Re-Building my Workstation PC

I’ve been in semi-stealth mode the past few days, but not by choice: my main workstation is massively screwed up. I’ll probably post a detailed explanation on Digital Media Thoughts
later today, but in a nutshell here’s how it went down:

  1. I purchased and installed Acronis TrueImage 11, as I always do with every new version of their software. I’ve used it for years and really like it.
  2. I installed it, rebooted, everything seemed fine.
  3. The next morning I rebooted and was informed that there was no operating system on my hard drive. It seems TrueImage had mucked up the master boot record.
  4. I used Vista’s repair tool to fix the master boot record, which worked, but then Vista would complain about a missing/corrupt DLL after login – I’d only see a black screen. I could boot into safe mode, but after two days of research trying to fix this problem, I gave up.
  5. I tried to restore back to the TrueImage backup from the night before this problem, but guess what? Same corrupt MBR and Vista problems. Did I mention that I overwrote the TrueImage 10 daily backup with the TrueImage 11 daily backup?
  6. I fought with it all day, then gave up and installed a “clean” image of Vista for this machine. Unfortunately I had an ATI video card in this machine originally, and now have a NVIDIA card…and Vista really didn’t like that. Even after uninstalling the ATI drivers, when applying the 34 patches since I made this build, Vista would bluescreen over and over. Crash crash.
  7. So I gave up on EVERYTHING and did a clean install of Vista from scratch and have been re-building everything.

The ultimate irony here? I couldn’t get the client software for Windows Home Server to work, which is why I was still using Acronis TrueImage. If the Windows Home Server software had worked, I wouldn’t have bought TrueImage 11 and been put in this situation. 🙁