laura_seabrook: (cheerful)
Yesterday I restored the Thunderbird mail client on my Studio PC, with all but one email account. However I lost all the emails that were storedon the dodgy drive. I've been trying to find a way of recovering those emails. After a couple of enquiries I found two products:
  • GetDataBack which would cost $69 to fully use; and
  • TestDisk which is a free Opensource disk recovery program that works on DOS, Win, Linux and BSD.
I was intending to try the second program first, so I unplugged the replacement drive and plugged in the Dodgy drive. Booted up Windows, and... read the partitions on the drive! Why, I don't know. Maybe the weather had something to do with it - today's a warm day compared to the last two weeks - but that's a blind guess. In any case I'm backing up the emails and video while I have the chance. Only... there was an additional problem.

When I tried to copy the Thunderbird profile (complete with emails) I got a "Destination smaller size than copied files" error. I thought that was odd and when I checked the source folder it had a size measured in PB or petabytes. And what's a petabyte you ask? Well I could conversion page and it lists a petabyte as 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytess, or 1,024TB (terabytes). The dodgy drive was only rated at 1 TB - no wonder it couldn't cope! ;)

Luckily this seemed to an glitch in the file table. When I'd open the folders the sizes would get corrected to what they really were. Even so, my Thunderbird folders total 2.5 GB - I've been storing emails (including attachments) for a LONG time. It's a good thing I bought a 1.5 TB external drive last week just for this and video files. Crazy time, a crazy time!

After the backups I'll put that drive aside, after creating a new partition table. For all I know the whole problem might just be some other hardware problem with the Studio PC rather than the drive. In any case, I'm just happy not to spend more $$$$ on programs, drives, or other hardware.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

Just when I thought I had it sorted out, I'm getting weird problems. The screen's been blanking out and nothing except a reset button works. Got the following msg when I rebooted:

"Windows was temporarily unable to read your hard disk drive. We don't know the exact cause of the problem. In most cases, this type of condition is momentary and doesn't indicate a serious problem, but sometimes it means that a hard disk is failing.

Common causes of this problem

Aging or failing hard disks. To prevent file corruption and data loss, we recommend that you back up all of your important files and folders immediately. See step 1 in the section below for more information.

Large file transfers from secondary media, such as an external hard drive, to a local hard drive.

Loss of power to a hard disk drive that causes inconsistent data sectors.

Hard disk-intensive processes such as antivirus scanners.

Recently installed hardware that might have compatibility and performance problems."

Well now, I just backed up and swapped over the hard drives. This one is supposed to have SMART Problems (to do with againg)  but it can't be a coincidence that that I've had trouble on the same PC, with drives on the same socket. Maybe it isn't just the drives, but the controller. Of course the issue then becomes, do I replace the hard drive, or the PC?

laura_seabrook: (Default)
One of my hard drives is acting up (again) on the Studio PC. WINDOWS can't seem to read the partitions on it correctly, and yet UBUNTU can! Had a similar problem last week when I was ill - headachy today as well. Have a suspicion  that extreme cold is affecting the drive.

Anyway, one reason I have dual boots is for situations like this. I'll back up the data from those partitions where I need to, and reformat it.

Just what I need. :\
laura_seabrook: (Default)

I had K put together a 1 terabyte external Samsung SATA/USB drive for my Windows (XP) PC. SATA is a format different from IDE, which is what the motherboard defaults to.  Anyway he built it into an external case, installed the plug into the back of the PC, and the first time it booted it connected fine. But when attempted to set up partitions and so on using Manage Computer things froze. When I rebooted the drive had become invisible to the PC (and no, it doesn't run under DOS)!

But it gets weirder. When I boot Ubuntu it can see the drive fine and I can even run GParted on it. And after I installed an Windows update XP started to see the drive some of the time, with a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g boot time. Strange. When I go into manage devices and rescan it mostly finds the external drive, but the details never seem to stick.

Very frustrating. I had this set up so that when I have a a whole bunch of 300 dpi print files for the graphic novels, I can just take the drive with me and get the thing printed. And in theory the thing should be a good form of backup as well. But something is obviously wrong here.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

On a matter that isn't "Jenny related" (yes, life has been going on without her, I just hurt, that's all), I'm retrieving  some of the recordings I made on my DVX555 set top box recorder.

One of the reasons I bought it for $50 last year (wish I'd bought two) was that if I plugged in an IDE drive it became a recorder as well. And overall it worked really well as one (even if it is only SD). Only, there were some recorders that I just didn't want to delete! AS a stand-alone system that was difficult to do, however someone else already figured out how to do this.


