Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

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ChrisGreaves
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Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I have accepted a promotion to the position of System Manager following my recent debacle in the position of VBA programmer. You may think that The Peter Principle is at work here, but if I can't learn from my mistakes then I don't deserve to be a VBA programmer, right?.

I have attached a MSWord document and a PDF version of the same document, and would appreciate notification of any glaring or blatant errors in the logic.

The document is a sequence of objectives summarized as:-
    What I Should Have Done
    Before the computer arrives
    Unpack and power on
    Factory Reset
    Backup and Restore
    Partition Your Computer Drive
    Backup and Restore Partitions
    Almost Done!

Thanks, Chris
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stuck
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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by stuck »

You can't need all those factory resets, surely? That's not a recovery plan, it's paranoia.

I've never (yet) had to resort to such a nuclear option on any of my PCs (custom built Win 98, self-refurb. Win XP MCE, bought refurb. Win 10, brand new Win 11)

Mind you , I don't tinker with my machines the way you do and I don't try to force each new version of Windows to behave like the one I had before :whisper: except for a couple of tweaks to restore sanity to Win 11 File Explorer

Ken

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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by HansV »

Moved from Windows General to Scuttlebutt.
Best wishes,
Hans

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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by GeoffW »

The procurement manager and the transport department did a great job of getting the computer to this stage. I'd guess that there was enough expertise in those to also act as a systems manager. The instructions shown already surpass any that I've ever seen from a small scale systems department.

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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by ChrisGreaves »

stuck wrote:
21 Aug 2023, 15:35
You can't need all those factory resets, surely? That's not a recovery plan, it's paranoia.
Ken>>> You can't need all those factory resets, surely? That's not a recovery plan, it's paranoia.

Hi Ken, I don’t need them on any sort of regular basis, and yes, PaRanoia are my two middle initials (“Christopher PR Greaves”), but I figure that for someone who is distrustful of intangible machine recovery things, making sure that I can access factory restore from any failed position is a good thing.
There are so many web pages that lead one through factory restore, but only from within Windows. Fewer pages that show how to do it with a function-key during the BIOS/UEFI phase.
I have purposefully left out an earlier step of a factory reset of the BIOS, although in terms of a general tutorial I would want that earlier step documented.
I might add at a later date how to re-install the recovery partition that seems to have been obliterated by some mis-step of mine.


Ken>>> I've never (yet) had to resort to such a nuclear option on any of my PCs (custom built Win 98, self-refurb. Win XP MCE, bought refurb. Win 10, brand new Win 11)

This is a valid statement, and is a common statement from users who just can’t see the value of a data backup. “I’ve never lost my disk drive” they say, of their 16-year-old Vista spinning platters.
I think that Win98/WinXP machines were well-covered by the bootable installation CD. Once those disappeared, we were faced with the possibility of a disk-crash making the machine unbootable. Platters are on their way out and SSD is established, but I believe that even SSD can fail, and, speaking of paranoia, who am I to say it won’t pick on the recovery partition by chance?

Ken>>> Mind you , I don't tinker with my machines the way you do and I don't try to force each new version of Windows to behave like the one I had before …

True, and we all have different uses for our systems. My friends in Bunyan’s Cove left one laptop behind as junk. “It’s only got photos on it”, but this year I have been using scanned photos from 1993 to illustrate requested essays on my high school years (59-63), so my pal Scott and I have different needs and different uses.
I meant the procedure to be rather comprehensive, because I was writing for anyone else who has a morbid fear of "eggs in one basket” and/or has been guilty of laziness.
I have to overcome my distrust of “factory restore”, as my experience of last week demonstrates. I think too I have to recognize that only after my software/Opsys is secure can I venture into using that software.
“Comfort” is a good goal, and the truth is that I have been uncomfortable with my status ever since my move into Win7. Until that time I could use my WinXP bootable installation CD and be happy.

Thanks for the feedback
Chris
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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by ChrisGreaves »

GeoffW wrote:
22 Aug 2023, 02:37
The procurement manager and the transport department did a great job of getting the computer to this stage. I'd guess that there was enough expertise in those to also act as a systems manager. The instructions shown already surpass any that I've ever seen from a small scale systems department.

