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Monday, August 17, 2009

Windows XP and Major Overhauls (Part 2)

“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow”


Surprise! My upgrade didn't go according to plan. So, what went wrong?

The image that I'd created a while back..... No good. I installed it, and all appropriate progress bars and blinky lights seemed to be in order.

But when I go to start my new Vista 64 bit install? BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH.

Now our first thought might be to blame Vista, because that's the most obvious target. It's not fair though. I've never used this imaging software before (Ping), so it's possible that the imaging software caused the issue, or it could even be good old fashioned user error.

Besides, once the blame is assigned, I still had to contend with a laptop that was 'bricked'.

For those who don't know:

Definition of Brick (thanks to Wikipedia).

When used in reference to electronics, "brick" describes a device that cannot function in any capacity (such as a device with damaged firmware). This usage derives from the fact that some electronic devices (and their detachable power supplies) are vaguely brick-shaped, and so those which do not function are as useful only as actual bricks. The term can also be used as a verb. For example, "I bricked my MP3 player when I tried to modify its firmware."

But as one of my friends in I.T. taught me: Have a backup plan.

What's that plan?

So I install from scratch, and as of now, my OS is up and running. It takes a couple of hours to install the security updates (tedious, but necessary). Now I'm getting my remaining software slowly installed again.

So as of right now, no screen captures, because Snagit and Camtasia aren't back on yet.

But we're on our way. Software is starting to get back installed, and my performance is noticeably better. Whatever was plaguing my system seems to be cured now.

There's still more to be done, but I'm definitely off and running.

The moral of my little adventure? When you're doing anything major like this, have a fallback plan in case the first doesn't work. I'd be in for a pretty long night tonight if I hadn't had the disks as a backup.

And while things aren't ideal, I'll be at 100% by tomorrow.

Sometimes it's not about whether or not things go according to plan. It's how well you recover when the plan goes wrong.


  1. Why not just do a "Ctrl-C" "Ctrl-V" of C: when everything is installed?

    Boot off of a linux CD f.x. and copy-paste the hdd (C:)..

    No image-programs needed.

  2. Never thought of that. I'm not too Linux savvy, so that's one that might be a little beyond my current skill level.

    But I'll have to keep that one in mind for the next time I give this a try.

    Thanks for the tip!