I killed it

Work have very kindly updated our IT clients recently, or are at least in the process of doing so. On Monday I was presented with a rather nice HP laptop, which is my replacement for the ancient IBM Thinkpads that we currently have to put up with.

This new laptop uses Vista, which I’m not so familiar with. I spent the best part of Monday and a bit of Tuesday getting to grips with its differences to XP – of which there are many. It seems quite an improvement, but only time will tell.

It wasn’t long before I wanted to alter the installation to better suit my needs. The hard disk was partitioned into a single drive (C:) and there was no extra partition for data. I think that this is pretty poor practice, in that the best way to configure Windows is to have a smaller partition for the OS and a bigger one for your data; that way if Windows crashes and you need to reinstall you haven’t lost all of your precious files.

Our IT department didn’t think it’s important to do this so I attempted to “fix” this little oversight by using the in-built Vista Disk Management tool to resize my C: Drive and create a new partition for my data. It seemed to do this with no complaints and even continued to work after it had formatted the new space. I copied over my (rather hefty) Outlook .pst file from my old laptop and imported my saved mail messages.

All was fine. Until this afternoon, when I powered the laptop back up. It couldn’t find the operating system. Ooops.

I performed a few diagnostics from the HP BIOS and everything seemed OK. I’d obviously managed to kill my new laptop within 36 hours of receiving it.

Well done me.

I then had to go to the IT guys and explain the situation. They couldn’t understand why I would want to do what I did. Well, I think the installation is inadequate for my needs – but I obviously couldn’t say that to them. They told me that they’d need to re-image the laptop and I could pick it back up tomorrow.

So, a solution but not a great one. It turns out that I could have tried to use the Recovery Console that’s available on a Vista boot disk – but we don’t have any of those; all these laptops are built from an image.

At least I didn’t have a lot of data stored on there, considering that there’s no data partition to protect my information from just this sort of eventuality.

Anyway, I’m not entirely sure why the OS died. The Disk Management tool offers the ability to shrink the C: drive and doesn’t warn of impending boot fail. I suspect that Vista has taken a hand in its own demise, and so it’s more of an assisted suicide on my part rather than an outright murder.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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