• Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 1661
  • Last Modified:

Windows XP Home Boot Failure

Ive been recently taking advice from this site regarding a major computer upgrade, which will happen this weekend.  Im very keen now.  I got great support from Garycase, sublifer and Coral47.

So what happens last night? My existing PC decides to give up on me.  First experience was a Checksum error message during POST, after the auto memory test, after which it just sat there.  As the next thing that occurs after memory check is detecting the HDDs, I assumed an issue with the C: drive.

However I do have the OEM XP CD, so I booted up from this and requested a Windows Repair.  Not via the Repair Console  I asked to do a Windows Install and then after loading the vanilla drivers it reaches the screen where it detects an existing installation and asks for confirmation whether a fresh install is desired, or if you want Windows XP to attempt to repair the existing installation.  This is the option I took.

Well first time through it got to the 34 minutes remaining countdown, and just froze there.  I had no choice but to reboot again by turning the thing off (CD still in drive).  This time it got to 6 minutes remaining, and froze again.

Reboot#3  same (last resort) choice of shutting down, again reached the magic 34 minute mark, froze again.  Reboot#4, froze at 6 minutes!  Getting really ticked off at this stage!  Reboot#5  success! (or so I thought).  It made it to the Windows graphical UAC logon screen, asking for my UAC password.  Entered it, and reached my familiar desktop  great!  Im thinking all my data is still there.

Unfortunately, as soon as I tried to move the mouse and get down to doing stuff, I discovered the thing had frozen again!!  What the *&#@!

Tried 3 more times to reboot (with the XP CD out now), and each time reached the UAC logon screen, but it freezes there.  I gave up and went to bed!

Now when I do my major upgrade this weekend I intend to do a fresh XP install anyway, so the disk will be wiped/reformatted to start with.  However I wish to extract my data from the C: drive to a USB stick beforehand obviously, so I want to fix this problem so I can do that.

Why is this happening?  Ive got Award Dual BIOS (c. 2004 - v6.0g I think), so I went in there and requested a boot from the backup BIOS  but nothing changed.  Does it sound like a HDD problem, or the OS?  Im not really sure (the checksum error during POST has gone, bear in mind).

Ive got a Vantec HDD Dock now so I can remove the C: drive and (hopefully) extract any data onto my laptop  provided the HDD is not totalled.  Ill find out tonight.

What worries me though, is the source of the problem.  If its my existing Gigabyte mobo, well Im changing over so its not really an issue.  But if my HDD has an inherent problem, Im a bit nervous about spending a lot of time doing a fresh install if its going to stop on me again.

How can I identify the source of the problem please?  How will I know if the drive is OK  do I run Chkdsk - is that good/reliable enough?  Is there any more robust way to check?  On-line tools?

Thanks in advance.
0
JRT55
Asked:
JRT55
  • 12
  • 9
  • 4
  • +1
1 Solution
 
dbruntonCommented:
Don't touch chkdsk.

Well, we've got a good choice of possibles.  Let's see memory, hard disk, power supply or motherboard.

Get the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Download links are the icons at the top of the page above Overview.  Browse the page and see what utils are there for you.  Check the memory and hard disk utils especially.

Make the CD and boot from it.  Run the memory tester first - memtest -  and let it do two to three passes through your memory.  Memory could be the problem so get that test done first.

Then test the hard disk with the correct manufacturer's util for your hard disk.  Do the long test.  That will most likely tell you if your disk is corrupt.

That's two tests out of the way.

Other tests can look at PSU and motherboard later.
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Thanks dbrunton.
What's the drama with chkdsk by the way?  I'm curious because I've never read such an emphatic comment about what I thought was a long-established - if relatively limited - utility.
0
 
garycaseCommented:
The #1 rule for data recovery is STOP !!

Since you'll be replacing all major components (motherboard, CPU, memory, graphics card) in just a couple days, it's not worth the bother to diagnose this.

