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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Every Episode Of Every 'Star Trek' Series Ever, Ranked on: December 16, 2014, 05:09:12 PM
Voyager isn't my favorite either, but I never understood the hate it gets. Then again, I grew up with TNG, so those episodes will always be my among my favorites. Deep Space Nine started out not that great, but I heard from others that did watch DS9 completely, its ending was very strong.

In Voyager I always did like the episode where they had (quite some) ship damage and they see a Borg cube flying at them...fast! And pass by them, without even paying attention...
Then 6 or so cubes are coming in, also fast. And again, Voyager is left alone.

Not long after they see a small ship (smaller than Voyager) that is chasing the cubes. Not sure anymore if Voyager escapes their attention the first time around or not. Anyway, that episode made a lasting impression with me at least.

Granted, I watched Voyager longer, because of an "interesting" new crew member...
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Some unknown webpage opens itself after starting my PC! on: December 16, 2014, 08:03:28 AM
If your restoration procedure works for you, I would apply it, because your system is very (!) likely infected with junk.

When restoration doesn't come as easy and you are adamant about not having a virus scanner installed on your computer, then I would use (one of the) online virus scanners that most AV companies offer for free. The free version of MBAM (MultiByte Anti Malware) and similar freeware such as JRT, RogueKiller, AdwareCleaner I would install/run as well. All of these scan on-demand only.

For every browser on your PC (not available for IE), get the add-on: Ghostery and white-list websites only after careful consideration and make sure you update this add-on, whenever it wants to.

If you are not the only user on your PC, get an anti-virus solution! Any! Do yourself that favor! Seriously!
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: December 13, 2014, 08:19:44 AM
Open Window - Reasonably good thriller applying capabilities of current computer and smartphone technology to the NSA's wet dream happen.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: We Are the Idiots on: December 11, 2014, 08:23:39 PM
I totally agree with Stoic Joker. When I was in the military, my unit had several brand new cars at our disposal, some were diesel, some were standard fuel.

The rule was that for us to do our job reliably, standard fuel cars needed to be replaced after 100.000 kilometer, the diesels were re-assigned to different duties after 150.000 kilometers. There was only one car (my favorite, a diesel) that was longer than a year with our unit.

Of course, it was the military, so the cars were not treated as "maintenance-friendly" as they could have been. Same attitude people have with lease-cars, I guess. All in all, the diesels were better survivors than the standard fuel cars, with a lot less maintenance costs. But in any case, 100.000 kilometer is really a "magic" number for any car.

Modern cars are not really more efficient with fuel than older cars. They're about the same. New cars are much heavier nowadays, because of all the safety features, noise cancelling padding and electric gizmo's that people take for granted now, but were highly coveted options a few years back.

With some TLC old cars last just as long as new ones. I heard often enough about people pushing cars over 1.000.000 kilometers. And the story of those people were almost always the same. The gist is/was: no wild driving and proper maintenance at very regular intervals, using only manufacturer/factory approved (engine) parts and lubricants.

Of course, spending a lot of money on an old(er) car to keep it running reliably or buying/trading in a car every few years likely won't matter much, cost-wise. Unless you are capable (know-how and having the necessary tools & equipment), which reduces incurred costs significantly. Anyhow, people will choose the latter way, just because they're addicted to the new car smell.

Ten years ago I had an 15+ year old Peugot 205D (the cheapest, most spartan model). It had a very basic, old-fashioned diesel engine and on average (including highways) it would consume 1 liter of diesel every 20 kilometer. If I skipped the highways and made an effort I could manage 25 kilometers per liter. And that with an engine that had already 300.000+ kilometers on the clock.

In my experience, diesels today, with common rail injection and what not, barely go 15 kilometers per liter, even when you make an effort. At least in Europe you hardly notice the difference between having a diesel or standard fuel engine in your car anymore. Road taxes, fuel prices and trade-in values are still quite different.


TL:DR
New cars are hardly better at anything than older cars. Other than giving the consumer a (false) sense of safety that is.
 
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: which phone? on: December 11, 2014, 06:19:25 AM
When choosing between those 2 phones, I would go for the Lumia. Because of the (Lumia only) Nokia software, which is great, and the MS promise that they will offer an upgrade to Windows 10 for all Lumia phones that run Windows Phone 8.

