outdated a month after their release as far as security goes. The two most common trends I find with infected systems,

    1. Latest security updates not applied.
    2. Antivirus program not installed or outdated.

  66. Poptech says:

    “Duster says: Windows captured the world market by MS arranging for the OS and previously DOS to be installed on every machine sold.”

    Correction, Windows captured the world market by making their operating system work with every PC sold.

  67. Poptech says:

    “Eric Worrall says: Windows 8 / Metro IMO will be the final straw which switches you to Mac ;-)”

    No need, Windows 7 is supported by Microsoft until 2020,
    http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/search/default.aspx?sort=PN&alpha=Windows+7

  68. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Best not to install Avast on Windows 7. After one of the Windows auto updates Avast caused a reboot loop for me. I was able to boot up in safe mode and then roll stuff back. I then installed Avast and then the update and confirmed that the combination didn’t work. I now use AVG again.

  69. ShrNfr says:

    I have found that the best way to deal with this stuff is to sandbox things. That way, your boot disk is just another file on the host OS. It makes backups trivial and migration to a new hardware system a breeze. But, that is just me I suppose.

  70. _Jim says:

    Poptech says May 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm
    ….
    This is not recommended for security updates and can be a highly dangerous practice if you connect to the Internet. Microsoft Service Packs are outdated a month after their release as far as security goes. The two most common trends I find with infected systems,

    1. Latest security updates not applied.
    2. Antivirus program not installed or outdated.

    *

    Have we been through this before too – What’s an ‘antivirus program’? /sarc

    I do scan now and then with malwarebytes products, found the firewall from Zonealarm to be too resource-intensive, and found the same was true of the ‘AV’ (not Audio – Visual in this case) stuff as well … so out the window it went …

    How does that saying go which is presentably in vogue – “Perfection – the enemy of good.”

    BTW, I do surf with Chrome these days, and it does its own updates, and seems to ‘know’ about potentially malicious websites as well.

    .

    * Of course not, but I’m a responsible, knowledgeable adult (and engineer and techie) and I am plotting my own course and destiny based on my assessment of my needs, wants, desires, and technical requirements and am willing to work with the trade-offs to ‘get there’, thank you very much.

    .

  71. _Jim says:

    Matt in Houston says May 9, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Are you certain some of the other windows updates aren’t adding to the fouling of your system? I have spent about 12 hours (6 last Wednesday and about 6 today, weekend in Atlanta in between) attempting to get my laptop to update properly- nothing gives so far and managed to wreck my system 3 times today and finally had to restore …

    Look at the ‘trouble’ I’ve saved myself by not ‘updating’ … ummm … six, no, seven, no … eight different Xp boxes (and one Win7) on property (and I’m not counting the Win3.1 or Win85 and several Win98 boxes either) …

    My operational philosophy any more is: If it ain’t broke DON’T fix it … life is just too short.

    BTW, does everybody know about the Digital River URL where legit images of installable (and subsequently license-able thru the purchase of a key as from Amazon etc.) MS’s OSs reside?

    Be sure to read the explanation or description twice so as not to become confused:
    Win7 direct download – http://www.heidoc.net/joomla/technology-science/microsoft/14-windows-7-direct-download-links

    **Not an advert, just a word to the wise.** (as I have no affiliation with the above)

    .

  72. _Jim says:

    Poptech says May 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Not all memory tests are equal; http://www.memtest86.com/

    If one is at this stage, recommend getting a ‘bootable’ Ubunto CD with things like memory utilities on it, or, better yet, get “The Ultimate Boot (and diagnostic) CD”.

    Description: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
    Download: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

    When you boot up from the CD, a text-based menu will be displayed, and you will be able to select the tool you want to run. The selected tool actually boots off a virtual floppy disk created in memory.

    This is **the** proverbial ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of PC hardware diagnostics.

    .

  73. Poptech says:

    Jim, I just don’t want anyone else following such irresponsible advice by not applying security updates.

    There is no such “trouble” updating on a PC with working hardware components that is malware free. Your limited experience in this area is not something to give advice on. I’ve dealt with at least over 10,000 systems (lost count a long time ago). Telling people not to apply security updates is typical Internet urban legends pushed by those who don’t work in IT or security related fields.

    Malwarebytes will not catch all Rootkits infections.

    You don’t need the Zonealarm firewall, Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 all come with one for free.

    Your phrase “If it ain’t broke DON’T fix it” makes no sense since the reason there are patches is because the code is broken.

    Actually the Ultimate Boot CD does not have full hardware diagnostics as it does not have anything to properly test things like your CPU, Mainboard, Video card memory ect… for these you need a commercial product (stress tests like Mersenne Prime are not the same thing). You can only test your RAM and HD with free diagnostics. The disk is also confusing as it includes redundant programs that do the same thing or are less reliable, instead of just including the best program per category.

  74. Michael Larkin says:

    EasyUS Todo backup is the mutt’s nuts (a free version is available, too). Acronis used to be good, wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole now.

  75. OssQss says:

    It does not cost much to create a raid array. However, that does not mean much if your line of defence has let you down. Perhaps a system restore might have helped contain things to an earlier time and provided a path for effective corrective action?

  76. Poptech says:

    Legitimate technical reasons why Linux on the desktop is not ready for prime time and may never be,

    http://linuxfonts.narod.ru/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.html#TLDR

  77. It seems the fate of every good piece of computing technology to be hijacked by marketing and muddle-management for maximum, short-term profits by adding stuff that only marketing people want; want because they lack an understanding of the useful purpose of the product. The result is bloated products, escaping to the market before they’re fully developed and even moderately tested.

    Marketing will tell the herd of consumers what they want. The herd will stampede towards the abyss under the illusion that a bridge will be built before they get there. The herd doesn’t look back and doesn’t notice the ground slipping away in its tracks. :-(

  78. Bertram Felden says:

    Don’t buy into the hype from the Mac faithful. I have several friends who have various model Macs and they have problems too, ranging from 2 new SSDs in less than 6 months to complete system failures and, most commonly, blank lifeless screens. Of course Apple will fix all this stuff, sometimes free, and sometimes for lots of money, and always fairly quickly. But it still breaks.

    Someone said earlier there is no perfect OS, and they were right. Most people swear by XP, and I have seen it working really well in a number of machines – it really flies on my father in law’s old PC for example, but for me it was the OS from hell. On the contrary Vista is considered awful, but for me it has been uber stable and just all round excellent. Glary Utilities may be the killer app here . .

    As for backups and disk images I learned during the XP years of hell never to back up the OS, just the data, because by the time the OS has been corrupted by disk failure or some evil squid software the disk imager will have simply stored up all the faults, and when you recover from an image file you just replicate the almost but not quite unusable just before disaster state of the computer. Even Macs benefit from a good spring clean now and then.

  79. God Bless Microsoft

    If they produced software as reliable as Mainframes (where I cut my teeth), then I wouldn’t have a job.

    So many bugs, so many BSOD’s – only one me

    Andi – Microsoft Certified of course

  80. CodeTech says:

    Gotta say, Win7 is probably as close to the perfect OS as MS is ever going to get. When it came out we actually had some XP machines that ran FASTER with 7. Although, the company I was working for didn’t have XP, they skipped that and stayed with 2000. Now, Win2K was a great OS then. But… not 10 years great.

    Win8 will never be installed on any hardware I own.

    Linux is awesome. As a server OS. All my servers use it, and I’m quite adept at getting it to run and play nice with Win machines on the network. There was a learning curve for getting web servers up and secure and optimized, but I can practically do it in my sleep now.

    Then Mac. They’re good for…. um… people who don’t know much about computers? Gotta love those one-button mice.

  81. PiperPaul says:

    I’m an ancient piping designer. When things go wrong this badly, I go back to wet memory to fix things. It takes a looong time.

    Just kidding. I now backup all my stuff on multiple drives via Time Machine.

  82. Richard says:

    I’ve been a fan of BootIt Next Generation from TeraByte Unlimited for many years. I tried Ghost in around 1997, but couldn’t get it to work properly. BootIt NG has a slightly geeky interface, but all you have to do is follow the instructions. What’s important to me is that it worked first time and has never failed me, so I haven’t bothered to look at Ghost or Acronis, etc. since then. I’ve used it to create partition images and restore from them; create, re-size, slide and delete partitions. It’s been replaced by BootIt Bare Metal which I haven’t got around to trying yet.

  83. Poptech says:

    Microsoft desktop operating systems have been incredibly reliable since Windows 2000 was released, so long as they are installed on working hardware, are malware free and are using OS compatible drivers (e.g. cannot use XP drivers on Vista). For instance, all major legitimate Vista issues were resolved with SP1, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc709618(v=ws.10).aspx

    Most negative stuff written online about Microsoft products are largely myths and urban legends. People frequently blame the OS for problems caused by defective hardware, malware infections and poorly written third party applications. Then you get everybody’s meaningless personal experiences not understanding what is at fault or why so they blame the OS. Like any piece of software there have been legitimate issues with Microsoft operating systems but these are all documented and fixable.

    Anybody who tells you that they do or you should have to re-install the operating system for any other reason (with a few specific exceptions) then defective hardware or malware infection has no idea what they are talking about.

    Windows operating systems do not get “dirty” outside of a malware infection. They get loaded down with junk software that was carelessly installed. Registry bloat for instance has absolutely no bearing on system performance. Windows includes all the utilities you need to remove such software or to stop it from loading at system startup and like “magic” original performance is restored.

  84. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Poptech said May 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm:

    “Duster says: Windows captured the world market by MS arranging for the OS and previously DOS to be installed on every machine sold.”

    Correction, Windows captured the world market by making their operating system work with every PC sold.

    That’s borderline outright baldfaced lying, possibly only true at the beginning. I well remember when M$ released the bloated Vista beast, decreeing that much current iron would have to be scrapped as incompatible as M$ insisted on transforming the PC into an anti-personal “anti-piracy” corporate spying machine. The hue and cry was loud, with makers complaining bitterly of changing hardware to conform to Vista.

    That’s the real truth about the M$ monopoly, new version comes out, hardware makers must conform to M$. Not the BS you’re shelling out.

    And even at the beginning, to get the market share, did M$ make their OS work with every PC sold? Hell no. No one who has had to search for days to find a working device driver would ever buy that crap. Before XP, before even ME, even when 95 was a revolutionary product, it didn’t work with every machine. There were hardware and software incompatibilities up the wazoo. I ran Norton Utilities because it would catch the many machine freezing or BSOD crashing incidents and keep the system running.

    I was there. I remember those times well. If you’re going to shovel that stuff and say how great M$ was and is, you better stop at this site first.


    Poptech said on May 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm:

    Legitimate technical reasons why Linux on the desktop is not ready for prime time and may never be,

    http://linuxfonts.narod.ru/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.html#TLDR

    You boldly toss out a link to a Russian site? You must really trust your virus protection! Either that or you’re drumming up business for those who fix hosed systems…

    Reading from the top of the document, the whining is largely of an old familiar variety:

    Hardware makers don’t release specs, keep everything proprietary, those who would write free device drivers don’t have the info needed, so hardware doesn’t get supported.

    That’s about 70% of the complaining right there. And that’s how the M$ beast works. M$ releases the info about their OS with non-disclosure agreements to the hardware makers. They in turn make their stuff to work with the M$ product, using proprietary closed-source drivers. Hardware makers are “rewarded” by having their stuff work with the OS that’s forced onto virtually all PC buyers.

    There’s little incentive to release info to make free Linux drivers. Some companies do release Linux-version proprietary drivers, for those who want to use them.

    Other whining is how hard it is to make closed-source software using open-source Linux. Duh! That’s usually right in the licenses for open source, you’ll release the code of software you derive from it (make your work open source as well).

    Plus, some of what this document says is just plain WRONG. For example, Hardware section:

    7. Intel has refused to support Linux on its Clover Trail platform.

    Quick Google later, from Sept 18, 2012: Intel Clover Trail Will Support Linux After All

    Your “2013” anti-Linux doc doesn’t even have the facts right for the end of 2012!

  85. Steve C says:

    Poptech says: (May 9, 9:14 pm)
    “Legitimate technical reasons why Linux on the desktop is not ready for prime time and may never be,
    http://linuxfonts.narod.ru/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.html#TLDR

    But, further up that same page …
    “I want to make one thing crystal clear – Windows, in some regards, is even worse than Linux and it’s definitely not ready for the desktop either.”

    It’s worse than we thought, we’re all doomed, etc., etc…

  86. Richard says:

    @AndiC
    As a fellow mainframer from the last millenium, I feel your pain :-)
    If you trace the steps to Windows and the movement of people from company to company, you kind-of understand why everything is not perfect. (Mind you, I really like Win 7 and Win Server 2008R2). Burroughs MCP (disclaimer: I worked for them) was ahead of its time and never fell over. When digital’s VMS (disclaimer: I worked for them too) was created an an “homage”, it still seemed to be OK. Then Microsoft hired a bunch of guys from digital and created NT and I heard stories that Bill Gates made some detail design decisions. Windows 8 is NT 6.2.

  87. CodeTech says:

    Richard, the underpinnings for Win8, all the way from NT, are fine. Very solid, well designed, well engineered. Incremental UI changes over the years have been ok, and reasonable, even logical. Kinda sucks how they completely turned the UI upside down this iteration, though… and want me to use my computer in a way that is completely foreign to me. As I said in a previous thread, I have two 26″ and a 32″ monitor… no way I’d possibly want to start waving my arm around all this screen real estate to “touch” everything!

    It’s nice to see former mainframe people who aren’t stuck in the EBCDIC fantasy land a few people I know still inhabit. It’s sad. Funny that my desktop has so much more power than the $2m VAX 11/780 I used to be a tape jockey for!

  88. Alexej Buergin says:

    I have changed from an old Acronis (works fine from CD, but had problems with a new harddisk) to the Win7/Win8 system backup with CD.
    I notice that nobody comments on using these. The main reason is probably that Win7/8 is very stable.
    But I would like to hear from somebody who actually needed to use it.

  89. Richards in Vancouver says:

    “Revo Uninstaller” is a great little programme. It snares every trace of whatever it is you want uninstalled. No nasty little bits left to lurk and do vile things.
    Recommended by Greg, the family computer genius.

  90. Swiss Bob says:

    As others have mentioned VMware is your friend, I’m shortly going to purchase this so I can set up a machine with the O/S, hardware and utility SW such as ZA and VMware Workstation, take a disc image (I think I have a version of Acronis that runs off a boot disk and so isn’t installed, then I will create various VMware images, one for Oracle, one for my personal stuff, one for my work environment (I telecommute).

    This way I can restore the basic machine from a terminal BSOD or HW failure using a disk image, takes no time at all, then copy the VMware images back, something like that anyway. Quick and easy in comparison.

  91. Adam says:

    Unfortunately this is the natural path of evolution for software. It starts out good, gets successful, then become a complicated mess which feels more like malware than software. Hmmm, come to think of it, that pretty much describes anything written by Yahoo! !

  92. CodeTech said:

    Then Mac. They’re good for…. um… people who don’t know much about computers?

    Aka The Rest of Us. The higher user satisfaction ratings for the Mac vs. the PC speak for themselves. They indicate, among other things, that breakage on Macs occurs less often than on PCs contra the implication of Bertram Felden at May 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Gotta love those one-button mice.

    Now who doesn’t know much about computers? Those haven’t been around for ages. The mice from Apple are provided with an undivided shell over the front that looks like a single button, but there are two actual buttons underneath. The shell was a face-saver for Jobs, to conceal his climb-down on the matter.

  93. Steve in Tulsa says:

    You should have taken the opportunity to upgrade to windows 8. Win8 lets you reinstall the OS in place without having to reinstall all the programs. Very cool.

  94. Ceri Reid says:

    I know you don’t want those ‘use a Mac/Linux/whatever’ replies – but have you considered virtualizing? The free version of VMware would allow you to easily restore a given state of the Windows OS on the virtual machine, so you’d never have to do the complete re-installation again. There’s very little (if any) penalty in performance, too. I fiddled with all this for the first time a couple of months ago and was very impressed with how easy it is to get up and running.

  95. Richard Thal says:

    For those that suspect a OS problem, MS always has provided a non-destructive method to replace the OS. See article at this link https://windowssecrets.com/top-story/win7s-no-reformat-nondestructive-reinstall/. This has saved my bacon in these situations. It’s either an hour with this method or a day reinstalling everything.