The only items that could be causing this that you're not swapping out are the hard drive and the power supply.   You'll know whether the hard drive's okay when you connect it via the Vantec dock to your laptop -- if you can read/recover the data okay, then the drive's almost certainly fine.   Even if you can't, it MAY be okay -- the partition structure may be corrupted from your aborted installs.   If that's the case, STOP -- and post the details here.   Then I'll tell you how to proceed.   But if you want to get your data, remember the #1 rule -- STOP;  do NOT do anything that writes to the drive.

If the issue's the power supply, you'll find out soon enough when you install the updated components.   If you have a PSU tester or a spare PSU you could test this;  but otherwise just wait until you do the upgrade.

From your description, I'd rate the most likely possibliities as motherboard; memory; power; or hard disk ... in that order.   It could also be a CPU issue ... but that's far less likely.

I'd just focus on recovering your data;  then do the upgrade and see if the system boots okay -- being prepared to buy a new PSU if needed.   In any event, do NOT write to the hard drive until you've recovered all of your current data.
0
Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 
0791882310Commented:
to give you a little piece of mind, usually when windows install freezes like that.... and when windows loads but completely freezes... like.. mouse pointer wont move, it usually indicates a memory read/write problem... so i bet your hard drive is fine...
0
 
dbruntonCommented:
>> What's the drama with chkdsk by the way?

Because people keep recommending it to fix their hard disks.  And if they use it to write to their disk and the disk is corrupt they will most likely corrupt it even more.  And that's even harder to pull the data off.

Been there.  Done that.  Seen the results.

You can use it to check the disk without the optional parameters.  But 'tis better to check the disk integrity first with the manufacturer's utils.  Then you know what you could be facing.

Then pull off any valuable data or files.  Which should have been backed up elsewhere in the first place.

Then start playing with writing to disk to fix whatever is there.
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Hi dbrunton.
I went to the PCWorld.com site and saw that the Editorial Review of UBCD is favourable.  Thanks for the tip.
I also noticed that out of 260-odd user reviews (stats at top of article), 66% gave it the thumbs down!!  I'm more inclined to go with your recommendation and that of the editor, but that's an unusually high negative from the user community.
I wonder what the objections are? I could only access the most recent one, which seemed to be a complaint on the grounds of user unfriendliness from an admittedly average PC user.
For the record I do regular backups by the way - but not daily, so I'm just chasing the last 3 weeks worth of stuff.
0
 
dbruntonCommented:
Probably because it's not for the casual user.  And it doesn't have a nice friendly clickable Windows type interface.

There's a wide mixture of stuff on the disk.  For a wide range of purposes.  Most users will never use 90% of what is there.

But some of what is there is very useful.  Especially the memory and hard disk stuff.  And it is all packaged on a bootable CD.
0
 
garycaseCommented:
Gary's rules (I tell all my friends this):

(a) Every system should have at LEAST two hard drives => with an automated backup script to backup the data from one to the other.   [My primary system has 9 hard drives;  my media server has 15]

(b)  Your primary hard drive with all your data WILL fail at midnight tonight.   Anything you don't want to lose had better be backed up !!

... a 3-week old backup clearly does not meet these tests !! :-)

The UBCD is an okay disk ... but for most folks it's not necessary.  I actually prefer to use the most current versions for those tools that are useful => and for most purposes there are only a couple of tools you'll need.   A bootable MemTest86+ CD to test memory [http://www.memtest.org/ ];  Prime95 for CPU burn-in [http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/ ];  possibly a hard drive diagnostic (freely downloadable from the disk makers);  and most of the other tools are very rarely needed by most folks.   It IS a handy disk to have (I keep one handy) ... but there are newer versions of just about everything on it -- so I rarely use it.