In case you do get a Lumia, you would better go for the 835 than the 830. In the lower classes of the series Nokia reduced the amount of RAM in the successors. For example the 520 had 1GByte of RAM, the 530 had 512KByte of RAM. Now Microsoft comes with the 535 and it is back at 1GByte again.

I don't know if Nokia did something like that to the 830, but if they did, then MS fixed this in the 835 model.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: which phone? on: December 10, 2014, 05:33:16 AM
The Lumia 520 I have is a decent phone...comes with a lot of software and offline map and has 1 GByte of RAM + 16GByte of storage capacity (half of it is already taken up by the OS and pre-installed software).

If your needs don't go much further than those functionalities that software provides you have a good phone. If you want to control your media set remotely with your phone...then don't. Not that many games are available either. But recently Microsoft announced that every Lumia phone that is capable of running Windows Phone 8 will get an upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

Bought mine here (without any plan) from a guy who tried it for a few days and didn't like it for 500.000 Gs which roughly translates in 125 USD, the official price here is still 800.000 Gs, which is close to 200 USD. If you live in Western-Europe or the US, Windows phones (new) can be had for less.

If you get a Lumia that won't break the bank, get the Lumia 535, not the Lumia 530! Spend a bit more to get the Lumia 935, which comes with a camera that isn't too afraid of the dark anymore.

Sure hope they make the 'Project my screen' app work a lot better soon...that app projects the screen of your Windows phone to your desktop, giving you full control over your phone from your PC. 'WhatsApp'-ing with your PC keyboard and mouse is a major improvement.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: NIX: Douane - An application aware personal firewall on: December 08, 2014, 01:53:01 PM
@IainB
In my (very) limited experiences with Linux, most firewalls do not have a simple or easy interface. While these are powerful, it is easy to set these up insufficiently and/or incorrectly. Finding this out and fixing that isn't that easy, especially when you are accustomed to the Windows way of doing things.

The old ZoneAlarm firewall or SyGate firewall were good at their job and easy to setup. It would be nice to have such an easily configurable firewall on Linux.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Hardware - Disk Drive and/or Fan struggling and testing on: December 08, 2014, 01:41:40 PM
Having build and maintained many computers (for more than 20 years) I do this stuff in my sleep. But after your post, I suggest you let the friend who build your computer for you do the work. As a not-hardware person without an apparent desire to learn about this, don't touch your PC from the inside, you'll do more harm than good.

If it wasn't clear from my previous post:
1. Identify where all the fans in your computer are located. You'll have to open the case of your PC for that.
2. Turn on your PC, so all the fans are spinning and generating the noise.
3. Make sure the PC isn't doing any task that could generate a lot of heat.
4. Stop one of the fans by stopping the blades from spinning for a very brief moment. Use a pen or finger for all I care.
5. Did the noise go away?
     5a. Yes? Than you have found the problematic fan.
     5b. No?  Repeat from step step 4 until you run out of fans.

In a standard tower PC case, you will find a fan on the CPU. You will find a chassis fan at the back, close to the CPU fan. It is possible your PC has a second chassis fan in front of the case, usually close the hard disk. In tropical climates you can find fan(s) located at the bottom of the hard disk itself.

Depending on the model/brand of your PC case you 'll see a fan in the cover plate you have removed when opening your PC case.
Depending on the model/brand of your PC case you 'll see a fan at the top of your PC case (expensive models have this).
Depending on the model/brand of your PC case you 'll see a squarish block on the top or bottom of the PC case. This is your power supply. It contains at least 1 fan. Don't stick anything in there to stop the blades, you might touch something and electrocute yourself if you are really unlucky. Or damage electrical components if you are unlucky. Press with a little bit of force on the center of the spinning power supply fan. Did the noise go away or change? You have found the problematic fan, replacing this fan should be done by a professional. Replacing the Power supply is usually easier and more cost effective.

If you use a separate video card, it might have a fan. If the noise went away after stopping its blades from spinning you need to replace that fan. This should be done by a professional. Getting spare parts for video cards will be a lot of misery at best, so people usually replace the whole video card. If you choose this route, get a new model that uses passive cooling. One less fan to worry about.


