November 9th, 2007

Tall ships (porthole)

Khaos system status: online at 98% functionality

Khaos, the successor to Hector/Achilles, is now up and stable.

One of the older hard disks has become non-deterministic, but it's non-essential and I've pulled off the stuff that I'd like to keep.

And I am so glad that I spent extra for a removable motherboard tray. This build would have been impossible without one, thanks to a very long graphics card with a PCI-E power connector directly opposite a hard disk power Molex. And as luck would have it, that's the non-deterministic hard disk. That'll be fun to remove.

Lessons for next time:
Check that the driver disk you built a year ago still works. I ended up in the interesting situation of needing drivers from a hard disk to access the drivers on that hard disk. Laptop + Intertubes + USB pen drive to the rescue!
Check what cables come in the motherboard box. Asus were a bit stingy, and only gave me two SATA cables. They also didn't give me a serial port blackplane, even though the motherboard has a header for one. I was rather hoping for one, as my Palm Vx speaks RS-232 rather than USB.
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Tall ships (porthole)

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One of the things I do when I upgrade my computer is try to preserve settings and long-term caches. This includes things like email accounts and local copies of IMAP folders. Every time I do an upgrade I end up redoing this from scratch, so I thought I'd write it down this time.

USUAL DISCLAIMER: These instructions assume you are familiar with the Windows Registry. You follow these instructions at your own risk. I cannot be held responsible for anything arising from these instructions. Make a backup first. NO WARRANTY.

This assumes that you've kept the email store in the same folder as before the upgrade - if you've moved it, these instructions will not work (I keep my email store on a different drive, and set things up so that drive gets the same letter after the install) I also keep my NTUSER.DAT and copy from that after the upgrade.

On the old computer/install, export the following keys: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities and HKE_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Accounts Manager. Keep these files.

Alternatively, if you're copying from a saved NTUSER.DAT, load that in regedit. Export the Identities and Software\Microsoft\Internet Accounts Manager keys. Open the .reg files in a text editor, and patch the key names to match up with those above.

On the new computer/install, run Outlook Express once to create initial registry settings, then close it. Open regedit. Delete the subkeys under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities, then merge in the two files from before. Reopen Outlook Express, and you should see all the email accounts and saved emails you had before the upgrade. You'll need to re-enter any saved passwords for the accounts.