Resolved Computer Issues, Installing Hardware + Windows 8.1, Future Projects ETC

ok so a couple of things to discuss about my future digital activities going forward. Recently I have had an issue with my sony vaio laptop, where the harddrive became “unstable”. See what happened was, it’s the same harddrive that was being used consistently for about 4 years, from 2011 – 2014, to do all kind of multitasking duties on my sony vaio vpceh2afx/b edition laptop, to do things like video editing, gaming etc etc and it only started becoming unstable about a few months ago and the issue it posed was that depending on what I was doing it would slowdown and even lock-up/freeze at times while the harddrive’s activity indicator or activity light would be “blinking”, then a crash would follow resulting in a blue screen, a screen stating that the system has detected an issue and would shutdown to prevent further loss or damage to the on-board assets(computer parts, data etc) and ofcourse the computer would “restart” after that warning. Now the very last time the computer did that, it apparently caused some corruption to the O.S that was installed on it which resulted in me not being able to proceed pass the “windows is starting” screen and into the actual user profile phase, and instead what would happen is that it would attempt to load up windows repair and try to do a start up repair, but due to the corrupt nature on the partition/O.S, that procedure would continuously be an unsuccessful affair, and even if it did, the root issue was actually a hardware issue and not a software issue and would have meant that even if windows wasn’t corrupt, the system would still be unstable because of the problems the harddrive was causing which amounted to loads of systemic shutdowns and failures, so it was obvious that I would need to get the harddrive fixed or better yet just resolve the overall issue using an alternative method, which was to essentially install a new harddrive.

What’s interesting is that apparently the system shutting down to prevent loss of data proved to be super effective because I was able to actually discover that the files on the drive were exceptionally still intact and on the harddrive when I explored the vaio care feature a little bit more and entered the “rescue data” option where it actually showed how much space was used up on the harddrive which was well inline with how much stuff I was aware that I had stored on it before it crashed. So that was a good sing to me that most, if not all, of my files and projects etc were probably still “accessible”, the only problem was even though I had suspected that there was a way to get them off, the standard windows rescue options were unsuccessful which I discovered only yesterday when I felt fully prepared to take on the task of getting off the data and replacing the harddrive with a new one.

But before I got to that point, good thing is I had actually discovered a new way to access the drive which was via using a flash drive with windows installed on it that was plugged into the usb drive, and looking at it, it actually makes sense because they are all connected to the same motherboard on the same computer, so essentially it shouldn’t have been a surprise to me that the old harddrive would show up as an accessible drive to me through the flash drive with windows installed and set up on it. After discovering that I can see the drive and access it still despite it’s known issues, I figured I would test just how deep it’s accessibility ran and eventually I came to the conclusion and realization that I could access any thing anywhere on the old drive, and I even copied some files over to the desktop of the flash drive’s windows installation and it worked, however I had discovered that while it was relatively very very easy to copy over small files, it was a different story with huge and very large files, because during testing, whenever I would attempt to copy over large files, at some point the drive would start to slow down, the harddrive activity light indication feature would start to “blink” and then after getting the blue screen, everything would just shutdown.

What actually prompted me to take other approaches into consideration and forget about using the flash drive set-up, is that I realized something else that I didn’t know and it’s that you don’t even have to do anything with the old harddrive for it to crash, apparently all it really takes is for the harddrive to “rev” up in a certain manner (due to system related routines), for the issue to reoccur and happen again and that’s exactly what I noticed had happened the very last time the harddrive caused that issue while I was doing other stuff on the flash drive set-up, which caused the flash drive to shut down, which then became corrupted in the process resulting in a failure to boot up that flash drive the next time I started the system. See apparently if it’s an internal component, it actually takes priority over all other components that are attached to the computer that are “peripheral” in nature hence no matter if i’m using a usb device etc, once the system detects something might happen to and internal device, the entire system gets shuts down.

so after that experience, I knew there was another why that I should probably extract the data but perhaps it was just a matter of getting the appropriate tools at which point I was thinking it was time to go for a better and more advanced plan because the flash drive, which I was able to discover handy tricks related to the matter while using it, just wasn’t going to cut it in terms of being successful in getting the data of the old and damaged harddrive off, so my plan was to use the same method of using an external harddrive formatted with a bootable windows installation on it hooked up to the computer, to try to see if that would be more effective in actually getting the data off the old harddrive and then actually remove the old damaged harddrive from the system completely so that it wouldn’t be able to “crash” and corrupt stuff in the process, with the assistance of using a second computer to help me format and reformat the external harddrive whenever I needed too while also using that same second computer as a way to store the extracted data on form the old harddrive so that I can free up the external harddrive in-case I would need to format it or attempt to extract the data from the old harddrive in small manageable portions so that I can back them up piece-by-piece instead of copying all of the files at once risking another crash and perhaps corruption of the external drive that I was using as a “gateway”. The risk of a crash was always there but by taking off the data piece-by-piece, even if a cash did occur, I would have already have some data backed up already therefore meaning that if the external harddrive got corrupted and I had to format it again and resume the process of getting off the data, atleast I wouldn’t have to start all over because I would have successfully backed-up some already lol.

