Computer Crash and Recovery

No review for now. Just wanna mention why I’m not currently making a blog post about a movie. It’s because my buttfucking computer decided not to boot one day, and had me go through countermeasure after countermeasure trying to get the computer back up to speed.

For anyone who’s not interested in half-assed computer tech speeches, in a nutshell, I had to do a bunch of tech shit to get my computer back up to speed to I can make this blog post, but it will take me a little longer to create animated gifs again (though to be fair, 80% of my posts are images taken from other web sites, but the movie reviews I wanted to do demanded me being more original goddamnit!).

So, the tech stuff. I start up the computer one afternoon, it gets through the BIOS booting. But when it gets to the part where it’s supposed to boot Windows 7 (could’ve purchased Windows 10 when I first built this thing, but didn’t, mostly due to compatibility issues with older games, but mostly because of all the unnecessary tacks and tracking and assistants and all those other bullshit bells and whistles Windows 10 comes with), it decides it’s not going to do that. So I’m left staring into the black abyss of a blank computer screen, wondering if my soul is getting corrupted like the hard drive. Eventually I tell the Abyss to go fuck itself.

Restart.

The computer comes up with this screen:

Normally just starting Windows normally tends to work fine and it fixes itself. Not this time.

Restart.

I choose Safe mode. That doesn’t fair any better.

Restart.

Well, time to do Windows Repair. While I have a Windows 7 disc, my computer doesn’t have a disc player. I originally installed Windows using a reformatted USB stick with the Windows 7 installation files on it. So I insert that, eventually get to this screen:

So of course I choose Startup Repair. It does it’s thing, and then…

Restart.

It doesn’t fix shit. It’s at this point I started to get a little worried, not to mention pissed off. I’m especially pissed off because I have 2 hard disk drives, 2 terabytes in size each, working together using RAID 1. The whole fucking point of RAID 1 is that if one hard drive fails, the other will still work, and I could attempt repairs from there. That sounded good in theory which is why I chose that fucking configuration in the first fucking place, but apparently it’s not as good in practice for situations like this. It’s at this point I decided that it would be a good idea to store all the memory that is on these drives into an external hard drive, wipe the drives, make them non-RAID (just 2 separate drives that work independently off of one another), and set one drive to be a backup drive manually by having Windows do it’s backup process on that drive in case something goes wrong. Then eventually make a mirror copy of the main drive onto an external hard drive in case something like this happens again.

So, I had to go shopping for a 2 TB external hard drive, which ended up being on sale at OfficeMax. Now, while I don’t believe I used even 1 TB of memory initially, I wanted a 2 TB external hard drive just for the sake of the future. There will come a day when 1 TB likely isn’t enough.

Anyway, booted up the computer again, and determined the best way to go about backup up the memory on the hard drives using a process that doesn’t require booting up the operating system. One way is to use that windows repair screen (see above) and choose the Command Prompt, type in “notepad” (without the quotations), which opens up Notepad. From there I can go to File->Open, which will bring up a Windows Explorer type of screen where I can navigate files and folder with a GUI instead of Command Prompt text, and copy paste files and folders from there. Well, there’s 2 problems with this method (one of which I would discover until later on).

The biggest issue is that it take a long goddamn cocksucking time to finish pasting the folders to the external hard drive. In fact, it won’t even allow me to copy-paste an entire drive, so I have to copy-paste-wait one folder at a time. I eventually got around to copy-pasting Program Files (x86), but eventually got sick of waiting for it to complete after 3 FUCKING DAYS!

Restart.

This time I just skipped the whole Windows 7 disc boot altogether, and went straight into booting using just the Command Prompt (see image above). From there, I did the xcopy method.

xcopy C:\ F:\ /H/I/C/K/E/R/Y

Not sure if that’s the exact text I typed in, but anyone familiar with xcopy and Command Prompt pretty much knows what that does. In a nutshell, it copies everything from drive C to Drive F (which was the external hard drive), and HICKERY makes sure it copies everything, all folders and sub-directories, etc. Couldn’t copy it into a folder I setup on Drive F apparently, it had to go straight to the base of the drive (or maybe there’s some method/text I was missing for that to work). Anyone, it got started, and it was rolling. Hauling ass compared to the notepad method. In fact, it finished in about 12 hours or so (maybe 8, I wasn’t watching the entire time, I’m not a cocksucking zombie).