The term 'bit-by-bit copy' or 'bit-for-bit copy' indicates you want to clone a hard disk. This means a few things. 1. If the whole procedure goes ok, you can work with your PC as if nothing bad has happened, no re-installation and/or configuration required. 2. All data on the drive will be overwritten and it will be difficult and possibly very expensive if you make a mistake identifying which drive is which. As you said the you use two drives from the same brand and the same size, an error is quickly made.

Cloning software often just shows you the name and model number of the connected drives, so with two drives from the same brand and the same size (usually an indicator that the model numbers of both drives match and if these come from the same manufacturing batch the serial numbers are a close match as well) you'd better know the serial number of each before you start the cloning. The port number from each drive can be of help, but there are motherboards that do not have a marking on these ports and when you don't have the (original) documentation that came with the motherboard anymore...selecting the source and destination drive becomes even harder. So if you didn't write all the information of each drive down on paper or know it by heart you will make an error and this whole thing ends up in tears for you.

The selection procedure is so important that cloning software asks you 2 or 3 times if you are sure to continue. As there are no tools to fall back to, you will be glad to have a piece of paper with that info. After starting the procedure, it becomes easy...because you have to wait until it is finished.

Again, if the blabberings from this post and my previous one don't mean anything to you...do yourself a huge favor and let the guy who build your computer do a thing such as cloning for you...or any repair job for that matter.

Reading your other responses in this thread...Do I understand correctly that the hard disk you plan to use as destination in the cloning procedure, is already in use as D:\ partition. That leads me to the assumption the drive is already in use. Using an old drive for cloning is...well...not the smartest thing to do. Even here in Paraguay a new SATA3 1TByte drive from Seagate costs around 50 USD, so in you neck of the woods, those should be available for less. 

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Hardware - Disk Drive and/or Fan struggling and testing on: December 08, 2014, 06:45:37 AM
Fan test are simple : when the PC  is active (but hardly doing anything!) simply block the fan you suspect is making the noise for a second. if the noise stops immediately, you have the fan in need of replacement.

Turn the PC off an look how this fan is oriented and wired up (take photos if need be) and unscrew it from it's location, take the fan to a store where you can buy PC parts and ask them to get a similar one (exactly!). Put the replacement fan back (now the photos you took earlier could be of help) and activate your PC to verify it works without noise. When it does, close the case again , turn the PC back on again and pat yourself on the back for the repair job you have completed.

Computers do attract a lot of dust, so it might be a good idea to remove the dust from fans and computer parts.

It could be that the fan inside your power supply is making the noise. If the back of your power supply consist of evenly spaced holes, chances are that you have a model that has the fan on the bottom of the power supply. Get a professional to check and/or replace this fan...or spring for a new power supply. This model is usually more expensive (but worth the money!)

However, if you have a power supply that has a set of holes forming a circle on the back, than you have a model with the fan on the back. When the power supply is active, press on the metal in the center of this circle. If the noise changed or went away, it is likely this fan is giving problems. If you want to replace the fan, get a professional to do this. Usually it is easier to get a replacement as they are relatively cheap (even here in Paraguay this model (500W) costs around 10 USD).

In any case, always check/remember how all connectors are connected before you disconnect any of them. That makes it easier when reconnecting. Well, it isn't hard and most connectors are shaped in such a manner that they fit in one way only, without the use of force. Still, if you are unsure, photos can be of help.

As a general rule, if you want to use force to disconnect/reconnect anything inside a PC, you are doing it wrong!

Cloning a hard disk (bit-for-bit copy) to a different hard disk isn't difficult, but requires attention to detail. First, write down all info (brand, model, serial) of each drive you plan to use for cloning (pen and paper). Identify which is the Source hard disk and make sure you know the info of this drive by heart. The other drive will automatically be the Destination.

Doing a bit-for-bit copy means that any data that exists on the Destination will be overwritten, so back this up first, if you want to keep it!

There exist a lot of software (free/commercial) to clone a hard disk. I'm personally fond of 'Miramay HDClone', 'MiniTool Partition Wizard' and 'Eassos Partition Guru'...in that order. HDClone lets you boot from CD or pendrive, select the Source and Destination and start the cloning. Depending on the size & speeds of the hard disks and the version of HDClone you use (the free one is the slowest) this can take time. Please use the available SATA connectors on your motherboard to connect the hard disks, any other way diminishes the chance of creating a successful clone significantly.

