Our RV Travels

Updates on our Full-Time RV'ing lifestyle. Feel free to add your comments, replies and stories of your own.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Still fighting computer

Well, as I said in the last post, I was having problems with Norton Ghost 2003. I decided not to try to use that for my Backups due to the problems I had encountered. However the other day, while in the middle of a program, the computer locked up and nothing I could do short of turning off the power switch had any effect. So, I turned it off, and when I turned it back on, it would load only so far then reboot. It did the same in all modes, Normal, Safe, Diagnostic.
So I called Hewlett Packard and got an agent that said it was no real problem. He would turn me over to a technician, but first I had to charge $59.00 on my charge card frt 30 minutes. I agreed to that and after gettig it authorized, he said he would assign me a case number. However phone contact was then lost. I called back, and listened to the recorded messages on my call phone for 45 minutes without ever getting an agent. I decided to ask Tom if I could use their phone. But he suggested that I bring the mainframe into his cellar and work together.

I brought it in and hooked up and when we tried to start got the same results. Tom said it looked like a virus he had heard of. I had been getting virus messages on the screen from my Norton Antivirus, but a system scan revealed nothing. I had also tried AVG viruscan which found several and was able to repair or remove the Netsky infected files. We removed my hard drive and installed it as a slave in one of his computers. Norton Antivirus there found several Netsky infected files that appeared after my repair. He said that a few months ago a worm had been passed around that laid in wait till the right time to cause problems. We were able to remove all with Norton
But we decided to run some diagnostic programs and it appeared that there may be a bad sector on my hard drive. Also it really had too much space in use. Monday, I went to Office Max and purchased a 80GB drive and Norton System Works 2005 as my antivirus was dueto expire soon. We assumed that Norton Ghost was on the CD also, But when I went to install, Ghost was NOT there. I reinstalled Norton Ghost 2003 and thought everything was in order. But the same problem of rebooting with the message "No System files" came up at times. The only thing I could do was boot from a floppy with Fdisk and use that to reset the Active partition to the corrrect one and delete the virtual partition created by Ghost. Sometimes it would come up with the message that it could not optimize the Virtual Partition. Much online searching found no real cure. I tried defragging the drive several times with no improvement. I even downloaded PerfectFile which Symantec reccomended to optimize the MFT (file table) which neither Norton Disk program or Microsoft defrag would do. PerfectFile sure did a good job and ended up with no fragmented files, but still no luck on running Ghost.
So today it was a trip back to Office Max to purchase Norton Ghost v9.0 for aobut $75.00. It installed beautifully, but on the first try, it encountered a problem almost at the end. I downloaded updates, but was then having a problem getting it to work. Finally a check with Fdisk revealed that in addition to the active partition on Drive 1, Drive 2 was also active. This was apparently causing a conflict. I used Fdisk to remove the partition from Drive 2, then ran Norton Ghost again. It just finished transferring over 25GB of files and checking drives in 40 minutes. Now to get up enough nerve to switch the drives and see if the new drive boots and works correctly.
Other than that not a lot of excitement. I have been assisting in the woodlot some when it isn't too hot - we have had some scorchers here. My brother from Virginia and his wife stopped by for a visit and last Friday we treated them to dinner at an excellent restaurant in Steamburg, NY. My sister also came after getting off duty at the bank in Randolph, so we had a great visit and meal. We had invited my brother that summers in Homestead Park Campground almost next door from here and his wife. But they had other plans so will probably go out with them tomorrow.
I have a follow-up visit with a local Urologist (I think his tests were good) tomorrow. Unless I get a surprise, we will then be cleared to travel. We don't expect to stay too long as we are planning the Escapees RV Club Escapade on our way to the Fleetwood Travelcade Club rendezvous. They are both in Illinois but we paln on visiting friends and family along the way.
Well, I had better tackle my computer again and pray for all to work so I can take it home and get back to things that need done there.
Catch YA later


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