Unplanned Reformats

A few days ago I was conversing to a co-worker about Apple’s latest operating system, Mountain Lion. I had mentioned to him that I wasn’t all that keen on upgrading because my 2008 unibody Macbook took a severe performance hit when I upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion. He recommended I upgrade to a solid state drive, so I did.

At first I wasn’t interested in upgrading immediately, I only ever use my Macbook for school related activities: programming, lab write-ups, homework and studying. It would not be that cost effective to upgrade now rather than when school starts, the price of electronics is always dropping. One of my roommates was upgrading to Mountain Lion, the other’s macbook couldn’t run it, so I opted to upgrade only for the ability to mock, show off and genuinely annoy the latter roommate.

I picked up an OCZ Agility 3 240 GB solid-state drive from memory express for about $180, not the greatest drive but it sure outperforms the 160GB 5400 RPM drive that comes standard on most Macbooks. I also bought two sticks of Corsair 1333MHZ random access memory for a total of 8GB for about $50 that replaced the original 2GB. Mountain Lion runs quite smooth on this new and improved system, four years old and outperforming the stock new models.

The universe and it’s ever increasing entropy decided it wouldn’t allow me to have two fast systems. I accidently put my desktop computer in Sleep mode which ended up corrupting the windows boot sequence. My machine has always had problems with Sleep mode. From what I learned, the motherboard I have (ASUS P6T Deluxe) has had problems with turning on large SATA drives in under 10 seconds. There is a fix available but I had forgotten to install it when I upgraded to a solid state drive. Usually when trying to recover from sleep mode, I just have to restart the machine manually a few times, jump into safe mode and back, and it works. This time, not so much.

Luckily, I have my system configured so that my solid-state drive only contains my operating system (Windows 7 64 Bit) and basic applications (Chrome, Skype, Starcraft, Photoshop, Visual Studio). There is a bit of data in my user folder but the bulk of it is stored on a different hard drive. All I needed to do was throw in the Windows CD, robocopy my User folder to a separate harddrive, reinstall windows, download drivers, and get all my applications with http://ninite.com.

So now I have two fresh solid-state drives with (hopefully) no lost data. This whole process was a bit of an inconvenience but it is always nice to start fresh!