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Everything posted by bartholomewking

  1. Back on the Windows Search 4.0 track ... I think something has changed. I am still getting inconsistent results, however a type:mht search now does return the correct number of files, compared to the number returned by Everything for example. The tweaking.com thing may have had some effect, also the Fixit thing. However content searches (i.e. searches containing text in the document) are more unpredictable. I think this is something to do with the content filters that search uses. mimefilt.dll resides in directory %SYSTEMROOT%\system32 and this is the mime-type filter used for indexing and presentation of many types of documents including mht files. There are a number of versions of this, currently I am experimenting with the one for vista 32bit, with more encouraging results. I am still working on this, and was experimenting with different registry entries for the filter, before I was so rudely interrupted by the restore issue. I'll let you know what transpires.
  2. Thanks Andavari, mta! Yes, imaging is the only way to go. And back up your backups! (like I said mta, your slogan is a little optimistic) I have 5 hard drives so things can get complicated. I use Paragon Backup and Recovery 2014 Free. (How up to date is that?!) Having said which, there appear to be two versions of this, the slightly older one allows you to restore individual files and folders from the resultant image. Also, you can generate an ISO bootable image which will boot the machine in a mini linux based environment (don't worry, it's a GUI, but the disc names can be confusing for Windows users). You can perform all the archiving/restore functions having booted from this disc. This is in fact a little quicker as the machine is not running windows and does not need to run vss. Paragon compresses the data also, so that a 250Gb boot drive with 100Gb (approx) free space can be archived to about 100Gb. There is a facility to check the archive integrity. You can also back up Linux partitions from within Windows. You can also configure the backup to split the archive into 4.5 Gb chunks so that these can be backed up to DVD (perhaps for the paranoid with plenty of time on their hands), could also be useful for the cloud for those with plenty of money and time. The Paragon suite is a bit inscrutiable at first, but it is worth persisting with it. Easus also do a Disc Copy product which is effectively a bootable iso image that will copy from one disc to another, but no compression. Ideal for disc cloning ( again free) I also use Syncback, a very useful (free) utility indeed, you've likely heard of it. This is great for data backup of files and folders, and keeps track of changes. e.g. you might want to back up your mail folders and Firefox profiles. You can set up a group of backups that will copy any changes since the last backup. Syncback is a very flexible piece of software. CAVEAT, even an image backup can leave you with minor problems. Time sensitive programs such as Virus Checkers, and for that matter Windows Search think something is out of kilter if they know about data on other discs. It was nostalgic as the restore took me back to the point just before I fixed the CCleaner invisible System Restore points! Hey ho! As I've been doing bugger all else (nearly) since that point it wasn't much of a problem ;-)
  3. OK, well ... just for fun, I uninstalled windows search 4.0 Before this I created a system restore point. (I already had a full system disc image) I uninstalled windows search 4.0, and as commented upon above received warnings regarding numerous programs that would be affected. Essentially it indicated a huge list of programs installed on the machine. The uninstallation appeared successful, and seemed to resort to the (Classic) windows desktop search, complete with animated dog. Frankly, some of the processes running after the uninstallation appeared to be the same as those that were running under Search 4.0. e.g. cidaemon.exe, cisvc.exe. These may of course be part of Windows Desktop Search, I’m not sure. However even after configuring the indexer this search engine was not that great, so I decided to revert to Search 4.0, by re-installing. This did not work. I then did a system restore from the restore point created as above. The system restore indicated it was successful. However windows search 4.0 was not functional after this. i.e. the system restore did not restore to the point that it was taken. (As I've suggested before, a system restore point is not a backup). The WindowsSearch.exe program that is inserted into the start-up registry entries did not run (the search magnifying glass icon search window). Attempts to run the program from windows explorer did not start the program. I attempted to reinstall search 4.0 from the installer, it ran, however eventually reported "a previous version of search is not installed. Windows search cannot be installed on this system". However there was evidence that a partial install had taken place. Searches on this on the internet indicated that others have had a similar problem. One suggestion was that the windows update system was damaged. There is a diagnostic program from Microsoft Fixit that claims to repair such problems. MicrosoftFixit.wu.MATSKB.Run.exe version Available here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/971058 I ran this program and it reported some problems. I accepted the “fix the problems” option. An attempt to reinstall windows search 4.0 again failed. Different attempts to reinstall failed. Eventually, there was nothing for it other than to restore a disc image.