... for what you might want to test here, I'd simply get the most recent MemTest86+ and test your memory.   If you have a memory controller (motherboard) or memory issue, that should find it.   But as I noted above, with a major upgrade happening in 2-3 days, it's debatable whether it's worth spending any time isolating this issue.   You'll know when you attach the hard drive to the dock whether it's fundamentally okay.   The only other thing it'd be nice to do is test the power supply -- but if you don't have a tester I'd just wait and see if it works okay with the new components (unless you want to simply buy a new one to be "safe").   Just for grins, what is the capacity of the current power supply?
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
garycase... I'll check the PSU rating tomorrow - it's hidden by a bit of aluminium casing so I left it until I did my major surgery...
Be in touch.
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Garycase - PSU is 380W.

Dumb layout on the Gigabyte GA-EX58 UD3R board!!

The SATA sockets are at the edge of the board right next to my PSU - too close to fit the "Spade" type SATA plugs.  The L-shaped connectors would be a great solution, I thought, as they don't stick out as far horizontally & so would allow the cable tail to be directed upwards - except that the sockets on the mobo mean the cable tail must go DOWNWARDS instead of upwards!!  This forced me to run the two SATA cables underneath the board and if I've ever got to remove them for any reason - or if I want to add another SATA drive - I'll have to take the mobo out again! Given that the mobo gets screwed onto the base of the PC case, I'm amazed that a company like Gigabyte haven't figure this out!

Anyway, I'm not going to solve it by whingeing... I'll go back to my installation now.


0
 
garycaseCommented:
Looking at the layout of the board you must have a very non-standard case if the SATA sockets are interfering with the power supply => are you sure it's an ATX case??    ... with a standard ATX case, the PSU should be to the right of the "Ultra Durable" label in the picture of the board (below) or, with a bottom-mounted supply in a tower case, to the left of the board.   The SATA connectors are nowhere near either of those locations (assuming this picture -- from Gigabyte's site -- is indeed of your board).  

What's the make/model of your case?

As for the power supply -- 380W is not large enough for such a high-end system.   It MAY work; but it is smaller than the minimum recommended supply for the video card you bought (Assuming you bought the Sapphire HD 4670 you noted in your other post ... which recommends a minimum of a 400W supply; and with an X58-based motherboard and a 130W CPU (Core i7 920) it's definitely smaller than you should have.   I'd recommend at least a 550W unit; and a larger one would be better yet.

You may need both a new case and a new PSU !!

I presume this is your board:

ga-ex58-ud3r-1-6-big.jpg
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Update time.

Managed to install and connect everything up, double and triple checked.  Formatted a 500GB Seagate SATAII drive so that it was clean and ready for a fresh Windows XP install.  For the record again, my new setup is now as follows:

Gigabyte GA-EX58 UD3R motherboard
Intel Core i7 2.66GHz CP"U
Corsair 3 x 1GB DDR3 1333Mhz C9 memory
ATI Radeon HD4670 Vidoe card

OK, the Giga manual says you must install XP first, before drivers.  That was what I expected, so I put in my XP CD and held my breath and turned it on.  Fans going, LEDs on mobo lighting up - but no monitor, so have no idea where I am.  Also, as I can't see the BIOS on the screen, pressing DEL to get into setup and make it boot from CD can't be done.

Actually, I think the (wireless) keyboard and mouse weren't being recognised anyway.

Help - what am I supposed to do now?!!!  This is frustrating!!

0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Gary, I just returned here to see your post - after I sent my previous one.

I take note of your comments re: PSU and case.  Ho hum.  If you're right I'll have to look around.  I figured I'd get away with the existing PSU on the basis of the much greater energy efficiency of the i7 compared to the P4 - and presumably the same would go for the new memory compared to my old P400 DDR.  

The existing case's manual says it's an Antec Overture Piano Black Media Center Case.  It's about 5 years old.  But it is an ATX case, just not a tower.  Is it non-standard? I've got no idea, but I don't think so.  The mobo which has been living in this case since I got it is also a Gigabyte ATX board, exactly the same size as the new one.  On that board the SATA sockets were in a different spot, but also faced upwards, which was a much more sensible arrangement in my books.

