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Never accept anything at face value!

By GuruOfDos ·
There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Today I encountered a bizarre phenomenon which reminded me NEVER to take anything at face value.

Many will argue that the floppy is almost obsolete. I rarely use many these days, but a good boot floppy or some diagnostic tool or other still justifies their existance.

Case in point. I am building a batch of identical systems, and rather than boot them up and install everything on each system I decided to cheat and just build one system and then 'clone' the hard disk. Now don't all shout EULA at once! The end user has kindly provided me with the 'Corporate' Edition of XP Pro with a multiple licence to cover all the systems.

As all the computers use Maxtor hard drives, the obvious solution was to set up one system, then use MaxBlast3 to copy the working system to all the others. Simple enough. So...

I go to the Maxtor web-site and download Maxblast3, seeing as I just bought bare drives in bulk and not full retail kits. Find a floppy disk...hmm, none around so I buy a box of pre-formatted 3M disks. Create my MaxBlast boot-disk and off I go. Cloned drive 1 with no problem.

This is when my problems started. I swapped hard disks, and went to clone the second. Booting the machine with the MaxBlast failed, telling me it could not find DOS. I rebooted several times and got the same error. I then re-created the MaxBlast disk again on another floppy. Woo-hoo! It worked. I decided I must have just been unlucky and had a duff floppy out of the pack.

I then go to clone the next drive, and get the same problem. If I reformat the disk, then use the MaxBlast disk creator, the same happens. I can only use a disk once and then have to full format it or use a new disk. If I perform a full format (as opposed to a quick format), I can re-create a disk, but still only use it once. If I only quick format, the Maxblast Disk Creator says the disk has a write error and cannot be used.

Well, I'm NOT faffing around with twenty different floppies, so I found a genuine retail Maxblast Disk and tried that....same thing happened. These disks appear to be 'one-shot wonders'.

Now, Maxtor supply this software free and it can be downloaded from their web-site. If you try to run it on a system with no Maxtor drives fitted, it states 'no Maxtor drives found' and exits. Should it matter that I want to install more than one Maxtor disk with the floppy? It won't let me install anything else!!

Just to prove a theory, I then formatted the floppies before creating a MAxBlast disk, disregarding the fact that the box stated 100% error free and pre-formatted.

I can now clone two drives before I get the error!!!

Is this something that anyone else has experienced, or am I just having a bad day!!

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Many bad disks

by TopesBlues In reply to Never accept anything at ...

I have had boxes where almost all the disks were bad. Over the years I have run into a large percentage of disks that don?t work or go bad. I have often wondered if they get scanned with a magnetic scanner during shipping and that?s what might be screwing them up. It seems odd that you can use them once or twice be for they stop working.

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The almighty light bulb.

by mrafrohead In reply to Many bad disks

They're probably designed to go bad after a certain amount of use. I know that companies design their stuff to expire after a certain amount of time so you have to go back and spend more money on new stuff. Otherwise they'd make one thing, sell it to everyone and then run out of customers.

As the customer, I think that it sucks, but that's the way business' see us. As dollar bills with legs.


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Use Ranish - Screw MaxBlast

by mrafrohead In reply to Never accept anything at ...

GoD - you should REALLY be using Ranish Partition Manager.

It will allow you to clone from one disk to another and it's FREEWARE!!! The only catch is the disk you clone to HAS to be the same size or larger than the original. It can NOT be smaller!

Other than that, I would use Ghost. But Ranish is opensource, so I'd use that instead.

Oh and """EULA""" """EULA""" ***phart***

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Newho - try that and lemme know how it works for you.


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What does it mean

by gbrownlee In reply to Use Ranish - Screw MaxBla ...

I'm new to this site and am curious as to what
EULA stands for.

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by GuruOfDos In reply to What does it mean

End User Licence's the text file that everybody ignores and just clicks 'Accept' when you install MS software.

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But you SHOULD read it!!!

by mrafrohead In reply to EULA

If you are smart you will begin to read those EULAs, as MS is beginning to include in those that they will install additional software to your computer as they see fit.

I don't know about you, but I don't want MS transmitting information from my computer without my knowledge to an offsite server, and then running code on my box without my knowledge or immediate approval.

If you guys don't believe me, start an install of WMP 9.0. Read that EULA and you'll see what I'm talking about. It's some truly scary stuff...


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A case in point ...

by jardinier In reply to Never accept anything at ...

On a certain occasion, I was in the process of supplying a refurbished computer to a charity, whose only computer was in it's death throes. But had the secretary backed up the data? No. So I purchased a new box of Verbatim floppies, and just managed to copy the files before the computer died.

Unfortunately, after the computer had actually died, I found that the floppy had not copied the files.

That of course occurred when I was a computer novice, and did not know that I could have connected the HDD to another computer as slave or secondary master, and copied them from there.

But in this instance, the whole format and data had to be re-entered from scratch.

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Back when Windows

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Never accept anything at ...

98 was at the cutting edge of Microsoft's advanced technology I used to use a program called "Disk Clone" which while expensive worked beautifully but since XP came onto the sceen I have use a program downloaded from the web called "HD Clone" ver 1 from BYMIRAY and it doesn't suffer from this problem.

The problem that you have found is one connected to the actual cloning of the HDD's as they are only expecting to support moving data from one HDD to another like in most computer upgrades. But when it comes to rolling out a number of computers of the same configeration with the same programs you require something different.

However I should point out that Microsoft had a crack down on this practice over here and took a lot of companies to court for following this practice even though they did sell copies of Windows and any other software that had been installed on the computers that they sold. Most of these where settled out of court for about $250.000.00 AU. They then sent out "Enforcement Notices" to every Microsoft Partner and listed not only the names of the companies involved but also the people who owned these companies. While it seemed a little excessive to me for only saving a lot of time Microsoft got very heavy on this practice and even followed it through to the "Volume License" versions of their products which was pretty silly as they only got 1 CD and as many COA's as they had bought but even now Microsoft has raided several companies and checked the Product numbers of all the Microsoft software installed on every computer in the company and if they find the same product key on two computers they launch legal action against the company involved.

Remember here I'm not talking about buying 10 copies and installing them on thousands of computers but only using the Volume License on as many that where bought so if a company with its own IT department rolled out 2000 computers they have to load every one from scratch or at least use the Startup Install Disk for Windows XP and then enter the various product keys for Windows. They then have to install all of the Microsoft software that the company uses individually on each computer. But it isn't Microsoft's time being wasted but the IT department and even now we are told to install Windows and no other software on "Retail Computers" because if we where to say install MS Office the customer would not have the chance to accept the EULA.

It is really quite silly as once they have bought the product and opened it they are very unlikely not to accept the EULA and even if they found it unacceptable they can not return it for a refund as the product has been opened. While I personally do not work this way as I have found that the customer generally mucks up the install and then I am required to spend far more time in fixing the unit that if I had of originally installed the program in the first place.

But for every retail sale I have a EULA printed out and get the customer to sing it before they accept delivery of the unit so at least that way it can not be said that they where unaware of the EULA. I do this for every MS product that is installed on the computer as well.


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GoD about that discussion that was pulled

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Never accept anything at ...

Today within a 6 hour period I received 33 Spam mails of the type that you described within a 6 hour period. None of them contained the "P" word and all came from unknown addresses so they got past the SPAM filter without any problems.

After a quick glance through them there appears to be two distinct types and although they are flogging the same product the adds fall into 2 different groups and in the Subject lines they range from "What every woman wants for Christmas" to the "Only Genuine supplier of the Pill" or the best one that I have seen so far "I've put my Husband on the pill and I couldn't be happier with the results."


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