  4. You all raise some interesting points about system restore. I have been trying to find something that can check them for integrity, but have drawn a blank so far. My comment earlier in the thread the "I have no reason to suspect earlier restore points were invalid" or some such, was clearly incorrect. Chkdsk however does not find anything wrong. In my reading I did come across a site that stated that restore points were cumulative, although how they can be or what that is intended to mean I'm not sure. I'm going to have a read of 'Russinovich et al. Windows System Internals' to see if that sheds any more light on the subject.
  5. Thanks Trium, Andavari, Yes, I have used the Nirsoft search, I forgot to mention it. Splendid suite of software! But as you say, a little slow for what I have in mind. Having said which, intuitively probably faster than Agent Ransack. I would be interested if you would elaborate on your comment about having little luck with Windows Search because it doesn't find some files. Do you mean it's inconsistent, or just doesn't work properly? It's funny Trium, I hesitated to update to Search 4.0, but I did so, probably a couple of years ago. It was before I had accumulated so much data. I presume uninstalling Search 4.0 would revert to the classic version. I could always put it back again. Backing up would be a bit of a major task though. have to look into it. I do remember when I tried a Vista installation ( on a separate disc ) the problem was not reproducible and it found the files. Could just be they hadn't quite got all the bugs worked out on XP. To clarify: I really want to use this for a content search. The description I gave was to indicate it wasn't even finding some named files even though I knew they were there.
  6. Thank you Hazelnut, i have seen those. The problem seems to me to be that the windows search program doesn't even see the files in the file system. Perstistent handlers are used I think to open the file for reading, indexing and of course presenting. .mht appears as a mimetype. i.e. email ( for some bizarre reason ). if you open one it's just text with html style tags. You'd think the search query "type:mht" would find all .mht extension files in the indexed locations. however it doesn't. using Everything finds those that Search4.0 doesn't. so if you collate one found with Everything and search for it in windows search, it doesn't even find the file by filename. Agent Ransack and Copernic both find them, and I can only presume they use the same persistent handlers. Hence all the nonsense I described with streams.exe and file attributes etc.
  7. Were I to try system restore for this one, i'd probably be back down to a sinclair zx 81
  8. Firstly, thanks to everybody who helped with the system restore problem in CCleaner from another thread on this forum. As a result of a couple of people’s suggestion, I am posting this here. It’s not a Piriform issue. But you did ask! I am running Windows XP Workstation Professional SP3 , and it's all up to date as far as it can be (or at least as far as I can see). For a number of reasons I don't want to update this machine to a later OS. Most everything else works just fine, except I have a very large mixed format collection of documents. E.g. pdf, word, text, Mht etc. I know it's unpopular with some, but quite frankly the most comprehensive search product I have used is Windows Search 4.0. With the indexed locations set to email and particular file locations the overhead in indexing is slight once the index is built, and it can be turned off if necessary. The usual complaint that it “slows the machine down”, in my opinion can be rectified simply by confining what it indexes to certain locations. Also there are configurations in the group policy editor that can improve things. For general named file finding I would recommend Everything from Voidtools (it works like lightning and is FREE!). For limited content search Agent Ransack ( this is another excellent free product, but because it doesn't use an index can become slow on a large document store as it searches the content of individual files one by one ). Like most things in IT, it's "horses for courses". The Windows Search 4.0 was a late addition to XP, and of course has not been updated much from the initial distribution. It could be that this problem is insoluble without a later OS. Sadly search 4.0 seems inconsistent in getting results; the problem I've noticed lies in finding mht archive files saved either from Firefox (you need an addon for this) or Internet Explorer. It simply finds only some (actually most) of them from the indexed locations. Strangely if you search for "type:mht" search it doesn't find them all. "Everything" for example finds plenty more. However the problem seems to rest with only certain files and I cannot work out what it is about them that causes them not to be found. I have tried Sysinternal's "streams.exe" to remove “blocked files” from “another machine”, makes no difference. I’ve checked all the security attributes, even removed the “compressed” bit. The mimetype persistent handlers are up to date. All to no avail. I’ve done lots of searches on the Internet, posted on other forums and cannot find a solution. An example would be: Search DOES NOT find: http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/159865 saved as mht either from Firefox or Explorer (I don’t use Explorer as a rule, just as part of this experiment) Search DOES find: http://support.symantec.com/en_US/article.HOWTO4400.ht... Copernic does find the files (but I find the free product has other deficiencies for my purposes) Agent Ransack does find the files, however not being an indexing program is slow over the whole of my document store (approx 30,000 items). (It’s brilliant for finding bits of code etc when confined to a few directories) As to why Mht format, it is a good way of preserving a web page with all ( or most) of its content functional. Converting to PDF is useful, but many of the links within a page can cease to function. I think I’ve done fairly comprehensive research, so if there’s a Windows Search 4.0 expert out there who has an idea it would be just fantastic if they have a suggestion. Many thanks in anticipation, and if it's a case of "that old chestnut", then forgive me, I must have missed it.
