Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Sunday, April 16, 2006

And Then There Were None...


Remember that program I talked about in the last post called "Partition Magic"? Well, I didn't find it during my shopping trip to Aeon yesterday. However, I did find a program that did more or less the same thing.

At least it claimed to.

The name of the program is "Partition Expert" by Acronis. The "J-Zone" computer shop in Aeon's Jusco department store had it available as part of a series of top-rated software utilities offered at discount prices. According to the package, the program can be used to create partitions, delete them, copy them, blend them together, or recover data when Windows gets trashed. According to a stick-on label, it can also be used to increase the size of the C drive by removing unused space from other partitions. In fact, there was a sign on the shelf specially recommending it for just that reason since, with the SP2 upgrade, lots of older computers are apparently having C drive space problems.

Well, I had been having just that sort of problem myself with this box. I was getting fed up with wiping everything possible off the C drive only to have it tell me yet again that I was down to only a couple hundred megabytes of free space. My experience with "Partition Magic" at ye olde academy gave me what finally looked to be the solution (short of buying a new computer). I didn't find Partition Magic, but "Partition Expert" looked to be just as good, not to mention a lot cheaper, so I snapped it up.

I installed it this morning, looked over the documentation carefully, read various related sites online (all of which spoke highly of it), fired it up, created a "rescue CD" just in case, set it to transfer about 7 GB of space from the D drive to the C drive, and clicked the "commit" button. I then watched with delight as it followed more or less the same procedure that "Partition Magic" had on the computer at the school. It moved data on the D drive, reduced the size of the partition, increased the size of the C drive accordingly, reconfigured the system, and then rebooted.

And then nothing happened.
After the regular BIOS settings flowed past, the thing just hung up and stopped. I hit ctrl+alt+del and it did the same thing.

Horrified, I booted off the rescue CD I'd just made. "Partition Expert" started, scanned the drives, and showed that they had, indeed, been resized according to my specifications. However, there was an evil-looking, little, red "X" on the C drive.

I couldn't even find the menu command for data recovery.

I tore out that CD, popped in the disk for the Windows XP SP2 that I'd bought and installed a few months ago, and booted into recovery mode. It showed that the C drive's data had been competely corrupted. Sighing, I started the "repair installation" (or however the Japanese translates) sequence only to get a message saying (in Japanese), "C drive is destroyed. Please either reformat or install on a different partition.")

Well, I chose the reformat option. I went ahead and changed the C drive from FAT32 to NTFS (which I now think might have been a mistake) and started all over again. Luckily, all the data and backups on the D partition were intact, which saved a lot of time and effort. I still wound up spending half of today getting this thing more or less back to normal.

I guess it's not so bad. I actually took advantage of this opportunity to cut out some gingerbread that I'd been trying to talk myself into getting rid of for months. I also now have 75% more C drive space than before. All the main stuff is working again, and it's probably running better than before since I don't have such a chopped up system disk anymore. Still, this whole thing is extremely aggravating. The fact that I bought a highly-recommended, supposedly reputable program from a supposedly reliable outlet only to have it butcher my system is frustrating, but I probably had it coming to me. After all, I tried to make do with a bargain-bin version (which may very well have been a bootleg or a phony imitation), and you get what you pay for.

Yep, I paid for it, alright. I'm just thankful I printed out my e-mail address book for no apparent reason a few months ago. Serendipity is the mother of salvation.

Happy Easter, everyone!!!!!


  • Heart-racing when scrolling down the post.. whew!... luckily things come up well in the end.

    i think i better look into partition magic/expert after my exam. couldn't risk having the unexpected happening to my study files in computer during these times hehe...

    Happy Easter!

    By Blogger YD, at 12:03 AM  

  • I recently experienced a disaster on my PC after attempting to install a video capture card. It wiped out all the IRQ bits which disabled my raid disk manager. Repairing the problem required reinstalling allof the software as I had no backup, and my e-mail list was lost as well as much other priceless data. Whooppee!

    By Blogger Pa've, at 5:41 AM  

  • YD
    Partition Magic worked well for me. Partion Expert (bargain discount version) destroyed my system. If you do get a disk managing utility suite, don't scrimp! Get a good one, and be sure to do a bit of research first!

    Frankly speaking, I suspect that that copy of Partition Expert I bought was either a poor-quality bootleg or a faked imitation. I read a lot about P.E. online, and all the reviews were good. There's no reason why it should have wrecked my C drive the way it did...if it was the real thing.

    I don't know what OS you use, but the Windows XP installation disk can be used to do a "repair" or "recovery" installation (I'm not sure how to translate the Japanese). That's what I did when I reinstalled a few months ago. All it does is reinitialize your basic system and registries without touching any of the other data on your system drive. When I did it, all my address books, browser settings, etc. were intact. This time the whole C drive was knocked out of commission; all the folders and files were turned into junk data. There was no chance of recovery.

    I suspect the problem might have had something to do with the fact that my D drive was NTFS while my C drive was FAT32. Partition Expert is supposed to automatically reformat (Partition Magic does). Apparently it didn't. The C drive wound up with two different file systems conflicting with each other, so the whole thing wound up fried. ust in case, I made both partitions NTFS. (Now my virus scanner rescue disks may not work, but that's life. They never seemed to be much help, anyway.)

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 4:07 PM  

  • “Partition Expert” seems a very useful software tool. Hoping it manage your computer well.

    Recently, my personal laptop had an invasion by unwanted pop-up ads appeared while I am browsing the Internet. I can’t remove it. Though I’ve a Norton Anti-Virus software was installed in it and it scanned out that virus, but didn’t work out. Always reminds me it will decrease my PC’s run up or destroy my personal data…etc. “STINK :-(”

    Any good recommendation to download a free Anti-spyware OR spyware removal ? HELP!!!

    By Anonymous L.C_D, at 4:12 PM  

  • L.C_D
    Well, it wasn't very useful for me! It destroyed my system!

    Have you ever heard of Lavasoft's Ad-Aware? You can download and install the freeware version, and if you want more power you can pay for the full version. I use the free version, and it has caught and eliminated all kinds of spyware.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 5:23 PM  

  • Having a department store so near to an international airport is most helpful especially when the layover is for a number of hours.

    Aeon Jusco is also operating here and all its outlets are doing very well.

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 3:31 PM  

  • what do you mean - I guess it's not so bad.

    IF THIS HAPPENED TO ME.. it is the end of the world.. at least for the IT GUYS.

    By Blogger Robin, at 5:44 PM  

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