Don't expect free software to be able to clone a bigger Source to a smaller Destination, for example a 2TByte Source (bigger) to a 1.5TByte Destination (smaller). The Source and Destination must at least be the same size or the Destination has to be bigger.

When this operation is finished, turn the PC off (completely), disconnect the Source hard disk (completely) and start your PC again. If the system boots and everything is working like you expect, it is safe to assume the cloning operation was a success. Turn off the PC again, remove the Source and keep it in a safe & dry place, preferably in an anti-static bag. This way you still have a fall-back if after a month of using the clone you are not satisfied with the clone. To be really complete, mark the Source with a label stating its purpose and why + when you took it out as a reference. Just make sure you don't cover any hole on the hard disk.
  
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Cloning from 2TB to 4TB on Boot drive ..How? on: November 30, 2014, 06:27:52 AM
When applying 3TByte disks in my computers I always had to use software from Seagate that enabled my computers to make use of storage capacity above 2TByte and always ended up with 2 (GPT) partitions in the process (one of 2TByte and one with the remaining storage space). Happened even on a Asus motherboard that I bought less than a year ago.

There is lots of software to transfer software from one disk to another. The suggestion from 4wd is a good one.

If you have the time the free version of HDClone works very well. Spend money to unlock speed and a boatload of options. Runs from optical medium or pen drive.
MiniTool Partition Wizard also comes in free/commercial versions, also very reliable.
Eassos Partition Guru, again free/commercial, which works nice for cloning/converting partitions.

Those 3 pieces of software I know and trust, but there are still a lot of others: EaseUs and Paragorn are also well known and have free versions for you to try.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for Windows Email Server Options on: November 29, 2014, 07:44:02 PM
vPOP3 (not free, 1 month trial) was a nice and capable mail server the 2 years I worked with it (around 2000). After that, it became PostFix (through several iterations of Ubuntu Server LTS) which is working for me since then.

And it runs happily on a 10-year old computer with a whopping 512MByte of RAM, located in a corner, managed by WebMin. Easy enough solution, no licensing hassles and very reliable. All in all I couldn't be happier.

PHPMyAdmin is great for web-based MySQL administration. However, if you have a need for a standard application to do MySQL administration I heartily recommend the latest version (6.4) of MySQL Workbench. The Community version is free, there is also an Enterprise version which Oracle will charge you for.

The mail server I just spoke about...I use it as internal web-server for a moderately used wiki and also runs a heavily used PostgeSQL server (and still the machine feels underutilized). Last week the dumps I make as backup of the wiki expanded from a regular size of around 15MByte to 1.3GByte.

The dumps I make I test in a VM (Ubuntu Server 14 LTS) and PHPMyAdmin couldn't import that dump anymore, reporting back to me that 'mysql went away'. I had an older portable version of MySQL Workbench already available, but that didn't work either. Which put a dent in my effort to see what was wrong on a backup server in order not to mess up my "production" machine. Database replication, cutting up the dump file in smaller "packages", so MySQL wouldn't choke on it...nothing worked.

But then I thought of updating MySQL Workbench and what a treat that was. It couldn't help with importing the dump file, but replication was as easy as pie and fast too. Under the stewardship from Oracle that software matured and improved immensely, I must say. It was rather easy to eliminate around 40.000 spam pages and 20.000 new accounts responsible for the spamming. And I am sure I couldn't have done it more efficiently with PHPMyAdmin.

Not everything is better with a web-interface...
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Resources for learning Windows PowerShell on: November 29, 2014, 08:31:28 AM
The 'Core' editions of the Windows Server operating system (2008 R2 & 2012 R2) can in essence only be controlled by PowerShell. If you are from the school: 'whatever is not available, cannot break.' you will like these editions. There are a lot less attack vectors on those systems, and require a lot less computing resources (hardware or virtual machine).

But you definitely need good PS skills for managing these.

When browsing through my downloads I encountered 5 video files, that explain Power Shell to you in a clear way. The videos come from the Microsoft Scripting Guy and each last about an hour and I found them very helpful. Take a look on the MS TechNet site if you still can get these videos.

If these aren't available anymore (which I doubt), I can upload the files I have to a storage location of your choice. The videos require 450MByte of storage in total.