  96. Jurgen says:

    Hi Anthony,
    maybe I duplicate some comments – can’t read all of them right now. Just some practical personal experience.

    You talk about “disk image backup”. Do you backup a whole disk, or selected partitions? This matters. It triggers my comment.

    My point being, irrespective of what operating system you use, the way you organize your computer, if done “smart” may help you a lot in recovery. I am not a computer expert, but I have done my juggling with the beasts so as to be the master and not the slave. These are my general rules.

    Always create partitions and dedicate them according to their use. To start off always store your data in seperate partitions and never on the same partition your operating systems is. Secondly, as much as possible, also put your programs in a seperate partition. I know Windows stores a lot of the stuff on the C-patition anyway, and some programs just have to be on C, but the goal here is to keep the system-partion as small as possible. It makes backing-up a lot easier. The problem nearly always is with the system-partition, so you have to just concentrate on that one.

    The advantage of working with partitions also is it helps you a lot with making an image in your own way. You don’t need a commercial program like “Acronis”. You just do it yourself with free tools. And the easiest way is to just copy a partition say to a usb-device.

    The easiest tool I know of is Minitool Partitionwizard. The best way is to boot from a live cd. This tool can also recover data and restore partitions, repair the mbr, edit the boot.ini and explore the content of partitions (fat and ntfs). But there are other free tools of course.

    Whatever you do, good luck and patience!

  97. beng says:

    Acronis sounds like an analogy of governments. Bloat to the point of blowing up.

  98. dave ward says:

    I’ll also put my vote in for Revo Uninstaller and Easeus Todo Backup. Revo finds all sorts of stuff that built-in programmes leave behind. The only time I’ve got caught is when a softwares built-in programme (which Revo runs when you ask it to do the job for you), wanted me to re-boot the PC to complete the process. DO NOT do this, but let Revo continue until it has finished.

    As for Easeus Todo – I take regular images with it, and keep them on separate HDD’s, and also used it to make a bootable disc. I had occasion to see how it worked, after removing some software that came with a Microsoft own brand keyboard & mouse! This messed up the standard mouse controls, but after removal I found myself in a boot loop situation. My old laptop’s CD/DVD drive is faulty, so with some trepidation I plugged the backup HDD into one USB port and an external (powered) CD/DVD drive with the bootable disc into another. To my great relief both were found, and I was able to restore from an image and get the PC working again. I had to do a few “tweaks” to some of the basic settings and preferences, but this took a fraction of the time that doing a full install would have taken.

  99. Dave says:

    _Jim says:
    May 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Jim, I’m afraid people like you are the Typhoid Maries of the internet. If those computers you mention are connected to the internet, then I’ll bet anything you like that they are part of some botnet by now. They are almost certainly a vector actively spreading malware and spam. It will not going to show up on most virus/malware scans, because the purpose of the malware isn’t to do anything malicious to your data.

    ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ is all very well, but it is ‘broke’, and that’s why Microsoft has had to release free patches to ‘fix it’.

  100. Max™ says:

    I say with not a hint of gloating, you, and everyone else would generally be better off running their preferred flavor of linux because of just the sort of issues brought up in the top post.

    I don’t suggest it to people so I can feel snooty or “elite” or whatever, I’ve just never been as satisfied and productive with my, or anyone else’s, computer since I moved out into the wilderness of open source software.

    If you’re honestly happy with your OS and software choices being made for you by someone else, awesome, I’m naturally skeptical, but hey, rock on!

    Last time I broke something and needed a full reinstall, it was my fault for experimenting with shoehorning a kubuntu 13.04 upgrade into a lubuntu 12.10 install without checking to make sure I wasn’t going to break anything, or better yet, seeing if there was an already established and easy enough method posted online somewhere.

    Happily I moved to separate / and /home partitions a couple ‘buntu generations ago, so I just grabbed my handy dandy usb stick and loaded a fresh kubtunu on it, took 15 minutes from downloading the .iso/unetbootin’ing it onto the usb until I loaded up my familliar home environment from my botched experiment.

    It’s nice out here, honest, but again, good luck with the rebuild… I haven’t checked in a while, but you can set up a separate home partition on your disks with windows too can’t you?

    Being able to maintain the same exact files/folders/settings while hopping distros is awesome, would be nice for cases like the Acronis-extraction snafu I think.

  101. Patrick says:

    “Andi Cockroft says:

    May 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm”

    Indeed. IBM MVS, upgrading from 24bit addressing to 31bit. What could I possibly do with multiple 2Gbyte address spaces?

  102. NotSure says:

    It looks like no-one has mentioned snapshot.exe yet. It’s really bare-bones, but it has saved my bacon in more than one occasion. Here’s a link to its intro page:

    http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/intro.htm

  103. Bill Parsons says:

    I’ve never had the de-installation of a program hose the operating system. Never.

    If you figure out how to do this, could you uninstall the car alarm on my old Camry?

  104. rgbatduke says:

    I’d hate to disappoint you, so yes, run Linux if you want reliability and bulletproofness. NO version of Windows has been bulletproof. XP and 7 are simply the best of a generally bad lot, although they are both a lot better than their predecessors or successors.

    I’ve been using Linux at this point for almost 20 years, eighteen as a primary interface. Over that entire time my machine(s) have been hacked precisely one time, and that was more my fault than the OS’s. When I say “my machines”, I mean not only personal machines but entire departmental networks of machines.

    OS bugs in linux are far from unknown, but bugs of all sorts get fixed VERY quickly in most of the important distros. Compare that to 6 month or longer lag times between when exploits for Windows are discovered and when MS gets around to patching them…

    Macs aren’t bad, either. I know a lot of sysadmins who run macs. I know remarkably few who run Windows anything as their OS of choice.

    rgb

  105. Artem S. Tashkinov says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel),

    Just because my website is hosted on a Russian web server doesn’t make it less legitimate or infested with malware. It’s 100% HTML5/CSS3 compliant and I don’t host/embed/engage in peddling malware – it would be stupid and Google and other web search engines would instantly remove me from the … top of their search results.

    Just because you’ve found just one (!) outdated clause doesn’t mean the entire article is outdated or wrong.

    Sounds like you a hypocrite.

    Best regards, the author of this website.

  106. hmos says:

    Mr. Watts, which version (and build) of Acronis were you running?

  107. Poptech says:

    “kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: That’s borderline outright baldfaced lying, possibly only true at the beginning. I well remember when M$ released the bloated Vista beast, decreeing that much current iron would have to be scrapped as incompatible as M$ insisted on transforming the PC into an anti-personal “anti-piracy” corporate spying machine. The hue and cry was loud, with makers complaining bitterly of changing hardware to conform to Vista.”

    So Microsoft did not release system requirements when Vista was released? What new PCs being sold at the time would not work with Vista? All of the same hardware “scrapping” applies to Windows 7 and Windows 8. You seem confused and need to read what I said clearly as I did not claim they made their operating system work with every piece of obsolete hardware but every PC sold – directly implying new PCs. The rest of your rant is unsupported conspiratorial nonsense.

    “That’s the real truth about the M$ monopoly, new version comes out, hardware makers must conform to M$. Not the BS you’re shelling out.”

    Microsoft cannot make any PC maker conform to anything. PC makers choose of their own free will to sell Microsoft operating systems and thus meet the system requirements. If the system requirements were prohibitive to selling new PCs then PC manufacturers would not use Windows. Your ignorance on this subject is a prime example of why so much information online about this is wrong. The minimum system requirements for Windows Vista were very low,

    800 MHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) CPU
    512 MB of system memory – RAM
    20 GB hard disk with 15 GB of free hard disk space
    Super VGA (800 x 600) graphics card *
    Internal or external CD-ROM drive
    Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

    The minimum system requirements for Windows XP were ridiculously low,

    233 MHz CPU
    64 MB of RAM
    1.5 GB of available hard disk space
    Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
    CD-ROM or DVD drive
    Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

    “And even at the beginning, to get the market share, did M$ make their OS work with every PC sold? Hell no. No one who has had to search for days to find a working device driver would ever buy that crap. Before XP, before even ME, even when 95 was a revolutionary product, it didn’t work with every machine. There were hardware and software incompatibilities up the wazoo. I ran Norton Utilities because it would catch the many machine freezing or BSOD crashing incidents and keep the system running.”

    Name the hardware that met Windows 95’s system requirements that would not work. I built hundreds of Windows 95 machines with varying hardware and it all worked so long as you had the right drivers. I fixed even more by replacing defective hardware and getting compatible drivers. It is nonsense that Norton Utilities was required to keep it stable.

    “You boldly toss out a link to a Russian site? You must really trust your virus protection! Either that or you’re drumming up business for those who fix hosed systems…”

    Why are you being irresponsible and lying that the website is dangerous simply because it is coming from a Russian URL? Are you usually this irresponsible with your information? Using your bad advice, people better not visit this Russian news site, http://en.rian.ru/

    And of course it is all a conspiracy theory why hardware makers don’t make drivers for Linux.

    Explain how an operating system is “forced” onto a new PC. Do you not understand how markets work or is every Linux proponent this ignorant of economics?

  108. Poptech says:

    “Steve C says: But, further up that same page …
    “I want to make one thing crystal clear – Windows, in some regards, is even worse than Linux and it’s definitely not ready for the desktop either.”

    The post is by a Linux developer with limited Windows experience. The problem with his post is Windows is already on just about everyone’s desktop.

    “registry (a chaos and a single point of failure – most Windows failures are due to registry)”

    Actually this is not true and Windows has kept backup copies of the registry since Windows 95. System Restore was added in Windows ME ect….

  109. sleepless_slc says:

    For the lay user, Windows is still the best desktop software. I trained with the Z80 in the Airforce in 82, I fixed 8086 and 8088, I trouble shot windows 3.11, windows for workgroups. Through time I use winxp for my office, super stable. Windows 2003 and 2008 server and Novell 5.11 and 6.1 for firesharing and apps. Slackware and Daibian for internet mail and website. I’ve been down 3 times in 18 1/2 years but not more than 3 hours.I manage 32 servers over 4 plants in 4 international countries. Everything has it’s place and no eggs in the same basket. By the way, if you use SCSI drives for your servers, you’ll get 10 years of dependable service unlike SATA, EIDE and ESATA which last 3 to 4 years.

    Robert

  110. _Jim says:

    Poptech says May 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Your phrase “If it ain’t broke DON’T fix it” makes no sense since the reason there are patches is because the code is broken.

    There is a difference between ‘broken code’ and code that has potential for hacking (vulnerabilities is the term).

    That so-called ‘broken code’ you cite ONCE passed some level of operability, and even some measure of regression testing.

    The script kiddies and the sites they (and you?) visit are the ones who are much more vulnerable than I.

    Oh, and I have scanned for root-kits in the past, and probably ought to more often.

    Again I do surf with Chrome, which auto-updates, as well as updating Adobe’s various products (including Flash) … then there is Java, bugging me even now to update (again!) …

    .

  111. _Jim says:

    Dave says May 10, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Jim, I’m afraid people like you are the Typhoid Maries of the internet. If those computers you mention are connected to the internet, then I’ll bet anything you like that they are part of some botnet by now.
    ….

    “I don’t think so Tim”, -er- I mean Dave.

    When was the time you inventoried all executing/resident tasks on your PC (or PCs)?

    When again? I didn’t hear you …

    .

    PS. The plural of Typhoid Mary” is “Typhoid Marys” (checked against multiple references).

    .

  112. _Jim says:

    Poptech says May 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Actually the Ultimate Boot CD does not have full hardware diagnostics as it does not have anything to properly test things like your

    And yet, you offer _no_ alternative(s) in the same class (free). Overlooking tools from the ‘horses mouth’ even (assuming one has an Intel processor), such as:

    Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool
    http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-031726.htm

    If the operating system cannot be loaded, a bootable Linux* version is available for you test the processor.

    Remember Poptech old chum, I recommended (basically) a field ‘triage tool’ (ala Swiss Army knife), not a full complement of what one would find in a full-up ‘operating room’ … even Dell (my choice in PCs) supplies various diagnostics for their MoBos for free on their cust support website (for the Optiplex series: again, my choice) …but _not_ every vendor does …

    PS memtest86 is on the UBCD as well.

    Poptech says May 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm
    Jim, I just don’t want anyone else following such irresponsible advice by not applying security updates. …

    One would think having posted the caveat (copied/reposted below) EARLIER would ward-off these oft-repeated and self-assuming ‘warning’ messages (to whom? the general, assembled reading masses?) … maybe it’s a (non-)reading and non-comprehension problem? At any rate, I don’t look to accrue a following who might walk in my footsteps when I’m stating what it is that I’m doing (or not doing) in any given or particular circumstance.

    The previously over-looked (or probably unread?) caveat :

    Of course not, but I’m a responsible, knowledgeable adult (and engineer and techie) and I am plotting my own course and destiny based on my assessment of my needs, wants, desires, and technical requirements and am willing to work with the trade-offs to ‘get there’, thank you very much.

    Remember (from a post right here at WUWT the last day or so):

    Consensus is the pathway to bliss.

    .

  113. _Jim says:

    Patrick says May 10, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Indeed. IBM MVS, upgrading from 24bit addressing to 31bit. What could I possibly do with multiple 2Gbyte address spaces?

    Put in terms of “pints of blood”, what did that (the upgrade) work out to be (cost-wise)?

    .

  114. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Artem S. Tashkinov on May 10, 2013 at 11:17 am:

    Just because my website is hosted on a Russian web server doesn’t make it less legitimate or infested with malware.

    I have been keeping track of the addresses used by the assorted highly questionable email spam that makes it to my inbox, also paying attention to the (windoze) virus outbreak warnings and countries of origin. Russia is a hotspot.

    Seriously, I could blacklist the entire .ru domain from my inbox, set the ad blocker to likewise reject anything from any .ru site, and not lose a single thing worth seeing besides increasing system security.

    Hey, does anyone out there know how to set a browser and/or computer to never send any information to a certain address, like *.ru? So if a computer does get infected, it still can’t “phone home” sensitive info?

    It’s 100% HTML5/CSS3 compliant…

    Now that you mentioned it, I gotta check it.
    Document in question:
    Passes HTML5.
    Passes as CSS Level 3.

    Web site start page:
    HTML5 error.
    Passes as CSS Level 3 but with 3 similar warnings: “Property -****-border-radius is an unknown vendor extension”

    Come to think of it, controlling malware by slipping some “extra” info into an innocuous web document, which would be ignored by the browser as superfluous, would be rather ingenious.

    You should be aware that HTML5 is not yet a W3C standard, but only a “Candidate Recommendation”, thus implementation is not guaranteed, especially of all features.

    Just because you’ve found just one (!) outdated clause doesn’t mean the entire article is outdated or wrong.

    I only bothered to check two. That one, which showed you were wrong. And the stupid thing about Linux’ “questionable legality”, which is crap, of which your link went to some message board whining about mpeg codec licensing fee or some such nonsense, which is crap.

    I checked two, it was wrong on two. I summarized the document’s total whining to my satisfaction. Why should I go further?

  115. Poptech says:

    “_Jim says: There is a difference between ‘broken code’ and code that has potential for hacking (vulnerabilities is the term).

    That so-called ‘broken code’ you cite ONCE passed some level of operability, and even some measure of regression testing.”

    Every piece of code that is patched, originally passed some level of “operability” what sort of ridiculous argument is that? It was they failed to test for that was broken. Being able to be maliciously exploited was not an original design feature of the code, thus it is broken and a patch is released. So again your argument is invalid.

    “The script kiddies and the sites they (and you?) visit are the ones who are much more vulnerable than I.”

    You don’t visit websites that use ads? You can get infected on ANY website when things like the ad servers get hacked, http://www.pcworld.com/article/141358/article.html

  116. Poptech says:

    “_Jim says: When was the time you inventoried all executing/resident tasks on your PC (or PCs)?”

    What is your point? Malware can pretend to be anything it wants on your PC or be completely invisible (rootkits) – you have no idea unless you scan it. Unless you are trying to troubleshoot something or increase performance there is no reason for him to do this.

  117. Keith Sketchley says:

    Paul Jackson makes a good point about SW that mucks with Windows at low level.
    Theft-tracing SW may do that.
    Some SW weenies do it when they don’t need to (a bunch of two-year-olds).
    SW problems lead people to avoid upgrading – many organizations avoided Vista but adopted 7 once somewhat proven (Intel was one of those IIRC).
    I wouldn’t embrace a new version of Windows until after the first service pack, which apparently will be available for Windows 8 late this year (perhaps under a new name, c/w some UI improvements for non-touch uses).