When I bought a replacement drive for the media PC, I bought another spare for the STB, and swapped them at the same time. Then I went out and bought a case that makes that 160 Gb harddrive into a USB device; downloaded the free software to mount it, and bingo - I can read/copy/convert the recording. Once I've finished copying what I want, I'll swap it back in to the DBT. If I do, then the 80 Gb I bought can go into the media PC, and the 40 Gb that's in there now can be a spare for both DTB and media PC.

Or, if I do that, maybe I could pre-format the drive so that it's pre-partitioned with a Windows install on it. Now there's a possibility. In any case, something appears to be going right. I've been so tempted to remove the SATA hard drive and CD=Rom from the media PC and see if the XP install will work from the USB stick. I've been resisting so far, because after a week of shit I'd much like to do some web comics first.

Can't do two things at once, and web comics is overdue.

laura_seabrook: (Default)
DissappointedI really thought I'd achieved something yesterday, when I was able to install Ubuntu via memory stick to the Media PC. But...
  • It won't read the SATA drive installed in it;
  • It won't connect to the home network;
  • I can't get sound; and
  • I can't get it to display on the TV (had a dual monitor set-up before).

So I officially declare the whole thing fucked until Kevin gets back. The heat is just too much to work in. If it were cooler I might stand a chance.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

A second install worked.

I think the problem before was that I created the first partition as a blank one for Windows, and installed Linux in the extended partition. I wiped it all and installed Ubuntu in the primary partition. It even recognizes the CD-Rom now (though not the SATA hard disk), which will make a big difference!

Lots more to do, but this was the essential first step.


Jan. 12th, 2010 04:19 pm
laura_seabrook: (Default)

When I left to go out, Linux was installing itself. When I got home it seemed done, but when I rebooted I got just this on the screen:


Sign. Take 2 soon, after I've fed pets and had a long cold bath (thank shit I have a second working PC).
35°C | °F
Current: Clear
Wind: NE at 24 km/h
Humidity: 53%

33°C | 23°C

30°C | 21°C

Chance of Rain
24°C | 21°C

Chance of Storm
25°C | 19°C




Linux Boot

Jan. 12th, 2010 10:00 am
laura_seabrook: (Default)
Finally, a boot from the USB stick that works! I'm installing Ubuntu 9.10 as I type (and leaving room for ewindows).
laura_seabrook: (Default)

That was the furthermost I'd got with a USB stick trying to insall Win XP. It actually started the WIN set-up program. But I got aBLUE SCREEN OF DEATH message which probably couldn't be corrected with my level of expertise. So, now officially to PLAN B - I'll attempt the same thing with LINUX.

It looked a lot llike this one...

Next attempt is creating an Ubuntu 9.10 USB stick using UNetbootin (which is probably what I should have done ages ago). 

laura_seabrook: (Default)
Still slugging away at it. This morning I'm trying Installing Windows XP Using A USB Flash Drive (last night I tried  The ultimate guide for installing and running Windows XP from a USB stick but it had a failure to explain in steps 9 and 10).. But, I also plan to go out, do some shopping and maybe visit Jenny. Sick of only being focussed on this shit when I have other things to do. I might even buy a couple of cheap USB sticks to set up as Linux booters - if things work.


Jan. 11th, 2010 11:58 am
laura_seabrook: (Default)

DownBugger, everything I do (in trying to fix the media PC), just doesn't work.. I tried creating a bootable USB drive when the CD-ROM didn't work. I've tried swapping in IDE drives but they're not recognised properly. I have a bad headache. I've phoned Kevin (finally) and really, without him here it doesn't help. I'm living it until they get back (whenever).,


Jan. 10th, 2010 08:56 pm
laura_seabrook: (Default)
Well, I have now exchange the 160 Gb in the set top box with the 80 Gb I bought today. This means that I can extract some of the recording on the old disk (and will swap it back when done). I've also swapped the old 30 Gb disk (kaput?) in the media PC with a new 40 Gb disk. No, I could easily have put the 80 Gb in the media PC but it doesn't need it, as it has a second (SATA) drive in it for storage anyway, and playing video and the occasional use of SL on it don't warrent a huge system disk (yet).

Step 2 is done. The next steps will be
  • Partition the Drive using a Linux boot disk;
  • checking my Windows disks are usable; and if so installing WIN on the 1st partition;
  • Installing Ubuntu on another partition;
  • Installing drivers and programs to make it work.
In the meantime I'll examine the dud disk, and extract the videos off the other (according to a long and convoluted procedure).
laura_seabrook: (Default)
I got back from the computer markets. Just under $100 bought me: a 40 Gb IDE drive; an 80 Gb IDE drive; a 4 Gb Media player (hopefully one that won't be nbusted with in a month this time); and some cables. All in all the trip was economical. I left at 10am, and was back home by 1:30pm, and in that time also had lunch at McDonolds (don't normally eat there but it was right next to the bus stop and air conditioned) and shopping at ALDI.

