Link File Problem Arising From Acronis Restore

  Mike.B.64 12:16 28 Jan 2009

I run a seven year old Advent 3509 Desktop, with XP Home (SP3 updated), with two internal hard disks, and an external hard disk connected by USB. Each month I create a new cloned copy, using Acronis TI 11, from the primary hard disk to the secondary, and then back up daily, starting with a full back up followed by incremental back ups.

Recently, my primary hard disk (which is less then one year old) failed. I removed it, and recabled the secondary hard disk as the primary. Because the cloned copy was by then more than two weeks old, I used Acronis to restore it. Something went wrong when restoring the full back up - on reflection, it probably was unnecessary anyway - and on restarting I received loads of messages, which I will amplify later. The incremental back ups restored without incident.

Thinking that the messages stemmed from a corruption of XP, I repaired it using my CD (OEM), which I then had to update as to SP3 etc. No issues there, but it did not resolve my original problem, and I have lost the opportunity to go back to an earlier restore point.

The messages are identical, except for the file name, and say that Windows cannot open the file because it needs to know what program created it, giving options to search the web or to select a program from a list - for example ImageZoneHelp.lnk~7C6352HM.
The common factors are that they are all link files and they contain a tilde (~), leading me to suspect that they are duplications. I have used msconfig to reduce the applications on start up to a minimum, so I am no longer inundated at that stage, but my PC is saturated with them.

When I open a program, such as HP Image Zone, I get a Microsoft.NET Framework message about an unhandled exception. By clicking continue, a can work through a series of such messages and then the program appears to load normally.

I could uninstall and reinstall the various software (though a trial with an unimportant program suggests the shortcuts, or whatever they are are left behind), or even attempt a full restoration from scratch, I wonder if any kind experienced person can point me at an easier solution, please.

  crosstrainer 12:27 28 Jan 2009

You have severe registry corruption. You can try running:

click here

It's about the most powerful registry tool free that you can get, BUT BE Warned! It's quite severe and may not solve your issues. It may at the end of the day be best to consider a re-install....When you swapped the hdd's you made many registry path's invalid.

  Mike.B.64 12:54 28 Jan 2009

Many thanks for the prompt reponse, the link, and of course the timely warning! I will have a think first, but I may have to do a full restore. The PC works after a fashion so I soldier on briefly.

  Mike.B.64 15:47 28 Jan 2009

When I posted this thread, I thought my problem related to link files only, but I have now discovered that virtually every file on my PC has been duplicated with a version including a tilde (~) - every photo, music file, etc.

This is not necessarily a major problem as disk space is not an issue and it does not seem to slow the programs down - once I get into them, that is. More significantly, it means that a reinstall will not solve the problem, as the tilde files are on my back ups. (I do have uninfected CD back ups for vital things like photos).

Is there perhaps a way of deleting all files containing a tilde, or is it just a case of grinding through manually to delete them?

  crosstrainer 16:53 28 Jan 2009

A clean install (delete the existing partition, create a new one, then format it ) Will get rid of all these duplicate paths....It's your best bet as you have backups to hand of your critical data.

  Mike.B.64 17:06 28 Jan 2009

Thanks for your further response.

I think your view is probably correct. I have sent the failed drive back under warranty. If I can tick over until I obtain a replacement, I will use that to reinstall from scratch, and to weed out the spurious tilde files as I add the various folders back in.

I will keep the post open in case anyone who has been at work during the day wishes to comment.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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