Apart from the external harddrive being used as a back-up gateway, I had also planned to make a bootable usb windows installer so that when I did eventually replace the old damaged harddrive, I could then use that windows usb drive to install a fresh copy of windows so that I can actually use it to operate off of plus preserve the condition of my original windows physical disc, but that was a procedure that was only going to happen when I was satisfied with the extraction phase of the data from off of the damaged harddrive as I was determined that that will happen, and I must say that operation, while it was tedious and required alot of patience, it was an overall successful mission, though there were some minor issues encountered with the whole “file name being too long to be copied to a destination folder because those names exceeded the 260+ character limit”, but, I was surprised at the fact that while i was extracting the data to an external harddrive with windows installed on it connected to my sony vaio via its usb ports — the same computer where the target local disk drive was, though the strange and problematic issue did occur with the old hardrive again while both drives were working in unison, I had noticed rather peculiarly that instead of the damaged harddrive causing the entire system to shutdown, what happened was it would just exhibit the symptoms (at which point all I had to do was cancel the operation, which leaved what’s left of files that where already copied, in a state where they were already transferred over), and then after a while the symptoms(harddrive slows down, and drive activity light indicator would “blink”) stopped.

I think this interesting development may have been partly due to the version of the windows installation I had installed on the external harddrive which apparently somehow played a roll in negating the effects of the blue screen and system crash outcome, that the old harddrive would have caused otherwise and was causing on systems I had used prior with windows seven installed on them  such as the flash drive that got corrupted that I had mentioned, but i’m not entirely sure if that’s the case or atleast if that’s the only reason, because remember, I was using a flash drive of all things in my past attempts xD. In this case, I was using a system that had windows 8 on it as well as the device itself being another harddrive, so it could have been a combination of those two elements(remember the said external harddrive also has windows 8.1 installed on it) that resolved the crashing issue, although the problematic old harddrive was still “failing”. In a different environment, the harddrive “failures” would have resulted in a total system shutdown, but in this case, I guess it was the fact the I was using windows 8.1 and used another harddrive also(which it was installed on), that somehow “resolved”(for the lack of a better word) the “shutting down after a bluescreen appears with a warning” part, in which case it had then really appeared to me that window 8.1 is probably one of microsoft’s best Operating systems in history, because from the time I started using this thing, it’s like my computer(the laptop with the damaged harddrive that I had hooked the bootable external harddrive with windows 8 on it to), performs as if it’s in turbo mode…

So i believe that the improved functionality of my sony vaio due to the exceptional improvements of windows 8.1, had to have contributed positively and greatly to my operations of extraction that data from the damaged harddrive. As a mater of fact, windows 8.1 works so good that it’s actually the operating system I picked to make a bootable usb windows installer with, and it’s actually what I eventually installed on my sony vaio after I had removed and replaced the old damaged harddrive with a new one and needed an operating system for it, and it’s currently performing spectacularly well and I fail to see how windows 8 is not a good operating system when infact it’s dramatically much more stable and faster than the previous windows 7 home premium o.s that my sony vaio laptop originally came with — it also boots much much faster and like I indicated it appears that it’s significantly more stable than past windows versions. It does take a little getting use too because some things are out of view which were previously more obvious in prior windows systems, but given the kind of capabilities it has plus the fact that it’s extremely customizable and seems to improve your overall productivity via increasing system performance and flexibility, i’ll be glad to get accustomed to it and the reality is, it’s not really that hard to use for me personally. If windows 10 is like windows 8 but even better, i’ll be definitely getting that :D.

I could have even seen the performance rates of the drives doing file transfers in a much better way on windows 8.1 than in anything prior and that’s how I was able to tell more specifically when things were going smoothly and related to what kinds of files exactly etc etc, because there was a realtime meter that was presented in the form of a fluctuating bar or line that would go up or down continuously according to how strong or weak the transfer rates were and whenever the old harddrive would start being problematic, the bar would flat-line and remain at level 0 at the bottom of the chart, and I was able to tell just by watching that alone whenever there were issues and also looking at the metadata to see at which files it was doing that at and discovered that the issue really got bad and occurred particularly when the old harddrive had to manage or handle large video files specifically, those apparently were the worst kind of large files that triggered the “failures” of the old harddrive much faster and more regularly than any other kind of file, so in the end I had to end-up leaving-out some of those files as a matter of them causing the issue the most, but I only had a couple of files of that nature so I was able to largely get off most of the assets except for those, but, I could get those back since they were copied form DVD’s I actually own etc.

So with the extraction process of those files off the old damaged harddrive and onto a new windows 8.1 formatted external harddrive finally drawing to an end, after hooking the windows 8.1 formatted external harddrive to the second computer I was using to help me with the operation, then extracting the files from said external harddrive and storing them onto said second computer, with nothing else left to back up or extract any more from the old damaged and problematic harddrive, it was now time to turn said external harddrive back into a standard storage device by formatting it using said second computer and begin the process of taking out the old original harddrive of the sony vaio and installing a brand new one myself.

I took the extracted files that I got off of the old harddrive and had placed on the external harddrive that were then all stored to the second computer, and then placed them back onto the harddrive I was using as a bootable windows 8.1 formatted external harddrive which had now been reformatted back into what it actually is which is a storage device to just store and back up things on in general. Then I went about installing a new and properly working harddrive into my sony vaio which was tricky at first but then I found-out how to take out and insert a harddrive properly, which as it turns out wasn’t really that hard lol. So I installed a new harddrive and put-away the old damaged one, then went ahead and created a bootable usb flash drive windows 8.1 installer so that I can then use it to install an operating system on the new target harddrive that’s installed into the sony vaio so that I can use the sony vaio laptop again as normal.

Sidenote:Before I formatted the external harddrive using the second computer, I first hooked it up to the sony vaio just to make sure that the new harddrive was installed correctly and that it was indeed recognized by the system which was all successful, so I knew that it was ok to go ahead and get a windows installation asset to turn that newly installed harddrive into a formatted operation system, which worked, which resulted in this same very blog you’re reading form me hahaa xD.

So i’ve finally gotten the computer issues out of the way, by having a brand new harddrive installed aswell as an external harddrive I can use to back-up my assets from now on, and with these new utilities I should also be able to resume and/or even finish my projects :D.

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