Geoff, thanks for the feedback. It was the fragmentation of duties between the different departments that led to my repeated downfalls. That is why the CEO has decided that every employee must attend a training course in securing the availability of the computer system 24/7, well, except for a 6-minute Macrium-restore when required.

I have the brains to do this right, but have been too lazy to implement the recovery system properly. My own fault in cutting-corners in saying "I have no plans to corrupt my system this week, so it won't happen".
It is not a lack of expertise; it is a failure to follow a sound procedure.
Too I am embarrassed that in a week when I told good friends that they should backup their data, I found myself without a working system. Think about that. This is not "the blind leading the blind", this is "the limbless leading the blind".

On top of that is the isolation. I know of no other Win11 system in Bonavista where I could create any sort of bootable path into the HP15; I am 90 minutes drive from the next town, and don't own a car.
You'd think that anyone with an iota of brains would recognize the situation and prepare for emergencies, right? :guilty as charged:

I am a computer professional (I claim) in a remote location, with a well-stocked pantry of staples and preserved foods, who can't boot up his laptop.

It is time for a change
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by stuck »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
22 Aug 2023, 11:23
..a common statement from users who just can’t see the value of a data backup...
I never said I don't back up my data, I do, regularly.

Ken

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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by ChrisGreaves »

stuck wrote:
22 Aug 2023, 12:33
I never said I don't back up my data, I do, regularly.
Hi Ken. I tender my apologies.
I had no intention of disparaging your backup procedures, none at all.

My words "... is a common statement from users who just can’t see the value of a data backup." might have been better presented as " is a common statement from users who just can’t see the value of a data backup.". I was trying to compare those of us who strive to be backup-conscious against the great many users who can see no point in backups, no point at all.

My failing is in maintaining proper system backups, and I am confident that anyone who maintains good system-backup procedures, like you, is also making good backup procedures.

I have the following news:-
20230822_094753.jpg
The significant part of the image is the re-used little cardboard box labelled "Macrium" which obeys (4) Before the computer arrives, find a suitable cardboard box and place your “Macrium” objects in the box. Label the box “Macrium”.
I have yet to open the laptop box.

Cheers, and sincere apologies
Chris
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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by Skitterbug »

Hi Chris,
Late entry to your backup dialog.
Chris said......."Too I am embarrassed that in a week when I told good friends that they should backup their data, I found myself without a working system. Think about that. This is not "the blind leading the blind", this is "the limbless leading the blind".
I don't know how good of a friend I am, but I took your suggestion to heart and did finally get a backup made of my Win11 data. Now whether I can recover anything from the backup remains to be seen. I must add that I have a box of EX HD's with stuff backed up over many years. Much of it is even duplicates of data. It should all probably be sorted but UG, that is very time consuming so I won't. Just thought you should know that your suggestion of backing up stuff hit home, and yes, I did! :smile: and :thankyou: for the nudge.
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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by StuartR »

A wise decision. If everyone did that there would be far fewer sad tales of lost data.
StuartR


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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Skitterbug wrote:
10 Feb 2024, 19:07
... It should all probably be sorted but UG, that is very time consuming so I won't.
Yes You Will
Hi Skitterbug.
I trust that you used Robocopy to do your backup; that way you will know that you have all your data files, but they will sit on your backup drive(s) as files.

Now you need to grab a copy of Everything from VoidTools.

Why?

Because Everything-1.5.0.1367a can index volumes (drives) which are later taken offline, and you can use those indexes to locate duplicates by practically every property of a file.

Everything's content searches are amazingly fast; almost instantaneous on an SSD, but still mind-boggling on an old Win7 DELL HDD system.

Everything destroys the argument "It's time-consuming do i won't do it". Sorry!

Download Everything-1.5.0.1367a.x64-Setup and run it. Accept all defaults. It is a benign application, marvelously supported daily by its sole writer (unlike MS) and has a support BBS that runs on phpBB, with which you are familiar.

Any other excuses? :evilgrin:

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by Skitterbug »

I feel like I have "everything".... lucky person that I am! :grin:
But yes, I also have the software that you recommended lots earlier in 2023. It means that I have to figure out how to use it. I really detest reading directions, since I am a visual learner. But .... it may be useful to use! No excuses from me!
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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Skitterbug wrote:
12 Feb 2024, 16:08
I feel like I have "everything".... lucky person that I am! :grin:
Sandy, you can go on making excuses, but I will just ignore them. Start using Everything.

