System Disk Failure

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Update 12/31/2012:

I got some errors reported on drive C: from the HP hardware diagnostics. Just in case this is a real problem, I decided to make a new disk image. The backup failed with this message:

The operation failed due to a device error encountered with either the source or the destination. If
the source or destination volume is on a disk, run CHKDSK /R on teh source or destination volume,
and then retry the operation. (0x8078012D)

Additional Information:
The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error. (0x8007045D)

A web search for the I/O device error code yielded an suggestion by a microsoft person to turn off "shadow copies" on the drives. The forum is here. A search for 0x8078012D brings me to this forum, which also has some interesting suggestions.

Now running CHKDSK /R on drive U: Drive U: checks out fine.

Now checking out drive C: which needs to be done during boot...bad news on this. The drive is in worse shape than I assumed. CHKDSK fails in progress with a blue screen crash. The blue screen just flashes up for less than a second, but I managed to take a picture of it. The error is BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO, which web research shows is a corrupted registry. After the blue screen, it tries to reboot, which results in a bad mbr error, so this thing is probably toast.

Backup policy change

I have been telling people that I periodically make an image of the system drive, but I have not been making them often enough. To top that off, I deleted the most recent image in order to make a new image of this drive before replacing it. Of course, this failed, so I no longer have an image. Dumb move. It is a good time to do a clean build anyway, but I need to start doing image dumps once a week or so and always make sure the most recent one is available.

Replacing the drive

Having not such good luck with the Seagate drives, I am trying a Western Digital Caviar Black drive, which get good reviews, and have a 5 year warranty.

Model: WD1002FAEX
Serial Number: WCATRA155218

This is a 1TB 7200 RPM SATA drive with a dual processor. According to overclocking and gaming sites, this has higher quality build and is significantly faster than moderately lower end drives.

Recovery Log

  • Physically installed new drive
  • Booted with recovery disk 1
  • Ran diagnostics. Everything passed except the bad drive. The new drive and the V/U drive passed tests.
  • Disconnected everything except keyboard and mouse, plus new drive. Temporarily disconnected other internal hard drives.
  • Started recovery. It ran without any problems. Did some initial network stuff, but need to get rid of the home group stuff.
  • Downloaded Firefox and created Kits directory tree. Now editing this file with the recovered machine.
  • Disable homegroups because I only have one other win7 computer.
    • Right click on "Homegroup" in the explorer navigation pane.
    • Select "Change HomeGroup settings" and click on "Leave the homegroup..." in the resulting dialog. I did not have to do this because I never joined it.
    • Go to Services and change the Startup type of "HomeGroup Listener" and "HomeGroup Provider" to "Disabled"
  • Set up SMB network workgroup
    • Right click properties on Computer in the start menu
    • Click Change settings on the dialog and fill in blanks.
      • Computer description: Ed's Desktop
      • Computer Name: ejbdesk1
      • Workgroup: AMR
    • Reboot - The reboot really went fast. I wonder why.
  • Set IP address to a fixed 192.168.1.8
    • Click Local Area Connection in Network and Sharing Center
    • Click Properties in the resulting status dialog
    • Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
    • fill in the blanks. The router is at 192.168.1.1, so that is the default gateway.
    • For the DNS server values, I copied the values from the WAN connection on the router.
  • Updates have been coming in the meantime, so I am prompted for a restart. Restarting...
  • Time to reconnect the other internal hard drive. This is a 2TB drive that hosts V: and U:
    • Power down, reconnect drive, power up and adjust setup to make sure the right disk is being use for booting.
    • Reassign disk letters to U: and V:
  • Change power settings to keep monitors from powering down automatically. This is to avoid having the machine freeze up because of Windows bugs.
  • Restore C: drive files
    • Download and install CrashPlan
    • Plug in drive X. While I was at it I plugged in all of the USB cables.
    • Set up drive letters.
    • Start up CrashPlan and log in.
      • CrashPlan noticed that it did not recognize this computer and gave me an option to adopt it in place of the old EJBDESK1. Big improvement over what happened last time. Adoption was successful and synchronization has started.
    • Ready to restore after resync
  • Set up user ejbtech as administrator with password. Set up ownership and permissions on private directories.
  • Norton Internet Security 2010 was already installed, so I brought it up and run live update. A window popped up to show the serial number of the installation. I am assuming this is how the system knows who I am. The update started with the knowledge of my current subscription.
    • Logged into my Norton account and did an update check. This triggered a download of the latest version, which installed and asked for a restart. Restarting...
    • After restart, Norton Internet Security upgrade completed. Another live update did some additional stuff, and now things are stable. Check for updates indicates everything is up to date with subscription good for 217 days.
  • Install Java latest version to support some web pages.
  • Update Silverlite for some microsoft pages.
  • Update Windows Essentials to get Moviemaker. Not really interested in the other stuff (messenger, mail, gallery,) but it comes with it. Need to restart for this...
    • Tested Moviemaker with existing project file. Seems to work.
  • Install VLC media player 2.0.5
  • Install uTorrent. I will not install bittorent this time because of its ads.
  • 11PM-Ready to resume CrashPlan restore. Sync on local backup complete.
    • Started restore to desktop accidentally.
    • Restarting to "original location" with "overwrite" of existing files.
    • I can see files appearing. Completion estimate is several hours, so time to go to bed.