On the diagram you included, yes that's my board.  I've just taken a snap & posted mine here.

The top of the picture is the rear of the case.  My power supply is at the front of the case under the "Dual Bios" label, which places it at the bottom left hand side of your picture - right in front of the four SATA sockets.  It's certainly not at the right of the Ultra Durable label - that is the caddy for HDD's.

Apart from your valued comments regarding the PSU (& case), of greater concern to me at the moment is the problem of non-recognition of any sort when I try and boot up with the XP CD inserted, as described in my immediately preceding post.  As the LEDs on the mobo are well and truly alight, and the fans running (CPU and two case fans), I would assume the PSU is not the issue - but I'm afraid I'm out of ideas.  It's 1am Sunday night here in Sydney and I'm very tired & have to work of course, so I'm hitting the sack for now and looking forward to further exchanges with you tomorrow from my workplace.  Luckily I've got a laptop at home too which is what I'm using for this communication - and how I got the data from the old drive via the Vantec (what a super little box that is!).

A bit frustrated here, signing out.

John


GA-EX58-UD3R--3.jpg
0
 
garycaseCommented:
From your picture, it looks like you haven't connected the CPU auxiliary power => the 8-pin connector just to the right of the heatsink labeled "Ultra Durable".    Your power supply may not have an 8-pin connector; but the 4-pin auxiliary connector should provide enough power to at least confirm whether or not this is going to work with that PSU.

The Antec Overture is indeed an ATX case ... it simply has the PSU in a non-standard location (not uncommon with media center cases).
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Gary,
You're  right on both counts - there's no 8-pin connector, as I don't have one with the PSU.  I have 2 x 4-pin connectors which I'm not using, but as I wasn't sure whether the voltage on these was the same as that intended for the elctrconics fed by the 8-pin connector e.g didn't want to feed 12V  to a part of the circuit that works with 5V - for obvious reasons.
Another thing I meant to mention but forgot, is that my PSU only has a 20-pin connector, not 24-pin.  Would this be contributing to my woes?  It feels a lot like a new higher-rated & up-to-date PSU might alleviate these symptoms.  I'm still a bit perplexed though that POST doesn't even work...
I'll be off at lunchtime today to prowl for a PSU in line with your recommendations.  I should have measured up mine beforehand though, to make sure anything I get fits. If you have any recommendations - or warnings for things to especially look out for - I'd appreciate it.
0
 
garycaseCommented:
Yes, you definitely should get a new PSU -- with both a 24-pin ATX connection AND an 8-pin auxiliary connector.

Most new supplies will have the 24-pin connector;  but be sure it also has the 8-pin EPS12v connection (may be a "4+4" connector).

One thing you need to check carefully is the exact physical size of the PSU if you want to still use the Overture case => some ATX power supplies are longer than others, and may not fit in the case.   I've get at least a 550W supply.
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Problem with my PSU is that the DC cables all exit the case at the rear of the PSU, which also of course has the 240V input socket.  The PSU is mounted inside the case (as I showed in the pic) with a length of 240V rated flex cable snaking its way from the external 240V input socket, around the edges inside the case to reach where the PSU case is fitted.  Apart from needing to double-check the dimensions of the PSU of course, all the pics of the possible alternative PSUs I've been searching for on the Net today, seem to have the input socket and output connectors on opposite sides of the PSU i.e. front and back.  Because of the location of the PSU inside the PC case (right at the front, but in the corner) I need a PSU with the cable entries/exits either on the one face, or adjacent faces - but not on opposite faces, if you get what I mean.
I'm off to go looking - it's the best way.  But it's beginning to feel like I might have to buy a new case, just to accommodate a new PSU!  If that's so I've budgeted poorly.  Would it be best in that event to get the PSU and case from the same manufacturer to be confident of correct fittings?  It seems I can readily get combos by Antec, Thermaltake, Coolermaster, and Silverstone.  Any comments on the relative merits of these?
0
 
dbruntonCommented:
Whatever is cheapest.

