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Phil Liu and Dan at IT Associates RRS feed

  • Question

  • Phil: re: my post that was deleted titled "Laptop with Recovery CD only"  Sorry that you felt I used inappropriate language, I kept a copy and I used the word "dang" "wazoo" where I wanted to swear (but didn't) I put **** <---stars in.  Anyhow, I guess as moderator that is your right to do so even though I didn't swear.  What is unfortunate is that I got replies and went to press the link only to find my post was deleted, thank god there is a way to see the replies in Windows Alert. 

    Which brings me to Dan at IT, THANK YOU for the links to a couple of topics at microsoft.   I will surely look at those and see if I'm successful at converting my drive.  Appreciate you at least trying to help me.  I had heard of this conversion but some say it could fry the harddrive. (let's put it this way, if it goes kaputt-i, I know I won't buy another computer without the OS CD)  BIG lesson learnt on this one and I stand by my words, recovery CD's are the ______ <--- not going to say a word here so my post doesn't get pulled. LOL

    Again Dan, thanks!

    Sunday, January 21, 2007 5:23 AM

Answers

  • Katkanuck,

    You're welcome!

    BTW, converting a partition from FAT32 to NTFS should be a straightforward task IF the FAT32 partition is in good condition.

    In your case, I would think the best time to do the conversion would be immediately after doing the manufacturer's system recovery.  That way there's no chance of malware or file system issues throwing a monkey wrench into the process.  Here's how I would do it (as a belt-and-suspenders type of person):

    1.  Run and complete the manufacturer's system recovery process.

    2.  Run chkdsk to verify that file system is 100% error-free.

    3.  Run defrag twice.

    4.  At this point your file system is as good as it is ever going to be.

    5.  Now do the conversion.

     

    As to your opinion of the recovery process, there are good and bad points to it.  If the task is to get a completely fresh start on the computer, nothing is faster than a full destructive recovery--it's just like restoring a ghost image.  If the task is to just reinstall just the OS, well, the recovery process is like doing household cleaning with a block of C4.

    Every manufacturer's process is different, too.  For example, IBM's Rescue and Recovery is the most granular system I've seen, allowing a full destructive recovery as well as individual driver recovery, a recovery that preserves installed files and programs (aka a repair reinstallation), and a full destuctive recovery that backs up user data to a separate location on or off the hard disk drive.  In another example, a customer had a 4 year old HP laptop that came with both recovery CDs and an reinstallation CD.  Dells used to come with just an OS reinstallation CD which was fine for repair but if you wanted to blow it up and start over, it took hours to reinstall and then download drivers.  Then for a while Dell gave you both a reinstallation CD and a recovery partition, and now you get the partition but have to pay another $10 or so at time of purchase of you want the reinstallation CD.  e Machines and Gateways come with a program called PC Angel LE that does a typical destructive recovery, but also gives you another choice of saving user data to a folder on the hard disk which is not affected by the recovery process.

    Although I could not find anything Googling, I distinctly remember reading somewhere that in Aug 2005, MS changed the agreement it has with major manufacturers, the change being that MS now requires the manufacturer to either (1) include Recovery CDs/DVDs with new computers or (2) provide a utility that allows the owner to make the CDs/DVDs for themselves.  The change was MS's response to many customer complaints about manufacturers not including CDs/DVDs and relying on hard disk based recovery solutions, which work fine to recover the OS except of couse if the computer's problem turns out to be a defective hard disk.

    So if you feel very strongly about what the computer maker provides for recovery, make sure you factor that into your purchase decision making process.

    Sunday, January 21, 2007 5:35 PM

All replies

  • Katkanuck,

    You're welcome!

    BTW, converting a partition from FAT32 to NTFS should be a straightforward task IF the FAT32 partition is in good condition.

    In your case, I would think the best time to do the conversion would be immediately after doing the manufacturer's system recovery.  That way there's no chance of malware or file system issues throwing a monkey wrench into the process.  Here's how I would do it (as a belt-and-suspenders type of person):

    1.  Run and complete the manufacturer's system recovery process.

    2.  Run chkdsk to verify that file system is 100% error-free.

    3.  Run defrag twice.

    4.  At this point your file system is as good as it is ever going to be.

    5.  Now do the conversion.

     

    As to your opinion of the recovery process, there are good and bad points to it.  If the task is to get a completely fresh start on the computer, nothing is faster than a full destructive recovery--it's just like restoring a ghost image.  If the task is to just reinstall just the OS, well, the recovery process is like doing household cleaning with a block of C4.

    Every manufacturer's process is different, too.  For example, IBM's Rescue and Recovery is the most granular system I've seen, allowing a full destructive recovery as well as individual driver recovery, a recovery that preserves installed files and programs (aka a repair reinstallation), and a full destuctive recovery that backs up user data to a separate location on or off the hard disk drive.  In another example, a customer had a 4 year old HP laptop that came with both recovery CDs and an reinstallation CD.  Dells used to come with just an OS reinstallation CD which was fine for repair but if you wanted to blow it up and start over, it took hours to reinstall and then download drivers.  Then for a while Dell gave you both a reinstallation CD and a recovery partition, and now you get the partition but have to pay another $10 or so at time of purchase of you want the reinstallation CD.  e Machines and Gateways come with a program called PC Angel LE that does a typical destructive recovery, but also gives you another choice of saving user data to a folder on the hard disk which is not affected by the recovery process.

