…and the evil that is Partition Magic 8.0
Well, this has been a very tumultuous weekend for me, which involved rebuilding my machine, software wise. From reinstalling Windows, re-merging partitions, creating new partitions, most of all backing up the data that was created. At the moment, I have to resort to my handy Zenith (133 MHz, 32 MBs of RAM) Windows 2000 Professional and Word 97. I’m not at the Office where I can access the luxuries of Windows XP Professional and Office 2003 Professional Enterprise Edition on a super fast Dell 8300 Dimension (3.2 GHz, 512 MBs of RAM).
The problem all started with Partition Magic 8.0. I was trying to redistribute some free space by merging with a primary partition that was running low. This was on my laptop computer, which was running perfectly, but my interference and the evil Partition Magic caused all of this unnecessary work right now. In the PM8 window, I did the procedure for redistributing the free space, but it required a reboot. I was very hesitant of this, but I said to myself, if it does ruin up the boot sector (which it did the last time), I could simply use my PM8 Rescue disk and set back the Primary partition active. This time, it was worst, an operating system boot file became corrupt as a result of both the primary and free space disk spaces sharing the cluster file at the same time to create the single partition. This is all, confusing, I know.
This is why I recommend you stay as far away as possible from the product, which is only meant for destroying Master Boot Records and data. Its not a well thought out product, neither is the documentation, which had knowledge of the problem, but suggested I use CHKDSK/F command to solve the problem. That was nothing more than a blatant lie!
This is where Microsoft comes in. First of all, better partitioning tools that setup partitions for specific purposes, whether it maybe for data backup, applications or additional operating systems on separate partition is needed in Windows. The need to get rid of DOS Setup in Windows would be victory for human kind. They also need a better Recovery Console. These are probably two of the worst features of Windows, which do not seem to work when you are in your most difficult dilemmas. WinPE also needs to be integrated in both retail and OEM edition/versions of Windows. Maybe I would have had less migraine and worry trying to recover my precious data. There is also no way of easily accessing the data off the hard disk from another computer using the NIC. It was a complete nightmare for me this past weekend and I hope it never happens to you. It does show that Windows has a lot learn, and I hope they at least show that they are learning from past mistakes with the next version of Windows. I have so many applications, files and settings to restore its gonna be a nauseating experience I predict. But, that’s what happens when you have a she-devil product known as Partition Magic and unintelligent, fuddy-duddy rescue tools in Windows.
Some how, I was able to set one of the other partitions as primary and active, which was a pane in the ass. At first, I said, maybe I could use my XP installation disk and just do an upgrade repair, and also had integrated XP SP2 with my old disk just make sure everything worked, instead, it said the partition has an unknown file system. Since when did NTFS become an unknown file system to an NTFS recognizable OS? The last time I checked, Windows XP supported NTFS. Anyway, like I said, I managed to set another partition active and wipe out some data off it, but, that was a trade off. I needed the space to install Windows XP which required 1,054 MBs for installation. This is all a fault of the products and components of Windows XP I mentioned. Seriously, I can’t take it anymore.
Windows needs to have built in utility that makes integrated disk with the latest OS Service Pack. Its predictable that we will always have Service Packs, so the Windows CD Burning Wizard should at least have such a feature and also make disk damn bootable. I have tried every article online, from Paul Thurrott, ET Planet to Justin Wojas, and I still cannot get my disk bootable, and yes I did it down to a T. Its really horrible what has happened to me this weekend, its a night mare when you think that your data is walking on a thin line. And don’t preach anything about Back up. I should be circumspect of a product Microsoft preaches as reliable? Hell, No! They should know better.