1/2/13

    • 1/2/13 - Recovery seems to be successful. Restarted continuous backup and it indicates about 1.1 TB done and about 5 GB to go. Looks good.
  • skipping 7-zip, because winrar seems to have the functionality
  • skipping acritum rename 3 for now, because I never seem to use it. License stuff is in kits area.
  • skipping bit torrent because I am now using uTorrent
  • dowloaded latest calibre and installed. Seems to be fine with all content and running subscriptions. Need to change Kindle email address for periodicals.
  • Added C:\Applications to system PATH to access exiftool, and other raw applications. Tested exiftool in command window.
  • Downloaded latest thunderbird to kits and installed. Everything seems fine, and new mail came in right away.
  • Installed the latest version of Adobe Flash.
  • Skipping Fast Stone Image Viewer. I have not been using it.
  • Downloaded latest version of Irfanview and Irfanview plugins. Set up default file formats for the more common (gif, tiff, jpg, bmp)
  • Downloaded and installed latest version 3.4.0.75 of FastPictureViewer Codec Pack to enable raw file thumbnails in Explorer. The download point is in the kits readme file because this is purchased software. Installation asks for my order number. May need to run cleanmgr on the C: drive to enable this to work. Reboot required...
    • NEF thumbnails seem to be working without the cleanup.
  • Download and install filezilla. Account data is there and edburdick.net ftp opens.
  • Download latest AVSVideoConverter and install. This install takes quite a while. Note I have an unlimited license for the AVS4You tools, so more useful tools are available. License information in the kits area.
  • Download and install AVSVideoReMaker. This is new. Installation seems fine. Will test later on real files.
  • Creating restore point. There are issues with this because of some kind of volume name error. Researching solution. This page has a solution that works.
    • Details: As restored, the C: drive was labeled HP. That should not be a problem, but I went into Explorer and delete the label entirely. A side effect of this was the a drive called HP was still listed in system protection as "missing." I deleted that from the list by selecting it, clicking on Configure, and turning off protection on it. When I returned to the parent window, it was gone. Very obscure stuff.
    • I actually was able to successfully create a restore point before doing this fix.
  • Downloading and installing Both K-Lite_Codec_Pack_965_Full and K-Lite_Codec_Pack_965_x64 in that order. Major pain to find a legitimate download link for these. Digital Digest mirror was straightforward enough. See readme in kit folder.
  • Download and install Adobe reader for PDF display.
  • Download and install googletalk. Had a little trouble logging in, but managed to do it.
  • Download and install Java JDK and Netbeans as a bundle. The last time I installed netbeans, I did the full blown version for all supported languages. This one might only support Java, but that is all I have been using anyway. Tested netbeans - my projects are there and a couple of them run correctly.
  • Download and install jAlbum, latest version. Installing the latest often breaks albums, but this is as good a time as any to resolve that.
    • License was properly detected and a test album build worked fine.
  • Install Photoshop CS5.1. Both the 32 and 64 bit versions were installed. Set the quicklaunch shortcut to the 64 bit version.
  • Install Better File Rename, apply license.
  • Install Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9.0b video editor,, Sony DVD Architect Studio 4.5d, and Cinescore Studio 1.0a
    • Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable automatically installed first.
    • Registered all three with my license keys in kits area for these tools. Note Cinescore is started from within Vegas as "Generated Music"
  • Added tsdiscon.exe to c:\windows\system32 and shortcuts for "switch user." There were already shortcuts at C:\Users\eburdick\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu and the name was changed to Switch User(2). I manually deleted the old ones are renamed the new one in this directory
  • Installed Turbotax 2011. This will be useful when I do my 2012 taxes.
    • There is a problem with the program trying to check for updates and having some kind of problem. If I just dismiss the error messages, it does come up, but keeps trying to check for updates. Trying to change update preferences freezes the program. I'll fix this later if it becomes necessary.
  • Install Nero Burning ROM 10.6.10600. Serial number is in the kits area. Reboot required...