You've quoted well known brands.  I'd go to your nearest big computer dealer and ask what he's got that's BIG and cheap.  And a 550 watt power supply.  Nice big case with plenty of room.  He'll have a box special somewhere for customers who have a motherboard and are looking for a case.
0
 
garycaseCommented:
It definitely sounds like the Overture used a custom PSU => you're unlikely to find an ATX PSU that will fit in that case, so it sounds like case-shopping time !!

See if your dealer has an Antec Sonata III ... although not my favorite case, it's nevertheless a nice case that comes with a reasonable quality 500W supply (a bit less than I'd like, but this case is usually priced at a level that makes the supply almost "free" -- I've used it for a couple of Core 2 Quad systems with higher-end video cards than you're using; so with your mid-range video card it should be fine even with the higher power CPU).

The other bundles you listed are fine as well => just be sure you have (a) adequate power (the 500W in a Sonata is the LOWEST I'd consider);  and (b) excellent airflow (preferably with 120mm fans).   If you're not buying a bundle, there's no reason to buy case and PSU from the same manufacturer -- except for custom made supplies such as those in your Overture, ATX supplies are VERY standard.   If you're going to buy a separate PSU and case, I'd look at the Seasonics and PC Power & Cooling units => those are all I buy these days.
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
OK guys - I'm gonna buy a Corsair TX650 PSU.  The 650 Watts will provide me with a good margin above 550W, which from what dbrunton and Gary are saying I should view as the minimum. The Corsair TX650 is $AUD179.
I read somewhere that this is either a Seasonics or its twin brother, & it reviews very well.  I will take it home tonight, just sit it on top, hook it up and try and get my new PC up and running. I'll probably wait till the weekend re: a case (too big to lug home on the bus) - I hear you dbrunton; I'll make it a BIG one with lots of room.  I saw a couple of cases which have 4 USB ports on the front (essential convenience these days), headphone and mic jacks, plus an eSATA socket which seems a good future idea - for about $AUD135 which is not too bad.
The only question mark was whether to get the Corsair HX-620, which is modular, instead of the TX650.  There seem to be differing views about the real value of modularity. The HX620 is also SLI-ready (whatever that means - an extra connector for dual SLI cards I'm suspecting) - but as I have an ATI Radeon (Crossfire) anyway, SLI is pretty irrelevant.  I guess I'm placing a little more value on the extra 30W compared to the "tidiness" factor of a case that should be closed up most of the time.
I know I'm a bit impatient but I am really busting to set up my new toy, and I don't see the point of endlessly researching a PSU.  As long as this one is pretty good - and it seems so from the various reviews I've read today - I'd rather get on with things.
I won't waste this space any further on an issue like the case - it's way below the expertise of a sage and a guru!  However I will return to indicate whether I've been able to get her in gear tonight though. If I fail for any reason, then your expertise will indeed be welcome.
Thanks for all the support so far - especially you GC. I like the thorough way you go through things, and the fact that you really tailor your advice to the info provided by dummies like me.  It gives cause for a lot of confidence here on the other side!
 
John
0
 
garycaseCommented:
Either of the Corsair units will be fine, but the TX650 is a better unit ==> 80+ certified; active PFC, single high-capacity 12v rail, etc.   I'd do without the modularity and get it.  The tradeoff between modular/non-modular PSU's is neatness vs. a small reliability difference (the modular connection is one more potential failure point -- not a high probability; but in electronics the more connections, the higher the probability of failure).

Both types have their place.   In my HTPCs I use modular supplies, to help not only the neatness of the PSU cabling, but also to improve airflow (since there aren't bundles of unused cables to interfere).   In my main system, which is in a large tower with plenty of room to bundle the unused cables out-of-the-way, I have a PC P&C 750W non-modular.

