"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Sunday, March 07, 2004

This one's for you Donovan;

But ya might wanna grab a coffee before you sit down to read. ;)

Tale of Woe Chap. 1:

The systems upgrade.

I got some parts cheap from Kevin to do an upgrade on our home systems. Nothing fancy, just a new mobo and CPU/memory for the kids and a new HD for me. Finally, the kids will be able to play "hot wheels slot car racing" on their system.

Or so I thought...

I already KNOW that you can't simply copy the contents of one drive over to another under win2k. Certain system files in use by the OS will not be copied because the OS blocks access to those files while they are in use.
So I figured I would have to build a primitive File Server. I laid a basic win2k install on a spare drive I had kicking around the spare parts box, then hooked the original HD and the new HD to it. After booting up, I used the spare to supervise a straight transfer of all files from the original to the new HD.

It should have worked, but it didn't...twice. The first attempt, I failed to re-set the virtual memory paging file to a sufficiently high value to accomodate the fact that the copy drive was more than twice the size of the original. When I tried again, the fileserver drive picked that moment to DIE on me. I tried again, with a different HD from my store of spares, and the virtual mem settings STILL didn't take.

I called KWY for some expert advice.

He told me to lay a basic OS on the copy drive, change the OS folder names on the donor, and copy all files and folders from donor to the 'clone'. Then, return the OS folders on the donor to their original names and swap the drives, making the donor the boot drive this time. Change the OS folder names on the copy to their proper working titles, and remove the donor, this time making the copy the boot drive. Simple, eh?

I got bit on the ass by the Repair and Recovery app. I should have turned it off before I copied it and its settings.

Needless to say, I was getting considerably frustrated, I lost count of how many times I had loaded the win2k Pro install disks, trying to get one or another hackneyed copy of my current OS working.

Hallelujah!!! I was saved by exactly the right sort of help...and from a most unexpected source.

Glen Miller is the Maintenance Dept. Head at DC 507. He's ummmm, well, he's not...well liked. He's the kind of guy who unfortunately gets talked about behind his back a lot. He's also the kind of person who is easy to get along with...as long as everything goes HIS way. I can't say I really know the guy, or particularily like/dislike him, but I maintain an air of civility around him, and he does the same, ok?

I was talking to Noel (one of the Maint. Dept. techs) about my file-swapping woes, and how I was about ready to break down and just re-build the files on my system from the backups....and HOURS of downloading to get all the OS fixes and upgrades. Gag...

Glen was sitting nearby and overheard our conversation.

He launched into a brief explanation of why fileswaps under MS Windows doesn't work, and how the OS blocks some files from getting copied, etc. I KNEW all this, but I didn't have the heart to interrupt him.

Out of the blue, he offered me a copy of Norton Ghost.

I would have BOUGHT my own copy by now if I had any money whatsoever. We got our income tax refund, but it's ALREADY spent. On the upside, our credit debt has shrunk considerably.

Ah, Norton Ghost...now THAT's a keeper.

The transfer went thru without a hitch, I am writing this entry on my newly upgraded machine, which is identical to the machine I HAD, except the HD is bigger. wheeee

Now, if I could only get the system I am building for the kids to recognize it's own drives...

Tale of Woe, Chap 2.


Yep, this is gonna be about that d@mn car again...

I should mention as an aside that Grants Cavalier had a valve go, and the damage is severe enough that his mechanic has decided it's not worth his time to fix. Hmmmm.

We took the D.N. to Seattle on saturday, and had a wonderful time at the Temple. The night before, the car had started "chugging" and making small rattling noises as well. It didn't seem so bad, so we took her down to the US.

Boy, was it ever bad by the time we arrived!

We took it verrry easy on the engine on the way back, but I could already tell we were running sans one cylinder. I figured that either a valve wasn't valving, or a spark plug wasn't sparking. I told Kerry Newton about it at church today, and he offered a free diagnosis if I got the car up to his place that afternoon. He spotted the trouble almost immediately, and removed one of the valve covers to make sure.

The Rocker Assembly is broken.

One of the mounting points (next to the #6 cylinder) cracked clean thru a while back, and sometime between thursday night and saturday morning, the Rocker Rod broke off close to the middle mount near the #4 cylinder. The #6 cylinder valves have not moved since, and the loose metal was bashing the heck out of the baffle on the underside of the valve cover.

So we need a new head. Not actually new, of course, but an intact replacement of approximately the same vintage as the rest of the Die Nasty's engine.

...and then I have to install it...sigh...

This car had enough problems without pieces of the engine turning to silly putty.

Grant's Cav, on the other hand, is in pretty good shape; except for the dropped valve in the engine.

The mechanic didn't say the engine COULDN'T be repaired with a head swap, he said only that it was not worth his time.

It might be worth mine...if I can get assurances that it is possible.

Otherwise, I'll need to get lucky and find an affordable wreck to fix up with the limited means available to me.

Sheesh, we're right back where we were when the Tracker died!!!

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