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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Complete migration to Linux ... well almost :P II

After several hours of grinding by chkdsk /f ... I lost count and grabbed some shut eye for few hours early morning.  When I finally woke up I rebooted the OS ... it would still not start in normal mode.. tried the safe mode.. it finally booted in safe mode...  just like a parents instinct to protect his/her children my first thoughts were to save the data...... Now when I say data ... it is really a mix bag of full length movies, documentaries, digital pictures from the past several years, software, e-books, source code, tools, text files, html, zip, rar, license files and hash keys, ISO's of several Linux distros and random random crap that has somehow manged to survive the transfusion from a 20 GB hdd from some 6 or 7 years back via systematic update to a 1 TB hdd and even I don't know what it is used for or if it is of any use now.. :| :o

Then there were small small reg scripts and batch/vbs files to tweak this or that 'feature', browser bookmarks and settings (Firefox tweaks, noscripts , adblock plus rules), HOSTS file, DNS files, backup of random downloads in the Desktop of various users profiles... (aside/ I was using the system with a GUEST level account full time, yeah I am paranoid about security. Frankly win7 is the only Microsoft OS that will let you do it without major pains. Vista did not happen to me never used it personally nor will.... /aside) Needless to say backing up files manually (copy pasting the setting tweaks) as small as a few kb to several MB did not seem exciting... The worst was yet to come......

Complete migration to Linux ... well almost :P

Few months back my primary OS windows 7 crashed on me due to a major power surge. The file system was so badly thrashed that a huge amount of data was held ransomed and could not be accessed. Now I do know my way around windows very well and have used and installed windows since windows 3.1 and Win95. So with the years of experience the gut feeling was to go on with standard recovery methods...

So the first thing I tried was to try an boot the OS normally ... that did not work ... so next I tried to boot into safe mode.. that also did not work ... one more reboot and tried the last know configuration (/aside this option has saved me a number of times in the past, esp playing around with registry tweaks and beta drivers and other usually dangerous stuff like attempting to use manually patched files or dll's /aside).

After some disk crunching and agonizing moments with promises to return to the green pastures of Aero enabled Glassy magic... I restarted the OS in normal mode and zap ... there I was staring at it my second BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) in win7 ... now I had been using using win7 since RC1 and have been pretty happy with the 'stability' no pun intended. The screen stared at me at VGA resolution on a full HD enabled TFT :| This was getting a bit irritating ... I quickly pulled out my Dell lappy and did a MSDN search for the STOP error. The correct term to a diagnostic check by the windows kernel, this is some what equal to a kernel panic in Linux and a console message.

Now most windows users are use to a quick reboot if they encounter a STOP error... but I knew better from my years of MSDN reading and DSN (Dell Solution Network) that something was up.. (/aside yes I have been a Dell tech at one stage /aside). It pointed to a file system error, yes due to a major power surge... solution run a disk check... well as the OS was not booting.. time for rescue mode to kick in.... Booted with the win7 dvd and performed a chkdsk /f on C: D: E: .......... this took several hours.. :(  This is a 1 TB HDD and has a lot of data on it......