I know what you’re probably thinking. Did Phil forget to take his meds today? Let me explain.

Yesterday I thought I would try my hand at upgrading to Vista. But first, being the conscientious geek that I am, I tried to mirror my current drive to a brand new drive.

I plopped the new drive carefully (as carefully as one can plop anything) into the machine, and the system wouldn’t boot. So I retreated, pulling the old drive out and putting everything back the way it was.

Or so I thought.

The machine still wouldn’t boot. I ran the entire suite of Dell diagnostics tests on it. I also ran CHKDSK /F on it. Nothing. I ran out and bought a new SATA cable. Nothing. As far as any software test could tell, the drive was fine. It was being recognized by the BIOS, it just wouldn’t boot.

I plopped my new drive (again carefully) into the primary spot and was able to perform a clean install on it. So my machine can boot on my new drive with Vista, but not my old drive with Windows XP. How strange! At least I can access my old drive from Vista in order to copy important files over to the new drive.

As an aside, why do we say we perform installs? It’s not like anyone is watching, nor would they really want to. Who is being entertained?

Today, I was still dealing with the aftermath of this drive failure when I chatted up Micah on Skype. He remarked that everyone in our company seems to be having computer issues today. Jon’s having problems with his sound card, Pat misplaced his laptop, and Micah’s USB flash-drive failed. He says,

Must be something in the air. Maybe there was a huge solar flare or something.

Then it struck me.


I remembered reading that in fact there is a huge solar flare headed towards Earth. Well there you go, say no more. That explains it. A solar flare hosed my drive. Right now I am trying to mirror my new drive over my old drive to see if it’ll boot up with Vista. If it does, then it would seem to me that somehow Windows got corrupted on my old drive. Perhaps a solar particle flipped the AllowBootAndJustWork bit to 0. Just my luck.

In any case, it’s a good thing I have a couple of backup machines to blog from.