All I wanted was some radio time!

 Good afternoon everyone it's almost been a month since my last post. Now fall is upon us the evenings are a bit cooler and the leaves are starting to turn colour. The evenings are dark a lot sooner and for some reason, it just feels later than it is when this change happens. Once again my radio time has been sidelined with getting jobs done outside some major jobs and others just stuff that has to be done before the first snow. In the evening I have been spending my time reading the many blogs I follow and keeping up on ham events. As for radio time, it has been off and on but more off then on as by the time evening comes I just want to read some blogs and relax with my feet up. When we get a few days of rain it brings the outdoor project to a halt and I am able then to have some radio time. 

During my last rainy spell, I was able to flip the radio switch and get on the air BUT my PC had other plans for me. My Windows 7 pro was starting up and I was greeted with the windows blue screen. This is not the first time for me regarding this problem but unlike the other times, I was prepared for this event. I installed a backup program (Macrium reflect free edition) on my PC so I was able to clone and image my hard drive to a USB hard drive. When issues happen I would be ready and with the clone of my hard drive Macrium Reflect would guide me on how to boot from this clone and all would be good to go. 

With a smile on my face, I plugged in my USB drive and told my bios to boot from the USB. My smile turned to a frown when nothing happened! Maybe I was not following the Macrium Reflects step by step correctly. As I read past the step-by-step instructions I found the issue and it read "do not attempt to boot your backup from a USB connected hard drive as windows will not recognize the OS from this type of drive!!!!!

My next idea was to head to Windows restore and restore the system to a time I had saved when things were working just fine. I proceeded to Windows restore to find all my restore points were gone! Later it occurred while running an OS performance tool I was asked if I wanted to delete files that have not been used for a while and I said yes......well one set of those files was my restore points!!!   

All was not lost as I felt I could move the clone information from the USB drive to an internal spare drive in my PC. I still have access to my Windows 7 OS  it's funky but is working enough for me to open the Macrium Reflect program and transfer the clone from my USB drive to the internal separate drive in the PC and then I can instruct the PC to boot from that internal drive. 

Easy peasy right.....WRONG....silly me I was only paying half attention to the transfer of info and I am not sure what I did but the end result was my main hard drive was wiped clean and the PC was not able to reboot as there was no OS to be found anywhere. Next time when the program asks me "are you sure" then "are you sure you are sure" don't click anything stop and think what I did! 

All is not lost my plan now was to reformat the drive and do a clean install of Windows 7 pro and then start the transfer idea again and this time pay attention!! I want to keep with the transfer idea as that would give me all my installed programs and settings and not starting from scratch. Fast-forward.... Windows 7 installed and with many minor issues as always with Windows. I then attempted to download Macrium Reflect to begin.....FINALLY....the transfer but using Explorer it refused the download the program. After trying some workarounds I just downloaded Firefox and it was more than happy to download Macrium. It was nice to be making some progress oh and let me say that up to this point I have been playing around at this for almost 2 days now. 

Some of the issues during OS install 

Paying very close attention this time I ran Macrium Reflect and was successful in transferring my USB files to the separate E drive. It was time to now instruct my bios to boot from drive E and see what happens. Something did happen but not what I expected to happen. I was asked to choose an OS it seems I somehow went from no OS to now having 2. When I chose the first option the PC restarted and I was brought back to this same screen. I choose option 2 called recovered and low and behold Window 7 was back with all my programs, settings and windows updates intact.

The last thing I did was deleted the first option OS and when I did this the OS option screen was gone and things just started in Windows 7 as it should. Lesson learned and I am now doing all my backups from an internal hard drive. Overall this long ordeal was a good learning experience and I confident that next time I will have a smoother transition if my OS goes for a crash. 

OS option screen at startup 

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “All I wanted was some radio time!”

  • Richard KWØU:

    Wow, thanks for sharing Mike, I’m sure you saved some people real headaches. It is amazing what can go wrong, and how it may (or may not) be saved. While trying to download them I clumsily deleted all my camera’s Antarctic trip pictures. A little hunting found a free program to undelete them and, much to my surprise, it worked perfectly. Good, it would be a bit far to go for new ones.

  • Paul, WB0BBC:

    Those things can and will happen at the worst moments. I use Acronis to perform a full, verified backup of the entire hard drive at least once a week. I can easily restore a file, directory, the OS, or even the entire disk in minutes.

    Glad you’re back in business now.


  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good evening Richard, thanks for taking the time to read the post and leaving a comment. It’s true there are lots free software out there that can do some pretty amazing things. It just goes to show you when you think something on your PC has been deleted it is hanging around somewhere on the hard drive.
    73 and have a good week.

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good evening Paul and very nice to hear from you, in the past for some reason PC failures have always happened at the craziest times. I do have Acronis installed on my PC but for some reason I just could not get the hang of it and stopped using it.
    73 and stay safe in Florida,

  • Colin GM4JPZ:

    Thanks for the post, Mike, and the detailed description of what you did and what went wrong. That way, we can all learn not to make these mistakes ourselves. I’m sure we’ll come up with some new and creative ways of screwing things up though…I keep telling myself to take care of OS backups and am now – thanks to your post – going to do something about it!

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good evening Colin and thanks for stopping by, with my blog I want to make sure I post and the up and downs……this situation at first was a down but over time it turned around. It’s funny with the Windows updates comes new challenges for each of us. Not to let Apple off the hook I have had updates for my IPhones that I wish I never downloaded and there were issues. Yes Colin backups are not a bad idea at all to do. You just have to have a few hard drive crashes and lesson learned. When things are going well and the PC is happy it’s hard to see the need for a backup as we all think that it will never happen to me.
    Have a great week Colin and take care during this time,

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