Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unclogging toilet and Window 7 recovery

Recently, I’ve been quite busy at home for few issues in my household and I like to record some lessons that I learnt in 2 of them.

Unclogging toilet
Last weekend, for some unknown reason, my toilet at home was clogged and it took me almost 2 hrs in the afternoon to fix it. To tell you the truth, the experience was disgusting but valuable. Originally, my wife called a repair man who is responsible for the building of some sort, once he mentioned the ‘fortune’ that he was gonna charge us simply for a visit. I said to her that ‘forget it for a moment’, I would try to do it myself. Yes, we could afford it, but it wasn’t worthy for that shit load of money that he was gonna charge us. Fixing a clogged toilet is not rocket science! I’m no plumber, but I gotta give a try. So, I first use the typical toilet plunger to suck and pull. Certainly, it didn’t work. I went to a household supply store near my home and bought a bottle of dark blue liquid drain cleaner and poured that in the bowl. Some chemical reaction occurred with a bad smell. However, it didn’t work after a 10 minutes wait. Then, I went to another store and was introduced a more advanced toilet plunger with a pump. That sucker was recommended by our watchman downstairs as well. However, it didn’t work. I guess the sucking and pulling weren’t powerful enough. Then, I visited the same store again and was recommended with another larger bottle of more powerful liquid drainer cleaner of yellow in color. The translation of its name is ‘bone corrosive dragon’. It was supposed to be powerful to dissolve all organic tissues, etc. I took extra precaution to pour that sucker in the bowl while white fume with bad smell came up. However, after 10 minutes or so, problem remained. I gave a last try to go to the first store that I visited and asked for a tool that I was introduced originally but was put off in my first visit. It was a metal wire of over 3 meters in length with a twirling handle at the top. I was deliberated by the design of that. The shopkeeper was trying hard to tell me how to use it but I was still too dumb to understand how that handle was supposed to twirl. Anyway, as my last resort at the time, I bought that wire and try to use that to unclog that sucker. I push and twist that wire down the toilet bowl back and forth whenever I got blocked from pushing any further. Then, just a wild guess to stop with about 5 feet remain, I pulled that wire out and flush the toilet again. Damned, it finally worked! I thanked God for that and that saved me a fortune.

Window 7 system recovery
My HP desktop of only few months old had a problem last week in booting. It hit Window screen but went black with message saying ‘Checking file system on C:, the type of the file system is NTFS. Volume label is HP. One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency. You may cancel the disk check, but it is strongly recommended that you continue. To skip disk checking, press any key within 8 seconds.’ I was struggling to stop that checking running every time I turned my PC on, cuz it didn’t simply work by pressing any key as it suggested. At first, I thought it was because the Bluetooth connection to detect my wireless keyboard had problem. Actually, I had to press Esc, enter, spacebar, F1, F4, etc a combination or some sort that finally stop the clock before 1 sec and let the PC jumped to the logon screen. Before going there, the dark screen came back with message of ‘Autochk cannot run due to an error caused by a recently installed software package. Use the system restore feature from the control panel to restore the system to a point prior to the recent software package installation. An unspecified error occurred…’ I tried to click F9 before the Window 7 screen came up and tried to use the system restore function. After repeated attempt with different restored dates of few months back, problem remained. I spoke to the IT guy at work as well as calling HP helpdesk, they tried to help but just wasn’t encouraging. I had no choice at the end except taking the ultimate solution of system recovery.

In fact, I didn’t install any weird stuff before the problem occurred. Only thing that I can recall was installing some Window update packages from MS. Nonetheless, the PC was having problems after problems, such as my iTunes update installation couldn’t be done with errors of missing Quicktime.msi, itunes.msi and Bonjour.msi. I didn’t’ know I had a program installed called Bonjour?! That bit me! Anyway, I had to search the net all over to find those msi files, cuz I need to be able to run iTunes again to run a backup for all my files and setting. Otherwise, it’s gonna be a nightmare to upload all my music files, resetting podcasts, reinstalling apps after my PC was recovered to the factory release mode. Meanwhile, it took me few days to back up my files to my external hard drives and leave the PC on over few nights just to do the stupid copy and paste of tens of thousands of files!

At that time, besides iTunes, my biggest worry was the router-internet connection setting, cuz if that was screwed, I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of program downloads and honestly, I always struggle to get those connection thing setup. Surprisingly, after the system recovery was run. There were actually many files and setup still remained, such as the internet connection, contents in partitioned drives where Window and program folders not resided. So, actually, my music files were untouched. What I did right was backing up all those user related items ahead, e.g. iTunes, my photos, my docs, favorites, etc. Then, after reinstalling most of my stuff, updating window files, etc. Now, my PC is pretty much fine again. However, there are still some problems that I would like to do some researches for solution for the sake of similar problem in future:

1. I can drag my music, app, podcast, video folders from my back up iTunes library to the new library, but the playlists are gone. It was painful to create playlist again. As it seems that iPhone-iTunes sync is more or less one way, i.e. from PC to Phone, not vice versa.

2. Copying/moving files from PC to external 3.5” hard disk is just too slow. I had 3 external hard disks. The 500GB 2.5” flesh drive was the best. It was the newest and file transfer on it was quick. I guess it has something to do with the fact that it uses flesh memory without moving part. After this ordeal, I would say that flesh is the future. Surprisingly, my oldest 320GB 3.5” hard disk wasn’t too bad, which make it surprisingly the other way around for my 1.5TB 3.5 hard disk which was really bad in file transfer. I still don’t’ know why their speeds were so different. Both are using moving part and doing the same action of file transfer, I don’t know why the newer one with greater capacity is so slow! I was using it for my PC backup purpose, I think I may need to rethink my approach and find way to speed up the file transfer process. Otherwise, it’s only gonna get worse in future with increasing number of files.

Honestly, I found that the back up process is still the worse experience overall. One thing that I learn is that I need to organize my files and folders better. Second thing is that I may need to invest in USB 3.0 in near future. Cuz, moving hundreds GB of files is just not a fun task.

1 comment:

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