  118. Poptech says:

    “And yet, you offer _no_ alternative(s) in the same class (free). Overlooking tools from the ‘horses mouth’ even (assuming one has an Intel processor), such as:”

    I never said it does not have some useful tools on the CD, my point is it has multiple tools that do the same thing, instead of just the best ones, which will be confusing to just about anyone. The Intel CPU diagnostic is not a bad utility and definitely better than nothing but it is still not as thorough as commercial diagnostic products.

    “Remember Poptech old chum, I recommended (basically) a field ‘triage tool’ (ala Swiss Army knife), not a full complement of what one would find in a full-up ‘operating room’ … even Dell (my choice in PCs) supplies various diagnostics for their MoBos for free on their cust support website (for the Optiplex series: again, my choice) …but _not_ every vendor does …”

    Again, the problem is most people will have no idea which tools to use and not understand that it does not include full system diagnostics. Dell diagnostics again are better than nothing but they miss memory issues that memtest98(+) will catch.

    “The previously over-looked (or probably unread?) caveat : Of course not, but I’m a responsible, knowledgeable adult (and engineer and techie) and I am plotting my own course and destiny based on my assessment of my needs, wants, desires, and technical requirements and am willing to work with the trade-offs to ‘get there’, thank you very much.”

    This implies that you know this is a responsible thing to do while you will not find anyone with experience in the IT or security industry suggesting any such course of action because it is irresponsible. The only reason things like botnets exist is because people either do not apply security updates, do not have an antivirus program installed or their antivirus program is outdated.

  119. Poptech says:

    ” kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: Plus, some of what this document says is just plain WRONG. For example, Hardware section: 7. Intel has refused to support Linux on its Clover Trail platform.
    Quick Google later, from Sept 18, 2012: Intel Clover Trail Will Support Linux After All. Your “2013″ anti-Linux doc doesn’t even have the facts right for the end of 2012!”

    Clearly Intel did not originally plan to support Linux with Clover Trail, http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2205462/idf-intel-says-clover-trail-will-not-work-with-linux

    No one is going to perpetually research these issues for changes, though I see no reason why it would not be corrected if brought to his attention. As an example: the author has already posted here, is aware of the issue and has rectified it.

  120. Poptech says:

    “kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: I only bothered to check two. That one, which showed you were wrong. And the stupid thing about Linux’ “questionable legality”, which is crap, of which your link went to some message board whining about mpeg codec licensing fee or some such nonsense, which is crap.”

    The “message board” is Slashdot. Are you new to the Internet or just tech sites? ROFLMAO!

    And the Linux codec issue is not “crap” but legitimate,

    http://www.datamation.com/article.php/3689726
    http://www.cerias.purdue.edu/site/blog/post/legit-linux-codecs-in-the-us/
    http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/70035.html?wlc=1274437690

    So legitimate an issue that Canonical (Ubuntu) licensed H.264,

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/05/canonical_h264_video/

  121. Paul Carter says:

    VMware’s ability to easily and reliably copy and clone an O/S is light-years ahead of any other tool. Note though, that if you want to copy to another host, then you will need VMware on the destination machine.

    At home, I run several O/Ss on a VMware server ( four different flavours of Linux plus Windows Server 2008 R2), each with separate O/S and data virtual disks. For each Virtual Machine, I backup the O/S disk as a straight VMDK (single virtual file) copy. For the VM’s large data partitions I use file backups from within the virtual O/S. I could rant on for ages about the facilities my VMware server has given my family, but I’ll refrain.

    Re Jim and Poptech’s argument about patch updates – I have to side with Poptech on this. The most vulnerable aspect of an O/S are the known security flaws. Publicly released security patches are used by criminals to discover and exploit those vulnerabilities within days of the patch release.
    If those flaws aren’t patched on your machines within about a week of the public patch release, you can expect them to be exploited – prompt and regular patching is even more important than running anti-virus (but you should run anti-virus too).

  122. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm:

    So Microsoft did not release system requirements when Vista was released?

    Of course not, they were released beforehand.

    What new PCs being sold at the time would not work with Vista?

    After the loud and noisy retooling period among the hardware makers, there were many machines sold as “Vista Capable”, barely working slugs at the “minimum system requirements” you’ve listed. To get the Aero interface and anything beyond bare functioning required the “Vista Premium Ready” level, which was the real “minimum standards”.

    Come on, it played out like a huge bait-and-switch. Buy Vista Capable, then buy the upgrades to use Vista. And if you upgraded components like video cards, you might have been buying some more to get stuff Vista would agree to work with. Even Wikipedia notes the problems.

    Heck, I even remember seeing the PC’s at Walmart selling with XP but “Vista ready” with free upgrade when it became available. One of those and a few hundred more bucks might actually get you a PC that really was running Vista in a meaningful way, if you only needed memory.

    All of the same hardware “scrapping” applies to Windows 7 and Windows 8.

    True, dat. M$ commands, hardware makers submit or die.

    Microsoft cannot make any PC maker conform to anything.

    Yup, they can voluntarily decide to go out of business. Some have.

    PC makers choose of their own free will to sell Microsoft operating systems and thus meet the system requirements.

    A. They conform to M$ system requirements like vehicle makers conform to gasoline, it’s just about the only thing out there to run in their iron, it’d be suicide not to do so.

    B. PC makers do have a choice, sell with M$ installed for about $100 or so added on the price tag that the consumer doesn’t notice,
    or sell without M$ a little cheaper, but condemning customers who want M$ to spend $200 to much more for a full retail version they have to install themselves. The second option guarantees ticked-off non-customers. First option is the easy path.

    Name the hardware that met Windows 95′s system requirements that would not work. I built hundreds of Windows 95 machines with varying hardware and it all worked so long as you had the right drivers.

    You must have forgotten all the “magazines” for system builders, selling hardware and software. The joys of having a generic ISA half-size VGA card, identified as having a “Trident” chipset, figuring out which if any of the included drivers will work, and what settings you have to tell Device Manager to use to get it to play nice with the hardware…

    And the Hayes-compatible internal modems!

    You nailed it, “…it all worked so long as you had the right drivers.” But finding the drivers! Oh, what a godsend sites like DriverGuide were, to finally have a central repository, at a time when the “right driver” may have been one furtively sent by email to a desperate user by a sympathetic tech support person who “liberated” it from testing…

    It is nonsense that Norton Utilities was required to keep it stable.

    Well 95 wasn’t so bad, but I needed it for ME. About, what, once a day minimum, “…intercepted a crash…”

    And of course it is all a conspiracy theory why hardware makers don’t make drivers for Linux.

    Why would you think that? Linux is a small market on the PC side, the market incentive isn’t there to devote resources for Linux drivers. Of course the Linux community can make their own drivers, but they’d need the full hardware specs, which the makers are loath to release as it gives too much insight to their competitors. Etc.

    Explain how an operating system is “forced” onto a new PC. Do you not understand how markets work or is every Linux proponent this ignorant of economics?

    I’ve already explained it a few times, not my fault if you can’t follow it, especially as it’s somewhat obvious you’re deliberately refusing to understand it. It’s how markets work, and it’s the economics of it.

    But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and share with an old “pro” like you the sleight-of-hand that is the standard experience of M$ pre-loading from the ordinary consumer’s viewpoint:

    Do I get the computer that gives me Windows for free, or the computer that’s cheaper without Windows but I’ll pay hundreds later to get Windows then?

    (Of course astute readers will realize this is a false choice. You can’t find PC’s or laptops at Walmart that don’t have Windoze pre-installed. There is no choice.)

  123. CodeTech says:

    kadaka, my linux servers all have Russia, North Korea, Nigeria and China blocked. Completely. As in, ANY attempt to connect from those countries is ignored. Nothing incoming, nothing outgoing. And the country list from IP is updated weekly. Sure it’s not perfect, but the attempts I’m seeing at getting in through ssh or scanning for known exploits are about 1/50th that of a honeypot server I keep active.

    I agree, blocking access to and from known lawless places makes good sense.

    But it’s not even all about the bad guys, those countries have large numbers of computers that are hopelessly exploited, so they act as relays to remote controllers in other places. You NEED to have and maintain some sort of tools to keep your computer safe. I seriously wish MS would stop making me reboot my computer, my Debian systems update hot and keep going. Currently over 400 days on one of them.

    However, regarding HTML5 and CSS3, it’s completely acceptable and currently good practice to include the vendor-specific border-radius and other tags. HTML5 and CSS3 just ignore tags that they don’t recognize, for example if the browser recognizes “border-radius” it ignores “-moz-border-radius”. Tags it doesn’t know at all are just skipped, as they should be.

    The most compliant browser is currently Chrome. FireFox, contrary to it’s reputation, has numerous things that don’t work properly. Opera is the last thing I worry about, it’s just buggy as (insert phrase)… which will change when they re-release it as Webkit, so not a big deal. IE10 is finally mostly on track, unfortunately IE is always the one that needs to be detected and worked around. Maybe if MS would do like virtually every other browser developer and stop thinking their code will be good for 10 years it would be different.

    I liked and used Vista right from Beta. Then again, I also had a new QuadCore computer at that time, and the OS didn’t bog it down to nothing like some people experienced. Win7 took the good parts of Vista, threw away the slowest, most poorly implemented, and has a very efficient kernel.

    We’re all still paying for the amateurs that took over the computer industry during the early 80s. Many things were reinvented, the wrong way, in the name of getting decent performance out of low powered hardware. Many of the names you recognize, many of the computer industry billionaires, did things wrong because they were making it up as they went. Arrogance and greed took care of the rest. Security was not an issue for Win95 because when it came out the Internet was still IRC, infant WWW, email and a few other Unix tools. The most mind-boggling part of early Windows versions was they they left ports open by default. Remember the one that popped up a message? That was a holdover from closed Windows networks, and those ports should have been closed by default.

    Yeah sorry, more ranting.

  124. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From CodeTech on May 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm:

    Yeah sorry, more ranting.

    But it’s honest ranting, and was informative, so nothing to be sorry about.

  125. Poptech says:

    “kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: Of course not, they were released beforehand.”

    Then I do not understand your complaint. Either you know how to read system requirements or you don’t.

    “After the loud and noisy retooling period among the hardware makers, there were many machines sold as “Vista Capable”, barely working slugs at the “minimum system requirements” you’ve listed. To get the Aero interface and anything beyond bare functioning required the “Vista Premium Ready” level, which was the real “minimum standards”.”

    More unsupported nonsense. “Retooling” – ROFLMAO! What special tools were needed to install hardware that met Vista’s requirements? If the PCs did not work as advertised PC manufacturers would not be able to sell them. Are you still confused on how markets work?

    You keep talking about things you have no idea about. Aero Minimum System Requirements;

    800 MHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) CPU
    512 MB of system memory – RAM (Integrated UMA Graphics not supported) *
    64 MB Windows Aero-capable DirectX 9-class graphics card **

    * 1 GB of system memory (RAM) is required with Integrated UMA Graphics to use the new Aero interface.
    ** Supported resolution up to but not including 1280×1024 on a Single Monitor System.

    The recommended requirements of Vista Home Premium (most common option for home users) were;

    1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) CPU
    1 GB of system memory – RAM (Only 256 MB can be used for Integrated UMA Graphics Memory)
    40 GB hard disk with 15 GB of free hard disk space
    128 MB Windows Aero-capable DirectX 9-class graphics card
    Internal or external DVD-ROM drive
    Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

    “Come on, it played out like a huge bait-and-switch. Buy Vista Capable, then buy the upgrades to use Vista. And if you upgraded components like video cards, you might have been buying some more to get stuff Vista would agree to work with.

    Heck, I even remember seeing the PC’s at Walmart selling with XP but “Vista ready” with free upgrade when it became available. One of those and a few hundred more bucks might actually get you a PC that really was running Vista in a meaningful way, if you only needed memory.”

    Were PCs sold as Vista capable unable to run Vista?
    Who is responsible for the PC purchase that they make?

    “True, dat. M$ commands, hardware makers submit or die.”

    Do PC makers choose to sell systems with Windows operating systems on them?

    “Yup, they can voluntarily decide to go out of business. Some have.”

    Which major PC OEM “voluntarily” decided to go out of business?

    “A. They conform to M$ system requirements like vehicle makers conform to gasoline, it’s just about the only thing out there to run in their iron, it’d be suicide not to do so.”

    So PC makers cannot choose to use another operating system? So car manufacturers cannot choose to sell a car that does not run on gasoline? Or could it be PC manufacturers sell what consumers want to buy?

    “B. PC makers do have a choice, sell with M$ installed for about $100 or so added on the price tag that the consumer doesn’t notice,”

    How would a consumer not notice the cost of $100? If this was true all a PC manufacturer would have to do is sell a PC with say Linux for $100 less. Why don’t they? Could it be that it does not actually cost PC manufacturers $100 to include Windows and could it be there are other concerns with selling a PC with Linux installed?

    “or sell without M$ a little cheaper, but condemning customers who want M$ to spend $200 to much more for a full retail version they have to install themselves. The second option guarantees ticked-off non-customers. First option is the easy path.”

    So PC manufacturers are just intentionally ignoring a market of selling PCs with no operating system? Could it be that consumers want an operating system installed when they buy a PC? Everyone who makes these silly arguments has never actually sold PCs to consumers in their lives. Your rants make no sense.

    Name the hardware that met Windows 95′s system requirements that would not work. I built hundreds of Windows 95 machines with varying hardware and it all worked so long as you had the right drivers.

    “You must have forgotten all the “magazines” for system builders, selling hardware and software. The joys of having a generic ISA half-size VGA card, identified as having a “Trident” chipset, figuring out which if any of the included drivers will work, and what settings you have to tell Device Manager to use to get it to play nice with the hardware…”

    It is very easy to identify which Trident chipset it is by reading what is silk screened on the chip,
    http://www.freewebs.com/kastrioth/Trident-TVGA-512Kb.JPG

    There was no special settings just Windows 95 compatible drivers.

    Even generic OEMs from Taiwan included driver discs and CDs clearly marked with Windows 95 drivers. Of course if you were trying to install Windows 95 on obsolete hardware it was up to you to make sure that the hardware was either already supported in 95 or there were drivers available.

    “And the Hayes-compatible internal modems!”

    Windows 95 came with support for various standard modem types.

    “You nailed it, “…it all worked so long as you had the right drivers.” But finding the drivers! Oh, what a godsend sites like DriverGuide were, to finally have a central repository, at a time when the “right driver” may have been one furtively sent by email to a desperate user by a sympathetic tech support person who “liberated” it from testing…”

    If the hardware is not supported by the OS or there are no compatible drivers then you did not use that hardware – It was not complicated. For instance I never had a problem with various CD-ROM drives until I tried to utilize a specific Panasonic model. After being unable to locate Windows 95 drivers that worked I tried tech support, they blamed Microsoft which was obviously ridiculous as all their competitors had drivers available – guess what I didn’t use Panasonic CD-ROMs anymore and their competitors got plenty of business.

    And you should always go to the OEM or chipset manufacturer for the correct drivers.

    It is nonsense that Norton Utilities was required to keep it stable.

    “Well 95 wasn’t so bad, but I needed it for ME. About, what, once a day minimum, “…intercepted a crash…””

    More nonsense. Windows ME was simply an upgrade to Windows 98SE and again needed Windows ME compatible drivers. Every issue I saw with ME was related to defective hardware or someone trying to use Win95/98 drivers.

    “Why would you think that? Linux is a small market on the PC side, the market incentive isn’t there to devote resources for Linux drivers. Of course the Linux community can make their own drivers, but they’d need the full hardware specs, which the makers are loath to release as it gives too much insight to their competitors. Etc.”

    How is this an argument? Hardware manufacturers do not want to freely give away their private information?

    “I’ve already explained it a few times, not my fault if you can’t follow it, especially as it’s somewhat obvious you’re deliberately refusing to understand it. It’s how markets work, and it’s the economics of it.”

    You failed to explain how any company is forced to do anything.

    “But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and share with an old “pro” like you the sleight-of-hand that is the standard experience of M$ pre-loading from the ordinary consumer’s viewpoint:

    Do I get the computer that gives me Windows for free, or the computer that’s cheaper without Windows but I’ll pay hundreds later to get Windows then?

