Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #193 9/12/2009

#193 - Computer oddities (power supply and Windows backup) (Watt Thoughts)

Last night I discovered two things about my computer. One was where the keyboard ceased working and the monitor got no signal after the blue screen of death (bsod). Second was a backup I had done using Vista backup would not work with restore.

First was where my 64 bit quad core machine had seemed to blowout a video card three times and a keyboard once in the five months I have owned it (built from a kit). I knew the last time I had realized that one of the "bad" video cards had worked when I put it back in when the PC had crashed and lost signal to the monitor. Likewise I discovered then that the keyboard that had been replaced one of the times when the keyboard and video signal went dead after crash (blue screen with full memory dump) worked on my laptop. At 5 this morning when I discovered the crash I got the two "bad" cards and the "bad" keyboard out. I then replaced both with no effect. No signal to the keyboard or monitor but there was disk activity. I then pulled the power cord going to the power supply from the outlet for some reason and plugged it back in. Hit power switch and PC was happy again. Now I know what the problem has been the whole time is power supply is flaky and that I had not realized I was unplugging the power supply before putting in a new card was resetting in the power supply. I will cure that later today by stopping by the computer store in Marietta and getting a power supply.

NOTE Added 11/16/2009: Turns out the power supply had no effect. All you have to do is unplug the power supply and remove and reinstall the videocard and it works again

Second was trying to get some pictures back from a backup I did using the backup program in Vista. I had backed up a student's pictures from her laptop that she was sending back to Acer (laptop would not turn on) and she had no backup. (the disk ran fine in my machine but Acer claimed when they sent it back that she had a bad disk.) The backup ran fine. Then I went to restore the pictures last week, I am on Windows 7 now, and got a message about a bad mediaid.bin file. Found that it is a separate file stored in the root and that Restore needs it. I had not deleted it. I looked at the backup and noticed it was lots of folders and they had sub-folders inside and I did not look further. After trying several methods to fix the mediaid.bin file I realized backup was on the external hard drive so I put it in my laptop that runs Vista. Tried it there and got the same error and then access denied. Decided to look at the backup a little further as I was convinced it was good. Realized they were all zip folders and when going in them discovered the pictures were in there fine (showed in Show Thumbnails) and they were just zipped. Thought they can't be just plain zips but tried the extract on the Windows Explorer view of the folder and they extracted to my new location fine and the pictures are all there. Just they are in 15 zip folders and were in about 5 folders originally and after extracts back to about five folders as originally. So time to go in each and un-zip. However I now have her pictures back and I can burn then on CD for her. Moral of story is that the Windows backup program is no longer a special compressed file, but is just a set of zip files that has been split in several zip files and if the Restore does not work, (the easier way) then you can unzip each of the backup folders manually.



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