Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Well, it turned out that a BIOS update I tried to install was probably the cause of my problems on Friday. The HD showed up on schedule Monday and I started the install process. Started getting the same ol' BSOD at the same point I was on Friday when trying to install XP. Strange... So, I do some deeper Googling, and find that not only could that error be the HD, but it could be the RAID drivers. Hmmmm.... So, I go into the BIOS and change the RAID settings, do the install and BAM!, no problem. I'm now the proud owner of XP...again...

The old HD was corrupted still, so the machine wouldn't boot from it. Even when I installed it as a second HD I couldn't see the file structure. Found a program that promised to allow me to view the file structure and retrieve the files off the corrupted HD (I know, I could have booted to Knoppix, but didn't feel like it). TestDisk has a DOS interface that allows you to browse, scan and copy directories and files. It worked for me! I was able to retrieve all the files that I needed off the old HD. Now, if I could figure out a way to convince Dell to let me keep the HD, I'd be pushing 1 TB built in and 300 GB removable USB storage! But then again, what would I ever need that much space for... :)

The best news is that I'm sitting here working on this XPS M1210 now. I've been using my old laptop for quite a few years and it was getting a bit worn out. The OS wasn't quite as stable as it was in it's younger days, and the batteries were showing their age; One had shorted out on my trip to Phoenix a few weeks ago. So, it was time to update and the latest compact, powerful machine from Dell is now mine. I opted for Vista as the OS on this, here's hoping that I don't have the same issues with a native install that I did with the upgrade I did on my desktop. So far, it's working well. I do notice that boot time is extremely long. I'll have to do some research and see if I can figure out what's going on there.

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