Powerful Computer ‘Mithral’ May Require A Reinstall

It is a shame but might be true.

I have been using a powerful Tower-PC named ‘Mithral’, on which I have installed Windows 7 Pro, and which has an 8-core CPU, threaded as 4. This computer was first installed in 2011.

This computer had special software installed, named “Diskeeper 2011″, which continuously defragmented my Hard Drive, but in an effort to be able to save the HD even in the worst-case Fragmentation / FS Corruption scenarios.

‘Mithral’ has developed the habit now, of repeatedly going into an unresponsive state, overnight, which is also the time when it has been configured to do its background defragmentation.

The fact that it never freezes during the day, but often now, overnight, suggests that the problem may lie in File System Corruption, which can lead to fatal errors, if defragmentation encounters it under Windows. I have run a ‘Check-Disk’ on it, but doing so has not remedied the problem.

However, one apsect of this problem which puzzles me, is the fact that so many defragmentations have run successfully, without immediately tripping over any FS-Corruption issues. This casts doubt on the idea, that the problem may be due to FS Corruption. What could also be happening, is that Diskeeper 2011 may no longer really have been compatible with the most-currently updated Windows 7.

And so, because these hangups seemed to be taking place during a time when Diskeeper 2011 was running, what I have done for now, is to uninstall that, and to install the most up-to-date version, that being “Diskeeper 2016″. As usual, I am able to tell Diskeeper to defragment the whole HD without any immediate errors. But now I will have to wait and see, whether continuous background-defragmentation, using version 2016 of the software, is ultimately more stable.

Because a computer which crashes every second night is not really supportable, I might eventually need to wipe ‘Mithral’, and to make an attempt to resurrect it, using some version of Linux. If I succeed, at least I will still have the benefit of the hardware.

There is some chance, however slight, that the problem is not really FS Corruption, but some sort of Hardware problem. If that should turn out to be the case, then even with Linux on it, this computer will still crash and/or be unstable. This will be even more sad.

To prepare for eventually reinstalling, I will need to migrate critical data off it, to my other computers, with a depth I have not had to do so in before. This will not be one of those cases, where I can just wipe the HD and kick the present O/S off it on a whim. I need to think this through, as far as data is concerned.

This is my last remaining Windows computer. There exist certain services under Windows, that I cannot duplicate under Linux, and I might need to get by without those.



The Old USB Key was Most Definitely Defective.

During This Preceding Posting, I had written that today I saw the need to dispose of an older USB Key in favor of a newer one.

With the older Key, for some reason my speed had gone down to USB 1 speeds as well. But I had let it run for a few hours, to transfer a photo album from the computer I name ‘Phoenix’, to the one I name ‘Klystron’. There were roughly 6000 photos, in 200 folders.

After replacing the USB Key, of course the thought had occurred to me, that the transfer itself was suspect. So on ‘Klystron’, I ran a quick preview of the sub-folders. At random, about 1/4 of the sub-folders contained image-files, whose data revealed no images.

And so what I now did, was to repeat the procedure with my new Sony USB Key. It was able to load the images – which take up 7.8GB of storage – from ‘Phoenix’ at USB 2 speeds (20 Megabytes / Second), and save them to ‘Klystron’ at USB 3 speeds (80 Megabytes / Second). Hence, the repeat of that procedure merely required a few minutes of my time. In the process, the USB Key got warm.

Now, it would seem that there is no more corruption in the files, belonging to the sub-folders, as stored on ‘Klystron’.