ACK ACK ACK ACK ACK

What a way to come back from vacation.

Mere hours after arriving in Ottawa from my parents’ place where I
spent Christmas and New Year’s, my Windows PC crashed. Hard. Now it
won’t reboot, and even the XP installation disk won’t run
properly.

That means that I had to make a quick switch to my old Linux
installation to get the computer working. Now it works just fine,
except for one thing: my ancient SMC Wi-Fi adapter doesn’t appear to
be supported. That means if I want to use the Net at home I have to
resort to dialup, and with three other guys in the house, it also
means I’m restricted to the early morning or after midnight if I want
to be polite about it.

Also, my friends on #pros might remember back in mid-2004 where I
disappeared suddenly from channel only to reappear about an hour or so
later to announce that my hard drive had caught fire. This is that
hard drive. While it seems to work fine and has been running about 24
hours now with nary a spark, you can understand why I don’t trust
it.

Here are the symptoms of The Crash. If anyone with experience
recovering XP systems is reading this and can suggest a fix, please
leave a comment or drop me an email.

  • The drive appears to boot just fine. I get the text screen where
    Windows notices that the it didn’t restart properly the last time and
    gives me the option of starting normally, in safe mode, with the last
    known good configuration, etc.
  • No matter which of these options I choose, the screen goes blank
    for a few seconds, then the computer reboots, and the whole thing
    starts all over again.
  • In safe mode, the last file that appears to be loaded by Windows
    before it spontaneously reboots is “Mup.sys”.
  • I haven’t yet checked the disk to see if the data is still fine.
  • If I insert the Windows XP CD, it boots normally, but after the
    message telling me to press F6 if I want to install a third-party SCSI
    driver disappears, it locks up thoroughly. Only a hard reset revives
    the PC. I tried this with a roommate’s CD instead of my own and got
    precisely the same result.

I hate Windows.

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