  9. Ok, I'll do it later, been trying to find out something regarding restore point integrity checks, but drawn a blank so far! Meanwhile, to all who have contributed to my little problem part of this thead, a heartfelt thankyou.
  10. Yes absolutely! I'm kicking myself really ;-) And PS. many thanks for all your kind contributions
  11. SUCCESS!!!! SOLVED Thank you very kindly Andavari. Your suggestion worked. The procedure I used was as follows: 1) Turn off system restore as described in the above article indicated by Andavari http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/310405 2) Wait a few seconds while the machine clears the restore points (mouse pointer goes busy) 3) Restart 4) Turn System Restore Monitoring back on. 4) Check for restore points using Accessories->System Tools->System Restore ( partly to prolong the sense of anticipation ) 5) One system checkpoint was indicated by System Restore Dialogue at this stage. 6) Run CCleaner .... and there it was also. To re-iterate, before this no restore points were shown in CCleaner (i.e. the results pane was blank) 7) Create another restore point using the System Restore Dialogue. 8) Check again with CCleaner, this was also shown Marvellous, thank you very much. It does beg the question, how to check restore point integrity. chkdsk /f wasn't reporting any errors. I'll have a look into that and see if I turn up anything. In the interim, thank you once again.
  12. Thank you both login123 and mta for your suggestions. My strange reason for keeping XP is fairly simple, the machine is old, and it's not really possible to get drivers for some of the essential devices on it. I have had it running with Vista, but came to the conclusion the amount of work involved to get it on a par with how it is working now probably wasn't worth it, particularly as Vista is not terribly well supported, and is likely to go the way of all flesh fairly soon. Ironically, i can run windows 7, 8.1, and even at a push 10 running under a virtual machine under Linux 64bit. Unfortunately perfomance is prohibitive, and a lot of the stuff i do is realtime ( audio/video ). I can even boot the same Linux system from within XP and run it from within a virtual machine. In the fullness of time, I will simply retire it from the internet and leave it in a stable state. Hardware isn't a problem given the wonders of ebay. function and data is all! The whole upgrade the hardware and software cycle till the thing grinds to a halt is familiar to me. I'm long enough in the tooth to have worked in the days of card readers, teletypes and paper tape. The whole thing reminds me of a song from 1957 by the wonderful Flanders and Swann - "a song of repoduction" "i had a little grammophone, i wound it round and round, and with a sharpish needle it made a cheerful sound. And then they amplified it .. it was much louder then. so we sharpened fibre needles, to make it soft again" Perhaps the lounge it is. Hopefully they have bath chairs in there. bon soir
  13. Hello login123, Good to meet another dedicated XP user. I have my reasons for sticking with it ( on this machine ), and i'll perhaps explain to some of our younger listeners one day, but now is not the time .... there will be time to wander off into the 32 bit sunset but it hasn't arrived quite yet. I did wonder about the virus checker. As i pointed out earlier i use f-secure, i use it because Microsoft Security Essentials is probably fairly useless these days on XP and cannot be realistically updated. Also I had a very bad experience with one product that I had been using for some years. It updated itself and made the machine unbootable. It was almost impossible to uninstall but i managed with a very large side dish of luck and a following wind. Fortunately a religious backup regime saved me there. i also use win-patrol. the latter mostly to stop annoying programs inserting stuff into the registry run (startup) entries ( you know who i'm talking about ... don't you Spotify?). Winpatrol is a useful program, and hasn't previously interfered with CCleaner. I did uninstall f-secure, I did uninstall winpatrol and then tried re-installing ccleaner to no avail. To be truthful, this problem is a minor irritation, however it could be an indication of something more profound, hence i too am interested in why. I'm not overly keen to do a system restore going a long way back for a couple of reasons, one of which is it buggers up my indexers and email and a number of other things. I know that it is reversible, but a restore point is not a backup, and a full image takes about 4 hours to create, and similar to restore. The experiment i did mention in an earlier post was to create a system restore, reboot the machine immediately into Safe Mode and restore it. It was simply to prove that system restore was working. the timespan before the change was so short that most of the normally affected applications didn't notice. To all intents and purposes this is a production machine, so i don’t like to interfere with it too much. I would ask you a favour, do you know of a forum where the last vestiges of the elderly congregate to talk over the disaster of april 2014 and also understand XP internals. I have another problem that drives me crazy. It may be insoluble, but it’s not a Piriform issue, so here is probably not the place for it. Cheers!
