Matt's stupidity continues

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006

I've made plenty of whopping stupid mistakes in my life, but that doesn't make what I did yesterday any easier to bear. In a moment of "insight," I decided to try installing Windows XP for Tablet PCs on my desktop, which had an unvalidated copy of XP Pro running on it. I have a single 300 gig hard drive divided into two partitions, one for system stuff (C) and the other for games and data (G). So, I figured the worst that could happen was that I'd lose the stuff on the system drive and have to re-install my bogus copy of XP. Wrong.

I was able to install XP for Tablets on my PC, but realized at once it wasn't going to work properly. The graphics crawled, and I was just barely able to get online. I figured if I could validate the software, I might try to work out the kinks later. Unfortunately, it failed to validate, so it was all just wasted effort. (We're about an hour into this by now).

So, I decided it was time to re-install my old XP Pro and be done with it. Then I realized that my old XP didn't have Service Pack 2. Would that matter? I didn't know.

The first thing I tried was simply rolling back my OS, since when I tried to install the Tablet version I had used the built-in backup feature. That didn't work, so next I tried to install XP Pro again. For some reason, it hung during the install. I couldn't get to the Windows screen at all. At this point, I began to get seriously worried.

So, I decided to use my Knoppix boot CD and go in and drag all my important files to DVD-ROMs, which I should have done in the first place (and believe me, I am *kicking* myself right now). You guessed it--there was no G drive anymore. I was officially foobarred.

The only thing I could do was re-install the bloody Tablet XP and try to get some kind of hard drive recovery tool to salvage what I could. I've tried four of them since, and each one ended up either (a) not working or (b) working to a degree and then asking me for $100 or more for a version that would actually let me save the bloody files (after two+ hours of scanning, I might add). Gee, gotta love people willing to take advantage of a desperate situation.

In the meanwhile, I went ahead and bought the Windows Home Premium version of Vista, which I hope to install if and when I ever get some files salvaged from my drive. At this point, I'm not really concerned about anything but my personal documents and pictures. I can always re-install software and re-download mp3s and shows. I'm just righteously pissed that I could've been stupid enough to try any of this without making backups to DVD Roms. I mean, WTH was I thinking???

Anyway, I ask for your prayers (or at least some crossed fingers) that I'll be able to salvage at least some of my data and get Vista up and running by this evening. Otherwise, I really don't know what I'm going to do!

n/a