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As with any decision, you should approach it like this:
- list the pros and cons of every possible choice.
- link them to the specific scenario.
- select the best* choice.
Splitting the first and second steps like that is an approximation that you can't always afford. Sometimes they should be merged to the step:
- predict the real positive and negative effects of every choice.
That step can usually only be approximated, because it usually involves an element of random chance, but usually it can be approximated very well using experience (of yourself and others), detailed information of the complete scenario (not enough given in this question) and logic.
* "best" means that the sum of weighted pros plus the sum of weighted cons (cons are negative, so you just add them, not subtract them) is highest over all choices. Don't divide - you're not looking for the "most efficient way to produce 'pro' ", you would often end up making a choice that has no cons (and therefore an infinite efficiency) but those choices usually give very little 'pro'.
Usually there are several best choices, that only differ in some trade-offs that (by construction) apparently don't affect the pros and cons. There is no reason to choose one of them over the other. If you feel one of them is better than an other, then your pros and cons were formulated incorrectly. For example, if you feel that one choice is better than an other because the other makes you a cold-hearted a**hole, consider the effect it may have on your interactions with others and recalculate the pros and cons taking other peoples' perception of you into account.
You now know how to correctly (ie optimally) make any choice ever, from choosing a move in chess to what to say to your romantic interest. This procedure is often time-consuming though, so you may have to recursively apply this procedure in order to choose whether to apply it.
Have you ever felt a chill down your spine when your PC fails to boot normally and when you try the Safe Mode option(s), it just reboots again?
Well, this happened to me and the chill just kept spreading as I frantically used my phone to search on information about JGOGO.SYS, which was the last driver shown during Safe Mode boot before it rebooted again. I realized I needed to boot on a different drive and access my system drive in order to fix it, but where do I have an XP boot disk? Somewhere I am sure, but it has been so long since I have needed it. To make matters worse, I was South of the border (in Baja California) and did not have a USB stick available and I had moved the DVD drive to my secondary system, which was at my house in San Diego.
I was finally able to get my hands on another bootable hard disk and with that configured as the boot drive, it automatically started running CHKDSK, which repaired a bunch of stuff. After a while I was able to breathe a sigh of relief when I reconfigured my own hard disk to be the boot drive and it started up just fine.
That is certainly scary and good you were able to deal with it away from normal tech support! I had a few inexplicable BSODs a few months ago while my backup drives were full with other stuff. I frantically burned all my files to DVD and am still rebuilding that system as a secondary project. Fortunately I have this one I'm working on as the main machine.
I downloaded this tool http://sourceforge.net/projects/smartmontools[^] to see if there are any detectable problems. My drive is a nice, but aging WD RE2 (aka. WD5000ABYS) and it is not showing any errors in the S.M.A.R.T. analysis.
Power_On_Hours is listed at 22152, which comes out to approximately 2.5 years.
This leads me to a question for all of you: Have you ever been warned about pending problems from running a S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics tool?
I once tried it out on a system at work, that had HD failures all the time, but the S.M.A.R.T. system never reported any issues with it.
The problem is that when S.M.A.R.T. reports a problem it's already to late.
Harddrives nowadays come with a set of reserve sectors, and whenever the hardrive fails to write a sector it will mark it as broken and use a reserve sector instead. When the harddrive is out of reserve sectors S.M.A.R.T. starts screaming. Until then the harddrive is completely quiet and reports everything as being fine.
S.M.A.R.T. is supposed to be predictive. I don't believe it.
Here's[^] some really interesting info from Google Research.
People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
Consolations ! I have had this happen several times. In two cases, the boot-disk had "died."
In other cases, I was able to get around the no-boot scenario by dis-connecting all other drives, dis-connecting the SATA cable from the boot-drive, and the motherboard, and re-connecting them, and then re-booting. If no re-boot after re-connecting the original SATA cable: I then plugged in my spare SATA cable and re-tested.
Once I verified I could re-boot off the primary drive, I re-connected other drives, and checked the BIOS to make sure I had the correct primary boot disk selected: then re-tested, to make sure I could boot with all drives connected.
Needless to say, I breathed a sigh of relief when I could re-boot without a complete drive image restore, and immediately created a new archived boot-drive image: in case what happened was a "first symptom" of drive failure.
Whether what I did will work for you, or anyone else, I have no idea; I can only say: that was my experience.
That is interesting. You managed to get it going by doing some cable juggling. I am not sure that would have worked for me, given the repair activity CHKDSK performed. I don't remember all of it, but there were orphaned files, relocation of bad blocks and other goodies.
Note that I did try to disable various things in the BIOS, but to no avail. I am just happy that the other boot disk managed to fix things.
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
I always set up my machines with two copies of the O/S in separate partitions and set one as the primary boot with a three-second delay on boot manager. Then if, as has happened more than once, my O/S won't boot, I boot to the other one and use it to fix the first one - I have done this three times in the last ten or so years with success every time. The only time I had a problem was with an actual hardware failure on the main boot drive.
- Life in the fast lane is only fun if you live in a country with no speed limits.
- Of all the things I have lost, it is my mind that I miss the most.
- I vaguely remember having a good memory...
That's a very useful strategy to know about, if it's an OS failure, and not a drive failure, thanks !
I am curious to know what software tools you used on the second partition OS, that you booted from after the first partition OS boot failed, to help you restore/repair the OS on the first partition ... if you care to say more.