    (Of course astute readers will realize this is a false choice. You can’t find PC’s or laptops at Walmart that don’t have Windoze pre-installed. There is no choice.)”

    This is because their is no market for PCs without an operating system installed. Those who build their own systems will naturally by the OS separate and you don’t have to pay retail if you buy OEM versions. People usually have no idea which version to buy and overpay for the Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate additions when they will never use the added features;

    http://www.neowin.net/news/windows-7-whats-the-difference-between-the-editions

    For instance, Windows 7 Home Premium OEM is only $99. No one is making you buy any PC or Windows, it is your choice.

  126. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Gee Poptech, if you’re going to do long circuitous ranting, can you at least TRY to format so the quoted and the ranted are more distinct?

    As to the very tail end of it, OEM versions are cheaper because M$ doesn’t do the tech support. The system builder does. If you put a system together for someone, install OEM M$ and sell the complete system to them, YOU are tech support when M$ screws up.

    If you put OEM on your own system, and I have, you don’t get to call M$ support when their product goes tits-up. Hopefully you have a working machine somewhere that you can get online with to look for help to get the hosed system working.

    BTW, historical Pro Tip: Re-installing Windoze did not fix everything. But it did make you wish you had remembered all the tweaks, kludges, and Registry corrections you needed to get the old installation working. Although later (around the ME reign), once the base system was marginally running again, I could just run a System Optimizer a few times until the M$ cruft and errors stopped being detected and fixed.

    What ordinary user, or someone putting together a system for a friend, would want to put up with that? They’ll go retail box so M$ gets the call.

    Looking slightly up your screed:

    This is because their is no market for PCs without an operating system installed.

    Actually there is. This Dell Optiplex I’m currently using had no OS. It was used, presumably formerly corporate leased, with a wiped HD. Well, there was enough of some free DOS for a bare command prompt, that’s it. It’s always been Debian Linux. There must be quite a market for such used computers without OS, as I personally know that company was selling such for well over a decade.

    Also, if you’re doing “build your own” on the Dell or other sites, you can skip the OS.

    So the market is there, it’s just a very small and quiet one.

    No one is making you buy any PC or Windows, it is your choice.

    Technically not, in a roundabout way, after many lawsuits. If you want the nice new PC or laptop you’ve seen at Walmart or Best Buy, you’ll be buying it with Windows, can’t be avoided. But by an arcane process who’s existence is now mandated in the US, if you can ever uncover the details, you can apply to “return” Windows for a refund, which will be for far less than the amount asked for the OEM version, provided you can show you’ve NEVER used it on the machine, and can somehow completely remove it the machine, and send all copies, documentation, and related back to M$.

    I’ve read about some people who got back about $30 for Vista.

    So you are technically right, since you can return it, in the final summing technically you would not have had to buy Windoze!

    Now if only that was true on site, at the store…

  127. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm:

    You keep talking about things you have no idea about. Aero Minimum System Requirements;

    800 MHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) CPU
    512 MB of system memory – RAM (Integrated UMA Graphics not supported) *
    64 MB Windows Aero-capable DirectX 9-class graphics card **

    * 1 GB of system memory (RAM) is required with Integrated UMA Graphics to use the new Aero interface.
    ** Supported resolution up to but not including 1280×1024 on a Single Monitor System.

    WRONG. M$ was reasonably clear about the requirements: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc507845.aspx

    For Aero you needed “Windows Vista Premium Ready” min specs. That was, per the M$ doc:
    1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.
    1 GB RAM.
    Windows Aero Capable DirectX 9-class GPU that supports:
    * A WDDM Driver
    * Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
    * 32 bits per pixel
    * Adequate graphics memory(3).
    128 MB Graphics Memory.
    40 GB HDD, >15 GB Free Space.
    DVD-ROM drive.

    3. Adequate graphics memory is defined as:
    – 64 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at 1,310,720 or less
    – 128 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolutions 2,304,000 pixels or less
    – 256 MB of graphics memory to support a single monitor at resolutions higher than 2,304,000 pixels
    – Graphics memory bandwidth, as assessed by Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, of at least 1,600 MB per second.

    The 1280×1024 (= 1,310,720 pixels) might let you get by with only 64MB graphics memory, *however* they slipped in Note #6 when mentioning GPU’s supporting WDDM:

    If the GPU uses shared memory, then no additional graphics memory is required beyond the 1 GB system memory requirement; If the GPU uses dedicated memory then 128MB is required.

    Which tends to indicate 128 MB graphics memory may be the real minimum spec with dedicated graphics memory, as given in the first table on that page, not the 64 MB of Note 3.

  128. CodeTech says:

    Wow – first hand knowledge about the same thing from two different perspectives. Interesting!

    Let me throw this in. Windows has evolved into a useful, solid, stable system. Hardware vendors were often guilty of the proprietary hardware syndrome… as an example, when I worked at Tandy in the late 80s they were still selling PCs that used the proprietary Tandy printer cable. Why? Because only they sold the cables. Hardware vendors did NOT want to be selling appliances, they wanted you to buy their products exclusively. That way they could buy more airliners and yachts and… Just look at the ridiculous Microchannel fiasco from IBM… for a while there, IBM was not building “IBM compatible” computers. That miscalculation was a crushing defeat for them, but a GOOD thing for the rest of us. Imagine if the trend in PCs was being set by a giant multinational calculating machine company from the 1800s. Whether you hate MS or not, it was their work that freed us from what could have been. Bill Gates recognized early on that the hardware was eventually going to be secondary, but MOST of us remember a time when the hardware was primary.

    Microsoft has a lot of “sweat equity” in Windows. They have put immense R&D into it, and to be honest I think they deserve their position. Remember that Intel was also in on it, in fact the 386 was partly spec’d by MS since Intel didn’t seem to understand what was needed. Those who say Windows is crap, without qualifying which part or in which way, seem to have stopped looking some time ago. I agree with PopTech that the biggest issues I ever had to deal with were drivers. The OS itself has been quite stable since 3.1

    How about this: if someone would create a version of Linux (which they could if they had the capital) that could replace Windows on desktops, it would quickly drop Windows off the planet. But nobody has. Just because I could get a decent GUI and system set up on Linux doesn’t mean everyone can, and since computers have become “appliances” any current implementation of Linux is perceived as more of the hobbyist toy than a serious OS. Yes, I know the difference, but that is the perception. In fact, Android is a fairly thin veneer on Linux, but someone put a lot of R&D into making it a genuine OS. And even though Open Office is pretty good, if it was a for-sale retail product it would be considered total crap. Without a single guiding hand it is riddled with inconsistencies, horrid documentation, vastly different design concepts inside each module, and a general feel of amateurishness.

    And that’s where most Open-Source and Linux based apps stand today. There is some awesome stuff. Linux is excellent in underlying mechanicals, it’s the underpinning of the entire Internet after all, but I’ve seen more user interface faux pas and downright obtuse software in the Linux world than Windows could ever hope to generate.

    By the way, kadaka, when Vista first came out a lot of computers were sold as “Vista Capable” that weren’t. I knew several people that got suckered into them. That was a horrible miscalculation by MS, it killed the brand, and turned a lot of people away from Windows that otherwise could have just skipped that generation. Sure, they ran Vista. But nothing else. Like, you know, any useful applications. But they looked pretty.

    My point is that the perception was more important than the reality. Vista worked great on capable computers, but the hardware requirements were too steep for it to be a simple upgrade. Up until that point all Windows iterations were incremental. A Win95 machine could run Win98, often better because most of the drivers were included in 98 that they had to install for 95. ME was a travesty (I was one of those kicked out of ME beta because we refused to sign off on what we knew was a buggy, unstable OS). The leap to NT-based Windows changed it all. The 2000->XP->Vista->7 chain has a gaping chasm after XP that probably should have had something in between.

    I think both kadaka and PopTech have valid points, instead of seeing this as an argument or disagreement might it not be better to find that middle ground?

    Windows is not that bad, but it’s also not as good as it could be. Win8 has taken too many years of development time for an interface that could possibly kill the brand. As many people know, the man responsible for Win8 resigned the week it was released.
    http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2224304/windows-8-creator-steven-sinofsky-resigns-from-microsoft

  129. Glurtch says:

    Here is how I see it as an average home pc user.

    When I used to run windows I trembled in my boots whenever there was a
    glitch with windows, and I bowed down to whatever the windows Gods
    told me I had to do to keep my OS running.

    The reason was that, like most windows users I suspect, I thought
    I had nowhere else to go; I thought linux was a command-line
    geeks-only OS and that if I wanted to have a home computer and do
    my email and newsgroup and web-surfing stuff, I had to use windows.

    When I finally got adventurous enough to try Mandriva, I was
    astounded that the thing had a gui install and that you could run
    firefox and opera and email and news clients!

    I got rid of windows and never looked back, except for installing
    Wine so that I can run one utility I like that was written for
    windows.

    These days I run Mint 14 and though I prefer it, I don’t deeply
    care if it becomes unusable for some reason, because I can install
    Ubuntu or Debian and have the same programs running from my daily
    /home file backups in an hour or two.

    I make a full backup of the OS every few days by running re-do:
    The backup takes about 4 minutes, and the re-install, which I
    tested, takes about the same length.

    And it is free. I forgot to mention that that is another great
    motivator to move from Windows to Linux: Anything you want to do
    with a computer can be done with Linux, and the programs are
    available with a few clicks – no going to download.com and hunting
    for the free trial version of something. Man, what a farce that is
    – I mean paying for software. All part of the Windows treadmill.

    If you want to do just the ‘average’ things: email, news, surfing, playing music, downloading torrents, editing videos from your video camera, doing fancy graphic work, spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, etc., then the gui programs are available, probably already installed.

    If you want to do more, you may or may not have a gui, and may or
    may not have to edit a config file.

    I am not too technical, but have managed to run a web server and
    an email relay, and two surveillance cameras with motion detection
    and backup of the .avi files 24 hours /day, and did it without much
    trouble. And the help available at forums.linuxmint.com and
    forums.ubuntu.com is excellent.

    I can not tell you how good it is not to be under the thumb of
    windows; and all it takes, at least for a home user, is to realize
    that linux is easy to install and run.

  130. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: WRONG. M$ was reasonably clear about the requirements:

    Um, no I am note wrong. What I stated was Aero’s minimum requirements NOT the recommended ones. I am well aware of the details of what is needed to run Aero and at what resolutions. Your inability to understand what you are reading is amazing. “Windows Vista Premium Ready” requirements are NOT Aero’s minimum system requirements.

    Maybe you missed these footnotes;

    * 1 GB of system memory (RAM) is required with Integrated UMA Graphics to use the new Aero interface.
    ** Supported resolution up to but not including 1280×1024 on a Single Monitor System.

    These are the full Aero requirements;

    Aero Minimum System Requirements:
    800 MHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) CPU
    512 MB of system memory – RAM (Integrated UMA Graphics not supported) *
    64 MB Windows Aero-capable DirectX 9-class graphics card **

    * 1 GB of system memory (RAM) is required with Integrated UMA Graphics to use the new Aero interface.
    ** Supported resolution up to but not including 1280×1024 on a Single Monitor System.

    Aero Recommended System Requirements:
    1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) CPU
    1 GB of system memory – RAM (Only 256 MB can be used for Integrated UMA Graphics Memory)
    128 MB Windows Aero-capable DirectX 9-class graphics card

    Aero-capable Graphics Requirements:
    DirectX 9-class GPU that supports Pixel Shader 2.0
    Supports a WDDM driver
    Supports 32-bits per pixel
    Passes the Windows Aero acceptance test in the WDK

    (Single Monitor and Mobile Systems)
    – 64 MB up to but not including 1280×1024
    – 128 MB up to and including 1920×1200
    – 256 MB over 1920×1200

    (Desktop dual monitors)
    – 128 MB up to but not including 1280x1024x2
    – 256 MB for larger dual monitor configurations

  131. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: Gee Poptech, if you’re going to do long circuitous ranting, can you at least TRY to format so the quoted and the ranted are more distinct?

    Let me know when the garbage WordPress comment system comes out of the stone age and adds a preview feature.

  132. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: As to the very tail end of it, OEM versions are cheaper because M$ doesn’t do the tech support. The system builder does. If you put a system together for someone, install OEM M$ and sell the complete system to them, YOU are tech support when M$ screws up.

    Name the documented issue an average end user would experience, caused by Microsoft “screwing up” that required calling Microsoft tech support.

    If you put OEM on your own system, and I have, you don’t get to call M$ support when their product goes tits-up. Hopefully you have a working machine somewhere that you can get online with to look for help to get the hosed system working.

    WTF are you talking about? I have never had to call Microsoft support in my life to fix mine or anyone else’s system. All the information you need is freely available online. I personally have multiple systems and multiple smart phones not to mention all the older systems and parts laying around. So if someone only has one system, no smart phone and no friends or family to help they can buy a version with tech support if they wish.

    BTW, historical Pro Tip: Re-installing Windoze did not fix everything. But it did make you wish you had remembered all the tweaks, kludges, and Registry corrections you needed to get the old installation working. Although later (around the ME reign), once the base system was marginally running again, I could just run a System Optimizer a few times until the M$ cruft and errors stopped being detected and fixed.

    You don’t need any tweaks or registry fixes to get ANY version of Windows working out of the box. One of the most idiotic things you can do is run a “system optimizer” which is more likely to break various components in Windows and can actually REDUCE performance by irresponsibly applying worthless “tweaks” that disable performance enhancing features.

    Windows ME worked even more reliable than Windows 98 since all it was, was an updated version of Windows 98SE, with more reliability features built in like system restore. I built hundreds of ME systems without incident and had less tech support calls than 98. You will not find complaints about ME from PC manufacturers but clueless end users who tried to do things like use Windows 95/98 drivers and then whined when their system did not work right. When pressed you can never get anyone who complained about ME to demonstrate a legitimate issue with it that Microsoft did not fix.

    What ordinary user, or someone putting together a system for a friend, would want to put up with that? They’ll go retail box so M$ gets the call.

    What exactly do you need to call Microsoft for that you cannot find online?

    Actually there is. This Dell Optiplex I’m currently using had no OS

    Yes and you can find others as well. My point was the market is effectively non-existent for a very specific reason – customers want an operating system installed when they buy a PC.

    Technically not, in a roundabout way, after many lawsuits. If you want the nice new PC or laptop you’ve seen at Walmart or Best Buy, you’ll be buying it with Windows, can’t be avoided.

    You are not following the conversation and I am not interested in your emotional meaningless rants.

    Who is making you buy a certain PC or Windows? Does someone hold a gun to your head when you make the purchase?

  133. Poptech says:

    CodeTech says: I think both kadaka and PopTech have valid points, instead of seeing this as an argument or disagreement might it not be better to find that middle ground?

    These are not compromise issues but how the Windows operating systems actually work. kadaka obviously has no OEM system builder experience and is spouting off a litany of Internet urban legends, economic fallacies and emotional arguments. Each time I ask him to support one of his ridiculous assertions about Windows he ignores or dodges the question.

    By the way, kadaka, when Vista first came out a lot of computers were sold as “Vista Capable” that weren’t. I knew several people that got suckered into them. That was a horrible miscalculation by MS, it killed the brand, and turned a lot of people away from Windows that otherwise could have just skipped that generation. Sure, they ran Vista. But nothing else. Like, you know, any useful applications. But they looked pretty.

    In most cases all these machines needed was to add more RAM as having Aero running or not really was not that big a deal to Joe user. Here is the difference,

    Not Aero-capable:
    http://home.comcast.net/~supportcd/Images/Windows_Vista_Basic_Visual_Style_HiRes.gif

    Aero-capable:
    http://home.comcast.net/~supportcd/Images/Windows_Vista_Aero_Visual_Style_HiRes.gif

    Win8 has taken too many years of development time for an interface that could possibly kill the brand.

    Windows 8 was not even needed since Windows 7 works perfectly fine. The fix to Windows 8 is incredibly simple;

    1. Make the “metro” interface an optional component during install and something that can be turned off in the control panel. This way it can be used on tablets and media PCs but leave the desktop for people who want to get work done.

    2. Restore the start menu (officially – not with third party hacks).

    With Windows 7 supported until 2020 there is plenty of time to wait for Microsoft to get it right.

  134. clipe says:

    clipe says:
    May 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I have an older free version of Acronis on an old XP machine suffering BSODs.

    In my case, I’m blaming bad drivers or a bad memory stick or a malware infection.

