Facing Armageddon

By Kenny Williams

When I reflect on the times that have come to pass, I am always astonished by the amazing experiences the lord has placed in front of me. My life seems to be defined by the very, very highest of highs or the very, very lowest of lows. There is no middle ground here, just peaks and troughs. Any unforeseen circumstance that shows up in my life will surely evoke either tears of joy or tears of sorrow.

With this sort of life, you might guess that I would have some really horrific computer related nightmares. As of last week you would have been wrong. Wrong, not because I have not ever been close to computer Armageddon, because I have always diligently made backup disks of all my important files and have never had any reason to be in fear of some virus or hard drive crash.

Let me preclude this by telling you that I truly am honored that you take time away from your work, family, or even church to read my words. For this reason, I want to confess that I have not been practicing what I preach. I am ashamed to admit I have not made a backup of my important data for more than three months now.

Last week I had an unusual thing happen to my computer (unusual in the sense that I had to seek help from the belly of the beast - Microsoft").

I have been consolidating data from my old hard drives onto one drive in preparation to do a complete backup onto CD. Before I had the chance to make this all-inclusive backup, I experienced a life changing, attitude adjusting, mind-bending, computer event. The hard drive, with all of my important data on it, shut down on its own.  I thought Hmmm, must be that msblaster worm thatís been on the news.

I restarted the computer and then received a message worse than a "Dear John" letter on Valentines Day. Just after the splash screen an error message popped up stating that the system configuration file was corrupted or missing (possibly due to accepting kickbacks or bribes from big software companies) and that I should use my emergency repair disk or Windows 2000 CD to repair the damaged files.          

I attempted to repair Windows 2000 to no avail. At this point I knew that this was a serious problem with only two options 1. Reinstall Windows or 2. Restore the system using a backup utility called Ghost. Norton Ghost is a sophisticated Backup utility. Ghost makes an exact copy of your hard drive so you can easily restore data when the end is in sight and you have tied your last knot.  Ghost has a standard Backup tool and a Clone tool, which makes an exact duplicate of a hard drive on another drive. I decided to use Ghost found at http://www.symantec.com to restore my computer to the way it was three months ago when the Ghost image was made.

If you have Norton Ghost on your computer Click Start>Programs>Norton Ghost>Ghost. Once it is open, Click the Ghost>Advanced option>Image Integrity> Check>Next; use the drop-down button or the Browse button to select your Ghost back-up file. Click next and select the source drive in the pane on the left. It should already be selected but double-check and then select a destination drive in the right pane. Click next and put a check in the Overwrite Windows checkbox if you want to restore your original copy of Windows to the destination drive. Otherwise, leave the box blank to retain the freshly installed OS but to restore all of your other files.

If a Device Information warning message appears, it is a good idea to leave these options alone unless you know what you are doing. Read the Important Information screen, click next, make sure the Task Summary window matches the options you selected (click Back if it doesnít), and click Run Now. Click OK if a warning message appears, and Ghost automatically restarts the computer and restores the hard drive.

If you are interested in computer lessons or have any questions, comments, suggestions please feel free to e-mail me at WebServerColumn@yahoo.com

The WebServer is a weekly computer column with a circulation of over 120,000 readers in three different publications. Look for your weekly dose of WebServer in The Caribbean Connection in Atlanta, Orlando, and Miami and in The Observer News in SouthShore.

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