Tuesday, March 29, 2011

... And a huge setback

Well, this is lovely.  Earlier today I installed Internet Explorer 9 because Windows was bugging me about it.  Fine, I had the Release Candidate already installed, but whatever.  Except apparently, it decided to take down my entire Windows installation.  Although this sort of thing was fairly common "back in the day" on XP, I'd never seen so mundane a task as a system update utterly ruin a system to the point where it was unbootable.  Despite my attempts at recovery, it seems like the only solution is to reinstall Windows.

The unfortunate side of this is that the Dragon Age Toolset uses an SQL database to manage all of its resources, and I hadn't made a backup of Thirst since starting it.  Yes, dumb, I know, and the irony is that I was reading up on how to backup my work in the first place just recently.

So now I'm stuck in the situation where I'm running Windows 7 off of a different drive.  All of my files are intact, but due to the nature of the SQL server and the Toolset, I'm having a really tough time getting to the point where I can open my work and back it up.  The Wiki for the Toolset has been pretty helpful, but unfortunately doesn't have any information covering a situation where one needs to get a database file up and running again.

Now, I still have all of the mod's level layouts, and I know all the characters, quests, etc. that I've made so far, so I could probably re-write them relatively quickly (a week or two for two months' worth of work isn't so terrible) but I'm just not sure if it's worth reinstalling Windows.  While I still have the physical database files backed up, I'm not sure if they'll be of any use if I wipe out the install altogether, in case there are other files they're dependent on.

Anyway, a big roadblock, and a colossal headache (not to mention a bunch of wasted time).  I'll still keep working on Thirst despite this, whether I can restore things or not, but it does put back progress at least a little bit.  At least such adventures reinforce the need for frequent backups, which means I should be more cautious in the future.


  1. Installing Internet Explorer? Bad mistake ;)
    I know the problem with windows and faulty updates killing data. I had some nice videos made in 3D Studio Max and after a crash the videos and the source files where gone. It was the work of maybe three month and I had not time to redo the work back there so I walked away from modelling for a time. Might pick it up again someday.

    Making regular backups is really important and with the toolset builder to builder function also easy enough. Hope you get your work back. Looking forward to the continuation of your mod.

  2. I have nothing against Internet Explorer. The most recent one is a decent browser, and useful as a backup. It's just bizarre that an update would cause such problems... my guess is that there was an underlying issue of some sort. This time I am definitely going to keep System Restore enabled - in the past I've left it off because of the hard drive space it consumes, and I've rarely ever had a time when it would be hepful, but in this situation it might have actually worked.

    I only just learned about the builder-to-builder export a day or two ago, but it kept slipping my mind to use it. Normally I'm paranoid about backups and whatnot, but due to how active I was on the project it just kept slipping my mind (and anything I saved would be out of date in an hour or two anyway).

    In any case, thanks for your support. As I said, I have no intention of dropping this, and I'm hoping I can use the last month of Toolset experience to make some of the initial content I made much stronger this time around.