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  1. #1
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Such sweet solace in reliable drive images

    I could find no fix anywhere for the networking issue I described in this thread in the Networking forum. So I started marching backward restoring drive images of my OS partition.

    Whatever went wrong happened between 8-7 and 8-20-2016 (and gaps such as that are the main reason I automated my drive imaging).

    I would restore an OS partition drive image, then try to open my GoFlex in File Explorer. If I got the same error, I would restore the previous drive image and repeat. Once I got all the way back to 8-7-2016, everything worked fine. I used a thumb drive (created 11-12) and a repair/reinstall to get AU going, then checked again, and everything still worked. Each restore took 4 to 5 minutes. When I got back to where I needed to be, the AU took waaaayyyyy longer.

    All I had left was to upgrade a couple of my programs again to the latest version, re-apply a couple of personalizations and a couple of scheduled tasks, and I'm where I want to be. Fresh drive images in the can, and I'm golden.

    Using multiple partitioning made this a very simple chore, as I only had to restore the OS partition; Program Files and my data files were untouched by all this finagling.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  2. #2
    4 Star Lounger
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    Congratulations on being prepared, Bruce!
    I hope I never have to resort to quite that many restore operations (I too have a multiplicity of images but I haven't often needed to use any).
    Clone or Image often! Backup, backup, backup, backup...
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    A nice Thanksgiving tale
    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    I only had to restore the OS partition; Program Files ... were untouched
    Wouldn't any programs installed [or uninstalled] since Aug 7 be missing their registry info, and therefore need some fixing? I assume you leave the registry with the OS.

    That's why I keep programs on the same partition as the OS, so there's no mismatch if I must restore.
    Lugh.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugh View Post
    A nice Thanksgiving tale

    Wouldn't any programs installed [or uninstalled] since Aug 7 be missing their registry info, and therefore need some fixing? I assume you leave the registry with the OS.

    That's why I keep programs on the same partition as the OS, so there's no mismatch if I must restore.
    If I had installed any programs after Aug 7, that would have been the case. But I hadn't done any new installations/uninstalls of anything, just updated a couple. That's the reason I ran those updates again—if those program updates had made changes in the registry or in C:\Users\bbearren\AppData, those would have been missing, so I ran those version updates again. The program update was already in my Program Files folder on the partition where that folder resides.

    The long gap existed because I kept trying to puzzle out the networking problem and looking for a solution. I posted the thread in the Networking forum in early October, and waited longer in hopes that someone knew a solution and I could just repair the problem rather than restore an image. I see problems as a means of learning something new. I've had plenty of practice in restoring images but I save that as a last resort. If I can learn how to repair a particular Windows problem, I can share that information with those folks who don't have a backup regimen in place and can't just do an image restore to get things sorted out.

    I and several of the regulars here strongly encourage regular use of a backup regimen, and when restoring a partition image saves my bacon, I like to post a little synopsis in a thread here as an additional reminder of how well one is served by being prepared for disaster, whether it's Windows getting itself all gummed up or a hard drive failure. Having regularly created drive images to use in those instances is invaluable.

    Splitting system folders up into separate partitions/hard drives is a further step in reliability/performance that has evolved in my own personal uses/habits over the years, and is not necessarily everyone's cup of tea. It serves well in situations such as this one, where I had to restore multiple drive images going back in time to find the point before the problem existed. Each restore only took 4 to 5 minutes and a reboot to check the results. Once I found the sweet spot, I knew what else I had to do to get my entire installation back up to date. But the concept of regular drive imaging applies to everyone—it just can't be beat.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2016-12-02 at 09:10.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  5. #5
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    This scenario just reinforces my belief that Microsoft made a huge mistake by using the registry for storing program configuration information rather than the programs own directory*. As it stands now, there is no simple way to restore a program to a prior state without restoring the entire drive. Conversely, if you do have to restore a drive to a prior state then there is no way to restore individual programs to a more current state.

    *Early on in Windows, MS recommended using INI files and program directories but they ran into issues and rather than trying to fix those problems properly they opted for the easy fix of using the registry - and we've been paying for that mistake ever since. It's worth noting that XML configuration files are now showing up and being used in ways similar to INI files - everything old is new again.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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