A while back, I decided to install Windows Vista (December CTP) on my Tablet PC.  After the install completed, I discovered that my machine wouldn’t boot.  Unfortunately the last backup I had made was from my PowerBook back in November.  Well, I ended up losing all data from November-February.  That’s not too painful since this is my personal laptop.  So, I tried everything to get the machine working again – various Windows installations, recovery DVD, etc…and nothing worked.  The Hard Disk Drive was a Serial ATA disk – so I had to use a driver floppy to even attempt an install.  The closest I got was with the recovery DVD, but it gave me Delayed Write Errors.  This led me to believe the Hard Drive was bad.  I tried everything and couldn’t get this thing up and working.  So, I took the machine back and exchanged it for a new one.  This time I decided to buy an external HDD and thought I would use Windows Backup to at least keep my files safe.  I backed everything up for about a week…and being the tech guy I am, I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  I tried upgrading this time to the Februrary CTP of Windows Vista…and again, it crashed.  When I tried using the Recovery DVD, I got a bugcheck KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR. I was able to put in a Gentoo Linux CD (which recognizes Serial ATA devices on the LiveCD) and destroy the /dev/sda1 partition using fdisk.  After this, I used the recovery DVD and was back in business.  Now for the Windows Restore…I figured I lost most of my apps and would need to reinstall.  To my surprise, it restored everything just like nothing had happened.  I was truly amazed.  What a life saver – I’ll be using this a lot more often.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have NetApp filers in your house with the power of Snapshots?

[tags]storage, backup, restore, fdisk, windows, sata, vista, linux, crash[/tags]