    Some of the error messages encountered… blah, blah, blah…

    Bad memory stick after all.

  135. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 11, 2013 at 9:44 am:

    kadaka obviously has no OEM system builder experience…

    First “PC” was a 386 box, an assembled system bought off the tenants, who used it for some games mainly. Booted with some menu program, Win 3.1 started from DOS, had Office. I put a Wang 9600 baud modem in it, got on Compuserve. Later I eBayed the Cyrix math coprocessor but never opened the pack. Sadly the knob of the 5.25 drive broke, so I left the tower case open so I could reach in and manipulate the mechanism by hand.

    Next was an AST Pentium all-in-one from Walmart, like AST had made a rendition of an early Mac. Slid out the system tray many times, tried faster CPU, more memory, Asus 50x CDROM drive, etc.

    Next box I built myself, eBayed an Asus P2L97 mobo, which didn’t work, got another. Plain beige tower case. Took the PII Slot-1 cartridge. Over the years I tried from 233 to 300MHz, PII cartridge to Celeron bare-board with clipped on fan. Assorted video and modem cards.

    Between that and the current P4 Dell Optiplex, I’ve played with an earlier white “Optiplex”, and an IBM with P3 cartridge CPU. But despite the faster CPU’s, the P2L97 was faster. Fun things under the hood like the IBM could never shut off the on-board integrated graphics so it always used resources even with a video board installed, etc.

    This also lead to the Upgrade chain. The AST came with 95. I learned how to put that on another system. Later came ME, done as an update. So I had to install 95 to install ME. The IBM was a messed-up inventory tracker for a defunct store, took awhile to clear out assorted corporate controls, get it to a base working 98 SE system, which still didn’t work, so became ME.

    And with ME, I needed Norton. Utilities, for deletion, for keeping the Registry working and removing the errors and left-behinds, plus Norton AV of course.

    That P2L97 was my workhorse until the current Optiplex. Which had no OS, got Debian Linux. Since then, I put in more memory and a DVD-RW drive, open up the case to dust off the insides. That’s about it.

    I’ve also more recently eBayed some IBM Thinkpads, working but without HDD’s and chargers and one had no battery, plus no HDD trays and their case covers, etc. Got the stuff, fixed them up, added more memory, etc. Even added a WiFi card to one, under the keyboard.

    One Thinkpad went to poor friends, their first computer in over a decade. I gave it XP Pro, got a Dell restore disk but used the COA on the laptop. They loved it, got WiFi DSL and a printer.

    And I got to play tech support when it got a nasty virus, the type that blocks finding online support and kills the DVD/CD and USB access to prevent removal. They got snippy about the time it took and I had to access their DSL with a different laptop for the removal tool, had to pull the HDD and access it like an external, etc. Later they convinced themselves a call to Verizon would have fixed it all quickly.

    I’ve got the other two Thinkpads, made them dual-boot, Debian and XP (according to their COA’s). The one with the SSD boots Debian in under a minute. For XP, over five minutes later the Avira AV and HP printer/scanner softwares are still trying to search for and download updates, even though there is no local WiFi, DSL connection, and I haven’t yet dialed up the ISP. I took it with me to a place with free WiFi for updating. It was over four minutes until XP let me connect.

    Latest work, Acer Aspire 7736z-4088. Brother tripped and somehow smashed the screen of his girlfriend’s one with his foot. I eBayed one with a bricked mobo, there’s a bad power chip problem with those, laptop will charge but won’t power up. I swapped the entire top lid/screen section. Now I’m trying to recycle the remains. Thanks to a cheap housing, I now have a nice USB DVD-RW drive. And a SATA HDD with Win7 plus a COA to play with.

    It’s obvious you’re too blinded by arrogance and pride to recognize system builder experience.

  136. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) said: It’s obvious you’re too blinded by arrogance and pride to recognize system builder experience.

    None of that is OEM system builder experience as in you built, sold and supported PCs to end users in volume (hundreds to thousands of systems). I started doing all three in volume with DOS 6.x and/or Windows 3.x systems then continued with Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8.

    Your experience is typical of someone who owned various PCs and not what I was referring to. All of you “experience”, is the equivalent to what I might typically have dealt with in a single day.

    It is no surprise you used an upgrade version of Windows ME and experienced problems. Windows Upgrades in general are more problem prone then clean installs if proper preparation is not done or the system is infected with malware (common) or has defective hardware. I simply refused to ever do upgrades and would only do clean installs as no one was going to pay the time possibly need to track an issue down if necessary.

    It is still total nonsense you need Norton Utilities to keep Windows ME’s registry working.

    Again, when I am talking about OEM system builder experience – I am referring to building, selling and supporting PCs to end users in volume (hundreds to thousands of systems). Otherwise your personal experience is anecdotal and should not be used to give advice to anyone let alone how Windows operating systems work.

  137. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Got it, Poptech.

    After a long and prosperous career slinging Windows-running iron, assembled from carefully selected components, with pristine new Windows installs,

    the experiences of someone who was down in the trenches, being their own tech support, building and maintaining their own systems plus fixing some others,

    who learned of Windows quirks and how to fix them, visited the Annoyances.org site for numerous tweaks and fixes used by many others (found in print form in the book series, like Windows Me Annoyances), learned of and installed Tweak UI, improved performance by running IEradicator to excise IE from the deepest depths of ME,

    who improved system stability with Norton, clearing the registry of orphans and mistakes, and even found leftover not-deleted orphan files, etc,

    who spent enough time conversing online to know how common the problems were, as solutions and kludges were shared, and helped many people get their own Windows installations working better,

    that person’s experiences don’t matter, because he wasn’t making money slinging lots of Windows-running iron, assembled from carefully selected new matched components, with pristine new Windows installs, that somehow miraculously ran Windows damn near perfectly flawlessly. That person does not have the experience you approve of, thus to you he has no experience.

    Gee, where have I seen such an attitude before? When someone like Mann or Hansen refuses to listen to an Eschenbach or Watts, because they don’t have the skills, knowledge, or experience that they will recognize.

    Have fun with your blinkered revisionism and/or rose-colored memories, Poptech. I was there, I lived it, I knew many people who also did.

  138. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 11, 2013 at 8:17 am:

    Let me know when the garbage WordPress comment system comes out of the stone age and adds a preview feature.

    Gee, perhaps you could have noticed the many times before when CA Assistant was mentioned, which would easily give you a Preview function.

    Oh wait, you’re a M$ man, and CA-Assistant asks for Firefox, although it works with Mozilla-based browsers in general. As a loyal M$ man, seems likely you run IE, and would never dare touch a filthy “open source” browser, which would likely be of “questionable legality”.

    Your loss.

  139. Poptech says:

    Too bad you did not learn anything from your experiences nor how Windows properly works.

    For instance, orphan registry entries do nothing, they do not reduce system performance and they do not cause problems. Name the “mistake” that was cleared from the registry by Norton that actually fixed a problem. Make sure it is documented online and not some Joe user on a forum somewhere.

    How come Microsoft does not have a registry cleaner utility if such “cleaning” actually fixed problems or improved performance?

    My company serviced PCs as well and I have serviced PCs from every major OEM with every version of Windows since Windows 3.x.

    Everything you have been spouting off about Windows is utterly wrong and misleading to anyone reading this. You are not certified in Windows, have no IT experience and obviously have not read any books or took any courses on how Microsoft Windows operating systems actually work.

    Yes your experiences where you did not understand what the problems were or how to properly fix them does not matter. Like I said I have built and worked on more PCs in one day then you have your entire life. Being ignorant is one thing spreading that ignorance to others is irresponsible.

  140. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: Let me know when the garbage WordPress comment system comes out of the stone age and adds a preview feature.

    Gee, perhaps you could have noticed the many times before when CA Assistant was mentioned, which would easily give you a Preview function.

    Um…. like I said,

    Let me know when the garbage WordPress comment system comes out of the stone age and adds a preview feature.

    Lets see Google’s Blogger has a preview feature and forum software has had it over ten years. No special scripts required.

  141. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 11, 2013 at 11:54 pm:

    Everything you have been spouting off about Windows is utterly wrong and misleading to anyone reading this. You are not certified in Windows, have no IT experience and obviously have not read any books or took any courses on how Microsoft Windows operating systems actually work.

    I thought we already went over this. I have no experience in your eyes. The problems I fixed, did not exist. The solutions I employed, solved nothing. Windows would have run perfectly fine if I hadn’t been trying to fix it after it broke. My memories are lies, my reality was not real. You made much money pushing Wonderful Windows, I did not, therefore you are the expert, and I am completely ignorant.

    Yada yada yada, etc etc.

    Oh well, it’s been five years since I’ve used M$ as a main OS, I only keep it for the odd site that insists on it for some reason… And since that equipment came with the COA’s, I own those licenses anyway, it’s already paid for.

    Now I just run Debian Linux daily, and forget the daily angst of closing a program with crossed fingers, hoping that Norton will catch it when it would otherwise crash the system, especially if it’s an unresponsive program running in the deep background that’s not shutting down, that Windows apparently doesn’t even know is running, that I needed Norton to find the resource-hogger grinding the machine to a standstill, that with Norton’s help I’d try to close and pray…

  142. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Re Poptech on May 12, 2013 at 12:01 am:

    Got it. With minimal effort you could have the Preview function. But WordPress is remiss and disrespectful by not automatically handing it to you on a silver platter, as other sites do, as you deserve to be treated, therefore you will wait until WordPress shows you proper respect and complain about the lack and how your posts were mangled due to WordPress’ thoughtlessness. Perfectly understandable.

  143. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: I thought we already went over this. I have no experience in your eyes. The problems I fixed, did not exist. The solutions I employed, solved nothing. Windows would have run perfectly fine if I hadn’t been trying to fix it after it broke. My memories are lies, my reality was not real. You made much money pushing Wonderful Windows, I did not, therefore you are the expert, and I am completely ignorant.

    Prove me wrong, name a single “fix” for a legitimate documented problem with a Windows operating system that a solution was not available from Microsoft’s website.

    So far you have spouted off piles of BS and failed to back up a single one of your nonsensical claims. Yes, you are very ignorant of Windows operating systems.

  144. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: Got it. With minimal effort you could have the Preview function. But WordPress is remiss and disrespectful by not automatically handing it to you on a silver platter, as other sites do, as you deserve to be treated, therefore you will wait until WordPress shows you proper respect and complain about the lack and how your posts were mangled due to WordPress’ thoughtlessness. Perfectly understandable.

    Yes, the WordPress comment system is pure garbage. It is missing very basic and ancient features such as Comment Preview. Just because you don’t understand this is not my problem.

    I am not going to install special extensions/scripts because WordPress sucks, least of all just to make one comment system work properly. Not to mention I use Google Chrome not Firefox and do not bog my browsers down with worthless extensions. I have exactly one extension installed for a reason.

  145. Poptech says:

    kadaka, Forget even my extensive experience, name the major PC Manufacturer that required third party utilities or tweaks to keep Windows 9x/ME “stable”.

    Surely you can name one. It can’t possibly be you had no idea what was really wrong with your system and what the cause of the problems were, which unfortunately was likely you. Anyone who would foolishly use a program like “IEradicator” not understanding the consequences of ripping out system components that have operating system dependencies has no business giving anyone advice. The more you go on about your “experiences” the clearer it is the problem was you.

    I am still waiting for you to answer any one of my dozens of questions.

  146. Poptech says:

    Windows system instability problems are most commonly cause by one of three things,

    1. Malware infection
    2. Defective, Overclocked or Misconfigured Hardware
    3. Faulty Drivers

    …this is especially true on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8 systems.

    clipe here is a perfect example and he knew exactly the most common things to look for. That is the difference between someone who knows that they are doing and people like you.

  147. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm:

    The “message board” is Slashdot. Are you new to the Internet or just tech sites? ROFLMAO!

    So Slashdot is free of internet message board whining? How surprising! But then you’re the computer expert, I just called it like I saw it.

    And the Linux codec issue is not “crap” but legitimate,

    [links]

    So legitimate an issue that Canonical (Ubuntu) licensed H.264,

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/05/canonical_h264_video/

    If you had bothered to read the backstory linked to in that piece, you’d have known that was when Canonical was opening their “Ubuntu One” music store, making them a different species of commercial beast. So buying a H.264 license was a CYA maneuver.

    But that was back in 2010. Nowadays, Debian 7 (Wheezy) just released.

    Swapping out some audio tools isn’t nearly as big a deal as what libav-tools adds to the mix, namely baked in codec support for MP3 and AAC audio as well as H.264 video. In most cases that means installing third-party “restricted” packages shouldn’t be necessary. Yes, it’s true, Debian now has possibly some of the best out of the box codec support you’re likely to find. And fear not, libav-tools has all the libraries you need for media playing apps such as mplayer and VLC.

    And from May 9, Google’s cloud dumps custom Linux, switches to Debian.

    So H.264 licensing is revealed as a non-issue. And Google, which would be a juicy lawsuit target, ain’t worried about using Debian for their commercial cloud server service.

    Which makes that guy back on Slashdot who said Linux users have to get their own “av decoders” licenses or they could get sued in the US, look like just another bulletin board whiner.

  148. bob alou says:

    I had a very similar problem after uninstalling Java on Windows7. An infinite boot loop just after the logo. Tried everything i could think of and find on the web. No luck. Only recourse was to reinstall the original image and start over from scratch. Java was throwing error after error after an update and even going back to the very first restore point would not fix it. If it wasn’t for my substantial investment in software I would be tempted to go to Linux.

  149. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: So Slashdot is free of internet message board whining? How surprising! But then you’re the computer expert, I just called it like I saw it.

    No, the fact that you did not know of Slashdot demonstrates to everyone technically proficient here you have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t need to prove anything else.

    If you had bothered to read the backstory linked to in that piece, you’d have known that was when Canonical was opening their “Ubuntu One” music store, making them a different species of commercial beast. So buying a H.264 license was a CYA maneuver.

    Are you incapable of understanding anything you read? Why would canonical license a video codex (H.264) for a music store?

    The real back story is here,

    http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Canonical-clarifies-its-H-264-licence-993182.html

  150. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm:

    No, the fact that you did not know of Slashdot demonstrates…

    The fact that you found what I said to be proof that I did not know of Slashdot, and thus would be ignorant of the ancient element of internet lore of being slashdotted, demonstrates enough about you.

    Besides, I don’t see how knowing about Slashdot can be some requirement for “technological proficiency”. I’ve always liked El Reg for comp tech news, I can search for info.

    Perhaps you’re like those D-day “experts” who’d interrogate to search for German infiltrators in the ranks by asking if the person knew who’d won the World Series in what year, as “of course” all Americans would know that.

    Why would canonical license a video codex (H.264) for a music store?

    Music, music videos, video compression. iTunes started with music, now does video content. Is it that hard for you to see the natural progression? While researching I noted concerns about Google, due to owning YouTube, needing a license IF they charged for watching videos, but they don’t so they don’t.

    So if Canonical would sell H.264-compressed content…

    But with some searching, a succinct summary was found:

    Canonical has licensed H264 so that it can offer it as an option to OEMs, just as it does with Flash, Fluendo, and some others.

    That’s it. If OEMs want it, there it is. Corporate CYA, at a pricing structure of nothing to next to nothing. Dirt cheap insurance for the asking.

    Which mean that guy back on Slashdot who said Linux users have to get their own “av decoders” licenses or they could get sued in the US, still looks like just another bulletin board whiner.

  151. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 12, 2013 at 2:20 am:

    clipe here is a perfect example and he knew exactly the most common things to look for. That is the difference between someone who knows that they are doing and people like you.

    clipe started with:

    In my case, I’m blaming bad drivers or a bad memory stick or a malware infection.

    Note the order. First off, XP likes drivers to be vetted, and can search for such online, including better ones. Granted, I have yet to have XP actually find a better driver online, or any online, when it searches itself. But still, if it’s a MS signed driver then it should be trustworthy and trouble-free, yes?

    So blaming drivers with XP and above should be held for later, at which point you’d back down to using only signed drivers, and work back in the “manufacturer says it is safe” only as absolutely needed.

    Malware checking should be the first thing done, because those are system scans you should be running regardless.

    However, you need to be prepared to do it outside your normal system experience. Boot from CD/DVD-ROM, un-writable media, to prevent contamination. Already have all fresh definition files downloaded and burned, because you’ll be checking without outside connections.

