Sunday, September 27, 2020

All I wanted was some radio time!


 Good afternoon everyone it's almost been a month since my last post. Now fall is upon us the evenings are a bit cooler and the leaves are starting to turn colour. The evenings are dark a lot sooner and for some reason, it just feels later than it is when this change happens. Once again my radio time has been sidelined with getting jobs done outside some major jobs and others just stuff that has to be done before the first snow. In the evening I have been spending my time reading the many blogs I follow and keeping up on ham events. As for radio time, it has been off and on but more off then on as by the time evening comes I just want to read some blogs and relax with my feet up. When we get a few days of rain it brings the outdoor project to a halt and I am able then to have some radio time. 

During my last rainy spell, I was able to flip the radio switch and get on the air BUT my PC had other plans for me. My Windows 7 pro was starting up and I was greeted with the windows blue screen. This is not the first time for me regarding this problem but unlike the other times, I was prepared for this event. I installed a backup program (Macrium reflect free edition) on my PC so I was able to clone and image my hard drive to a USB hard drive. When issues happen I would be ready and with the clone of my hard drive Macrium Reflect would guide me on how to boot from this clone and all would be good to go. 

With a smile on my face, I plugged in my USB drive and told my bios to boot from the USB. My smile turned to a frown when nothing happened! Maybe I was not following the Macrium Reflects step by step correctly. As I read past the step-by-step instructions I found the issue and it read "do not attempt to boot your backup from a USB connected hard drive as windows will not recognize the OS from this type of drive!!!!!

My next idea was to head to Windows restore and restore the system to a time I had saved when things were working just fine. I proceeded to Windows restore to find all my restore points were gone! Later it occurred while running an OS performance tool I was asked if I wanted to delete files that have not been used for a while and I said yes......well one set of those files was my restore points!!!   

All was not lost as I felt I could move the clone information from the USB drive to an internal spare drive in my PC. I still have access to my Windows 7 OS  it's funky but is working enough for me to open the Macrium Reflect program and transfer the clone from my USB drive to the internal separate drive in the PC and then I can instruct the PC to boot from that internal drive. 

Easy peasy right.....WRONG....silly me I was only paying half attention to the transfer of info and I am not sure what I did but the end result was my main hard drive was wiped clean and the PC was not able to reboot as there was no OS to be found anywhere. Next time when the program asks me "are you sure" then "are you sure you are sure" don't click anything stop and think what I did! 

All is not lost my plan now was to reformat the drive and do a clean install of Windows 7 pro and then start the transfer idea again and this time pay attention!! I want to keep with the transfer idea as that would give me all my installed programs and settings and not starting from scratch. Fast-forward.... Windows 7 installed and with many minor issues as always with Windows. I then attempted to download Macrium Reflect to begin.....FINALLY....the transfer but using Explorer it refused the download the program. After trying some workarounds I just downloaded Firefox and it was more than happy to download Macrium. It was nice to be making some progress oh and let me say that up to this point I have been playing around at this for almost 2 days now. 

Some of the issues during OS install 

Paying very close attention this time I ran Macrium Reflect and was successful in transferring my USB files to the separate E drive. It was time to now instruct my bios to boot from drive E and see what happens. Something did happen but not what I expected to happen. I was asked to choose an OS it seems I somehow went from no OS to now having 2. When I chose the first option the PC restarted and I was brought back to this same screen. I choose option 2 called recovered and low and behold Window 7 was back with all my programs, settings and windows updates intact.

The last thing I did was deleted the first option OS and when I did this the OS option screen was gone and things just started in Windows 7 as it should. Lesson learned and I am now doing all my backups from an internal hard drive. Overall this long ordeal was a good learning experience and I confident that next time I will have a smoother transition if my OS goes for a crash. 

OS option screen at startup 


6 comments:

  1. I'm glad you got things back to normal Mike. And I dread problems like this, especially with two radios that operate via a PC (Flex, Apache Labs) - if the PC crashes, the radio is down as well. Do you recommend Macrium?

    73 - John

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    1. Good evening John very nice to hear from you and your blog is one of the evening reads, yes Macrium Reflect is easy to use (as long as not distracted as I was) and there are some very good YouTube videos online on how to use it. I did have and used Acronis true image but I found it just to confusing. This software allows you to do a clone and image of your disk. Store these on an internal disk (as I learned the hard way) If something goes wrong with your main drive and even to the point of total failure Macrium via rescue media (made when installing software) on a thumb drive can be used to boot from one of your image or clone backups from your other drive. My issue was using a USB drive as my storage.
      I agree regarding the Flex, Apache labs and so on, I was still able to run the Icom 7610 but the PC issue had to be fixed as not having a PC is no fun.
      73,
      Mike
      VE9KK

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  2. I just can't deal with computer problems any more. Bad enough that I rely on my laptop for nearly all correspondence and misc transactions between France and the States, But I do keep it out of my radio hobby. Guess I am just a Luddite in my dotage. Be well. 73 Dick F8WBD

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  3. Good morning Dick very nice to hear from you and I hope you are staying well, it's true the PC can be a bit if a pain but at the same time whether it's radio or emailing it's just one of those things we all seem to need for something. For my non-radio things I use Mac laptops and Ipad as I find not too much ever goes wrong with them.
    Thanks for stopping by Dick and very nice to hear from you,
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

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  4. Sorry to hear about your PC WOES Mike. In all fairness, I rarely have problems with my PC's and I don't share the same concerns that some Hams do about depending on them for radio-duties. As long as you have a backup plan and you invest in good quality computer components, there should be little to worry about (normally, lol).

    I do have an iPad Pro and a Samsung S3 but as much as I like them, I do find that the PC provides so much more in the way of software solutions.

    Anyway, take care Mike.

    73, Tom, M7MCQ

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  5. Good evening Tom and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, I do have a consistent backup plan. As for the PC I build my own and purchasing quality components is very important to me. I have had a power supply failure and one hard drive. Most of the time it's Windows Software that gives me most of the grief. But things are now up and running now without issues......for now :))
    73 and have a great week,
    Mike
    VE9KK

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