Going Hard

Ah, at this times I remember the joy of being a teenager trying to get a computer to boot once more. A recent online shopping expedition rewarded me with a new hard drive, and what could be easier, I wondered, than formatting and partitioning it, popping the contents of my old hard drive onto it, and swapping it over as the new master. Trivial, right? It even comes with a nice bit of software to make the whole thing as easy as Pi.

So I spend a while messing around in the internals of hughanchor the desktop, and a few hours for the program to do its copying work, and switched over the cables to see the effects of my work. XP flickers along, loading settings as it is wont to do and then... nothing. A blank screen. Fortunately, I know what I am doing. I pull up task manager with a swift CTRL-ALT-DEL, and discover that, I can connect to the internet, Opera works fine. I can fire up a command shell, or even a bash, and do everything I want to do. But whenever I try to summon up a new instance of Windows Explorer, the task bar flickers and then disappears again. Iexplore similarly fails to boot up. It's all very mysterious. I though that maybe something had gone wrong in the copying, so I switched the drives back (the original copy is still alive and functioning) and repeated the procedure... with the same effect. I'm quite perplexed since everything seems to work almost perfectly with the exception of no explorer. Is there anything that I could possibly do to fix this small distinction? So far all I can think of is to run an rsync between the two drives to see if everything really is copied accurately, and then to try a Windows repair if that doesn't fix it. Any other suggestions? In the olden days if all the files were the same then the system was the same, but now that there are all these mysterious registries and system restore points, I don't feel quite so sure any more. Of course, the usual recourse to the internet is no help whatsoever, full of idiots with stupid problems that have no resemblance to my own unique privations.

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