Until you are using Everything you won't have everything, and more to the point you won't find everything.
Untitled.png
A half hour ago I needed to augment my article on Western Australia's position within Australia.
I have everything set up to default to a search for MSWord DOCuments (although you could use any regular DOS/WIN filename pattern.
I type "western" at the right-hand end and am greeted with seven file names. The newest one (most current) will represent my accumulation of data, and what's more it is on my web-pages drive (W:) so there is no question about it, that's the one.

Interesting that I have been writing about Best Western hotels. I wonder what that's all about .. (wanders off for five minutes ... :innocent: )
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by PJ_in_FL »

Chris,

Thank you for continuing to push the importance of data backups!

I finally upgraded my Win 8.1 HP desktop to Win 10 (won't use 11 until they restore personal toolbars), and lost all of my Opera bookmarks and history. Finally located the files in the APPDATA folders from the back-up I made with Macrium just prior to the update, copied the files to the current APPDATA folder and recovered all the bookmarks and SOME (?) of the history.

Wouldn't have happened if I hadn't remembered all your pushes. I have several TBs of data on various external drives that are now being scheduled for back-up, because I believe you are absolutely correct in your paranoia.

PJ in a FOOT OF SNOW in Hartford, CT (No one told me it was coming before I left Tampa!!!!!)
PJ in (usually sunny) FL

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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by stuck »

PJ_in_FL wrote:
13 Feb 2024, 19:09
...(won't use 11 until they restore personal toolbars...
By that do you mean the ability to right click on the taskbar and then add a toolbar?

If so then:

a) I'll be surprised if MS were to restore that feature. Experience shows that if MS haven't bowed to user pressure after this length of time they aren't ever going to change their mind.

b) All is not lost! You can get that, and many more features, back by installing a free third party utility called ExplorerPatcher:
    https://github.com/valinet/ExplorerPatcher
The only gotcha with it is that it doesn't autoupdate, which means when a regularly monthly MS update chabges something that break ExplorerPatcher you have to go off and download and install the latest version. Mind you, when that happened to me, the updated version picked up on all the previous tweaks I'd made, i.e. I didn't have to redo anything.

Ken

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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by PJ_in_FL »

Interestingly enough, I can add, edit, delete, etc. toolbars in Windows 10 Pro without Admin privileges, which my company doesn't bestow on us mere mortals. So installing a 3rd party fix at work isn't an option for my work PC, so both my work and home PCs it will stay at 10 for compatibility.

O.T.: The work PC is also staying at Windows 10 at my insistence after a brief foray into the wasteland that is Windows 11. Surprisingly the problem was with a Microsoft program, Excel, said program being used on a Microsoft PC, the Surface Pro. Compatibility testing much? Don't think so.

Using Windows 11, the Pro displayed extreme prejudice toward Excel trying to work seamlessly between displays when the Surface Pro was connected to two external monitors. The monitors were standard 1920x1080 or some such, but the small Pro display was using an extreme configuration of display size more like a 4k display. Spreadsheets would become strangely modified, with cells blowing up in size while the displayed values stayed normal. This happened when dragging an Excel window between displays. Dragging the window back didn't return the spreadsheet to normal, and even after closing and reopening the file, and the text size relative to the cell size stayed messed up.

I posted about this, got no satisfactory solution, so I "gently" tossed the Windows 11 Surface Pro back to IT and sat on IT's desk until they produced my old Surface Pro, which didn't take long since my derrière on a desk precludes any other activities being possible on said desk..
PJ in (usually sunny) FL

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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by PaulB »

:cheers: :clapping: :laugh:
Regards,
Paul

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Re: Promotion from VBA programmer to Systems Manager

Post by ChrisGreaves »

PJ_in_FL wrote:
13 Feb 2024, 20:55
.. which didn't take long since my derrière on a desk precludes any other activities being possible on said desk.
Hence the expression "The project is falling behind"?
Well Done!
Chris :cheers: :chocciebar: :clapping:
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