pctech-request@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

I've got a PC that reports a "S.M.A.R.T. Bad, backup and replace" message at boot-up time.

To all who replied, thanks much.

One of the nicest bits was the push to download W2K SP4. I've so rarely needed that that I never really tried downloading it before. The "standard" update has always been via internet. I have an older W2K install CD that includes SP2 and that's been my starting point. But now, after the SP4 download, it looks like that can be left behind with a new starting point.

At first glance, MS's site gives the basic impression that there are two alternatives -- update across the internet or order a CD. I never wanted to "order a CD" from MS and never installed W2K often enough to dig into it, but this caused me to look deeper and find that the SP4 Network Install download seems to be a good alternative. Download that and build my own SP4 CD.

With end-of-support looming for W2K, it's good to have that in hand. I expect that I'll be doing a bunch of transitioning to one form of Linux or another, but W2K has been fairly decent over the years once fully patched. It'll be nice to be able to install a useful W2K if ever needed again and it'll sure be handy in the coming few days.

Re David... Yeah, I've never run into a S.M.A.R.T. warning before either, but I sure ain't gonna complain. I've only had one other PC drive failure and there was no warning. A couple years ago I lost at least one PMR log of calls and resolutions for a whole bunch of problems from IBM that covered a few years. I'd love to have that back. I couldn't stop kicking myself after realizing I hadn't backed that document up for so long.

Re John... Partitioning... I went NTFS from the beginning. And while not needed, I do have a couple handy 'personal preference' uses for partitioning. One item I really like is having secondary [/Program Files] directories. I can stay within general standard installation guidelines and almost every oddball install utility seems happy as long as the only detail that varies is the drive letter. Maybe not as important as pre-W2K. Little things like that aren't hugely important, but every detail adds up. Besides, this was an experimental drive setup and I wanted to learn. My real space isn't on this drive anyway which is partly why I can have the backups on-line easily. (Man, just a couple years ago I wasn't even imagining the kind of space my simple home network has today. Not too many years earlier, I worked for some good-sized organizations that didn't have as much space as I have now. )

Re Chuck... Knoppix... Since I've never needed such a utility, I have no alternatives in hand. Our main QA guy gave me a CD with G4U which was one of the possibilities I thought about. It's always good to hear someone's recommendation, so I'll be checking Knoppix out too. It might help the transition to Linux since I'm going to be running multiple versions as time goes by. Thanks.

Re Tom... Helix... A version of Knoppix... hmmm... the site ( http://www.e-fense.com/helix/ ) starts out looking clean enough. Seems to be a very good possibility for serious efforts. And it helps push me into giving the Knoppix direction an early look. Thanks too.

Lots of fun on the horizon.

Tom Liotta

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