Re: Computer problem, need help

On Oct 7, 6:08 pm, Glenn <mino...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Tue, 7 Oct 2008 16:18:14 -0700 (PDT), mg <mgkel...@xxxxxxxxx>

On Oct 7, 1:06 pm, Glenn <mino...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Tue, 7 Oct 2008 11:17:21 -0700 (PDT), mg <mgkel...@xxxxxxxxx>

On Oct 6, 4:55 pm, aezael wrote:
On Wed, 01 Oct 2008 23:29:41 -0400, emi...@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
After being away from the computer all evening, I found an ugly little
red square with a yellow X in the task tray.  This led to Zone Alarm
and the news that there had been a system error, please reboot.  I
did, and the red and yellow icon showed up again, along with a window
that said the computer was unable to load "My Vault".  I rebooted a
second time and the same ugly icon came back.  A brief foray to the
Zone Alarm page did not immediately turn up an answer, so rather than
spend half the night going through stuff that had no relation to the
problem, I thought I'd try and see if one of the computer brains here
could help.  Does anyone have any helpful suggestions?



 I world suggest that you restore your original version, you do backup
your drives don't  you ?

That's an excellent question, but it's an issue people avoid like the
plague. Having a backup is often the only solution. I prefer using
Ghost as a backup utility, but using the original discs that came with
your computer will work also.

The strategy, which of course often goes astray, is to use [intel raid
1] mirroring for disk failure, system restore for software failures
and restore manager when all else fails (start with the help text for
restore manager to see what you may be in for).  Vista is busily
creating a large number of system restore files, but just your luck,
it will have just overwritten the one you want; so when you have a
system that seems to be running well, create a system restore file on
your own.  If you have to use restore manager because you are locked
out of your files (remember dos is available from diskette) then you
will need a disc copy of whichever files you think are important.  I
have verified, unfortunately, that this strategy works.

System Restore works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. It is very
useful, but it's not particularly reliable.

Three or four years ago, I set up a test computer and loaded XP on it
and did a lot of tests with all the various backup utilities I could
get my hands on. I spent several weeks on and off experimenting. At
that time, I found the only one to be 100% reliable was Ghost 2003.
Since then I have migrated to Ghost 8 since I've heard that Ghost 2003
has problems with SATA drives and perhaps problems with partitioned
hard drives also. I have found Ghost 8 to be totally reliable in all

Whenever I build a computer for myself or friends or relatives, I
always install a second hard drive for the backups and their pictures
and music, etc. Then I do Ghost backups at various points during the
install process and I encourage the computer owner to do additional
backups whenever he makes significant changes.

I tried XP's backup utility when I was doing my testing a few years
ago, by the way, and it not only failed to restore the "C" drive, it
wiped out the drive in the process.

Two points, system restore is meant to restore the system objects to a
checkpoint, it's not a means to restore objects damaged before the
checkpoint or to checkpoint any other objects.  Two, mirroring isn't a
backup program, one that safeguards programs or data from change, but
one that protects against disk failure (not just hardware, but rouge
programmers) and masks that failure from the user.  If you are using
another disk as backup, it's a waste of resources if it could be used
as a mirror.  DVD's should be adequate for changes in user objects
using a program such as backup and restore center that completes the
safeguarding of all objects.  Journaling should also be investigated
but probably requires an information's systems shop.  All programs
only work if judgment is used by the customer and all are used knowing
their limitations.  

Using these programs together, it's usually possible to recover from
any failure, but each has its limitations.   The tricky part is
finding the latest checkpoint where the problem hadn't been introduced
and then restoring user objects that don't cause the problem.


My experience has been that System Restore is only reliable if the
problem is recent. If the problem is older, sometimes it doesn't work
and sometimes there isn't even a restore point available that goes far
enough back in time. As I indicated in a previous post, I also had one
experience with System Restore where it screwed up my second hard
drive. I expect it was due to not having much free space on that
drive. When that happened, I lost about 160 GB of data including 50 GB
of music and a lot of pictures. Fortunately, I had everything backed
up on a second, networked computer. I have prevented that problem from
occurring again by turning off the System Restore utility on my "D"
drive. I also now turn it off on the "D" drive on my friends and
relatives computers also whenever I get a chance.

You are correct when you state that mirroring isn't a backup program.
I never use mirroring or disk arrays, etc. I believe it's a total
waste of time and money for home computer users. I have heard that
game players use it because they believe it's faster, though. I don't
know if that's true.

With the Ghost backup utility, one has the choice of either creating
an image file on either a DVD or another hard drive or creating a
clone copy of the "C" drive on another hard drive. Using the clone
option could be looked at as an inefficient backup method. I never use
the clone method although it does provide the option of an immediate
cure to one's problems since all you have to do is modify the BIOS to
boot on the "backup" drive.

With Ghost, I always use the Image file option. This is highly
efficient. For example, I have a 500 GB "D" drive and I only use about
20 GB of space on my "C" drive and Norton Ghost can compress those 20
Gigabytes to save space if desired. So, as I say, the Ghost backup
method is highly efficient, very reliable, and uses very little disk
space. In addition, it requires very little time to either create a
backup or install backup.

I've been using computers at home since the 1970s and have never had a
hard drive failure. So, I don't worry about HD failures much. However,
I do create backups of my backup hard drive anyway, either by putting
the data on another computer or putting it on DVDs, or both. I always
have at least 2 copies of all my data (and backups). In many cases, I
have 3. Even though I don't use any sort of RAID system with my
personal computers, as a retired electronic engineer, I have had some
experience designing RAID systems. As I indicated previously I believe
redundant arrays are only useful in commercial applications and a
waste of time and money for home computers.


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