So, everything was backed up, I was clear to wipe the drives. So, I boot up the Windows 7 disc, and choose the Install Now, Custom Installation (I tried the Upgrade option, didn’t work, I don’t remember the details, bit fuzzy on that).

Obviously not my computer here.

So, chose “Delete” for both drives, but kept the System Reserved for both drives. Then chose “New” to make the drive ready for Windows 7, then “Format”, then began the installation. Installation (almost) completes.

Restart.

So here I’m thinking I’ll get the Windows 7 login screen. Nope. Instead I get this:

Not my computer, so the File and Status may be different here; everything else is the same.

It’s at this point my irritation became full blows rage, in which I yelled at the computer, “Go fuck yourself!”

Restart.

So, back to letting Windows 7 do Startup repair. And here’s basically how it went down.

Repair.

Restart.

Same Screen.

Restart.

Repair.

Restart.

Same Screen.

Do the installation on the 2nd drive, only with deleted the System Reserved as well.

Restart.

Same Screen.

Restart.

Repair.

Restart.

Same Screen.

Reinstall Windows 7.

Restart.

Finally get Windows 7 to properly install. So, to get it back up to speed, I start installing the motherboard software (from a disc, which I also put on a USB). It starts off fine, restarting the computer off and on, and successfully booting back to Windows, but then when it installs this thing called “Intel Rapid Storage Tech and Driver”, which is something that was necessary if using RAID on hard drives that exceed 1 TB in size, that causes an error on startup. Won’t boot windows. Try to repair, it fails. Well, back to the monotony (see above).

So after that monotony, eventually something happens that really started to scare me. It wouldn’t go past the BIOS boot. It was stuck there, at the first screen that comes up when I power on the computer. It wouldn’t even attempt to try and get to the part where it tries to boot up the operating system. It’s at this point I should mention what kind of motherboard I have.

This particular motherboard comes with something it calls Dr. Debug. Dr. Debug shows 2 digit code numbers/letters on the bottom-right side of the screen (and on the motherboard itself) when starting up. These let me know what the problem is in case something goes wrong. I was getting error code 9C. 9C, in this case, means this, and I quote from the manual:

Problem related to memory. Please re-install the CPU and memory then clear CMOS. If the problem still exists, please install only one memory module or try using other memory modules.

I was beyond angry at this point. As in I was no longer angry or frustrated. I was just tired. I was in one of those, “Oh what’s the use, I’m sick of working on this shit,” sort of moods. I hadn’t felt that way since watching Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.

So I stayed away from it for a couple days, using my dad’s computer (which I also built myself, many years ago) to check my emails, and spent the rest of the time watching movies and playing board games solo, and working at my place of employment.

But I had to try to repair it again. At first I thought I was going to have to take apart the computer so that I could hit this so-called CMOS switch (which I believe wipes the memory straight off the motherboard, which means I have to reconfigure it from scratch). Apparently, that’s not the case. There’s a tiny little button on the part of the motherboard that juts out of the back of the computer (along with USB plugs and such). Well, I pressed it, went back in and reconfigured the BIOS. Used the Windows 7 disk to wipe the hard drives (both of them), install Windows 7 on one of them. It works.

Restart.

Get back into Windows 7, install the Motherboard hardware (this time without the Intel Rapid Storage Tech and Driver), which finally goes off without a hitch or a glitch. Seemed like I was back in business.

Installed the graphics driver, the wireless ethernet driver (don’t have the luxury of using a wired connection at this current point in time), and the Windows Updates. That latter part is a bit of a hassle. It wouldn’t just download the updates normally. So, to fix that issue, I open windows explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download, deleted all folders there (ie the currently installed updates Windows 7 initially came with), and then attempted to get it to download updates, which it finally did. Installed all the ones I deemed necessary.

And that was the last of the major hassles. Figured I mine as well as blog about it in case anyone else suffers from a similar situation, so they can learn from my mistakes, and so that there will be a record of how to overcome these errors. And that’s also why I haven’t made a review when I wanted to. And I’ve got some films in store for you. When I get around to them.

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