... Let us know how you do tonight ==> hopefully your next post can be made from your "hot" new system !! :-)
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Well GC, here's my update.
1. Bought the TX650 PSU at lunchtime on Monday (I'd already done so before you advised me to get that one - glad you didn't send a warning against it!)
2. When I disconnected the old PSU and hooked the 650 up temporarily that night - SHE BOOTED!  That confirmed your suspicions that the old PSU just didn't have the horsepower I needed.
3. Installed a fresh copy of XP Home over a re-formatted HDD - when I needed to go to Activation, it passed straight through via the Internet - no phone calls needed despite the significant change of hardware! I was pretty happy with this state of affairs.
4. Yesterday I bought a new case. It's more than I need - it's an Antec Nine Hundred Two (looks like a gaming box).  I had less choice because I needed to get one local to home, but this case will last me forever now, even if I decide to go RAID 10 with multiple HDD's and have four graphics cards inside one day!  There are two 120mm (blue LED) fans at the front (perforated case), a whopping 200mm fan on top, and a smaller one at the back.  Super air flow.  The space inside is huge too.  It also has an eSATA port at the front, which will be great since the Vantec has the eSATA port.  No more data transfers using USB2.  I'm feeling more future-proofed with my rig now than I have ever done!
5. I won't set up the case until the weekend. I spent last night on the long haul of re-installing all my programs and transferring back lots of personal data. I'm not finished yet.  I've just got the Corsair TX650 sitting on top of the old (disconnected) PSU for now.  I preferred to get into the software side of things to find out if I was going to have any trouble.  So far I haven't had even the slightest bother.  As the activity is currently focused on HDD reading/writing, it's too early for me to have experienced the quad core speed - except for the booting up which is noticeably faster.
All-in-all I'm one happy camper over here!  
Now, I've got 2 questions on my mind.
Firstly, how much "tweaking" should I do using the Gigabyte utilities which I've installed? Such as OC'ing?  One of the main utilities is EasyTune v.6 but I haven't got around to reading up what this does.  I wanted to stick to the basics and get a fully operational unit first, before I played around.
And secondly - I've never had a "proper" backup regime in place, so I'm wondering how much time I should spend on RAID stuff?  I know what it is and the various versions (although I'll have to go back to my books and refresh my memory) but the thought of actually setting it up is a bit daunting.  I don't run servers etc, so the effort has to balance the rewards.  What I would really like is to set up an automated backup arrangement, so I don't have to remind myself to do it (the big flaw with all backups)!.  The case will have 2 x 500GB and 1 x 200GB HDD's inside.  I've also got Acronis True Image and Disk Director, which makes it a breeze to repartition on the fly, and I know have backup as well as imaging capabilities.
What do you think?
0
 
garycaseCommented:
I'm not an overclocker -- I prefer rock-solid, reliable systems, so I simply run them at their specs :-)     Having said that, the Core 2's can easily be modestly overclocked ... and the EasyTune utility makes it easy to do that.   I've "played" a bit with it; but don't even have it installed on my main system.    I definitely agree with the "... stick to the basics and get a fully operational unit first ..." philosophy.   Whether you then want to try a bit of overclocking is up to you.   If you do, be sure to do it in small steps -- & thoroughly test the system at each step [An hour or so of MemTest86+;  an hour of Prime95 stress testing; etc.].

As for backups ... I structure my systems with separate OS & data partitions; and set up a daily automated backup for the data (using SyncBack).   I keep a reasonably current image of the OS partition (update it every month or two) -- I use Boot-It NG for that (I have an "Image Now!" icon on the desktop ... a simple double-click will update my image).

RAID is NOT a backup => it can provide added speed; fault-tolerance; or both.   But you still need to backup your data.