    Although I could not find anything Googling, I distinctly remember reading somewhere that in Aug 2005, MS changed the agreement it has with major manufacturers, the change being that MS now requires the manufacturer to either (1) include Recovery CDs/DVDs with new computers or (2) provide a utility that allows the owner to make the CDs/DVDs for themselves.  The change was MS's response to many customer complaints about manufacturers not including CDs/DVDs and relying on hard disk based recovery solutions, which work fine to recover the OS except of couse if the computer's problem turns out to be a defective hard disk.

    So if you feel very strongly about what the computer maker provides for recovery, make sure you factor that into your purchase decision making process.

    Sunday, January 21, 2007 5:35 PM
  • Dan:

    Now that is what I call a researched, informed, and helpful post.  Again, Thanks!!!   I haven't loaded anything back on the laptop yet other than the Recovery CD so I will attempt the conversion. 

    I do understand some of the reasoning behind the recovery CD's, to a point on the Manufacturer's/Retail side of it.. cheaper, cuts down on End User calls to the Manufacturer, etc. etc. and easier for the end user who would not feel comfortable doing the format and reinstall.  Certainly cuts down the cost to the end user when they take back to the store to get windows reloaded by someone who knows what they are doing.

    I also hear what you are saying about the long time spent when doing a fresh, clean install from the OS Cd, reinstalling drivers, etc. etc. for some it is a headache. 

    On the driver issue with recovery CD's the end user still has to load on the drivers that came with the system and then go and find updated drivers if Windows update doesn't find them.  For me, when using an OS System on my Desktop, I search for updated drivers about every 3-6 months, because from years of having computers, know that your drivers may become extinct LOL  Then I at least have all my drivers and when they stop being supported and my system is not running right, I get a new one. 

    What I can't understand in the Recovery CD's by any manufacturer is why don't they make them at least in NTSF or at least give the end user the option to make it Fat32 or NTSF.  What are they going to do with the newest Windows version (Vista)???  If I've done my homework and read all articles correctly I don't think a FAT32 would be the correct choice for the new version.  Just read another article on MS that says NTSF  is the preferred file system and then lists why FAT32 wouldn't be wise.  Another point with the Recovery CD's, they are Part Windows 98, NT and finally a small portion of XP. Fat32 = Win95, Win96, WindowsME, NT, not XP (Multiboot). 

    Fat32, lack of security, restrictions on partion size, size of files, unstable, hard to recover from disk errors, and I could list a 100 more.  Good ole Dos days for me where I actually had to type all commands into my computers LOL

    In the end, for me, I like having control over my system and don't like recovery CD's, to me, its well worth the time spent in a format, clean install (that, of course is just preference).  People use other products to create images of their systems and reuse them constantly and end up with corruption in files like crazy, only to bring them to me to reformat, fix, and reinstall.  Many of tech sites I frequent all state, a reformat is most likely every 6 - 12 months, so back up your files.  I don't think that is far out of reach in this day and age or spam, spyware, viruses, program conflicts, etc.

    Finally, on the windows genuine advantage part, you have to expect that those who are using a FAT32 system are going to be reformatting/recovering more often because it is very buggy.  The restrictions put on this to re-register with MS after each new install comes with another slew of problems.
    ***You've used this Key too many times
    ***Your key is not right
    ***Call Microsoft and give them this number, etc.
    People cannot help having to do the reinstalls (as I said, in this day and age) and I don't think they should be punished for reinstalling their software.  Nothing more infuriating than hearing you've installed it too many times.  

    Here is an example: about 3 months ago, I get notified from Windows updates are available, installed them and the computer went nuts.  Called Microsoft and for 4 days we tried to solve an issue with a NET 2.0 update.   The Tech and then a Specialist and I worked daily and finally I gave up and so did they.  They were connected to my computer off and on for 2 days and I sat here and watched what they were doing and they had NO luck either, I'm talking 6-8 hours a day.   Guess what? Had to recover the whole computer again as we couldn't solve the problem after 4 days.  They backed up my IMPORTANT files on MS end and put on my system to a new folder so I wouldn't lose Business information and when I did the recovery, got an error in you do not have a genuine copy of Windows.  (okay...that threw me, because my windows is on my recovery CD) wasn't until they verified with the Tech/Specialist who worked with me for days and I gave them the case number did they believe me.  The verification process needs to change a bit I think...but again, just my opinion.  See I did a Windows Update and it ruined my entire system and this can and will happen, had I not had the tech and specialist vouch for me, I would of been out shopping for a Full Copy of Windows. 

    I'm done Dan as I don't want to take up more of your time, but wanted to personally say Thank you again.  Rest ASSURED if I buy another laptop or desktop it will be a sale point for me on the OS CD being in my hands/package, not there = no sale

    .

    Monday, January 22, 2007 1:05 AM