1/3/13

  • windows update ran over night and a few items failed
    • Removed and hid Windows 7 Activation Update: KB971033. This is nagware designed to detect illegal windows 7 installation
    • ran windows update again with some optional stuff, including some driver updates. Some things failed. Reboot required...
    • lots of stuff updated, including service pack 1. Properties on Computer shows sp1 installed and presents a link: "your windows experience index need to be refreshed." I clicked this, and the system went on to do some diagnostics and maybe some tuning. This may be as a result of driver updates.
    • looking at update history, there were a lot of failures, but they are all related to stuff I don't think I use. Ran microsoft "fixit", which claimed to fix some communication problem. I will disable Norton firewall and antivirus temporarily and try again.
    • updates ran, reporting one failure. Rebooting to complete...
    • new updates have shown up, including a bunch of microsoft office stuff. While I'm at it, I am installing the ones that are not for Office.
    • done with updates. Everything seems to be ok except the Office and some XML stuff.
  • Install AVS video recorder (comes with my AVS unlimited license.) Played with it a little. Looks pretty nice for a light weight solution.
  • uninstalling stuff I don't need, mostly stuff that came with the HP software bundle
    • microsoft office trial
    • Cyberlink DVD Suite
    • LabelPrint
    • Movie Theme Pack for HP MediaSmart Video
    • PictureMover (some HP thing for dealing with photos)
    • Power2go (disk burning software)
    • Norton Online Backup (trial version that came with Internet Security)
    • PowerDirector (video editing software that came with the computer)
    • HP games
    • HP Advisor
    • HP MediaSmart Demo
    • HP MediaSmart DVD
    • HP MediaSmart Music/Photo/Video
    • HP MediaSmart SmartMenu
    • HP MediaSmart/TouchSmart Netflix
    • HP Support Assistant
    • HP Update
    • DVD Menu Pack for HP MediaSmart Video
    • HP Setup
    • HP Odometer and HP Support Information don't even provide an option to uninstall.
  • Download and install LibreOffice
  • Download and install PDFCreator
  • Install Solidworks 64bit. I tried to re-activate it, and got a message that this version had expired. But it runs fine.
  • system is ok to use at this point, so taking a break to work on some design using solidworks.

1/5/2013

  • download latest version of Autodesk Inventor, PTC Creo and PTC Mathcad, all free to FRC teams.

1/6/2013

  • installing Autdesk Inventor 2013. The license has changed, but I have a serial number and activation code for a single computer stand-alone installation.
    • Installation went fine, and the program seems to be working, but it crashed on a file search. A report to Autodesk led to an email with a patch, inventor2013_sp1.1_x64. Downloaded and installed the patch. Lots (hundreds) of files involved in this patch and I had to stop the Explorer process for it to succeed. This would be bad for a less OS savvy user. Restored Explorer when the installation was complete.

2/4/2013

  • Installed UltraEdit 13. Though I have the serial number/key for it, the restored files seem to make this not necessary.
  • Install Default Programs Editor. This is not a real installable program, but lives in C:\Applications. Pinned this program to the taskbar.
  • Install WinDirStat. Checked for an update, but the copy I have in kits is the latest.
  • Install Tortoise SVN client
  • Install XAMPP, an open source web development environment. This includes Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl, HTTPS(SSL), CGI, etc, so I can prototype web site stuff on my desktop. By default, this installs in c:\xampp\ instead of the regular install areas because of file permissions enforced there. Started XAMPP Control Panel and starated Apache and MySQL. http://localhost gets to the Apache default start page.
    • Before installing, I need the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 redistributable run time package. It is already there.
    • The XAMPP site for help is at this link.

2/6/2013

  • Install scanning software for Epson scanner. Latest was already in the kits area. Scanner works after install and reboot.
  • Install Epson copy utility and event manager to enable the buttons on the scanner. Everything seems to be working.

2/8/2013

  • Install Audacity audio editor, latest version
  • Install Lame for windows. This is what Audacity uses to encode MP3 files.
  • Install foobar2000 and foo_input_monkey to support APE audio files
    • foo_input_monkey is a dll file that needs to be copied into the components directory under the foobar2000 program area.
  • ffmpeg2theora was restored to the applications area automatically. Mentioning it here so it does not get lost. It is a command line program for creating theora (ogv) video files. This is video counterpart to Ogg Vorbis. More information at Xiph.org. Click here for usage instructions