Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Hard Drive... Is Gonna Fail

Well, maybe not fail, but I have been in a continuous, Dylanesque loop, waiting for verse after verse to get through, but the chorus never comes. So far.

I bought a nice, fresh copy of Steinberg's Cubase 4, a software program for recording and editing digital audio. I have been using this program, and it's big brother Nuendo, on various systems for years. This nice, fresh copy did not like my computer, so I installed a nice fresh copy of Windows XP Pro on my system drive.

Somehow, the computer decided to swap drive names, and what was my System Drive "C:" is now called "System Drive D:". My Audio Drive, "D:" is now called "Audio Drive C:". This is a problem, since most programs look to the C: drive for info by default. This was causing weird problems when trying to load plugins in Cubase, as it kept saying that in was unable to create a New User Profile...and nobody even asked it to.

So, I tried to format the Audio drive, after backing it up to an external drive, but I could not, since XP does not allow you to format what it thinks is the System Drive. I tried to rename it, but XP does not allow that, at least not using the "Disk Management" option on the "My Computer" dealio.

A little research and I found I could rename them in the registry, so I did. I made the Audio Drive (now called C , should be D) into a "Z" drive. I made the System Drive (now called D, should be C) into the C: drive... now that C was available again, then changed Z to D.

All well and good, right? Nope. Now the BIOS can't boot XP from the nice, fresh XP disc because it's looking for "NTLDR", which I gather is short for "NT Loader". Whatever. I apparently have my OS stretched across two drives, so I decided to nuke everything and start over, hopefully having two nice, fresh drives ready for nice, fresh programs.

I physically unmounted the 70G System Drive, took it into the other room, opened up my nice, fresh Dell XP machine, connected the drive and formatted it to NTFS, using the low and slow, option to wipe out everything - including Rose Law Firm billing records, Sasquatch photos, John Kerry's service records, Jimmy Hoffa's whereabouts: a real Rose Mary Woods effort - on my C drive. Worked great. 99% free, an empty drive, no stray files, no confusion.

Take the drive back to the studio, attach it to the cables, insert nice, fresh XP disk, tell BIOS to boot from CD-ROM, and expect to have the only connected drive in the whole damn computer, freshly formatted, begin to be filled with fabulous MS 1's and 0's. Hah.

Still "can't find NTLDR". Will not boot from CD, will not boot at all. I will boot it off my porch in a minute. Seriously.

I have called the cavalry, but they are busy recording away on their fine machines. Yippee.


Mission Control has identified and solved the problem as of this morning. Downloading SP 1 and SP2 as we speak. Should be up and running by supper time. Let me note that in an effort to salvage the work I was doing on my PC studio rig, I loaded Cubase 4 on to my MacBook Pro. 5 minutes later - seriously - I was recording and editing audio.

I'm going to leave Cubase on my Mac, where it is sitting nicely next to Pro Tools M-Powered. Just in case.

Oh..and I'll start saving up for a Mac Pro desktop. Just because.


Blogger Barry Pike said...

This kind of stuff makes me insane. Just reading the account and knowing that it is YOUR computer and not mine still made me start to sweat.

14/12/07 12:18  

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