Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Silence - what we all dread

This week's radio tasks seemed easy. Take a better photo of the IC-7300 for the last posting (below). Get the CAT reconnected to the FT-817 which is now on VHF. Then finish tidying the shack.

So I was just about to get the 817 sorted and I had plugged in the USB plug to it's interface when ...


Followed by the gentle sound of a fan gently spinning down to zero rpm.

And then silence.

The computer had crashed.

I can cope with this. Backups, repair discs, installation discs ... all ready. Erm, no. Hard to fix when I cannot find what is wrong.

I spent a day and a half trying to pin down what it is. First it seemed to be the relatively new main hard drive, then the equally new outboard back-up drive. If I plugged the two together nothing worked, separately they both seemed fine. Windows said I must check the discs but chkdsk showed all fine. And Windows kept pointing to a "corrupt volume" with a name which meant nothing to me. Or it just refused to load, saying that there was a file reading error.

Where is drive ? anyway?

Deleting something you cannot find is a problem. All the volumes were showing up as healthy, all the drives were working and yet this odd corrupt unfindable file was messing everything up.

So there was nothing else for it but to draft in my work computer which is usually kept strictly separate from the one that runs my business administration and works my data software. It then took over a day to get all the software onto the work computer (and I am now running the risk of it packing up). I had to borrow a display board and a USB-3 board from a third computer but we are going again now.

I need to try various things related to clearing off discs and re-formatting them. Meantime at least I have data modes running again (not that there is anything to hear). There was a 6m opening on Sunday which did not come this far North, though there was some Sporadic E on 10m during the same event.

I have lost very little data (I think). Last year's accounts - but I had already printed them out ready for the tax man. My database with my VHF square totals on it - well maybe. I have an image of the hard disc which should bring these back. Everything else is secure I think.

Setting up the data modes on a new computer was a tedious business. But it is done and once I get everything fixed I can revert to normal with a backup system ready. My rigs all run without computers now (!) provided I am prepared to sink to the unspeakable depths of using a microphone.

Ah dear. After discovering that this computer does not have Photoshop, and then finding that Photoshop did not like the way the virtual memory was configured on it, I finally made the new version of the IC-7300 photo.
What a palaver. A lost weekend and it is already Tuesday.

I still have not finished cleaning the shack.



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