Stop: Windows misery strikes again

Tree Swirl, by Paul Harrison
Tree Swirl, by Paul Harrison, aged 15

Windows never ceases to amaze me. It’s like the be-all and end-all to the world of computing. It’s like gateway to a parallel universe, that will only let you in if you meet a million and one criteria, all encrypted in hexadecimal code. BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), followed by STOP: 0x0000007B. What’s that supposed to mean, then? Run Chdsk /F or something – that’ll get you a ticket to ride the rollercoaster again. I feel like the world’s a blur when this happens……

As you’ve probably worked out by now, my laptop with all my Acid Pro files, VST plugins, and all my work projects, died on me. Or rather, Windows XP Pro died on me. It’s a 2 year-old HP/Compaq NC6400, which has been running very slowly for about 5 or 6 weeks but has been more reliable than my old desktop. Should have backed everything up, but there’s probably 20 gigs’ worth of files on there, but you wonder about viruses and spyware being passed on. Took ages to load up last week, then on Friday evening: STOP: 0x0000007B. Couldn’t run Chkdsk because I couldn’t get into Windows, so that’s not much use. So much for Windows.

Lots of trawling on the internet later, a Linux Rescue disk came to my aid – System Rescue, with TestDisk on it. It told me that all the contents of the drive where safe, and not corrupted. Runs from RAM, not the HD. Thank heavens for that! How to get to them without a good knowledge of Linux. Ahaaa! Bypass Windows! Find a sneaky way past the guard dogs at the eternal gateway! Took the drive out of the laptop, plugged into a USB drive adapter connected to another PC, and hey presto! There were all my files, looking the same as ever and (hopefully) not corrupted. This little incident, along with many other run-ins I (and so many people I know) have had with Windows, makes me realise that I should either by a Mac and get some decent recording software, or install Linux on a laptop and make music the open-source way. Either way, I’m getting very tired of having to second-guess the system and waiting around for an error message to appear. I very nearly lost all of the Pitch Black remix stuff I’ve working on for months, just when I’m clear about finishing off.

If you’re a Mac or Linux user, please don’t laugh at me. I’ve seen the light and I’ll be converted soon….

Don’t forget to bookmark this post, in case you ever get this problem!

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