Posted by: digibirder | October 25, 2009

The best laid plans…

Well, I was hoping to get my new hard drive in this weekend, but I had a quick look on the Internet yesterday and discovered that I may have a problem ‘Ghosting’ my existing drive onto the new one as they are different formats (existing drive is IDE and new one is SATA). The copying itself wouldn’t be a problem – I’ve done this a couple of times before with Norton Ghost between two IDE drives, but when IDE data is cloned to a SATA drive, the latter will not boot into Windows. This is apparently because the two drive formats use a different method of communication between the motherboard and Windows XP, so the system will not recognise the cloned operating system partition on the SATA (have I lost you yet?!!). One way round this is to perform a repair installation of Windows XP on the SATA drive, but there we hit a problem as I don’t have the original Windows CD. There is another method highlighted on the Microsoft site, but again I would need the XP disc.

So, I think, this would be an ideal time to upgrade to Windows 7, as the price difference between that and a copy of XP is not that great. I will just install that on the new drive and copy across my data. It would take longer than the cloning method, what with having to reinstall all my programmes, but never mind. On further investigation it seems that this is not going to be as simple as I thought. I ran a system checking tool from the Microsoft site, which told me that a few programmes would not run, and I would need to update my graphics drivers in order for the new interface to run efficiently. If I wanted to use the XP Compatibility Mode (for certain programmes) I would need another GB or RAM.

Also, they have done away with Outlook Express and the new email is web-based. You can integrate all your email accounts – OE, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc., into one location but it’s all now done online. So the prospect of having to do lots of messing about prompted me to have a look for a cheaper Windows XP Pro and I did finally manage to find one for the princely sum of £35. This includes delivery, but I paid an extra £6 for urgent delivery in the hope that this will get round the postal strike. I couldn’t really believe this price as it’s over £100 at Amazon. At least I’ll be up and running quite soon and can consider Windows 7 at a later date.

Anyway, with all this surfing and researching, we didn’t get out Saturday. The weather was quite awful in the morning, though, but amazingly it turned quite nice in the afternoon, although it was very windy. So we decided to have a trip out today to see if there was any autumn colour around to photograph. We were a little tired as we had been woken up in the early hours by Keith’s alarm going off!! He’d accidentally switched it on while turning the clock back. It had been set at 3.40am from a few weeks ago when we set off early one morning to catch the sunrise in the Yorkshire Dales. Anyway, we had a cup of tea and showered to wake ourselves up and off we went.

It was still quite windy but there was blue sky. However, when we arrived in the Peak District there were a few showers which kept interrupting the nicer spells. Unfortunately, the trees had not quite turned a nice colour yet – either we are still too early or they are not having a good year. We drove round looking at various woods, but there was nothing too inspiring. Along Cressbrook Dale the trees were almost bare, so the recent winds must have stripped them. We managed a little wander round – not really a proper walk – and took a few photos before deciding to find somewhere to have lunch. We went in the Moon Inn at Stoney Middleton and very nice it was too. We had bangers and mash with Yorkshire puddings and to follow Keith had Bakewell tart and custard and I had sticky toffee pudding with ice cream – delicious. After that we were so stuffed we just came straight home!






  1. Golly – I wish I had your IT knowledge Digi. Lovely autumn colours in your pics – and I’m drooling over your lunches LOL

  2. I have to merely ditto to Tricia I’m afraid!

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