There are some freakishly lucky windows users whose installation does not degrade over time, unfortunatly for me, I am not a part of this group, so when the time came to reinstall windows (yet again) I just accepted it as part of life and commenced the installation process.
Step 1: Backup
This was made easy by the Windows Easy Transfer application on the vista system, which prepared a backup of my user account and settings.
Step 2: Death
Recovery for laptops is typiclly a 3 step process:
- Erase entire operating system partition
- Restore from image on recovery partition
The definition of “typical” stated above doesn’t quite apply to the Toshiba recovery process because it stops just after step one has begun, leaving all your data intact but rendering you completely incapable of accessing it.
“Well, that sucked” thought I, this however did not behoove despair, I didn’t have a way to recover windows, but I did have all my data backed up to my eternal hard drive.
Saved by a Penguin
So, I moved the hard disk to the other computer and downloaded windows easy transfer for windows XP, which offered no means of restoring the backups I had made.
I then tried to restore the backups using the user state migration toolkit, but to no avail, the only way to restore my backup is by opening it on a vista machine, I don’t have access to one of those.
So, with no backups, and no way of accessing the data trapped on my OS partition, I booted into Ubuntu Linux from the live CD and instructed it’s installer to begin installing to the hard disk, when asked about how I wanted to partition the new system, I sighed a final goodbye to vista and checked the “erase entire disk” check box.
Two days of tweaking and updates later, I am beginning to get accustomed to Linux, I have begun re-ripping my music collection sans ~NZ$200 worth of iTunes protected content.
I’m not sure if I’ll go back to vista or not, I might, I’ll have to reinstall it somehow, at least temporarily to recover my backed up files and burn the protected music to an audio CD and then re-rip into Linux.
[Updated a minute later: fixed numerous spelling issues]