I've been living with insomnia and the negative effects of sleep deprivation for some time now
, and so it was that I awoke in a terrible funk just a few hours later. Unable to get email working in my secondary installation, I had to boot to the primary drive in order to receive my important communiques
. On the way there, via the new C: > Chkdsk E: > C: alternate boot-path, CHKDSK locked up.
Obviously the situation was only getting worse on my primary drive. In my sleep-starved delirium, against all instinct and better judgement, I decided to let Windows repair itself using the installation CD. It would have been an easy thing to first finish offloading the remaining 20% of my data, but the recent success with Linux had left me feeling kind of invincible, and if this didn't work Windows could only hurt itself, right?
With the CD loaded I rebooted, selected the installation to repair, and pressed 'R'. Everything seemed to be going well enough, until the repair operation froze at 47%.
Rebooting, the Windows CD informed me that it had already failed to repair the installation and asked if I wanted to try again. Try.
It had sounded a lot more confident before. But try
it did and achieved exactly the same result: frozen at 47%.
My C: drive was thus rendered unbootable - no more email. And much to my chagrin, now the secondary drive wouldn't boot up - no more Internet either. But to top it off, even Linux wouldn't recognize my primary drive anymore - 20% of my precious data, gone.
I cursed myself a fool for working from the faltering primary drive and booted over to the secondary drive, where all was still well.
Except that I couldn't get my email working.
My XP FPP OS is installed on a 12 GB partition (H:) on my 80 GB secondary drive. I started by offloading all extraneous data from H: to the external drive in order to make some room, then began to copy files from the 'sluggish' partition to H:. The first few made it without issue; it was all going very well. Too
I sat there for a minute in stunned silence, gathering my resolve. And then it was on
. I broke out the Ubuntu Linux Live CD that I'd made following a previous adventure
and booted it up. My HDDs were all recognized and we were off to the races. I copied entire folders from the primary to the external drive without a hitch, including my 6+ GB unsorted Arcade ROMs folder. A couple of times Ubuntu seemed to hang while copying files from the sluggish G: partition, but I gave it plenty of time to finish the transfers and after a reboot it appeared that they had made it intact.
Now serious business, the salvage operation continued late into the evening until, with about 80% of the task completed, I had to get some sleep. After booting back into Windows I still
couldn't get my email working, but did get a download started and finally called it a night.