More Drive Imaging Woes, Registry Error This Time

I ran another image of my HTPC to another drive (long, long story). I was using the Seagate’s DiscWizard tool (VERY nice OEM/free version of Acronis Drive Image), similar to last time (see prior blog entry) and this time ran into another error on the resulting “destination” drive upon boot. Again, the error I ran into has very little info on the web, so I figured I’d post the fix here.
The error is a pop-up upon boot/login which states: “Windows – Registry Recovery, One of the files containing the system’s Registry data had to be recovered by use of a log or alternate copy. The recovery was successful.”

Ugh Windows

Click More for the solution… Microsoft’s solution (if you can call it that) states to just click OK, no further action needed. Um, no, because the error came back for me upon each reboot. Not only that, but an error like this makes me suspect that something deeper is wrong. Being a computer guy, I can’t just ignore this type of error. There has to be a root cause, and that root cause might come back to haunt you later.

I couldn’t find too much on the problem, some stuff relating to failed Windows Updates, etc. Finally I stumbled across Shinomen’s post in a thread on TechSpot . By following his procedure, the problem has been resolved.

Essentially, what he has you do is:

1. Log into the machine under a new (or different) user account that has Administrator privileges. Obviously create an account if you need to specifically for this purpose. You will need to turn on the viewing of hidden files and folders from the Tools/Folder Options menu.
2. Copy the problematic user’s NTUSER.DAT from the root of that users’ Documents And Settings folder to a backup location.
3. Copy the NTUSER.DAT located in the Windows\Repair directory to the problematic user’s Documents and Settings folder, overwriting the old one (no worries, you made a backup, right?).
4. Log in as the problematic user. Ignore that all of your windows settings and preferences are gone.
5. Wait for Windows to completely log in and finish loading all apps, etc.
6. Log out of the problematic user account, and log back in as the temporary/new Administrator.
7. Rename then Copy the new NTUSER.DAT file from your problematic user’s Documents and Settings folder to your backup location with the original, just in case. Don’t overwrite the original.
8. Now copy the original NTUSER.DAT file from your backup location back to the problematic users’ Documents and Settings folder. Overwrite the “new” copy that’s there.
9. Log back in as the original user. If all is well, delete the new temporary administrator account you created (or leave it there for the next time you might need it).

That should be all there is to it. Not sure why imaging the drive caused this screw-up, but whatever. Now if only my hard drives would STAY WORKING, I wouldn’t need to keep imaging and breaking things. Has anyone else noticed that Seagate (while I still think they are the best drives currently available) has really declined in quality since they switched to perpendicular recording? Maybe it has something to do with the China production. I’ve had some of their Singapore drives crash recently too. The latest one that went was a Thailand-built drive, which are usually regarded as some of the better ones.

Eh, I guess it’s just my luck. According to some of the NewEgg user reviews, there are quite a few DOA drives floating around. This latest one didn’t even last a month. I got it on November 5th, and put it immediately into production. It’s December 2nd, and now it’s making a horrible noise. Sounds like a bearing went bad in the motor/spindle, as it vibrates like mad too. Sound changes with the speed of the rotation (like on shut-down of the drive). I flipped the drive over (while powered off) during one of my attempts at imaging it, and the sound went away. I was able to get a solid image this way. Now that it’s back in the original orientation, the sound is gone.

Seagate doesn’t ask questions on their RMA, so I’ll be able to get a replacement no-problem. That’s one of the things I love about Seagate. 5 year warranty, still the best in the industry. I did notice that Western Digital bumped their warranty to 3 years on retail drives purchased since August 1st, 2007.

This hard drive babble is turning into another blog post, so I’ll save it for now. Maybe I’ll rant more about hard drives in a future post.

One Response to “More Drive Imaging Woes, Registry Error This Time” »»