Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hot Days, Monsoon, and System backups

This has got to be a record for me as far as journal entry neglect. Actually for being retired (glory to God), I have been quite busy indoors avoiding the monsoon rains and humidity which is up to 25% from 2% a week ago, and working on my computers, an old hobby and collateral duty I had in the Coast Guard as an systems administrator. As you read earlier I purchased a new fast desktop system for a great price, unfortunately Windows new operating system "Vista" is so loaded with proprietary, controlling, and marketing extras that it was about as fast as my older XP. So just one of the things I have been doing the last few days is optimizing and unloading unnecessary software and automatic command functions. Withe the system running like a thoroughbred I decided to protect my investment by backing up the system with Acronis imaging software, bad idea and here is my Amazon review as to why:
Amazon.com Reviews By E. Gonzales "cwo4gunner" (bullhead city, az) - I found this product disappointing, not so much for what it attempts to do as much as its limitations. 10 years ago when Windows 98 and other OS's were 10 times smaller, imaging software was fairly easy and effective even with the occasional read/write error. Now a days the OS's are just too fat . For my part in this I should have known better instead of beating my head against the wall trying to use an old solution for a completely new situation. So I went out today and purchased one of the new 500 GB external hard drives complete with back-up software for use on all 3 of my computersfor $125 on sale. Now what was taking hours to do with software alone takes minutes without all the read/write errors and without the canned email customer service solutions. With respect to the resale vendor and shipping, service was great.
So taking my daughter's advice (Sandy the bandy)  I bought an external hard drive which is the only way to back up your large computer from the inevitable crash, not to mention that it is about the size if sandwich, well one of mine anyway.

I also decided to fix my broken laptop so after reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows XP (service pack 1) from the original "HP" recovery they supplied me for $16, I finally went through the agony of uploading "service pack 2" for a complete install. This of course wasn't enough as it still has an over heating problem from all the years of dust accumulation in the fan motors vents and CPU heat sink. I may also have a bad hard drive (later). Anyway using the repair manual disassembled the entire laptop and although it was incredible to see how well they cram in the technology compared to a desk top, it was also amazing how it was able to function with 3 years worth of accumulated  and compacted dust bunnies, no wonder the thing sounded like a jet as the fans were trying desperately to cool the motherboard and CPU. Using almost a full bottle of canned air I managed to get all the dust out and clean the scum the fan blades and heat sink. There must have been enough snack crumbs inside and under  the keyboard to start a cockroach colony. After reassembly and startup it ran so quiet I though I forgot something but it was just all that neglected dirt, responsible for 70% of all failures. Well with the exception of the included pictures, that's all for now until next week episodes "replacing the crank bearing on my bicycle" and "installing the new counter shaft  sprocket on my 450X". Until then may walk in a sincere relationship with the only true and wise God, The Ancient of Days and the great I AM.