I have just trashed my shack PC. Not intentionally, you understand. I was trying to resolve a problem and the result was that the system has restored itself to the state it was in when it was new back in 2006 or whenever it was.

I have been using a backup program called Magicure. I’ve probably mentioned it in this blog before. It’s kind of a System Restore on steroids. It has saved my bacon countless times and I have come to depend upon it. But it started giving an error message when it tried to do a backup. No new backups were being made. So I had to do something about it.

I emailed Magicure support for help but didn’t receive a reply. I saw that there was a newer version of the software so I decided to download and install that in the hope that this would get it working again.. But the installer complained that there was another version present and asked me to remove it first. So I started to uninstall Magicure. That was a mistake.

The uninstaller said that it was going to roll back to before Magicure was first installed. If I was a bit sharper-witted I might have smelt a rat at this point. But I thought “no, surely it isn’t going to do that.” I just want to remove Magicure. So I clicked OK and within a few seconds I was looking at a Windows XP login screen with only Administrator as the available login. This looked ominous. No user “Julian”. It looked as if it had rolled back the entire system to the state it was in when new, when I first installed Magicure.

I have no idea what the Administrator password was. But if I knew it I would be no better off because the computer won’t respond to the mouse or keyboard. So I can’t get in to the system to assess the extent of the damage. I don’t seem to have a Windows XP disc to reinstall from scratch, either.

What an utter disaster. I have no idea what to do at this point.

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “Disaster!”

  • Seth KC0ODE:

    Here is a link to some recommendations for you to try for recovering your lost WinXP password. I have had luck in the past with step #5.


    Good luck!!!

  • Ernest Gregoire, AA1IK:

    Ah, Computers! They do so much for us when they are working correctly but when the ‘Act up’, the romance turns sour! I use a back up program called ‘Casper’ it backs up the ‘Entire hard drive’ including the operating system to an external hard drive.

    This won’t help you now, and I am sorry for your trouble. I’ve had to ‘Go nuclear’ and replace the operation system from scratch, then laboriously replace all the software programs individually. Not fun in that!

    The beauty of the latest Casper program is that the ‘spare’ external hard drive is a mirror image of the hard drive on the computer, and it is bootable!

    73 de AA1IK

    Ernest Gregoire

  • Ian VK3LA:

    There has to be a message to all of us here, How long is it since we did a full backup and have we ever tried to do a recovery to see if it actually works? External drives are very large capacity (and physically small) and cheap as chips (relative to what they used to cost) so there is little excuse to not “do it” and regularly too. Been there, done that, and worked in the game for 40 years.
    Ian VK3LA

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