Bear in mind that there different versions of PowerShell available, which could pose limits on deployment of your PS scripts on different versions of the Windows Operating systems in your care. Usually you can upgrade the version of PowerShell on any computer, but MS puts (artificial) limits on max. PS version for different versions of Windows.

PowerShell is backwards compatible, for example: a script you created for PowerShel v1.0 will work on PowerShell v3.0. 

There are some companies that have free/commercial development environments just for PowerShell scripts and I would advise to use these as they come with examples and are of real help when making more complex PowerShell scripts. Something you will want to do quickly, because of the sheer Power in the Shell.

Some of the IDE's:
Idera - Very impressive freeware and it has a helpful community.
DevFarm PowerSE - I always liked this one best, but their website leaves a bit of a bad taste now.
A general overview of available PS IDE's
13  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Game Giveaway - Teleglitch: Die More Edition on: November 24, 2014, 07:20:21 PM
If no-one else wants it, then I wouldn't mind adding this to the collection of "time-wasters".
14  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Game Giveaway - Teleglitch: Die More Edition on: November 24, 2014, 06:27:23 PM
I find it very interesting, but you already gave me Risk Of Rain not that long ago which I also enjoy...but is a lot harder than I expected (playing solo).

But I must say that this game looks very interesting.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 32bit vs 64bit question on: November 12, 2014, 07:28:14 AM
Compiling software for 64-bit takes, in practically all cases, a whole lot longer (C++/Embarcadero).

And not that many programmers have a lot of experience with (efficiently) programming for multi-threaded applications. Something modern 64-bit processors are cut-out to do. When that happens you will see some progress again. Not as much as you think, though. Multi-threading requires extra computational overhead, level of efficiency will differ between applications and all this hardly matters if the OS these applications run on doesn't assign the available computational horsepower appropriately.

In my experience Windows isn't that good with automatically assigning different cores to different processes/applications. When I take a look at the i7 processor with task manager on my database server I always see one core under huge load, while the others are more or less idling, even when I run several different Oracle databases and a VM at the same time on it. All installed software is 64-bit. Using several instances of 7-zip at once (to archive database dump files) does put a load on every core though.

Going out on a limb here: assumingly Linux/BSD operating systems are better at this, as these OS's are more commonly used in academic fields and super computing. I don't think that smartphones or tablets make efficient use of their multi-core processors either. With the financial risks and returns as they are currently, you won't see this happening (yet) in consumer devices, such as PC's, mobile devices or consoles.

It used to be the case the "techies" were allowed to show the best they could do with the hardware they made. Hence the big jumps with the increase of bits. However, with the vested interests of today, financial and marketing departments won't let them anymore. Trading innovation for evolution...
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Need a hand with a laptop issue. on: November 06, 2014, 08:01:10 PM
When a laptop is connected to the mains, it will start to run (background) tasks that aren't allowed to run when on battery power. Defragging your partition(s), re-indexing Windows Search and similar stuff.

Perhaps that is the reason for the lag you experience.

At least, verifying which tasks are executed when on main power would be the first thing I would do...then deciding if those tasks are worth it or to let these run overnight to get them out of the way + adjusting intervals.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Unpleasant advertisements of the past on: November 04, 2014, 06:00:52 PM
To my recollection, Mormons are not allowed to drink any kind of alcohol, soda, coffee or tea. Kinda hard sell...being more healthy or going to heaven/your own planet or whatever other crap those LSD'ers believe in.

Giving up the first 3 types of beverages is actually good for your general health...but tea?
Also, a lot of people are able to bite your head off before they had their morning coffee, so there might be some slack on coffee  tongue
18  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Risk of Rain 4-pack on: November 03, 2014, 09:02:36 PM
Sorry for the late response...had to work late. But many thanks.  Thmbsup
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Text editor with filtering of lines on: November 02, 2014, 08:14:12 AM
The plugin TextFX from Notepad++ handles this as well. And has already done this for years.