  14. thank you mta, the answer is yes, generally when something has been removed (uninstalled) to find and remove the often left behind debris if necessary. Sadly many uninstallers aren't very well written or at least leave behind reg entries, files and folders. Interestingly the CCleaner one (uninstaller) seems pretty good and didn't as far as I could see leave any reg entries behind. Hence when i uninstalled it, i checked the registry to see if anything had been left behind so that a new 'clean' install would occur. It did not appear to have left anything behind, but one can never be sure. I agree about registry cleaners they can be dangerous. The CCleaner one is fairly gentle however and more importantly gives you the opportunity to ignore things. Usually it just pulls up junk entries. It's particularly useful when something has done an update say, or a program has been removed. I try to make informed judgements as to what to remove and what to leave behind (CCleaner has an ignore list). Also of course there is an immense debate about the overall value of such things in the first place. my predjudice would be, use with care, not routinely and with your eyes open. Contrarywise, if you don't maintain things, then over a period of time a lot of junk is accumulated. this can also cause problems. I do use another also, but I would be careful about cleaning out everything that they recommend. The other product I use for this purpose originates in your continent and again gives control and the ability to choose for yourself what to remove :-) Avoid like the plague so called "one click maintenance" I suggest!!! My intuition at the moment tells me that some absence from the registry could well be the root cause of this problem. Oddly, I haven't done much in the way of configuration/installation this month, and the problem has only recently manifested. Things that i am aware have updated are firefox, google chrome, adobe flash, java, f-secure safe (anti-virus), all pretty unavoidable with the possible exception of java. As a final shot, as i suggested i would to Hazelnut, i uninstalled the virus checker and tried CCleaner again. Same result sadly. It's obviously not a CCleaner version issue, as I have tried different versions going back to the version suggested earlier by Trium, and they all exhibit the same behaviour. I will stress, this change in behaviour is recent ( last couple of weeks) and doesn't map to an update date of CCleaner. If i become sufficiently OCD over this i'll burrow more into Procmon traces and maybe a debug, however, life is a bit short, and as i say, there don't appear to be any other apparent problems. I like the look of the tweaking.com stuff as well ( it also looks like it has potential for both good and evil but it logs what it does). if i do anything too contentious, i'll do an image backup of the system drive first. things i have learned in this exercise ... Always use a system log document. ( i started mine 18 months ago ) Few things are too trivial to put in it. Record everything in it if you want to keep things running smoothly and understandably. This includes mealtimes, recipes and toilet breaks. incidently to MTA, i like your slogan at the bottom of your post, but i slightly disagree, it's a little optimistic. My own version would be: "Two things are certain Death and Loss of Data" you have no control over either ;-) Cheers!
