How Do You Know You have a Corrupt Operating System?

When a corrupt Operating System occurs do you reinstall the OS or do you use your backup?


How do you diagnose a corrupt Operating System?

The symptoms are very noticeable:

  • The time it takes the OS to start (yesterday it took a minute or two, today it seems like forever).
  • Or when you start having errors popping up that tell you that a service failed to start at startup and you didn't turn it off or disable it.
  • Another is when you install a program and after the next start up it fails to run.

What are the causes?

  • Computer powered off with out shutting the Operating System down, that is using the Start button to select "Shut Down" from the menu.
  • A virus.
  • A hard drive that is failing.
  • Defragmenting a SSD (Solid State Drive).

What happens at this time of year are power failures, unexpected power failures from storms, some are not even close to you.

It is better to have it and not need
than to need it and not have it at all?

What is it? You need to see this!
You know when a storm has hit your area and take precautions, such as powering down you equipment while the storm is in progress, turning off or unplugging the surge protector. Normal stuff for inclement weather.

How do you know that it is time to either wipe the partition the OS (Operating System) is on and install a fresh copy, or put the image (you made?) over the corrupt Operating System?

But sometimes it catches you by surprise and it just happens.

That is when the registry and the open files on the hard drive partition become corrupt.

When the registry becomes corrupt is when you start getting services that fail to start when the OS starts, that is if you didn't turn off a service that the one that is failing to start is dependent on.

When the service file becomes corrupt you will also get a failure of the service starting.

My Domain controller is on a surge suppressor but not a UPS (it died a couple of years ago and I didn't replace it, power outages here are very rare).

While we were gone for a day the power went out, the server is set to not restart on power failure.

A couple of days later the power went off again, that must have been one too many power outages because all the sudden the server was having service failures, the DNS wouldn't translate computer names in to IP addresses, sometimes the Gateway IP didn't show up in the DHCP settings - corrupt Operating System.

My remote control program would not start, and the Virtual Drive program would lock up the computer.

I considered reinstalling the OS and then rebuilding the Domain, the image I had was two years old (unless something changes I don't make images of a Domain or server OS) but decided to use the image to clean up the partition and get the server operational again.

Once the image was back on the server I ran the Auto Update for all the latest service packs and proceeded to re-establish the Domain the way it was before the drive became corrupt.

I also added another 1.5 TB hard drive to the system and changed where the backup would go, this gives me 4.5 TB of drive storage now.

And now it starts up like it used to and doesn't take forever for the desktop to load.

Your recovery will only be as good as your last backup!   <-- look familiar?

Note: Servers and Domain controllers do take longer for the desktop to load because the desktop is a foreground program where as the Server OS priority is set for programs and services that run in the background. So if you have a server and/or a Domain controller don't panic when it takes two to five minutes for the desktop to load when you log on. Also if you do a restart and wait for ten minutes the desktop will load normally when you log on.

Now I have to find some stuff to fill up that 4.5 TB of storage...  :)

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