Very nice case, by the way => and superb airflow.   You'll be in great shape for future upgrades !!
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Yeah Gary I can do without the overclocking - perhaps forever. It was only my technical curiosity anyway.  I  suspect that the results are probably only apparent when playing CPU-intensive games - would that be right?
I may have incorrectly conveyed that I thought RAID was about backups- I know it's more about fault tolerance.  Is it still overkill for a standalone home PC though?
I have already embarked on setting up lots of partitions - OS (C); documents (D); pics & music (E); videos (F). Drive 1 (500GB) is for C & E; Drive 2 (500GB) is for D & F.  Both 1 & 2 have heaps of space left over which I've left unallocated for later repartitioning - unlike Windows crappy offerings, Acronis True Image (TI) can add to existing partitions without killing the data.
I was going to use Drive 3 (partitioned) to store an image of the OS (as you do, monthly), and do incremental backups of data (D, E & F) - after the first full backup.  I need to explore the options within TI for automating backups and images.  I have a strange feeling though that TI insists on a separate drive (not just a partition) for imaging. In that case I'll have to reconsider my strategy a bit....
I found one little issue by the way.  I used MS's TweakUI to steer My Documents etc away from the default C: drive.  As I'm installing programs, wherever I'm given the choice I select the "Custom" option and change the C: to D: (Program Files).  But some programs simply don't give this option so I don't think there's ever a way to have a C: drive ONLY for the OS - it will always contain some programs.  I guess if you're imaging it doesn't really matter though.
Final question.  Would you go to an SSD for the OS drive?  Do you have any experience with these? This seems to be the area of least progress over the years.  Although price per Gigabyte is fantastic these days, the read/write speeds even on 10,000rpm drives have not gone ahead at anything like the same pace as almost every other area of PC technology.
If you say it's not a bad time for me to go this way, would you be putting just the OS on it, or programs as well?  I can get the OCZ SSD2-1C (32GB) for around $AUD240.  Thiscapacity would probably be fine for both OS and programs (for me).  Or is it simply too early to contemplate SSD's yet?
I've come to value your opinion.  Interested in others' too.
0
 
garycaseCommented:
Acronis should let you image a partition and store the image on any other partition ... unless you're imaging a complete drive (with all partitions).    But the important thing isn't where you store it -- just that you do it !! :-)   If you keep a monthly image and daily backups you'll be in good shape.   By the way, there's no reason to relocate the Program Files folder -- I have all my programs on the C: drive along with the OS ... that way an image of C: has all programs included, so there's nothing to reload if I ever need to restore an image.   If you keep your programs on a different drive, then you need to be sure you have synchronized images of the two drives -- otherwise you might restore one and the other won't match.   I DO keep all my data on a different drive letter (partition) -- that way any restores of C: have NO impact on my data.

I wouldn't both with an SSD yet -- the only really good ones are the high-end single level cell drives, and these are still pricier than I'm willing to pay (~ $800 for 64GB).   The inexpensive MLC drives have a lot of issues -- I won't go into a lot of detail; but trust me ... unless you just want to "play" with the technology, avoid them for now -- not ready for prime time.
0
 
JRT55Author Commented:
Final post for now, it's appropriate I allocate points after all the help.
The installation is all straightforward from here.  I welcome the comment regarding keeping apps and OS on the same drive - it somehow felt excessively complicated when I started doing it.  Given that certain programs don't allow alternatives anyway, it seemed a bit stupid to have them split.  And I can see the benefit of having an image which includes both - it makes recovery really simple.
Accordingly I'm going to uninstall those progs that I've put  onto D: and re-do them back to C: - it's a small one-off time penalty to pay and I feel the effort  will be outweighed by the advantages.
When it's all working from a hardware and software point of view, I'll transfer everything into my new case.  Can't wait to get into some video editing/encoding and see that i7 do its stuff!
Thanks to all for your help - especially to my 'old mate' Gary.
John
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: Site Down Detector

Helpful to verify reports of your own downtime, or to double check a downed website you are trying to access.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

  • 12
  • 9
  • 4
  • +1
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now