Etched In Stone

It’s rebuilding day. I can’t recall the last time I had to reinstall my desktop system. I’d have to do a little research, but it was probably when I bought all new hardware and went with two large mirrored drives with virtual disks on it. Feels like that was some time ago. I looked it up. August 2019. So 2.5 years of running non-stop without significant downtime. I guess that’s not too bad.

It’s worked pretty well, until suddenly it didn’t. The machine would reboot overnight for no good reason. When i would look in the event logs, it happened around the time of a Windows update. There were a ton of errors about the Windows Search service not being able to start.

Then I was having trouble installing updates. My Visual Studio was on something like 15.3.3 and I wanted to update to 15.5. It would install the update, then wouldn’t launch. So I’d reboot and I was back on 15.3.3 again and it’s bugging me to upgrade. I planned on just uninstalling and downloading the latest, but then I noticed that my Vivaldi web browser was also bugging me for updates. I had just done that the other day. I installed the update, it wouldn’t launch. This seems familiar. Reboot, back on the old version.

This sounds to me like the shadow copy service is broken. It can’t create any new system checkpoints and keeps reverting to the last version. So I follow the steps to delete all system restore points and move onward with trying to fix the search service. Everything I try fails. System file checker, chkdsk, dism, all have some problem or another. So I guess it’s time to start over.

Ok, then the first thing to do is get a current backup. BUT, Windows File History relies on the Windows Search Service, which is dead. It says my last good backup was October, 2022. Whatever, it’s fine. All my real files are on the mirrored drives anyway. I leave the machine on overnight with plans to rebuild first thing in the morning.

Amazingly, it didn’t reboot overnight, so then I got busy building a USB drive to install from. Shut down the tower and took it outside to blow the dust out of it and set it back up for install. First attempt was booting off the UEFI partition on the USB drive. But then it wouldn’t let me install anything on my internal drive because it was MBR. Ok, reboot again into the MBR USB partition and try again.

I try to delete the partitions and they wouldn’t delete, for whatever reason. Fine. i formatted both partitions and did the install. On first reboot, Windows loaded up and prompted me to log in. Excuse me? This is a brand new install. I type in my pin and I’m back at my desktop.

I have no idea what’s up with this cursed drive, but it’s going in the fire as soon as I can get a replacement. Amazingly, Amazon can have me a new drive, twice as big delivered within a few hours for like only $65. I feel like I paid 3x that when I built this computer.

Until then, I guess I’ll just poke around on the drive that refuses to change, or die.

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