But what a day - here's the forecast:

29°C | °F
Current: Clear
Wind: S at 26 km/h
Humidity: 62%
30°C | 22°C
Mostly Sunny
27°C | 22°C
Mostly Sunny
31°C | 23°C
Mostly Sunny
28°C | 21°C

Gasp! Maybe I should have bought am extra fan at ALDI for $15.
laura_seabrook: (Default)
Computer Markets are on tomorrow at the Newcastle Basketball Centrentre. Me thinks I need to pop down there and see if I can get some cheap IDE drives. I'd get the other type as well but the media PC only boots to an IDE due to the motherboard.
laura_seabrook: (Default)

computerI've been using a "free" copy of ZoneAlarm for the last year or so. However, as the trial period was over I decided to use some other software instead. I don't have a credit card and renewing ZoneAlarm was expensive and hard to do. I tried renewing it by joining SnapFish but even there, I can't get "free" photo prints without a credit card (so no Zone Alarm renewal).

At the moment I have bot Avast! and Comodo installed. There's a bit of overlap and potential for them to fight each other - Comodo, which I installed second, found all the quarantined stuff that Avast! had already moved, and wanted to move them again! I got Comodo because it has a proper firewall, but maybe I don't need to run the anti-virus component while I have Avast! running.

questionAny ideas on this? Which Free anti-virus and Firewall would/do you run under Windows XP, and why?

laura_seabrook: (Default)

It's been a really long day today. Some days I just can't cope and hack stuff, but this wasn't one of those.

I left early to catch a bus that didn't turn up because it only runs on "school days" (I'm back, why aren't the high school kids?). saw my counsellor and talked non stop about the things I'd been doing for the last month -  I hadn't realised that I'd been so busy! Caught connecting buses (one bus following the other to a stop where I ran to the bus ahead of it) and saw Jenny in hospital - they're moving her back to the nursing home tomorrow. Went to Broadmeadow where I got a pricing on a return to to Lismore via Countrylink. Went into the city where I bought a new power supply, sound card and DVD burner (only to find tout from Kevin when I got home that the power supply and sound cards were no good, so I'll return them tomorrow). I caught the train to university and went to my post-grad seminar from a student who's basing her artwork on photos of "Hysterical Women" taken in the 19th century. Caught the bus to Jesmond and got a drink; then the bus to Wallsend where I bought Pizza for dinner, ate it on the seat outside the library and then went inside; where I found a CD that they hadn't marked off my list but which I'd returned, then borrowed some cool stuff; and finally caught the bus home.

A long and busy day, but I'm happy.

Media PC

Dec. 16th, 2008 12:32 pm
laura_seabrook: (Default)

Have been talking to Kevin about putting together a media pc for me. Looks like I get one made for just under $600. It would:

  • receive record digital TV (especially with FreeView coming in next year);
  • play DVD/CD/MP3 media;
  • be connectible to the local network (and thereby the net), which means
    • I could record stuff on it and watch/copy/play it on my study pc, or vice versa
    • watch youtube and other Internet TV (like iview), and/or play streamed media (like DIG or Shoutcast)
    • move my existing DVD player and VCR into my bedroom to connect with the TV there; and
  • burn stuff I've recorded for later access.

Been thinking about this idea for a while, since the cheap set top box I was using died. TiVo and DVD recorders had their attractions, but this seems like the most flexible arrangement I could have. I might watch a lot of TV (I'd be lying if I said I didn't) but I'm selective about what I do watch. This would give me many more options as well.

laura_seabrook: (Default)

OK, here's the most complete one:

Linux gets a bit of short shrift here, but later I found this:

There's also PSP vs DS (compare with hi, im a wii) , a strange Get A Computer, another animated PC vs Mac spoof, 15 funny apple ads,  and Mac Spoof: Gaming (which seems to be part of a series), Novell Linux - Apple Ad Spoof (and Novell Linux, Mac, PC) and finally Mac Vs Windows War. Why Bother.


laura_seabrook: (Default)

I'm going to check out the Computer Markets today at Broadmeadow.

Normally I end up at the other markets, in the Basketball courts, as they tend to be be more heavily advertised (and each is a week apart from each other. However, these markets have a higher proportion of Software sold at them, and I shall hunt Painter.

On the way back, I'm going to buy four new water containers and replace the existing ones by the side of the house. If Hallie did drink something that disagreed with her (Kevin suggested that maybe some spray had contaminated them), then better to be safe than sorry.


laura_seabrook: (Default)

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