Home » Uncategorized » Active Partition Switching: How I hate hardware (and love Microsoft Support)

Each night the partitions on my computer get backed up to an USB drive (drive O:\). When I connect the USB drive sometimes it remembers it is O: and sometimes it thinks it is F:. Kind of a pain in the neck, but I just hop into XP’s Computer Manager and select the Disk Management, pick the disk and right-click to bring up a shortcut menu. I pick the Change Drive Letter and Path… option. I have done this hundreds of times.

Until last night when I accidentally picked Mark Partition as Active. This tells the hardware to make this drive the bootable drive. It did not even ask me if I was sure I wanted to hose up my hardware, it just switched it as if this is done everyday by users. What the heck?!?

So I poke around on the Web and every message I read usually ends with “dude, you are sooooo hosed.” Ugh.

I called my hardware guy and tell him what I did. He went and did a little research and came back with the “Dude, you are so hosed…”

I HATE hardware.

In a desperate last resort kind of thinking I recall I have a four support incidents with Microsoft from my MSDN Universal Everything Suite System Subscription. So I take a shot. After all, I am already hosed so what could be worse? Thanks for asking. {g}

I want to let you know I had low expectations going in, but I am very happy to report Microsoft Tech Support fixed me up. Actually they inspected my machine and found out I was not hosed, but I did not know this until the very end. I literally could throw away the USB drive and the OS would have booted fine. But Surbhi downloaded a disk sector hex editor and made it so the USB drive was not the active partition. I was literal sweating as she was probing and hacking. Even though she was very reassuring all would be well I was naturally concerned. If I had rebooted with the USB drive it would have come up looking like I had no OS loaded, but she “hacked” sector 1 and made it so it was not active. Sweet.

So my first experience in years with Microsoft Tech Support was a pleasant and rewarding one. I also asked her at the end what happens when XP is no longer on the support list. She said it would be a long, long time before this happens. I kind of laughed when she said Vista was a baby operating system. I know she was referring to the “infancy” definition and not that it was inferior or smaller in some way. Getting premium tech support is a natural concern for businesses moving forward and not adopting the latest OS from any company.

So now you know how I wasted my morning and part of my afternoon. I HATE hardware. Almost drives a man to drink more than water and lemonade. {g}

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One Response to “Active Partition Switching: How I hate hardware (and love Microsoft Support)”

  1. September 12th, 2007 at 16:13 | #1

    And now you and the rest of us know what the word “Active” really means!

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