April 20, 2010

Windows crash saved by iMac Chronosync and Time Machine

Filed under: General news — Tags: , , — Webopius @ 9:01 pm

For Windows ASP.net software development, Webopius have both stand-alone Windows machines and also a number of iMacs running Windows using Parallels desktop as a virtual machine.

Under Mac OS X and Parallels, you can get all the benefits of using the Mac whilst also running Windows and Visual Studio for ASP.NET software development… and it’s quick.

Last week, we had a potential disaster scenario, Windows started up but then reported the dreaded ‘Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM’

Somehow the Windows registry had become corrupt. On further investigation, even worse than this, many source code files had become corrupt. The top half of the code was fine, but as you scrolled down the file, you suddenly encountered garbage… SADHJFEOPWCNDOIQ!E£O@I£$DUJD(£!

Chrono Sync and Time Machine to the rescue

All hard disks WILL eventually fail. You never believe it will happen to you, but it goes without saying that you need to prepare in advance.


Luckily, we are a bit paranoid about our files (justifiably it seems) and had been using the OS X-based Chronosync (see link to the right) to synchronise our Windows data files to a Mac hard disk. Time Machine then took over and silently managed backing up both Windows and OS X files.

Recovering from a corrupted registry

Restoring our Windows system involved following the Microsoft Knowledgebase advice (see link to the right) and making copies of the existing registry entries and performing a system recovery.

Then, in Time Machine, we went back in time a couple of days, located the data files we needed to restore and within about an hour everything was back to normal.

Thank you Time Machine. Thank you Chronosync. You saved us.

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