Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   does anyone use Windows' built-in backup and restore
Tuesday, March 30 2021
Yesterday I'd begun an attempt at creating an image of the boot drive of a volume that exists only in a VMWare virtual machine. I wanted to then restore that image onto a real hard drive and boot into that virtualized machine in a non-virtualized environment. To make things easier on myself, I thought I'd use Microsoft built-in disk imaging software, since it was already there (the virtual machine was running Windows Vista, an operating system I have only ever used once: at Sara Poiron's apartment in the suburbs of Philadelphia). I'd never used the built-in drive imager from any Windows operating system even though drive imaging is something I need to do every now and then (particularly when migrating or cloning a computer's software environment to a new drive). Today when I tried to use the clone I'd made to make a boot drive for a ThinkPad T61, I realized why nobody ever talks about using Windows' built-in backup and restore. It turns out the restore cannot be restored to anything except the computer that was backed up. Somehow a digest of the computer's features is recorded as part of the backup process and this is compared against a digest of the computer the software it is being restored on. So it's possible that if you made a backup five years ago and the computer now has a different processor and amount of memory, that's too much of a difference and the restore will fail. Nobody wants to make a backup only to wonder if it will be useful when it is needed. I understand that Microsft is trying to prevent piracy here, but it should've handled it the way it handles moving a hard drive from one computer to another.
So I ended up using a program call Macrium Reflect, which initially appeared to be free. But when I went to restore the backup I'd made onto a different computer, I learned that migrating to new hardware was a feature only available in the non-free version. Fortunately, it was possible to download a crack (via Bittorent) to get around this problem. Perhaps there is a similar crack to avoid the software-imposed limitations of Microsoft's built-in drive imager.
On the floor painting project, this evening I removed everything from the laboratory's northwest corner. This included an old acoustic guitar, a carpet fragment, and three different document scanners (I'd removed a fourth one some weeks back). I also removed a set of two large plastic drawers, a cardboard box of old ISA cards, and several different external drives, only one of which I ever use, from under the northwest corner's desk. Then I painted all the particleboard subfloor I'd just exposed (I used glossy white paint), took a bath, and then painted a second coat. This part of the floor had eluded painting because that carpet fragment and all those scanners. (I'd removed one of those carpet framents a couple years ago as part of a cat piss eradication, and that had required me to move the laboratory bookshelf for the first time since it was installed early in 2003.)
As I painted (and also when I took the dogs for a walk), I listened to the YouTube channel of Louis Rossmann, a guy who runs an independent computer hardware repair shop and is a famous for his scrappy attitude, support of the right to repair, and his microscope, which he uses to diagnose motherboards and replace tiny surface-mount components. Rossmann's specialty is Macintosh laptops, though he mostly hates Apple and doesn't really know how to use a non-Windows computer. Most of Rossman's videos are of him (he looks like John, my old housemate in Los Angeles) talking rapidly about any subject at all while working on a motherboard. We're treated to close-ups of regions being drenched in solder flux and Rossmann successfully removing and replacing tiny integrated circuits, including those with ball grid arrays needing rebuilt arrays of solder balls (a process that requires a template). But there are other subjects, such as his real estate hunt in New York City for an upgrade for his cramped store. I lost Rossmann today a half mile from the house when I was walking the dogs, and I knew I had reception of the laboratory FM transmitter back again when I could hear the drone of Rossmanm's fume extractor. The YouTube algorithm seems to steer me towards certain channels, that steers me away, only to steer me back again. I'd watched Rossmann's channel now and then two and a half years ago and then lost him (his energy gets grating after a time; perhaps I'd just quit watching). But now he's back, crankier and faster-talking than ever before.

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