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Serious problem removing Z-San Storage Server


dguynz

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I have struck a problem upgrading a Vista Business laptop to Windows 8, using the "retain user files & settings". I have a Netgear SC101T network storage device, which was working under Vista. At the start of the Windows upgrade process, I was advised that this is not a supported device & that it needed to be uninstalled before proceeding. So far, not so unusual. But then, after uninstalling the Netgear device and restarting, something was seriously wrong. A Windows Error Recovery screen stating: "Windows failed to start". After trying all the usual Windows Recovery options without success, I had to revert to my previously cloned disk. I then tried uninstalling the device before beginning the Windows upgrade - same result. Reading various results from Google search, it appears that there is very poor support for this device. So, can anybody here help me to get rid of this device - or is my only option likely to be to completely wipe this machine & install Windows 8 from scratch? I am kind of hoping that I could try removing the device, and then run your fine product to attempt to remove the nasty leftovers.

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Did you use the Iobit uninstaller which is part of the asc6 toolbox. Also if you are having problems you might try using the Iobit Unlocker which is also part of the toolbox.

 

No, I haven't tried those options. Thanks for the suggestion.

Mind you, with the Windows Transfer feature, I might get a better result by installing Windows 8 from new & transferring what I can.

 

It has been quite enlightening reading various comments about this Netgear device (mostly along the lines of "this is the worst storage server ever sold") and I would have to say I can't altogether disagree. They have used a proprietary file system, so if the hardware ever fails, and the hard drives are ok, you are still unable to recover your files! At least not without finding an identical Netgear box to put them in. Not a terribly bright decision for a supposed backup device. And I found the disk mirroring to be very flakey too - wouldn't want to rely on that either.

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Ok, got seriously bored with this game now.

 

Tried IO-Bit Uninstaller - same result.

 

So, used MS Windows Easy Transfer utility to save files & settings, using Vista as the "old machine", to an external hard drive. Formatted the Vista partition & installed Win 8 from new. Decided to go all "cloudy" with the new user, and used their existing Hotmail account as the Win 8 logon.

 

Start Windows Easy Transfer with the Win 8 install as the "new machine", select my transfer file - and get hit with this:

 

Windows 7 to 8 Easy Transfer fails to transfer settings because of different languages.

 

Researching this indicates that the original Vista install may have used EN-US as the boot language, whereas I had chosen EN-UK (just because I can). Unless you know how I can dig into my cloned disk backup of the registry, I can't prove this theory now.

 

So, ignoring this minor detail of not transferring settings, I proceeded with my file transfer. This is were I discover that I probably should have ignored the Hotmail account for the Win 8 logon, and just recreated the same user name as we had on the Vista setup, because now it is spending rather a long time transferring 0 bytes from the previous user to the new user.

 

Almost as impressed with Windows Easy Transfer as I am with Netgear & Zetera by now.

 

Any words of wisdom for me?

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Do a Clean Windows 8 Installation!

 

I would strongly advise you not to use any of Windows' Upgrade or "Easy Transfer" facilities. The process involved seems almost always to end in tears. Any vagaries of your old system (particularly Vista!) may get carried over to the new one. If you value your time, do a clean installation of Windows 8.

 

Next recommendation: you don't need to wipe your entire disk if you can do the following. Make a new partition on your hard drive and transfer your data to it, thus separating data and operating system (always a good idea). If necessary, shrink your C: drive using a free tool such as MiniTool Partition Wizard, which is booted from CD. You can try doing the shrink from Windows Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc), but often that won't shrink enough unless all the contents are defragmented to one part of the disk. If you can, defragment thoroughly with IOBit Smart Defrag, or Piriform Defraggler, or both, first. Then create a new partition - mine is D:, labelled DATA. Move essentially all of C:\ Users or the Vista equivalent, all your documents etc., to D:.

 

Now install Windows 8 into C:. Choose the Advanced Installation option (I forget what it's called exactly) and format the C: drive. Don't just install over it, format it to get rid totally of any vestiges of Vista.

 

When the installation has finished, you will have your new user folders in C:\Users\Username, as usual. If you select each folder and look at its Properties, you will find that Location is one of the tabs. You can use this to redirect each folder to the corresponding one on the D: drive. For instance, I have organised D: so that the only root folder is D:\James. The other folders are D:\James\Documents, D:\James\Music, etc. Each of the Windows 8 C: drive folders My Documents, My Music, etc. is redirected from the C: drive using Location. In fact you can redirect most of the other system folders (Contacts, Favorites, Downloads, Saved Games, Searches, etc.) to corresponding folders on the D: drive.

 

Now your libraries, My Documents, etc. look just as normal, but all your data is on a separate partition. This means that you can back up your C: (System partition) separately, and effectively reinstall it as often as you like without disturbing your data.

 

I would recommend backing up system and data separately (and frequently!) using EaseUS ToDo Backup, the free version of which you can get from CNet. I keep a clean basic system backup from immediately post-installation, and a recent one with everything installed, which I can just reload if things go pear-shaped; it only takes an hour or less to back up, and maybe a couple of hours to reload. Compare that with the time to install Windows plus all your additional software.

 

I have tested the EaseUS software extensively, and it has never failed to restore both my system partition and my data partition faultlessly, so much so that feelings of guilt have driven me to buy the full home edition (at special-offer price, naturally).

 

But I'm afraid you can't get around the need to clean-install Windows 8 and reinstall all your software initially, though if you follow the above procedure you should only need ever to do this once.

 

I hope this helps. If I have misunderstood you, or missed anything, let me know.

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Thanks for your suggestions, jmward.

 

Just out of interest, I thought I would see what happened if I tried installing Win 8 with EN-US (which is the language Vista was initially installed with).

Next problem - the install DVD created from my online purchase only had EN-UK; so again - a big fat fail for WET!

 

I really think Microsoft need to put a bit more effort into their so-called Easy Transfer. As a computer professional, I hate to think how many bewildered customers they have created with this half-hearted attempt at a simple upgrade assistant.

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