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The Ayatollah Buggeri

Absolute Pigf****r Of A Computer Problem Solved

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As there is a healthy contingent of computer geeks on this site, I thought I'd post the following so that you can all laugh at me; and also, so that if anyone else has the same wasted day that I've just had, they can hopefully find the fix by Googling.

System details as follows:

Abit AB9 Pro motherboard

750w power supply

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4ghz processor

NVidia 9500GT graphics card

Previously 4GB PC2 6400 RAM (4 x GB sticks); just upgraded to 8GB (4 x 2GB sticks); this is where the fun started

1 x 500GB hard drive; 3 x 1TB hard drives + 1 x 1.5TB hard drive

3 x optical drives

Oldish Creative audio card (I like it because the mic input has a big enough gain to act as an ersatz phono preamp, and I do a lot of digitising from 78rpm shellac records)

There are four system partitions I can boot into: XP x64, Vista Ultimate x86, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Ubuntu 10.09 x64.

A couple of weeks ago I bought the memory upgrade thanks to a speculatively low bid on Ebay that came off. I'd had it in mind to upgrade the memory in this machine for a while, because it was using up a lot of RAM and starting to write to swap files when running memory and processor-intensive audio clean-up operations from captured oral history acetate records from the '30s and '40s. This morning, my first work-at-home day for a while, I made the stupid mistake of thinking that I'd just get around to popping that extra RAM in and then start the day's agenda.

Wrong! When I rebooted after installing the new sticks, Windows 7 gave me a 'Your NVidia graphics driver has recovered from a problem and restarted' error repeatedly, with the screen going blank. The same thing happened in Vista. XP ran more or less OK, but would occasionally freeze momentarily during processor-intensive opreations, e.g. showing video content. Ubuntu appeared to be totally OK.

It appears that this error is a well known problem, though there is no one cause (there are multiple possibilities, both hardware and software) and no universal fix. I tried the following, all to no avail.

1. Booted into safe mode > uninstalled graphics card driver with 'and delete the driver files, too' option ticked > booted back into full mode > installed latest version of driver from scratch > rebooted.

2. Took an image of the Windows 7 system partition, nuked the volume and started to reinstall Windows 7 from scratch. The flashing and then recovering from the error began again as soon as the Nvidia driver was installed.

At this point I was starting to feel that I was stuffed, and was about to take the memory out and replace it with the old 1GB sticks. I then remembererd that it started to go unstable under XP as soon as the computer was asked to do some significant work (i.e. show full-screen video), and therefore I wondered if it could be a power issue; especially as the webpage linked above cites a power shortage as one possible underlying cause. That seemed logical, as presumably double the memory needs double the power. So I had a look around in the BIOS screen, increased the DRAM voltage from 2.0 to 2.10, rebooted ... and bugger me, the problem has totally and utterly disappeared! Just tried playing a high-bitrate Blu-Ray disc, too, which worked without complaining.

I would add this fix to the comments section of the nvlddmkm.com page, but it requires you to create an account and there is no email address for the site's author.

The moral of the story is not to attempt a hardware upgrade unless you're willing to risk having to spend several hours clearing up the aftermath, I guess. Still, I'm kind of pleased with myself for having cracked this one.

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Guest eight

Blimey - that would have defeated me. (I notice that Ubuntu worked fine though. Ah how I dislike Windows, even as a memory of acres of time forever wasted.)

I have a PC question I need to ask - should I post it here or just start a new thread?

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I have a PC question I need to ask - should I post it here or just start a new thread?

Oh go on be a devil; start a new thread AND post it here. You only live once.

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As there is a healthy contingent of computer geeks on this site, I thought I'd post the following so that you can all laugh at me; and also, so that if anyone else has the same wasted day that I've just had, they can hopefully find the fix by Googling.

They could get more than they bargained for if they find this site.

"All I wanted was to fix my computer and now I can't sleep from worrying about economic armageddon."

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As there is a healthy contingent of computer geeks on this site, I thought I'd post the following so that you can all laugh at me; and also, so that if anyone else has the same wasted day that I've just had, they can hopefully find the fix by Googling.

.........

The moral of the story is not to attempt a hardware upgrade unless you're willing to risk having to spend several hours clearing up the aftermath, I guess. Still, I'm kind of pleased with myself for having cracked this one.

Serendipity! I am planning to upgrade my memory right about today or tomorrow! I've printed this out, just in case. Thanks for posting this :)

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They could get more than they bargained for if they find this site.

"All I wanted was to fix my computer and now I can't sleep from worrying about economic armageddon."

and whether they should've used that last bit of tin foil to bake the salmon :unsure:

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Loads of us have various computer related questions, and geeks wouldn't be geeks if they didn't respond to the challenge of questions. Wonder if we can get the mods to start a new topic line??

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Absolute Pigf****r Of A Computer Problem Solved

P = NP?

