My husband's been complaining about how thing's have been running lately (or NOT running right, as the case may be), so I decided to perform a complete system recovery to put things in order. We bought a new external drive (500GB) and I was VERY careful to do a complete backup on there as well as backing up my User Data folders for Incredimail and POPFile (my spam program). The reason I mentioned those in particular will be crystal clear in a bit here, so hold on to your hats or else you might lose them, find them on different people's heads -- including BuBBa's big ten gallon monster of a hat that's sitting on YOUR head. Do YOU even KNOW Bubba? You don't even know OF him do you? Well then, you had better use that big old hat to cover your face and run!! LOL LOL OK, now I'm being silly and that's what happens when I'm really, really tired soooooo......I digress.
After the recovery, I reinstalled Incredimail and imported my data and I may have done the same with POPFile, but I don't even remember now. I had reinstalled my other stuff such as IE7 (and my Favorites I had backed up, too), but for some reason, everything crashed. Because it crashed, my peripherals weren't removed properly and after a second recovery I tried to reinstall and restore the same backed up info as before, but Incredimail said my files were corrupt. Upon further inspection, I realized that the crash had caused [bleep] near everything I had so carefully backed up to become 'mixed up', so obviously, I no longer had my User Data folders anymore. I ate that and swore that the next time this ever happened I would have stuff backed up in at least two completely different places that AREN'T attached to this blessed machine in any way, shape or form! Backup. Backup, backup, BACKUP!! I read somewhere that if it's important -- well, you guessed it, huh?
My first question is this -- it was implied somewhere I read that I could make system CDs AFTER I installed programs that I actually used rather than the ones that come preinstalled on the computer. Is this true? I'm pretty close to where I want to be right now, but I never made system CDs before and I want to know what I can and can't do BEFORE I get myself into another situation I can't work out, you know? I'm running Windows XP SP2 Home and my computer's a little long in the tooth -- HP Pavilion 503n, 1.7GHz Celeron, 760MB RAM -- but except for digital pics, it's fine for hubby and me. He likes AOL Explorer and I like IE7, he has no programs installed and I have less than a dozen. Like I said, we bought an external drive, so now our pics aren't filling up our precious space. If I'm allowed to make system discs with everything on it that I want, can you direct me to instructions for making this happen?
Second problem -- another reason for the recovery was because a few months ago we lost the ability for the computer to restart on it's own without this black screen with plain white text coming up between the HP screen and the Windows 'Welcome' etc., etc., that I have to click on either F1 or F2 (I think) and I have no idea what could have caused that except that the cable connection failed and when we called it in and they restarted the modem (or whatever) from their end and ever since, we've had to go through the extra steps of clicking one of the 'F' keys to resume the startup as well as saying 'OK' to a user account and password pop-up before we'd see our desktop. We never had to do either one of those before the cable connect problem and the ISP had 'no idea' what to do about it saying it wasn't 'their problem'. Of course it wasn't. God forbid they have to help a customer with another problem! Well, the recovery got rid of the signin pop-up, but we're still dealing with the stupid black screen page. Any ideas about how to bypass this? It lists our computer's info and one of the F keys goes to a settings page which reminded me of a computer I had before the internet, more DOS-like than Windows -- do you know what I mean? It wasn't a DOS screen though -- no C prompts or anything. I'd sure like to get rid of it before making system CDs because I don't EVER want to see IT again!
Last question -- besides the obvious crash after the first recovery attempt, I really didn't have any issues with any one program I reinstalled, but after the crash, I only did a partial recovery where it was supposed to keep my files/folders intact (even though I seem to be missing stuff anyway), but one of the last things I downloaded/upgraded yesterday morning was IE7 and then I went to bed. My husband told me that when something he was using couldn't find the Windows Media Player, he thought I hadn't reinstalled it yet, but I guess the partial recovery took away everything I had previously reloaded, so I tried to download it from the page it gave me when the shortcut couldn't find it and I not only couldn't download it, it crashed IE on me, too. I tried from my own Microsoft page and it crashed IE again. I tried from AOL Explorer and it still crashed. After trying to download something else, I discovered that it wasn't about the media player, it was about ANYthing I tried to download. Did the partial recovery cause an even BIGGER problem?
I realize that these are pretty loaded questions with not-so-easy answers, but if you need any further information regarding any of the problems, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm not a total newbie and I take directions well, so just tell me what you need or where else I should look and I'll do it and report back ASAP. Any help with any one of these issues I brought up would be greatly appreciated. I've been working on all of this for more than a week now and, quite frankly, I'm exhausted. I can't seem to wrap my head around anything I've been trying to read in the Help files and I don't know where to go from here. Since I can't download ANYthing from ANYwhere -- what am I supposed to do next? Thanks, in advance. Really, thank you.
Edited by SBernheart, 15 March 2008 - 10:52 PM.