    I’ve also pulled a boot drive, and scanned it as storage on another machine. Windows also likes to hide files, for certain infections you may have to delete and replace some files with something running a different OS.

    Memory is about the last thing to check, I rarely have a problem. The power-on check isn’t worth much, but stress-testing programs are readily available. Although there are certain telltales, namely “flaky” faults, intermittent, seemingly random.

    But if I suspect a memory fault, first I pop the lid. Remove the sticks, blow the slots clean, replace the sticks. Merely re-seating the memory has fixed memory problems. Likewise some malfunctions of devices have been cured by re-seating connectors, re-seating cards. Also switch positions. As I’ve seen on older equipment, merely swapping a card position can fix problems. One type of card might not work consistently next to another, etc. These days much more is already integrated on the mobo, less cards thus less problems.

    clipe eventually found it to be a bad stick of memory. I hope he did the re-seating check, plus single use if applicable, as when you have multiple sticks installed but can run on one so you try running on only the suspect stick.

  152. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 12, 2013 at 2:13 am:

    kadaka, Forget even my extensive experience, name the major PC Manufacturer that required third party utilities or tweaks to keep Windows 9x/ME “stable”.

    Gee, great job moving the goalposts when it looks like you’ll lose.

    And there it is. If you’re a major PC manufacturer, you’re working closely with M$ under the cloak of NDA’s, and you have all the information you need to make certain the preloaded M$ you’re shipping installed on your PC will work on that PC. That includes having tailored proprietary drivers, even tailored M$ if needed.

    But when it comes time to “upgrade” the M$, no guarantees. Hell, machines got broken with Service Packs.

    So fresh out of the box, didn’t need “third party utilities or tweaks”. Although you could see that stuff with the bundled software.

    But change just about anything, make it not exactly the box that was sold with that specific M$ version that worked with the included restore disks, and stability could go south real quick.

    It can’t possibly be you had no idea what was really wrong with your system and what the cause of the problems were, which unfortunately was likely you.

    Sorry I can’t participate in your blaming fantasy, but I did a lot of online researching over the years, found solutions ad tools I could trust, that worked. I did make some mistakes, and fixed them, part of the learning process. Learned a lot.

    Of course now with Debian Linux I haven’t had those issues for years, skills get rusty… When was the last time you booted off a DOS disk so you could change attributes of files ME refused to acknowledge so you could see and delete them? Nothing else got rid of those unneeded Sys Restore files.

    Anyone who would foolishly use a program like “IEradicator” not understanding the consequences of ripping out system components that have operating system dependencies has no business giving anyone advice.

    Too bad your selective amnesia forgets that period.

    My system was particularly fun. If a program terminated funny or if ME found another reason to call up Help and Support, it used the built-in IE, phoned home to M$ to retrieve info… Well, that was the theory, in practice it practically guaranteed a system crash by taking what would have been a chancy bit while the system settled down after an event, and draining resources in an uninterruptible fashion that resulted in a system freeze or crash. I had no need for IE, had to get rid of it.

    Wikipedia has a good entry, Removal of Internet Explorer:

    The idea of removing a stock install of Internet Explorer from a Windows system was proposed during the United States v. Microsoft case, and Microsoft themselves acknowledged that many users did not want IE.[9] One of Microsoft’s arguments during the trial, however, was that removing Internet Explorer from Windows may result in system instability.

    The Australian computer scientist Shane Brooks demonstrated that Windows 98 could in fact run with Internet Explorer removed.[10] Brooks made his work available as a freeware removal utility called IEradicator, which removes all versions of IE from all versions of Windows 9x. Another programmer named Bruce Jensen published a similar utility called “Revenge of Mozilla.” Shane Brooks went on to develop more a more sophisticated program for Windows 98 and ME, marketed as 98lite, which turns IE, along with several other “mandatory” Windows components, into optional components that can be added or removed from the OS at will. He later created XPLite, which renders many parts of Windows 2000 and XP into optional components. Both of Brooks’s programs can remove IE after the installation of the operating system.

    Good writeup. As it says could happen, Help and Support was hosed, but before it was self-hosing so no loss. There went Outlook Express, which I didn’t use and didn’t want the vulnerability to viruses.

    All in all, my computer was better for it.

    The more you go on about your “experiences” the clearer it is the problem was you.

    The sad part is, you refuse to acknowledge your problem. I was there, I know what I did and why I did it, and it worked. I was no great innovator. I researched, I did what worked for others, that worked for me too.

    You are saying the problems didn’t exist, or were caused by trying to fix things that weren’t broken (despite obvious appearances). You are arguing the existence of mass delusion accounted for the perceived M$ flaws, including the many perceptions of those flaws being fixed. Which is sad.

  153. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 12, 2013 at 1:52 am:

    Yes, the WordPress comment system is pure garbage. It is missing very basic and ancient features such as Comment Preview. Just because you don’t understand this is not my problem.

    I am not going to install special extensions/scripts because WordPress sucks, least of all just to make one comment system work properly. Not to mention I use Google Chrome not Firefox and do not bog my browsers down with worthless extensions. I have exactly one extension installed for a reason.

    I’ve used comment systems with built-in Preview before. It sends what you’ve typed over to the server side, renders it (hopefully) as it’ll appear. Repeat process for every little change. Gets annoying on dial-up, the back-and-forth takes so long.

    And every time, server-side resources get used. WordPress-dot-com is a free service for bloggers, although they offer premium hosting. So Preview would eat up resources for a non-essential feature.

    Or you could have client-side Preview. Which will require additional scripts be downloaded with the page. And since there will be no modules or such downloaded and installed on the client device, the engine will be redundantly downloaded for each page, every time, every refresh.

    You’re complaining about “worthless extensions”. Thus I doubt you’d be interested in installing a “wordpress commenting” plug-in to give you Preview and other features, as you don’t want the offered solution.

    Which leaves us with you complaining that a free service is unwilling to pay for a luxury item that you consider a requirement for a modern respectable establishment.

    And I must agree, how WordPress has treated you is appalling, especially considering how much you have paid them to use their site.

  154. Poptech says:

    kadaka, you have already proven you should not be given anyone advice. Your delayed post clearly shows you asked someone in a desperate attempt to know what you are talking about. Maybe you missed the order I already stated to check things in,

    1. Malware infection
    2. Defective, Overclocked or Misconfigured Hardware
    3. Faulty Drivers

    Note the order. First off, XP likes drivers to be vetted, and can search for such online, including better ones. Granted, I have yet to have XP actually find a better driver online, or any online, when it searches itself. But still, if it’s a MS signed driver then it should be trustworthy and trouble-free, yes?

    So blaming drivers with XP and above should be held for later, at which point you’d back down to using only signed drivers, and work back in the “manufacturer says it is safe” only as absolutely needed.

    Technically what to blame in what order completely depends on what error is being received.

    When updating drivers, it is always recommend to use WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs testing) drivers if possible. These will be the most reliable and least likely to cause problems. However they are not always available.

    However, you need to be prepared to do it outside your normal system experience. Boot from CD/DVD-ROM, un-writable media, to prevent contamination. Already have all fresh definition files downloaded and burned, because you’ll be checking without outside connections.

    I’ve also pulled a boot drive, and scanned it as storage on another machine. Windows also likes to hide files, for certain infections you may have to delete and replace some files with something running a different OS.

    This can be done but is not necessary. Anti-Rootkit scanners like TDSSKiller will find any hidden files as that is what they are designed to do. Windows does not hide any files that a regular anti-malware program cannot scan.

    Memory is about the last thing to check, I rarely have a problem.

    You rarely have a problem? So? You have worked on next to no systems and have no such experience to be given such advice. Memory next to mechanical HDs and fans is the most failure prone component in a PC. Memory should always be tested on new systems and when troubleshooting system crashes or instability. Google found DIMM error rates are hundreds to thousands of times higher than thought;

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/dram-error-rates-nightmare-on-dimm-street/638

    The power-on check isn’t worth much, but stress-testing programs are readily available. Although there are certain telltales, namely “flaky” faults, intermittent, seemingly random.

    You don’t need to run stress testing on RAM, just memtest86+ – http://www.memtest.org/

    But if I suspect a memory fault, first I pop the lid. Remove the sticks, blow the slots clean, replace the sticks. Merely re-seating the memory has fixed memory problems. Likewise some malfunctions of devices have been cured by re-seating connectors, re-seating cards. Also switch positions. As I’ve seen on older equipment, merely swapping a card position can fix problems. One type of card might not work consistently next to another, etc. These days much more is already integrated on the mobo, less cards thus less problems.

    This may fix a POST issue but is unlikely to fix a memory failure issue. And the only “blowing” that should be done is with compressed air. Reseating what connectors? What are you talking about? On older systems (10+ years) certain PCI slots would be designated to share IRQs that may cause a problem with badly written drivers. These issues are uncommon today and at the time easily to diagnose if you knew what you were doing.

    clipe eventually found it to be a bad stick of memory. I hope he did the re-seating check, plus single use if applicable, as when you have multiple sticks installed but can run on one so you try running on only the suspect stick.

    Unless he had a POST issue this would be unnecessary. When testing memory you would test one module at a time with a diagnostic program not by guessing. Of course this is easier if you have a $4000 dollar standalone memory tester, most home users do not have access to such devices. http://www.memorytester.com/

  155. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: And there it is. If you’re a major PC manufacturer, you’re working closely with M$ under the cloak of NDA’s, and you have all the information you need to make certain the preloaded M$ you’re shipping installed on your PC will work on that PC. That includes having tailored proprietary drivers, even tailored M$ if needed.

    I never signed an NDA. There was no insider information needed, you just needed to make sure the hardware met the OS system requirements, was not defective and OS compatible drivers were available. Microsoft does not provide “tailored drivers”, they simply repackage drivers submitted to them from the hardware manufacturers and provide WHQL certification to drivers that pass. You just keep digging your BS hole deeper and deeper.

    But when it comes time to “upgrade” the M$, no guarantees. Hell, machines got broken with Service Packs.

    More BS, if an update was legitimately causing something to break it is pulled by Microsoft and fixed. So long as the system is malware free and the hardware is working properly updates will install fine.

    So fresh out of the box, didn’t need “third party utilities or tweaks”. Although you could see that stuff with the bundled software.
    No system fresh or ten years old needs third party utilities or tweaks to be “stable”. The bundled software was based on deals made by the OEMs. They are a way to make extra money on the razor thin margins OEMs operate on.

    Again name the major system OEM that required such utilities or tweaks to keep Windows “stable”.

    But change just about anything, make it not exactly the box that was sold with that specific M$ version that worked with the included restore disks, and stability could go south real quick.

    I am sure someone like you could find ways to do this by irresponsibly applying nonsense they read online by people who do not know what they are talking about. The rest of us have systems that work perfectly fine.

    Sorry I can’t participate in your blaming fantasy, but I did a lot of online researching over the years, found solutions ad tools I could trust, that worked. I did make some mistakes, and fixed them, part of the learning process. Learned a lot.

    Clearly you do not know how to properly do this type of research as you have fallen for various Internet myths and urban legends.

    Of course now with Debian Linux I haven’t had those issues for years, skills get rusty… When was the last time you booted off a DOS disk so you could change attributes of files ME refused to acknowledge so you could see and delete them? Nothing else got rid of those unneeded Sys Restore files.

    What are you talking about? A DOS boot disk would not be able to read the FAT32 file system. Windows ME also got rid of Real Mode DOS which made it more stable. All proper troubleshooting procedures for system restore in ME were available from Microsoft,
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306768

    Too bad your selective amnesia forgets that period.

    No I remember fixing many people’s systems that did stupid things like rip IE out of it. They got charged for it too. All my customers who listened did not have such problems.

    LMAO, Wikipedia is the last place you should using to research something. There is not a single documented legitimate issue that using any of these programs fixed. To the contrary they actually caused system instability issues, broke Windows components and third party programs and caused necessary components like Windows Update to no longer work.

    My company made sure to note that the use of any such programs voided your warranty. If you wanted you system fixed after irresponsibly ripping the OS apart you were going to pay.

    You were there along with the legions of online clueless individuals who thought that anything that was returned by am Internet search was true. Windows Internet myths and urban legends were much more rampant in those days. I was there too, fixing all the problems clueless individuals like yourself caused.

  156. Poptech says:

    kadaka, I don’t pay Blogger a dime and they provide the comment preview feature. Forum software has had this feature since the Internet stone age. It is not a luxury feature but a necessary one anytime you are dealing with HTML code.

  157. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm:

    kadaka, you have already proven you should not be given anyone advice. Your delayed post clearly shows you asked someone in a desperate attempt to know what you are talking about.

    It’s official. You are stupid. Hate to be so blunt, but you keep making it obvious.

    Because I didn’t think much of some rambling in the middle of a long comment chain, you found this to be proof I didn’t know about Slashdot which somehow indicated technical incompetence.

    Now because I had other things to do than quickly reply to your posts, over Mother’s Day, this is proof to you I had to ask someone for info.

    Which also carries the additional insult of stating I had to ask someone rather than just search for myself.

    You are a moron.

  158. Poptech says:

    Kadaka, Sorry, I’ve never met a person who works in a computer related field who does not know of Slashdot. It is proof positive to anyone reading this who knows what they are talking about that you have limited knowledge of technical issues. Everyone reading this can see that you failed to answer all of my questions and failed to support your nonsense “advice” with legitimate sources. Please spare anyone you come in contact with by NOT giving them technical advice.

  159. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Poptech spewed on May 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm:

    What are you talking about? A DOS boot disk would not be able to read the FAT32 file system. Windows ME also got rid of Real Mode DOS which made it more stable. All proper troubleshooting procedures for system restore in ME were available from Microsoft,
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306768

    *ahem*

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/154997

    Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98, and Windows Me include an updated version of the FAT file system. This updated version is called FAT32. The FAT32 file system allows for a default cluster size as small as 4 KB, and includes support for EIDE hard disk sizes larger than 2 gigabytes (GB).

    Thus my Win 95 OSR2 DOS boot disk, with “emergency” command line utilities, was able to recognize my ME drive, allowing me to recursively change attributes for all of _RESTORE to unhidden and writeable, so I could see and delete all those unwanted restore points that were filling up my HDD. That WERE NOT magically deleted by merely turning off System Restore as M$ was advising.

    It was also fun to have _RESTORE show up in Windows Explorer, where I could make sure it stayed empty. It actually took awhile for ME to accept saying NO to System Restore really meant NO, it kept spontaneously turning on.

  160. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: Thus my Win 95 OSR2 DOS boot disk, with “emergency” command line utilities, was able to recognize my ME drive, allowing me to recursively change attributes for all of _RESTORE to unhidden and writeable, so I could see and delete all those unwanted restore points that were filling up my HDD. That WERE NOT magically deleted by merely turning off System Restore as M$ was advising.

    It was also fun to have _RESTORE show up in Windows Explorer, where I could make sure it stayed empty. It actually took awhile for ME to accept saying NO to System Restore really meant NO, it kept spontaneously turning on.

    A Windows 95 OSR2 Boot disk is not a “DOS” boot disk. To delete system restore points in Windows ME you simply needed to 1. turn off System Restore, 2. restart your computer, and 3. turn on System Restore – that’s it. If this was not deleting the restore points then it is likely you broke it by irresponsibly using a utility like ieradicator, a registry cleaner or optimizer. In which case your Windows installation likely either needed to be re-installed. Except you look for hacks to fix your hacked up system, hilarious. You cannot even recognize you are likely the problem.

  161. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Poptech spewed on May 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm:

    A Windows 95 OSR2 Boot disk is not a “DOS” boot disk.

    *ahem*

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/284943
    How to Create a Windows 95 Startup Disk in MS-DOS

    You make the floppy with Win95. You boot with it, you get a command prompt. It boots you into DOS, it does not also start up the Win95 GUI. It’s a DOS boot disk.

  162. Poptech says:

    A Windows 95 Startup Disk is NOT a “DOS” Boot disk – it is a Windows 95 Startup Disk that loads to the Windows 95 MS-DOS Mode. The last “[MS-]DOS” boot disk that could be made was for MS-DOS 6.22. A regular Windows 95 Startup Disk will not be able to read FAT32. You should always use a startup disk for the operating system you are using. If you are using Windows ME, you should create a Windows ME startup disk – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/267287.

  163. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Good news Poptech, found the names! It has been awhile, and even though I used the tools, I was forgetting what they were called.