Abit AB9 Pro motherboard

750w power supply

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4ghz processor

NVidia 9500GT graphics card

Previously 4GB PC2 6400 RAM (4 x GB sticks); just upgraded to 8GB (4 x 2GB sticks); this is where the fun started

1 x 500GB hard drive; 3 x 1TB hard drives + 1 x 1.5TB hard drive

3 x optical drives

Oldish Creative audio card (I like it because the mic input has a big enough gain to act as an ersatz phono preamp, and I do a lot of digitising from 78rpm shellac records)

There are four system partitions I can boot into: XP x64, Vista Ultimate x86, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Ubuntu 10.09 x64.

A couple of weeks ago I bought the memory upgrade thanks to a speculatively low bid on Ebay that came off. I'd had it in mind to upgrade the memory in this machine for a while, because it was using up a lot of RAM and starting to write to swap files when running memory and processor-intensive audio clean-up operations from captured oral history acetate records from the '30s and '40s. This morning, my first work-at-home day for a while, I made the stupid mistake of thinking that I'd just get around to popping that extra RAM in and then start the day's agenda.

Wrong! When I rebooted after installing the new sticks, Windows 7 gave me a 'Your NVidia graphics driver has recovered from a problem and restarted' error repeatedly, with the screen going blank. The same thing happened in Vista. XP ran more or less OK, but would occasionally freeze momentarily during processor-intensive opreations, e.g. showing video content. Ubuntu appeared to be totally OK.

It appears that this error is a well known problem, though there is no one cause (there are multiple possibilities, both hardware and software) and no universal fix. I tried the following, all to no avail.

1. Booted into safe mode > uninstalled graphics card driver with 'and delete the driver files, too' option ticked > booted back into full mode > installed latest version of driver from scratch > rebooted.

2. Took an image of the Windows 7 system partition, nuked the volume and started to reinstall Windows 7 from scratch. The flashing and then recovering from the error began again as soon as the Nvidia driver was installed.

At this point I was starting to feel that I was stuffed, and was about to take the memory out and replace it with the old 1GB sticks. I then remembererd that it started to go unstable under XP as soon as the computer was asked to do some significant work (i.e. show full-screen video), and therefore I wondered if it could be a power issue; especially as the webpage linked above cites a power shortage as one possible underlying cause. That seemed logical, as presumably double the memory needs double the power. So I had a look around in the BIOS screen, increased the DRAM voltage from 2.0 to 2.10, rebooted ... and bugger me, the problem has totally and utterly disappeared! Just tried playing a high-bitrate Blu-Ray disc, too, which worked without complaining.

I would add this fix to the comments section of the nvlddmkm.com page, but it requires you to create an account and there is no email address for the site's author.

The moral of the story is not to attempt a hardware upgrade unless you're willing to risk having to spend several hours clearing up the aftermath, I guess. Still, I'm kind of pleased with myself for having cracked this one.

Oh, that one.

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Guest eight

Oh go on be a devil; start a new thread AND post it here. You only live once.

It's this.

I have a hard drive that was previously the F:/ drive (ie. 2nd drive) in an old computer. Having disposed of that computer, I want to remove files from that drive using a USB caddy with my new computer. However somehow the partitions or directory structure have gone awry - don't ask me how. I know the files are physically there as the can be found by recovery software; however I'd much prefer to restore the original directory structure, if possible. Not least because it's a 250GB drive and the recovery would take literally days using what I have available.

Anybody know how? TIA.

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It's this.

I have a hard drive that was previously the F:/ drive (ie. 2nd drive) in an old computer. Having disposed of that computer, I want to remove files from that drive using a USB caddy with my new computer. However somehow the partitions or directory structure have gone awry - don't ask me how. I know the files are physically there as the can be found by recovery software; however I'd much prefer to restore the original directory structure, if possible. Not least because it's a 250GB drive and the recovery would take literally days using what I have available.

Anybody know how? TIA.

I'd need to know the specifics of the 'partitions and directory structure gone awry' bit before being able to go any further. Is the symptom simply that Windows won't recognise the volume? Suggestions:

Firstly, is this an IDE drive rather than a SATA one? If so, the master/slave jumper setting that worked in the old computer might not be right for the USB caddy.

Assuming that is ruled out, connect your hard drive to the computer via the USB caddy.

1. If you're using Windows (any flavour) go to start button - administrative tools (you might have to right click on the start menu > properties > customise in order to get it to show you the administrative tools) > computer management > disc management. Does it show you the drive at all, and if so what does it say? If no partitions are there at all, or they're described as raw, that's an ominous sign. If you see FAT or NTFS partition(s) in the drive, then Windows should be able to read them. If it can't...

2. Download and burn an Ubuntu CD image, and then boot into it as a live CD. Now connect your USB drive. Can Ubuntu see the partitions and gain access to the file structures in them? If so you should be able to copy files off that way.

