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Thank the gods for a good back-up

Andrew Thall
Andrew Thall Member ✭✭
edited January 2018 in Third-Party Software
This is more of a comment but if anyone has an idea of what happened, I'd welcome it.  I restarted my computer and walked away.  When I came back, it had frozen during the restart.  I shut the computer down and restarted it.  After booting, I discovered that virtually all my cat ports were gone.  Also, my Windows Explorer tabs had been erased.  I have Acronis back up and their tech was able to restore my computer.  Three cheers for Acronis!!!
Almost everything is working as it should -- just one small problem with N1MM but I can live with it for the mean time.
If anyone knows what happened, please enlighten me.
Andy, k2oo


  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Windows 10? If so, then my answer to your question is: "Windows 10"
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Hi Andrew,

    Windows 10.  I don't think it's that bad.  I have to use it everyday for work and there are some good and bad for sure.  But I can say exactly the same thing about Windows 7, XP, 95 etc.

    So being a software guy and a pilot I can align a couple of things:

    For pilots the two most critical phases of the flight are take off and landing.  By far take off is the most critical, but landing can also be difficult. Both of these phases of a flight are also the most fun but they do carry the most risk of difficulty.

    For a computer, boot up is like "take off" and shutdown is like "landing".  Both are critical and expose the system to possible issues.

    By far the most common issue is a freeze.  Something is told to shutdown or startup and it fails to do so.   A freeze at the wrong time in take off or landing of an airplane is a disaster too and usually results in some damage.  Same thing for a computer.  You freeze at the wrong time and stuff is left in a bad state.

    I don't think you did a thing wrong.  As to what happened I think it is safe to say that somewhere there is probably a windows event log of something going wrong.  Having that log is great but in the end who do you send it to, to expect a fix?

    I think it just is a very good thing you have backups.  Nicely done!
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    While I might not have the experience that Mark has, I have dealt with a number of computers and my personal experience is that, surprisingly, Windows 7 deals better with Crash Recovery than Windows 10. I hope that Windows 10 will eventually reach a level of maturity and respect for my privacy  that might make it, in the near future, a viable OS for my ham shack radio.... but until then, my number one recommendation to Flex colleagues is to stick with Windows 7 Pro.

    I have installed every single version of SmartSDR since 1.3 and many of PowerSDR in my Windows 7 computer. I have not removed any version of SmartSDR and I have not had any DAX, CAT or SmartSDR issues. (cross my fingers). I upgraded into my current PC about 2 years ago, so I think it was SmartSDR 1.6 that first got installed on it.

    I use the COM1 port with my Kenwood TS2000 and TM-D700, and USB to COM (FTDI and clones) for HT and DMR devices, watt meter, 2 rotor controllers, 2 amplifiers, etc.... I have webcams, 2 external audio devices (roland and creative labs) a couple of printers and one scanner connected as well as a 3D printer and a bunch of USB devices SdrPlay, AirSpy, 4 RTL dongles and...... I have not had a single crash. All of these items coexist in the same Core i5, 16GB RAM with Windows 7 Ultimate moving 3 monitors (40" 4k, 2x24" HD). I connect to it remotely or locally and I keep it ON pretty much 24/7. Only rebooting to apply Windows updates. I turn off monitors when I am not in the Radio shack, but otherwise everything is ON.

    My experience with Windows 10 has been the opposite. I installed it in a nice Asus Laptop and it crashed while traveling, didn't recover. It came pre-installed  it in a Dell Core i7 PC and it failed while updating twice! It also didn't recover. I removed the drive to keep the Windows legal version and installed another drive with Windows 7.... problems solved. 

    So your mileage might vary but my opinion is clear.... stay away from Windows 10 as long as you can to have an happy uneventful radio shack environment. 
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Well I do agree that once setup right Windows 7 is pretty rock solid and for most of us Windows 7 does all we need.

    I would venture to say that if I could, if it was not a work requirement, I'd have Windows 7 too.  But alas work requires Windows 10.

    So my secrets to "better" success with Windows 10 are:

    1) Backup - Cannot say this enough.  Acronis seems to be the best but online backups seem to work very well too

    2) Reboot often - Windows in general seems to get less stable the longer it is running.  This is in sharp contrast to my Mac and Linux systems that sometimes have been running without a restart for years.

    3) Use AV - This gets a bad rap but AV software can and often does protect your computer.  But don't go cheap on AV.  I use McAfee.  It seems to work well and just in 2017 alone quarantined 4 files of suspicious nature.  So far McAfee has not caused a single problem with any Flex operation.  You just have to give SmartSDR and the Flex network rights.

    4) Save often.  When using software of any kind, save often.  I develop in Visual Studio all day long for my job.  I have had it lose lots of stuff so I have slowly learned to just save.

    5) Keep copies of stuff.  I use dropbox.  I put most stuff I really need into dropbox.  Some people are super concerned about stuff being "in the cloud".  But quite frankly you are far more at risk using your credit card at a restaurant than you are in storing some data in dropbox.   Obviously I would not put the keys to my kingdom up there or if I did it would be tightly encrypted.

    6) Good hardware - I use generally good computers.  Yes you can go to Micro Center or some other computer store and buy an intel processor, motherboard, case, and the needed other pieces and put it all together and load Windows 10 on it.  In my experience unless you really know what you are doing these systems are FAR LESS STABLE.  Buy a Dell or a MainGear or something with some support behind it.  My coworkers all have these computers from Xi corp.  They all crash regularly.  I have a MainGear at work.  Yes it cost more.  But mine never crashes.

    Anyway I will not debate and fully agree that a properly setup Win7 as long as you don't need Win10 based features is the way to go.  If you have to go Win10 then you can make it work, you just have to set some rules and guidelines.
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Excellent post. Great advice. I agree with everything.

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