[attach]

EmEditor excels at reading big text files, all other (Windows) text editors could learn from that. 
20  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Risk of Rain 4-pack on: November 02, 2014, 07:21:40 AM
I would like a copy. The game looked interesting.
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: October 31, 2014, 09:02:45 PM
And even if you do fill in any date, you can't login at all. So the website itself deserves a set of rotten tomatoes... Wink
22  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Are Ubisoft trying to kill PC gaming? on: October 24, 2014, 06:35:03 PM
For me personally...there is only so much time in a day and the Assassin's creed series never was able to get the same grip on me as the Elder Scrolls did.

When a new game in that series comes out, I will most likely upgrade. Not for Assassin's creed or other Ubisoft related games to be honest.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Wanted to get some opinions on current ultrabooks if possible on: October 24, 2014, 08:05:34 AM
From your description I got the impression there is also some user education required. I have a hard time imagining that each (new) system only lasting a week or so in her hands...

[anecdote]
Unfortunately, I have met highly intelligent and well educated people working in IT, which I wouldn't trust to copy data to a pendrive...after all, when it is full, you format it right? And then wonder what happened with the previous data. And panic...

While I was thinking that they were pulling a joke on me, my "I wouldn't do that if I were you" was disregarded and went ahead anyway. After all, what does a person with my rank and a different function know anyway? Well, after salvaging their data and explaining compression, my military function was adjusted, allowing me to do a lot more IT jobs on base and several outposts/depots.
[/anecdote]
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Chip Wars: AMD vs Intel .... GO! on: October 23, 2014, 12:03:13 AM
All the other listed CPUs were very noisy.

Do CPUs actually make noise? huh

If you put them in a microwave... tongue

The CPU fans of your Intel processors were crap. An after market CPU fan would have made a lot of difference. Never had noisy stock CPU fans...then again every 6 months or so I thoroughly clean out the accumulated dust in each PC. Graphite or other forms of lubricant I apply as well (when necessary).

Back to the topic: Depends on the main task of the PC, to be honest. I have had good experiences with multi-cores from both AMD and Intel. In the days of the single-core CPU's I rather used AMD. Most of my servers still use those CPU's as they are still going strong after 10 years.

However, I do work with a lot of i5 (2nd gen) and i7 CPU's (1st gen) in workstations & servers as well. To my knowledge, AMD is better when you work with multi-threading software. Price wise there isn't much difference between AMD or Intel here in Paraguay. Whatever money you save with the AMD CPU, you have to spend on more expensive motherboards.

As there isn't that much software out (for consumers) that actively/efficiently uses multi-threading, my choice today would be to buy Intel for raw calculation performance.

Don't have experience with the AMD APU's, but I do find these interesting. But these are not available through the regular retail channels over here.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Cloning SERVER 2008 R2 SYSTEM TO A BACKUP 2TB DRIVE-Which app is best? on: October 22, 2014, 05:55:40 PM
HDClone version 4 has successfully cloned several servers in my environment.

It is now at version 5 and comes in limited & (on-purpose) slow free version, but also with several commercial licenses. It has way too many options to mention, but rest assured that it is powerful.

Several years back noq, I used a cheapskate method that worked well with a Windows 2003 server (with Oracle DB server) of mine that is still in active duty today.
  • I used Eassos Partition Guru (which comes in both free and commercial from) to identify all partitions from the almost broken disk
  • Then I recreated the partition structure on a fresh hard disk in that same system, but didn't assign any drive letter to each of the  partitions of the new drive!
  • Cloned all partitions, working from the last partition to the front
  • After checking all files were there, I changed all drive letters on both drives, recreating the same structure on the new drive and removed drive letters from the old disk. Except for the C:\ partition (the original installation location of Partition Guru). I made notes during this to keep track of the many partitions. Also handy for undoing things if all this would went south...
  • Removed Partition Guru with Revo Uninstaller
  • Installed Partition Guru again, but not on C:\
  • Cloned C:\
  • After checking all files were there, I changed the last drive letter on both drives
  • "Activated the new C:\ partition"
  • Turned off the PC completely (incl. power switch on back of the power supply)
  • Disconnected the old drive
  • Booting the system again the system came up without problem and Oracle worked without a hitch.

Luck? I have no doubt.

But after this I have a warm place in my heart for this little (Chinese) piece of software.

Now I believe that MiniTool also has (free)/commercial software that allows you to copy/clone disks. If that software matches the quality of their free/commercial Partition management software, then I will have no problem recommending this software as well.
 
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