That’s right. I now have to reinstall Windows, or hope that the repair CD will just fix the broken bits and leave the rest. It’s been a nightmare. I installed IE 7 Monday night, but it wouldn’t start. I got a dll error telling me I should reinstall the application.
So I uninstalled it. After it finally finished, the dialog box said my computer would reboot. It didn’t after about a minute so I held down the power button and rebooted the computer. Just after the XP screen, I got an error I can find nothing about. It concerns Explorer.exe and a missing dll. It says I should reinstall the application.
Of course, I can’t reinstall anything because I can’t get to my Start menu or files or anything. Luckily I had a copy of Knoppix 3.8, which I knew would save the day. It took a while, but it eventually has. Knoppix is Linux on a CD (though the most recent version only fits on a DVD). This gives you the opportunity to view all of your files and under certain conditions, copy them elsewhere (a network, a CD or DVD, a USB drive).
Despite a thumb drive I borrowed from a co-worker not working, I bought a 100 gig USB drive, hoping to move my My Documents folder to the external drive. No go. Apparently it does work sometimes, but of course Linux can’t write to a NTFS drive.
But then I remembered my external DVD/CD burner. Knoppix comes with all sorts of software. I downloaded the latest version of Knoppix at work and burned it to a DVD at home last night. This enabled me to burn my files onto DVDs, slowly but surely.
I’ve got one or two DVDs worth of files left to burn. This has saved me in so many ways – I would have had to pay something like Geek Squad way too much money to transfer all these files for me.
So here’s what I’ve learned: back up often to an external drive and download Knoppix for emergencies (and for fiddling with Linux, which is super nerdy and fun). Oh, and don’t install IE 7 beta 2. If I’ve been a martyr for just one person who reads this blog, so be it.