My computer suffered a major trauma yesterday. For some reason, the NTFS filesystem on my main drive became corrupted. After a chkdisk I learned that lots of important files for booting up the computer where no longer where they needed to be. Replacing some of them brought further enlightenment, even more had gone missing.
I installed a new copy of Win2k along side the old one to try and recover from backup. I will warn you right now Win2k (and probably XP) will nuke your user profiles and your application directories if you do a side-by-side install. The setup gives you some warning that installing a new OS on a partition will have this effect, but implied that picking a new directory for the system root would avoid said fate.
At least I had a recent backup. I would just have to kiss a day’s worth of work re-organizing and supplimenting my digital music collection goodbye. The backup sort of worked, but in the process of trying to restore the old OS I seem to have hosed both the old and new OSs.
So, at 1:30am, I started another OS install, this time cafefully renaming the “Documents and Settings” and “Program Files” folders for safe keeping.
There is a big of happy luck to all this. Most of my days work, stuff that hadn’t been backed up, was in the directory of files recovered from the filesystem corruption, safely out of harms way when the Win2k setup helpfully deleted my files.
Now I’m just out a bunch of time, though slightly less than if I had to reconstruct all my work, and my disk is the most horribly fragmented I’ve ever seen it. The MFT, rather than existing in two or three large chunks, is sprayed across the partition in a fine mist.