  15. i'm wondering if it's some registry entry that's gone walkabout. In fairness this installation is old. however i'm not of the reinstall and start again school. apart from which, it's not that straightforward now with xp, and this in fairness is a pretty complex machine .. dual boot xp/linux on separate bootable discs. it would take weeks to put back the XP system to how it is at the moment. oddly though as i keep pointing out, the problem has arisen since the last time i did a cleanup and backup. my habit is to reduce the number of restore points (given all is stable and they're not needed), clear the hibernation file, clean the temp files and junk and tidy the registry (usually there isn't much) i examine and judge what is reported. then i defrag then back up. I use CCleaner for much of this. I only noticed this issue the other day. Some things do auto update, firefox, google chrome, and the virus checker (f-secure safe). I'm going to un/re-install the latter (anti-virus) as a last ditch attempt. I have disabled it, but that wouldn't necessarily defeat the system level drivers. also i'll have a look at and see what is going on at startup time using sysinternals' autoruns. i'll likely notice anything different. i haven't noticed any new process popping up in task manager. At the moment the system is pretty stable, and i don't get many errors apart from the odd application exception now and again. The offer of the procmon dump was genuine, and hence my question about how does CCleaner look for the restore files. running in debug mode doesn't log anything significant. the procmon trace could be useful to the programmers. i'll see how it goes after dinner. sustenance calls, and its voice is more prevalent than minor computer configurations at the moment :-)
  16. Well, back from the netherworld. Yes, the system clock date and time are correct. The CMOS battery is in good condition and the BIOS is properly configured. Time is automatically updated via the National Physical Laboratory network time server. I created two new users. On attempting to create a new user, user manager insisted on creating a new administrator. This was Newadmin. (strangely the default administrator account already existed anyway) N.B. This installation has never had more than one interactive user. The guest account is disabled and the interactive user is the default administrator, just renamed. Newadmin is an administrator, the other is a low privilege user. These users did not get properly updated until automatic login was turned off. Profiles are created at login time. Automatic login can be configured by using Tweakui and choosing the login option or by editing the registry. Instructions for both are here: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows/remove-user-accounts-from-the-login-screen-in-windows-xp/ No doubt this can also be done via gpedit.msc New profiles are created when those users are logged in. CCleaner does not show the restore points using either of these users (unsurprisingly perhaps for the low privilege user). Booting into safe mode now invites a user login (as per Trium’s screenshot). Running CCleaner from Safe Mode with the new Administrative user does not reveal the restore points.
  17. Thank you all for your kind remarks. I will try some of the suggestions later. I have to disappear off to Wonderland for a couple of hours this afternoon, so I'll have a go on my return. :-)
  18. Just for completeness, I have created a restore point, Checked that it exists in the Accessories->System Tools->System Restore. It did. I ran CCleaner. CCleaner did not find it (or any other restore point). As this restore point was brand new, I restarted the machine in Safe Mode and restored the system to that point. The system took a little time to do so, as do most system restores. The system restarted and reported that the System Restore had been successful. This successful restore is also indicated in event viewer. I conclude from this the following: 1) The system is successfully creating restore points. 2) It seems certain that at least one of these is valid and restored correctly. It seems likely on this evidence that the others are equally valid. 3) Some strange combination of circumstances has arisen recently that has led to the circumstance that CCleaner does not detect these restore points. I have rebuilt the update sequence number (USN) change journal prior to this using fsutil. Sometimes this can become corrupted resulting in an inability for programs to read or write from/to some aspects of the file system. This made no observable difference. Should your developers be interested I can supply a process trace from Sysinternals Procmon of CCleaner running while attempting to read this information. I have had a look at it, but honestly can't see anything obvious that causes the problem. I'll grant that this problem is perhaps unusual, and XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, however the user base is still extensive including many government institutions upon which we all depend. Funnily enough I was discussing that issue with an NHS consultant only the other day. Ironically he is a specialist in Gastroenterology. It is unlikely that my particular issue is unique. I can live with it, there are lots of ways of "skinning a cat". Discussions like this may be useful to others. That's how I found myself here in the first place. I like the Piriform Products and I use several of them and will continue to do so. On the balance of the evidence, it does appear that the CCleaner has encountered some configuration it doesn't like. I have not noticed any other problems recently. I could of course be wrong. Problems are often cumulative and this could well be an indication of something else going on. It is odd, it only started happening recently. I'll keep an eye on it and let you know if I come up with an answer. Thank you (und Danke) all for your replies to my query, most of which I have found useful and for which I am grateful. But I see a glass of lemonade with “drink me” written on it. Oh Well, off down the rabbit hole it is!
  19. my account is the administrator but renamed only. Starting the machine in safe mode does not offer any options other than which mode, e.g. with networking, command line, etc.
  20. I'm sorry Trium, I don't quite understand. Safe mode has no concept of being a particular user as far as I know, though I could be incorrect. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Irrespective there is only one user on this machine, other than the system ones, and the guest user is disabled. The only interactive login is mine which is an administrator. ( I know, not the best practice, but it's worked fine for a number of years)
  21. Sorry, what do you mean by "new profile"? Different user?
  22. Here is an interesting article on the subject of restore points: http://www.stevebunting.org/udpd4n6/forensics/restorepoints.htm
  23. Yes, I uninstalled and went back to v.5.9. However the problem has only just started in the last couple of weeks. I'm not sure when. I have been using CCleaner for years. sadly I didn't document when i did the update to the new version.
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