3. If not, try running GPartEd within Ubuntu Live. What , if anything, does that tell you about the partition structure on your hard drive?

If nothing, or raw/corrupted partitions (e.g. if the master boot record has been damaged in some way), then the only way I can think of is to use the recovery software you have.

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Guest eight

I'd need to know the specifics of the 'partitions and directory structure gone awry' bit before being able to go any further. Is the symptom simply that Windows won't recognise the volume? Suggestions:

Firstly, is this an IDE drive rather than a SATA one? If so, the master/slave jumper setting that worked in the old computer might not be right for the USB caddy.

Assuming that is ruled out, connect your hard drive to the computer via the USB caddy.

1. If you're using Windows (any flavour) go to start button - administrative tools (you might have to right click on the start menu > properties > customise in order to get it to show you the administrative tools) > computer management > disc management. Does it show you the drive at all, and if so what does it say? If no partitions are there at all, or they're described as raw, that's an ominous sign. If you see FAT or NTFS partition(s) in the drive, then Windows should be able to read them. If it can't...

2. Download and burn an Ubuntu CD image, and then boot into it as a live CD. Now connect your USB drive. Can Ubuntu see the partitions and gain access to the file structures in them? If so you should be able to copy files off that way.

3. If not, try running GPartEd within Ubuntu Live. What , if anything, does that tell you about the partition structure on your hard drive?

If nothing, or raw/corrupted partitions (e.g. if the master boot record has been damaged in some way), then the only way I can think of is to use the recovery software you have.

Thanks for all that. Any attempt to access the disk either directly or by disk management returns "The disk in drive F is not formatted." It's a 160gb disk and is showing a master partition of 31.5gb and 117gb "unallocated"; the master partition is indeed described as raw.

I'd be happier using the recovery software (might have no other option, really) if it preserved the "advanced" tags of picture files - alas, as far as I can tell, it can't.

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Guest eight

Thanks for all that. Any attempt to access the disk either directly or by disk management returns "The disk in drive F is not formatted." It's a 160gb disk and is showing a master partition of 31.5gb and 117gb "unallocated"; the master partition is indeed described as raw.

I'd be happier using the recovery software (might have no other option, really) if it preserved the "advanced" tags of picture files - alas, as far as I can tell, it can't.

By way of a bump, and a progress report, the recovery software has now been running for nigh on 9 hours and is showing 17% complete. Could be a long job.

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By way of a bump, and a progress report, the recovery software has now been running for nigh on 9 hours and is showing 17% complete. Could be a long job.

Keep you fingers crossed there isn't a power cut, or that the software crashes.

You'll have used a PC's worth of electricity by the time it's fixed.

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I'm sorry it looks like you're going to lose the NTFS metadata for those image files, but the bottom line is that if the MBR of the volume or the allocation table data for the partition have been compromised, all you can do is look through the drive track by track, sector by sector for where each file starts and ends, and salvage the file. Sadly, the metadata is stored in a completely different place on the disc and I'm guessing that your recovery software does not include the facility to attempt to recover it.

Preaching a sermon about the advisability of regular backups in situations like this is analogous to delivering a moral lecture on the evils of smoking to someone in the final stages of terminal cancer; therefore, I won't.

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Guest eight

Keep you fingers crossed there isn't a power cut, or that the software crashes.

You'll have used a PC's worth of electricity by the time it's fixed.

Well, 46 1/2 hours in and 93% complete - boy am I a nervous bunny!

I feel like I'm mining bitcoins or something.

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Guest eight

Preaching a sermon about the advisability of regular backups in situations like this is analogous to delivering a moral lecture on the evils of smoking to someone in the final stages of terminal cancer; therefore, I won't.

Yes, I know, I know. Actually this disk was supposed to BE part of the backup strategy. I have been a bit of a victim of very unfortunate circumstances really as the original computer systematically failed bit by bit, rendering all my efforts to get data off it more and more difficult, and now this issue with the disk......

What would be considered a "cast iron" level of backups?

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Yes, I know, I know. Actually this disk was supposed to BE part of the backup strategy. I have been a bit of a victim of very unfortunate circumstances really as the original computer systematically failed bit by bit, rendering all my efforts to get data off it more and more difficult, and now this issue with the disk......

What would be considered a "cast iron" level of backups?

Regular (weeky at least) copies of all the data you need backed up stored at various off-site locations.

You have to bear in mind that even DVD's and USB keys become unreadable over time, so it's important not to just back up what's new or changed since the last one. (although this kind of incremental backup might be something you would do each day).

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Guest eight

This is a nice simple free autobackup http://beanland.net.au/autover/

Thanks for that. I have tried livedrive etc. but don't like the way they work by constantly mirroring your hard drive; I'd prefer just a document back up folder which I could save offline somewhere. I suppose generic webhosting space would be ok for this?

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  • 295 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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