Right, so my NAS drive, which has been given me trouble for ages finally gave up on me. After installing a firmware update, and rebooting, it wouldn't work as a SMB share.
I couldn't change any settings, couldn't reinstall the firmware, couldn't even reset the drive. As a last ditch effort, I installed the vendor crapware (Mionet remote access) on an XP laptop and began copying the files off. Success! The software doesn't need SMB. Problem: It works by uploading the files to their server, and downloading them down. So instead of an 100 meg home network connection, I have a 64k at best connection (my internet upload speed). Problem 2: The vendor crapware can't handle groups of files larger than 500MB, or individual files 500MB or larger. Problem 3: Writing files to the drive doesn't work.
So, I start copying things off slowly. The XP laptop doesn't have a huge hard drive, and gets filled.
So I go to install it on my Vista laptop. Problem 3: The software has a check for OS version on install, and is hardcoded to only take 2000/XP (it predates Vista). So I set it to XP compatbility and run away.
Afterwards, I get prompted to restart. Which I do. And Windows launches straight into startup repair. I restart the laptop at the power button, and it does so again. I leave it run. 3 hours later, the laptop finally boots. But by then it's too late to do anything, so I switch the laptop off.
Today, I turn it back on after coming home from school, and boot into Vista to continue copying the files over. And what do I find? As part of startup repair, it has done a system restore. That's a nuisance. I begin to use the PC. Windows key... wait... No Start Menu. Hmm... maybe it hasn't finished booting yet. I walk away for 5 minutes. I come back. Windows key. Still no start menu. Something must be up with the keyboard. I click the start menu, and notice, yes, I no longer have any keyboard drivers. Fair enough, I'll just download them. Except I have no internet. For some inexplicable reason, probably related to the keyboard and startup repair issues, my network just won't work, wired or wireless. So I go to reinstall the drivers from the Dell disk. Except I can't find it.
So I shut the computer down for a while, go download the drivers on my mums laptop, put them on my flash drive, eat some food and come back. Open up the laptop, and on the screen, it is still shutting down over half an hour later. Power button, kill. Turn on again. Plug in flash drive. Doesn't recognise the device. Great, no way to get the drivers back on now, so I'm looking at a Vista reinstall. (It is a Vista/drivers problem as Ubuntu works fine, and I'm typing this post here now using it)
Except, to do that, I would need to reformat the C: drive. And to do that I would need to move my important files somewhere else. And unfortunately this whole mess started, because my NAS drive wasn't working.
I'm not saying Mionet is necessarily to blame. The system was running slowly for a while, and I haven't used Windows much lately. And even if installing Mionet did cause it, MS deserves some of the blame for a simple software install doing so much damage. But, as it was last on, it's getting the blame.
So, umm... rant over. Anyone who knows anyway for me to (temporarily, even) avoid reinstalling Vista would be handy.