    I was using Norton SystemWorks, which included Utilities.

    The major thing was CleanSweep. It made System Restore redundant, as I could (normally) easily restore to before an installation. The Smart Sweep and Internet Sweep parts were nice, and automatically detected when something was tampering with the system. It also had Registry tools that took care of bad entries, and also allowed cleaner editing than regedit.

    Crash Guard with Anti Freeze was needed. Not only with crashing, but when resources were hogged. Remember the bad old days of the internet, when attempting to leave a site could trigger the the apparently-infinite spawning of more windows? Ctrl-alt-del, call up the list of running programs, kill the browser. Likewise there were “closed” programs that never fully shut down, that I killed with Norton.

    Plus there was System Doctor, with which you could assemble a nice little panel of things you want to keep track of, like CPU usage, memory free, open files, partition free space, etc.

    And of course there was WinDoctor, the fixing of (common?) Windows problems, system optimization…

    Poptech spewed on May 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm:

    If this was not deleting the restore points then it is likely you broke it by irresponsibly using a utility like ieradicator, a registry cleaner or optimizer. In which case your Windows installation likely either needed to be re-installed. Except you look for hacks to fix your hacked up system, hilarious. You cannot even recognize you are likely the problem.

    Yes I dared to use Norton to keep my system running, virus-free, and optimized. I should have realized Symantec was a bunch of fly-by-night hacks that I should never have trusted, since they were obviously completely inept and knew virtually nothing about how Windows worked.

    In any case, turning off System Restore didn’t remove the old restore points, it only made System Restore forget them when it was turned back on. Norton could still see them. I checked online, it was a bug others also had, the old files were not deleted. Some were formatting their HDDs for clean installs, even aggressively wiping them back to bare metal, to recover the disk space.

    Norton balked at deleting the restore points as their attributes flagged them as important read-only system files. WinME wouldn’t even show me the directory. Thus the old school approach, boot DOS, change attributes, problem got solved.

  164. Poptech says:

    This is a prime example why people like Kadaka have no idea what they are talking about. Windows 95 came with a custom version of MS-DOS that did exactly two things,

    1. Served as a boot loader
    2. Acted as the 16-bit legacy device driver layer

    There was a lot of confusion about this when Windows 95 was released and tons of misinformation on the Internet and apparently to this day.

  165. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) falsely believed: Good news Poptech, found the names! It has been awhile, and even though I used the tools, I was forgetting what they were called.

    I was using Norton SystemWorks, which included Utilities.

    The major thing was CleanSweep. It made System Restore redundant, as I could (normally) easily restore to before an installation. The Smart Sweep and Internet Sweep parts were nice, and automatically detected when something was tampering with the system. It also had Registry tools that took care of bad entries, and also allowed cleaner editing than regedit.

    Norton Utilities ceased being useful once Peter Norton sold the company, which was way before Windows 95. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has been in IT since the 80s – nobody uses them except end users who know nothing and saw the box in a store. The “utilities” for Windows 9x were a waste of system resources.

    Crash Guard with Anti Freeze was needed. Not only with crashing, but when resources were hogged. Remember the bad old days of the internet, when attempting to leave a site could trigger the the apparently-infinite spawning of more windows? Ctrl-alt-del, call up the list of running programs, kill the browser. Likewise there were “closed” programs that never fully shut down, that I killed with Norton.

    Needed by who? People who irresponsibly hack their systems apart? I never needed it and neither did any of my hundreds of customers. Nothing was more hilarious when I saw Norton Crash Guard crash. People were wasting money on the “First Aid” program at the time too. All the REAL problems here again were virus infections, defective hardware (back then – mainly HDs) and driver issues. At that time since RAM was expensive, systems were not coming with much and Windows 9x being a 32-bit OS means it was paging a lot so the HD was being taxed.

    Plus there was System Doctor, with which you could assemble a nice little panel of things you want to keep track of, like CPU usage, memory free, open files, partition free space, etc. And of course there was WinDoctor, the fixing of (common?) Windows problems, system optimization…

    These programs did nothing special and never fixed any problems. Well, they did claim “xxx errors fixed!” and they did not optimize jack as these systems ran slow as hell with that stuff installed. Though I guess it made you feel better.

    Yes I dared to use Norton to keep my system running, virus-free, and optimized. I should have realized Symantec was a bunch of fly-by-night hacks that I should never have trusted, since they were obviously completely inept and knew virtually nothing about how Windows worked.

    No, the Norton AV detection rates were good but the versions for Win9x systems were bloated and slow. The Utilities were a waste of money.

    In any case, turning off System Restore didn’t remove the old restore points, it only made System Restore forget them when it was turned back on. Norton could still see them. I checked online, it was a bug others also had, the old files were not deleted. Some were formatting their HDDs for clean installs, even aggressively wiping them back to bare metal, to recover the disk space.

    It was a real bug? Prove it, show me the documented issue by Microsoft or any major System OEM to confirm it was a real bug. I am not interested in what a bunch of clueless users who irresponsibly hacked their systems apart whined about and did not understand.

    “Wiping them back to bare metal” – WTF are you talking about? That is the most ridiculous and technically inept statement I have ever heard. You keep demonstrating you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. Why do you keep digging this hole so big? You apparently really do not believe that I have built and serviced over 10,000 systems.

  166. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Poptech said on May 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm:

    This is a prime example why people like Kadaka have no idea what they are talking about. Windows 95 came with a custom version of MS-DOS that did exactly two things,

    1. Served as a boot loader
    2. Acted as the 16-bit legacy device driver layer

    There was a lot of confusion about this when Windows 95 was released and tons of misinformation on the Internet and apparently to this day.

    I give you Microsoft’s own directions for creating a DOS boot disk with utilities with Win95.

    Now you’re basically claiming that is impossible, the MS-DOS with 95 couldn’t do that. Therefore you know better than Microsoft what they were releasing.

    Except the stripped-down DOS wasn’t Win95, it was WinME:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/269524
    Overview of Real Mode Removal from Windows Millennium Edition

    Win95 ran over MS-DOS, it was just a GUI.

  167. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Poptech exclaimed on May 14, 2013 at 10:39 pm:

    “Wiping them back to bare metal” – WTF are you talking about? That is the most ridiculous and technically inept statement I have ever heard. You keep demonstrating you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    Oh come on, that’s one of the most basic things about hard drives.

    Reformatting does not necessarily erase the old files. Indeed “quick formatting” just basically forgets where they were, over time the old files might get overwritten. But until then, while the directory doesn’t show them, there are still old files lurking on the HDD. That could be recovered relatively easily.

    If you want an absolutely clean drive, all the old files and that data erased for certain, you “wipe them back to bare metal” by running secure wiping software. There have been many versions of it over the years. All traces of any old files are gone.

    Which would guarantee that even hidden “un-erasable” files are gone, and all possible disk space has been freed.

    Here, I found an informative piece that you could educate yourself with:

    http://gizmodo.com/5489933/leave-no-trace-how-to-completely-erase-your-hard-drives-ssds-and-thumb-drives

  168. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Nope, I was wrong, just a bit. It was a tricky piece about Win95 and DOS, and it’s been well over a decade since it meant anything, think I only heard it once or twice.

    I found it in a blog post by Raymond Chen, Windows developer, a little tidbit of lost lore:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2007/12/24/6849530.aspx
    What was the role of MS-DOS in Windows 95?

    MS-DOS served two purposes in Windows 95.

    * It served as the boot loader.
    * It acted as the 16-bit legacy device driver layer.

    When Windows 95 started up, a customized version of MS-DOS was loaded, and it’s that customized version that processed your CONFIG.SYS file, launched COMMAND.COM, which ran your AUTOEXEC.BAT and which eventually ran WIN.COM, which began the process of booting up the VMM, or the 32-bit virtual machine manager.

    The customized version of MS-DOS was fully functional as far as the phrase “fully functional” can be applied to MS-DOS in the first place. It had to be, since it was all that was running when you ran Windows 95 in “single MS-DOS application mode.”

    The WIN.COM program started booting what most people think of as “Windows” proper. It used the copy of MS-DOS to load the virtual machine manager, read the SYSTEM.INI file, load the virtual device drivers, and then it turned off any running copy of EMM386 and switched into protected mode. It’s protected mode that is what most people think of as “the real Windows.”

    Etc. That was the quirk, Win95 was 32-bit, but conversed as 16-bit.

    It also worked hard to appear to be a GUI over DOS.

    But Win95 had “fully functional” MS-DOS, from which could be made “fully functional” MS-DOS boot disks with utilities, as I said. Booting Win95 started with booting MS-DOS, then it switched to “protected mode” Win95.

    Later on came Win95B, aka OSR2, making it all 32-bit.

    BTW, Chen’s post has some interesting clues about the relationship between Slashdot and “technical competence”. From the very top:

    Welcome, Slashdot readers. Remember, this Web site is for entertainment purposes only.

    Sean wants to know what the role of MS-DOS was in Windows 95. I may regret answering this question since it’s clear Slashdot bait. (Even if Sean didn’t intend it that way, that’s what it’s going to turn into.)

    And down in the comments:

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled Christmas Special of Slashdot rantings from people who claim to know more about how this stuff works than the person who actually worked on Windows 95 or sits everyday beside someone who did.

    Further down “Slashdot trolls” are mentioned…

  169. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: Win95 ran over MS-DOS, it was just a GUI.

    No it did not and you are 100% wrong. I read Raymond’s piece when it came out, please stop trying to show me thing I already know. Try reading what you cite;

    “Once in protected mode, the virtual device drivers did their magic. Among other things those drivers did was “suck the brains out of MS-DOS,” transfer all that state to the 32-bit file system manager, and then shut off MS-DOS.”

    So no, Windows 95 was NOT a GUI over DOS. A custom version of MS-DOS was used as a boot loader and acted as the 16-bit legacy device driver layer.

    Which I already stated the first time.

    Oh come on, that’s one of the most basic things about hard drives.

    Reformatting does not necessarily erase the old files. Indeed “quick formatting” just basically forgets where they were, over time the old files might get overwritten. But until then, while the directory doesn’t show them, there are still old files lurking on the HDD. That could be recovered relatively easily.

    If you want an absolutely clean drive, all the old files and that data erased for certain, you “wipe them back to bare metal” by running secure wiping software. There have been many versions of it over the years. All traces of any old files are gone.

    Which would guarantee that even hidden “un-erasable” files are gone, and all possible disk space has been freed.

    You phrase “wiping them back to bare metal” makes no sense as the drive head never touches the surface of the drive. Being able to be recovered and taking up disk space are two different things. “Wiping” a HD does not recover more disk space as you falsely implied. The only reason you Wipe a HD is for security it has nothing to do with disk space. So anyone who thinks they need to “wipe” their HD to fix a problem is computer illiterate. Again you demonstrate to everyone reading this you have no idea what you are talking about. I suggest you stop digging the hole deeper.

    But Win95 had “fully functional” MS-DOS, from which could be made “fully functional” MS-DOS boot disks with utilities

    No, it made Windows 95 MS-DOS mode boot disks (Windows 95 startup disks) as the version of MS-DOS that came with Windows 95 was a custom version and not the same as MS-DOS 6.22.

    Later on came Win95B, aka OSR2, making it all 32-bit.

    I said stop digging the hole deeper. OSR2 was just a service release (service pack).

    BTW, Chen’s post has some interesting clues about the relationship between Slashdot and “technical competence”.

    Strawman, I never claimed that those who post at Slashdot are all necessarily technically competent. I stated that anyone who is technically proficient would have heard of Slashdot.

  170. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Damn, Poptech, you’re a really petty SOB. I do my own research, man up and admit the bit I got wrong, so you mash together that and the earlier comment so you can crow about it in all bold.

    But you’re still wrong. Win95 still made boot disks with working DOS, that was able to access my WinME HDD. It happened, and your twisting isn’t changing that.

    You phrase “wiping them back to bare metal” makes no sense as the drive head never touches the surface of the drive.

    Now you’re just being obtuse. You’re embarrassed you didn’t pick up on “wiping a HDD” while in full-blown rant mode, so you’re trying to pull the face-saving CYA move. Don’t worry, Poptech, I won’t think any less of you for blowing such an easy reference.

    Strawman, I never claimed that those who post at Slashdot are all necessarily technically competent. I stated that anyone who is technically proficient would have heard of Slashdot.

    Which is beyond asinine. College computer classes and training, “build and maintain your PC” books with included software sold at Waldenbooks (I bought one), printed magazines full of new and current tech info sold at newsstands and book stores… And your “sure sign” of being technically proficient is having heard of a particular website?

    So if I was hiring a PC tech for my company, to check for technical proficiency would I:
    A. Have set of PC parts spread out on a table, with blank HDD and OS install disks, and have them assemble a working PC (including setting jumpers)
    or
    B. Ask if they knew about some geek site where nerds discussed tech articles posted elsewhere.

    Tough choice.

    Hate to expand your tiny little worldview, but I think it’s possible to be technologically proficient without ever hearing about Slashdot, even more so now than it was way back when Slashdot was relevant.

    From almost six years ago:

    When Was The Exact Day Slashdot Jumped The Shark?
    Monday September 10, 2007 4:53AM
    by Noah Gift in Opinion

    In the era of Web 2.0, it appears that Slashdot has “Jumped The Shark”. The question now, is when did this happen? I remember in the early 2000’s, Slashdot was THE geek website, but something has changed and it appears they have lost the magic. I decided, today, to take them off of my RSS Reader, as I find their stories trite, boring and dare I say, irrelevant to IT?

    –the presentation of this post was verified with the easy-to-use Preview function of CA Assistant for WordPress–

  171. Poptech says:

    kadaka, But you’re still wrong. Win95 still made boot disks with working DOS

    Really? What version of DOS?

    Now you’re just being obtuse. You’re embarrassed you didn’t pick up on “wiping a HDD” while in full-blown rant mode, so you’re trying to pull the face-saving CYA move. Don’t worry, Poptech, I won’t think any less of you for blowing such an easy reference.

    No, what you said made no sense. Anyone that understands how “Wiping” and HDs actually work would never use such a phrase. It is worse than that, you attempted to imply computer illiterates used it to recover disk space.

    So if I was hiring a PC tech for my company

    You shouldn’t hire anyone for a technical job.

    From almost six years ago:

    You just proved my point, you claimed to be in the “know” during this time. It doesn’t matter, I have already proven my point to anyone technically proficient reading this.

    Funny that you have no problem spouting out all sorts of incorrect information pretending to know stuff that you don’t but then cry when you are shown to be wrong for getting caught BSing – not my problem. Wiser people would have gave up a LONG time ago or never started.

  172. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm:

    Really? What version of DOS?

    The DOS that came with Win95, of course, which was fully functional.

    Anyone that understands how “Wiping” and HDs actually work would never use such a phrase.

    Told you, I wouldn’t think anything less of you for blowing that. You can stop trying to cover it up now, it’s not working.

    You just proved my point, you claimed to be in the “know” during this time. It doesn’t matter, I have already proven my point to anyone technically proficient reading this.

    The point that’s proved is you’re a stuck-up condescending elitist, who comes off as if you were certain someone knows nothing about S&M because they don’t know about The Red Scarlet down on Castro Street, since everyone you know who knows S&M knows The Red Scarlet.

    Gee, I’m sorry I never thought much about your favorite hangout, and got my info elsewhere. Deal with it.

    –the presentation of this post was verified with the easy-to-use Preview function of CA Assistant for WordPress–

  173. Poptech says:

    Kadaka, The DOS that came with Win95, of course, which was fully functional.

    When you booted to the disk and used the command, “ver” what was displayed?

    Told you, I wouldn’t think anything less of you for blowing that. You can stop trying to cover it up now, it’s not working.

    Are you delirious? I blew nothing as your original statement made no sense.

    Does “wiping” a HD recover more disk space than formatting?

    The point that’s proved is you’re a stuck-up condescending elitist

    You have proven nothing but your technical incompetence as this thread is littered with unanswered questions and your BS.

    Gee, I’m sorry I never thought much about your favorite hangout, and got my info elsewhere. Deal with it.

    No I did not hang out there. The point again was that you never heard of “THE geek website” <- your quote.

    A wiser person would have given up a long time ago.

  174. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm:

    Does “wiping” a HD recover more disk space than formatting?

    Potentially, yes. Hard drives may have hidden utility partions that a normal format will miss. Viruses and other programs can alter allocation tables, place hidden files and sections on a hard drive that, again, a normal format will miss.

