I spent yesterday rebuilding my backup machine that hides away on my network and is responsible for taking the backups from the other machines and logging all suspicious network activity (from the outside).

I discovered that its best not to power down the machine whilst it is in the middle of defragging your registry. Funny that… (not).

I was running a utility to perform a defrag of the main registry when an update requested a restart of the machine. I didn’t mean to click restart intending to do it later on after the defrag is finished. Nevermind I thought, the defragger will either cancel or delay the restart, or at least exit gracefully.

Maybe not, as I found it. On top of that, it managed to trash the file system where the registry exists which after a rebuilding contain so many invalid registry entries that a rebuild was the only option.

I’m getting quite quick at doing XP and Linux rebuilds these days but I always forget at least one vital part of information.

I made sure I had backups of any data on the OS partition, backed up any relevant system settings and was ready to go.

I set it to perform a format of the OS partition and reinstall a fresh installation of XP.

When it rebooted everything came up fine except for one or two missing drivers. One of which was the network card. Ahh. So this is what I forgot this time. I couldn’t tell which network card it was or who made it. I then had to unplug the whole PC, spend 15mins cleaning out a mass of dust that had accumulated in it (beign tucked away out of site it tends to collect loads). I had to then remove the network card and get the missing information off it, go download a driver on another PC.

Having installed the network driver, the longest part of the install process came next. The 200Mb of XP updates to install, the network logging applications, the backup software etc etc.

In all, it took the best part of 5 hours to get the PC back online.

The only difference this time is that it no longer has the registry defrag tool installed. I think I’ll be leaving that alone for a while