It’s a common theme over on my personal blog and the site I run, but I seem to have bad luck with hardware and with hard drives in particular. Since this is a new audience, I figured I’d bore the 3 readers I have with what happened this weekend and why I’m not furiously editing the last couple of shoots. Sunday night was normal, for the most part.
The 5 year old computer that’s my main photo editing and gaming system has been running slow lately, so I figured I’d run it through the Microsoft Safety Scanner and see if I managed to pick up anything nasty somehow (as a long time net user I do pride myself in knowing not to click on things I shouldn’t). It sat and ran for a few hours while I was running around town (looking for, among other things, black straws to build a DIY grid spot with) and when I came home it had found some nasties, but they were all in my Thunderbird mail folder, so they were (I’m 99.99% sure) just email viruses that ended up in my spam folder, quarantined by Thunderbird.
Anyway, I told MSSC to remove them, and it sat for a while twiddling it’s thumbs, until I said ‘screw it’ and rebooted, ready to get on with my life. Sadly instead of nicely booting back into Windows for me, it sat at the bios screen and then gave me a “bootmgr missing” error message.
Fast forward a bit and imagine a few quick scenes flashed in a 80’s style movie cut scene of events:
- Throwing things around
- Punching the wall
- Rebooting a lot
- Trying to find a Windows recovery disk (mine was of course at work)
- Waiting for one to download from my friend
- More rebooting
- Cursing as I was able to boot into my previous windows 7 install (on a different hard drive)
- Multiple bios options changing
- More cursing
- Yet more rebooting
- Unplugging anything USB related
- Yet more cursing
Finally tonight I managed to fix the dreaded “Bootmgr not found” error. I had to unplug all the USB devices from my system as well as the other 3 hard drives from my system so I had only the correct one plugged in, then boot up with the win7-64bit DVD, and only then would it finally find my OS install (previously it simply told me I had no installed OS even though dropping to a boot prompt I could clearly see my c:\windows and c:\users\alan directories). At that point the ‘fix OS install’ option would finally run and (amazingly) actually fixed the OS boot loader issue.
So now I’m back up and running, but due to the ‘running slow’ issue and this, I figure that Windows must have reached that 6 month “reboot, reformat, reinstall” stage. So on a suggestion from my buddy Dana who got me the install DVD I’m running Windows Easy Transfer (WET) to transfer all my personal settings to my Drobo, and when that’s done (current ETA is 9 hours) I’ll do a fresh Windows install on my machine and pray that the WET file is valid and will restore properly, and then I can re-install only the programs I’ve actually been using lately (mostly photo editing stuff), and hope that this restores my computer to the speed it had once long ago and will keep me from having to upgrade for a while longer.
That said, I was about this -> <- close to saying “screw you windows” and ordering the 27″ iMac I’ve been lusting after for the last year or so. Maxed out CPU, 2T + 256G SSD drive combo, and lots of ram. Yummy. Luckily I came to my senses and realized that more debt is a bad thing, at least until more income from photography is coming in. Also as my (internet) friend David duChemin says, “gear is good, vision is better”, paraphrasing what I have to repeat to myself every time I see that brand new lens that I have to have to make my photography better… “more gear will not make you a better photographer”.
That said, when my computer is so slow that it takes 10 minutes to go from sitting down at computer to editing images, that’s stopping me from doing work. 🙂 Donations being accepted!