    So wipe the drive back to bare metal, and reclaim all of it for a fresh partitioning, formatting, and OS install.

    –the presentation of this post was verified with the easy-to-use Preview function of CA Assistant for WordPress–

  175. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says Potentially, yes. Hard drives may have hidden utility partions that a normal format will miss. Viruses and other programs can alter allocation tables, place hidden files and sections on a hard drive that, again, a normal format will miss.

    Now you are changing the subject and talking about partitions not the drive. “Formatting” an entire drive would include deleting all partitions and formatting it. You do not need to use an HD Wipe utility to do this you just use the OS disk partitioning utility – FDISK or DiskPart. If you format a partition it deletes everything in that partition, the file allocation tables and any “hidden files”.

    There is no such thing as, “wiping a drive back to bare metal”.

  176. Poptech says:

    kadaka, do you really think that anyone in the IT field uses a Wipe Utility to erase everything on a drive when there is no concern over security? Why would they waste time having a utility overwrite every sector on the drive for no reason? Do you have any idea what a waste of time that is? This is what I am talking about – you just don’t know.

  177. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 15, 2013 at 11:29 pm:

    Now you are changing the subject and talking about partitions not the drive. “Formatting” an entire drive would include deleting all partitions and formatting it.

    This is a common misunderstanding, not surprising you fell for it. Formatting is installing a new file allocation table on a partition. This process may also include deleting the former contents of the partition. Partitioning is the dividing of an entire media unit, like a hard drive, into one or more partitions.

    Partitioning is done with a partition editor like fdisk, formatting is done with a formatting tool, as invoked from MS-DOS with the format command.

    Note that when partitioning on a MS system, each allocated space (partition) is assigned a drive letter. Thus on a physical hard drive with C and D partitions, for example, you can “format an entire drive” like D without disturbing the C partition.

    Here is an informative article that hopefully will clarify the differences:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/255867
    How to Use the Fdisk Tool and the Format Tool to Partition or Repartition a Hard Disk

    –the presentation of this post was verified with the easy-to-use Preview function of CA Assistant for WordPress–

  178. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm:

    The point again was that you never heard of “THE geek website” <- your quote.

    If you had actually paid attention to what I wrote instead of aggressively searching for confirmation of your bias, you might have noticed that I was aware of Slashdot way back then. I had heard of slashdotting, went to look at the site.

    I was not impressed. Sorry. I got my hot tech and science news elsewhere. I could spend hours at El Reg, just wandering and absorbing, for example. And believe it or not, I did have other interests than just tech.

    So I knew of Slashdot way back then. And didn’t find it to be worth my time way back then, and still don’t.

    Thus you have been ranting for days about my not knowing of Slashdot which was proof I must be technically incompetent, when it wasn’t at all true.

    Which was sorta fun to watch. You’re not technically proficient if you don’t know about Slashdot, you’re financially incompetent if you don’t know about Barron’s… Same elitist bias, different packaging.

    –the presentation of this post was verified with the easy-to-use Preview function of CA Assistant for WordPress–

  179. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824894.aspx

    How to Configure Bare-Metal Restore/Recovery Media
    (…)
    This walkthrough describes how to configure the Windows RE push-button reset features to fully recreate the partition structure of the hard drive. This procedure is also known as a bare-metal recovery. This procedure can be performed if a user needs to replace their hard drive or completely wipe it clean.

    Start with a new or completely wiped clean drive, it’s called a bare-metal recovery.

    You can wipe a drive back to bare metal.

    –the presentation of this post was verified with the easy-to-use Preview function of CA Assistant for WordPress–

  180. Poptech says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: This is a common misunderstanding,

    No it is not a misunderstanding are you REALLY this computer illiterate?

    formatting (defined) “to prepare (a disk) for writing and reading.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/formatting?s=t

    This includes partitioning. What you are referring to is called high-level formatting.

    high-level formatting (defined) “the format for the root directory and the file allocation tables and other basic configurations
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/high-level+formatting?r=66

    I am at loss for how far you are willing to bury yourself in your own hole.

  181. Poptech says:

    I am showing these posts to some network admins and they are bent over in pain laughing.

  182. Poptech says:

    you might have noticed that I was aware of Slashdot way back then.

    Oh come on, you really must be embarrassed to try and pull this one,

    “kadaka (KD Knoebel) May 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm says: I only bothered to check two. That one, which showed you were wrong. And the stupid thing about Linux’ “questionable legality”, which is crap, of which your link went to some message board whining about mpeg codec licensing fee or some such nonsense, which is crap.”

    You said it not me. Anyone that has heard of Slashdot would – 1. Refer to it by name, 2. Knows it is not a message board.

    You’re not technically proficient if you don’t know about Slashdot, you’re financially incompetent if you don’t know about Barron’s

    What competent financial planner does not know about Barron’s?

    None of this has to do with Elitism, it is about technical knowledge – something you do not have and are not desperately trying to Google for.

  183. Poptech says:

    At best “bare metal” is an infrequently used slang term for a new computer with no operating system. There is no other dictionary definition of the term.

    In that article Microsoft is NOT using the term “wipe” to mean overwrite every sector on the disk for security purposes as you used it. Microsoft specifically defines ‘bare-metal recovery’ as, “A recovery of a system using a backup that contains critical volumes and, optionally, data files that you can use to rebuild a system from scratch or rebuild a system using alternate hardware.”

    Your inference was that “Wiping” a HD (overwrite every sector x amount of times) was necessary to start from a clean slate – which is nonsense.

  184. CodeTech says:

    Wow PopTech, you’re still down here fighting with kadaka?

    Anyone who thinks Win95 after OSR2 was 32 bit doesn’t really understand the concept, someone who actually believes the “GUI over DOS” myth, and someone who can’t tell the difference between low-level formatting, high-level formatting and partitioning certainly shouldn’t try to copy and paste tech information for actual tech people to read.

    However, for the record, I never really liked slashdot either and tended to avoid it…

    Norton’s stuff was essential in the DOS days, in the early-mid 80s, but like almost every other utility or add-on for Windows it was bloated, obstructive, and ultimately either useless or worse than nothing.

  185. Poptech says:

    CodeTech, I was never a fan of Slashdot myself, that initial comment was just to prove a point. A point that I apparently did not need to use that to prove.

  186. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From CodeTech on May 16, 2013 at 4:53 am:

    Anyone who thinks Win95 after OSR2 was 32 bit doesn’t really understand the concept, someone who actually believes the “GUI over DOS” myth, and someone who can’t tell the difference between low-level formatting, high-level formatting and partitioning certainly shouldn’t try to copy and paste tech information for actual tech people to read.

    Then can you enlighten me about OSR2? It’s been a long time, I remember going to 95B then 95C on about the same day, had just downloaded both upgrades. And I had a hard drive broken up into smaller partitions that I then wanted to consolidate.

    “GUI over DOS” was 3.1, as I linked to above Win95 was made to look like it was over DOS. Although back then I still booted to DOS for some serious work. When I had to remove those System Restore points that WinME refused to, no matter what Poptech and MS claim, I went to DOS and an earlier version.

    Also, up to and including WinME was DOS loading first, then Windows.

    Yes, I knew the difference between low-level formatting, as done to a blank drive, and high-level formatting, which set up a partition for a particular file system. But it hasn’t been part of my computing experience for awhile.

    And after a quick search, I’m not sure either you or Poptech are using those terms correctly. Disk formatting:

    While it is generally impossible to perform a complete LLF on most modern hard drives (since the mid-1990s) outside the factory,[14] the term “low-level format” is still used for what could be called the reinitialization of a hard drive to its factory configuration (and even these terms may be misunderstood).

    The present ambiguity in the term low-level format seems to be due to both inconsistent documentation on web sites and the belief by many users that any process below a high-level (file system) format must be called a low-level format. Since much of the low level formatting process can today only be performed at the factory, various drive manufacturers describe reinitialization software as LLF utilities on their web sites. Since users generally have no way to determine the difference between a complete LLF and reinitialization (they simply observe running the software results in a hard disk that must be high-level formatted), both the misinformed user and mixed signals from various drive manufacturers have perpetuated this error. Note: Whatever possible misuse of such terms may exist (search hard drive manufacturers’ web sites for all these terms), many sites do make such reinitialization utilities available (possibly as bootable floppy diskette or CD image files), to both overwrite every byte and check for damaged sectors on the hard disk.

    –the presentation of this post was verified with the easy-to-use Preview function of CA Assistant for WordPress–

  187. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Poptech said May 16, 2013 at 5:07 am:

    CodeTech, I was never a fan of Slashdot myself, that initial comment was just to prove a point. A point that I apparently did not need to use that to prove.

    Yes, you have proved the point that you are a petty SOB, repeatedly. Your great requirement for proof of technical proficiency, you didn’t even care about it? And you still refuse to acknowledge I had known of it before, because you’re getting your jollies whipping your “requirement” in my face?

    Oh well, I did and do my own tech support for survival, and have shared what worked for me to those asking for help. I leave you to your bitter pettiness, which shall give you the joy you deserve.

    –the presentation of this post was verified with the easy-to-use Preview function of CA Assistant for WordPress–

  188. CodeTech says:

    Okay kadaka, I was scrolling through the comments and I thought you were stating that win95 OSR2 was 32 bit Windows. Now I see you were referring to the introduction of FAT32. Sorry.

    And, Poptech, sorry to say but ME was released with some serious problems, and in my opinion they wanted it that way to make NT based systems look awesome in comparison. Win2K was such a step up it was worth trashing the stuff that didn’t work on it. ME was always junk. As I said above, I was a beta tester and got booted out of the program for not signing off on it. One example is the shutdown problem.

    kadaka, forget whatever simplified explanation you’re getting confused by wrt formatting.

    Low level formatting is now done at the factory, and most people never need to worry about it. With low level, each and every sector is written, which rewrites all of the sector dividers that are required for a drive to be readable and writeable. The ways drives work now this is rarely something an end user would need to do. Performing a low level format is the closest you’ll get to “bare metal”, which as Poptech pointed out is not really possible. In fact, doing this on a modern drive might actually reduce the reliability of that drive.

    High level formatting checks readability of critical sectors and only writes high level information like boot sectors, FAT tables, etc. In high level formatting only the essential indices are written, previous data is considered trash and is ignored.

    Partitioning is a process between the two. Once your low level format is complete (or with a new drive, or when you’re redoing a drive) the partition table maps out where each logical volume begins and ends on the physical drive. After the partitions are set you need to high-level format them.

    Shredding a drive is writing a strictly defined pattern of bits on each sector, then another pattern, and sometimes several more to ensure that no background data can be recovered. This is because even after writing over a sector there are ways to pull the old data out, detecting the residual magnetism for each bit.

    (heh, at this point I read what you quoted above… pretty close)

    Anyway, there are several different types of techies, and you two are two different types. I also have been involved in multi-thousand machine rollouts, been stuck upgrading thousands of machines, even converted an entire corporate 3270 network with Token Ring (33 floors worth!), spec’d corporate machines, built and installed machines, supported newbie users, “power users”, executives, etc. And etc. I’ve done this with full time employment AND contracts, and I’ve done so since I was 15 in 1979 (granted I started at Radio Shack with TRS-80s! But we connected realtors to the mainframes at the local real estate board when nobody else was even thinking about it)

    The most important thing is always that it works. The second most important thing is that it works “properly”. I realize that flies in the face of strict logic, but… it’s there. My last employment situation I was working for an “IT manager” that had no formal training and was still living in 1992. In fact, some of the computers I was supporting were still from the 90s, and I’d LOVE to be exaggerating but I’m not. He ran that IT department on a shoestring budget, and they skipped XP and Vista, while I was in the process of getting Win7 rolled out when our arrangement was terminated.

    Consider trying to support a Win2000 infrastructure, with 3 Win2k servers and 34 local Win2k clients, plus several in remote locations on dedicated DSL lines, running SQL Server 2000, VBA under Office 98 for several million lines of custom code, a database with over 100 million records running on that stuff, and a company owner that doesn’t understand a word of it. Now consider the “manager” who is responsible for all of this, taking home 3 times what they’re paying me, buying a bar and spending all his time and income keeping the bar running… leaving me to keep that mess going.

    There’s my rant. Poptech, it’s GOOD to have everything working “properly” and understanding every aspect of what’s going on… but in the real world it’s not really necessary. What counts at the end of the day is that it works, and kadaka has demonstrated that even if he didn’t always understand everything, following rules of thumb and doing research keeps it working. Nothing wrong with that.

  189. Poptech says:

    kadaka, Then can you enlighten me about OSR2?

    OSR2 (Windows 95 B) was a service pack for Windows 95 that added FAT32 support. The other service packs – OSR2.1 (Still called Windows 95 B) added USB support and finally OSR2.5 (Windows 95 C) added Internet Explorer 4.

    OSR2.0 (Win95B) – FAT32
    OSR2.1 (Win95B) – USB
    OSR2.5 (Win95C) – IE4

    kadaka, And after a quick search, I’m not sure either you or Poptech are using those terms correctly.

    Wikipedia is not a dictionary.

    CodeTech says: Okay kadaka, I was scrolling through the comments and I thought you were stating that win95 OSR2 was 32 bit Windows. Now I see you were referring to the introduction of FAT32. Sorry.

    No, Kadaka thought OSR2 made the OS “all 32-bit” and is/was completely confused,

    Etc. That was the quirk, Win95 was 32-bit, but conversed as 16-bit. [...] Later on came Win95B, aka OSR2, making it all 32-bit.

    CodeTech says: And, Poptech, sorry to say but ME was released with some serious problems, and in my opinion they wanted it that way to make NT based systems look awesome in comparison. Win2K was such a step up it was worth trashing the stuff that didn’t work on it. ME was always junk. As I said above, I was a beta tester and got booted out of the program for not signing off on it. One example is the shutdown problem.

    All the problems related to drivers and hardware, especially with shutdown issues,

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/273746

    I heard all the noise at the time but I was shipping hundreds of systems out the door with less tech support calls than Windows 98. I was also fixing many systems by installing ME compatible drivers and replacing defective hardware. There was a lot of illegal chip remarking going on in the late 1990s and it increased with Intel Pentium II and Pentium III CPUs. I caught a couple batches my owner thought he got a good deal on. But these were rampant with fly by night operations and at computer shows. Many people were unkowingly getting overclocked CPUs and then blamed their OS for the crashed.

    IMO, NT based systems especially Win2K and up were awesome in comparison to Win9x/ME.

    CodeTech says: What counts at the end of the day is that it works, and kadaka has demonstrated that even if he didn’t always understand everything, following rules of thumb and doing research keeps it working.

    He was following nonsense advice and did not know how to do the research. So he wound up wasting his time.

  190. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Poptech on May 17, 2013 at 4:50 am:

    He was following nonsense advice and did not know how to do the research. So he wound up wasting his time.

    Well excuse me for being in that lowly subclass of near-humans who couldn’t afford the FREAKING services of your FINE company and made do with what we could get and did our own work. I’m so sorry that our helping out each other, sharing solutions, searching for and trying whatever kept our systems going, wasn’t up to your standards of prettiness.

    Good news, you’ve won! You knocked me down, stuck it in, smacked me down again anytime I complained. You even brought your buddies over to show off your dominance, “Ha, look at the little piggy, he’s trying to squeal! Watch me make this piggy squeal! C’mon piggy, squeal for daddy!”

    Now you’re done, you got in the celebratory wiping off of your superiority complex on my cheeks, the “Ah c’mon, you deserved what you got ’cause I’m (smarter/richer/stronger) than you!” I’ve had to deal with your kind all my life, you’re better so I gotta bend over and take it, you’ll beat me down until I do. News flash, you’re certainly not the first, probably won’t be the last.

    Hope you like what you got off of it. I’m a generous guy, people have taken advantage of that for years, but it’s better than being the person I’d be if I wasn’t.

    But if I found you bleeding to death on the side of the road, and knew who you were, I’d have to watch you die. I wouldn’t give you a chance to complain about my obviously inadequate medical knowledge. Heck, someone like you, you’d sue me after I saved your life for daring to do so without being a board-certified trauma surgeon.

    Now go off and find whatever Circle is reserved for arrogant unhelpful know-it-alls who get off shoving their superiority at anyone they find inferior, you deserve it.

    –the presentation of this post was verified with the easy-to-use Preview function of CA Assistant for WordPress–

Comments are closed.