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The Dying of the Drive
#1  Pulpmeister 01-16-2021, 08:29 AM
Due to a total hard drive failure on my tower PC which was running Windows 7, and using such archaic software as Office 2007, Paintshop Pro 7, and stuff, I have had to bow down to the winds of time and buy an all-new tower PC with (aaaargh!) Windows 10. (At least I managed to recover 90 percent of the data from my dead drive, or rather, a data recovery expert did).

W10 has, as many of you might know, a whole lot of unimprovements. In another part of my life I produce the quarterly magazine for my local Rolls-Royce club, which I do in Word 7, and all I had to do was go "save as"/pdf and I had the necessary pdf to email to the printer, and to post on the club website.

Nope, not available on W10. Imagine my shock to find it missing. Imagine further that the only obvious solution is laboriously using on-line converters (which I deeply distrust).

Mind you, W10 accepts Office 2007 itself okay, but has bizarre side effects. There is some very weird stuff with quotes. If I type quote I was going... I get Ï was going…

Yes, not start quote; an umlaut. If I start with a consonant I get no quotes at at all.

To get what I want, I now have to type quote I space was going…
Clearly an unimprovement.

Paint Shop Pro 7, an ancient but very easy to use photo programme, does not run under W10. Somewhere I have Photoshop, but I don't need heavyweight for everyday use, I need something that starts with the basics: crop, colour balance, bright/contrast, rotate, resize, clone retouch… as the primary set of functions. I could do that with my eyes closed in PSP7.
I have tracked down a freeware product that does something very close to what I want, so far so good.

But simple one click conversion of docx to pdf????? What was Microsoft thinking? An egregious unimprovement.

W10 also seethes with clutter, which doesn't got over well with someone who likes a clean desk (digital desk… my physical desk is an archaeologist's challenge).

Of course, W10 is a commercial product which has to be all thing to all people.

Except, it seems, to me.

Don't worry, I'm just a 76 year old grumbling about change.

Oh, and by the way, a tip from the data recovery expert: the first time your hard drive demands CHKDSK be run, race not walk to your nearest expert and get that old drive cloned to a brand new hard drive, and put the new one in your tower. If I'd had my 2 terabyte HD cloned a year ago, and filed the old one away, I'd still be seamlessly using my beloved old software.

A further hint: keep the old drive carefully stored just in case your new one goes kablooie. You may need to clone it again…
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#2  robko 01-19-2021, 06:53 PM
What version of Word are you using on your Win 10? Current versions of Word will allow you to select .pdf (and a raft of others) instead of .docx. Just click where it says Word document .docx (or something like that) below where you enter the file name.
Moving to Win 10 be challenge, but once you get used to it, it really isn't as bad as it seems.
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#3  hobnail 01-19-2021, 11:53 PM
Go to your Windows settings menu, then click on Devices, then click on Printers & scanners. You should see Microsoft Print to PDF as well as some other ones. So now you can make a pdf file from any app by "printing" it. Figuring out where the resulting PDF was put was a puzzle for me the first (and only) time I used it and I no longer remember where it put it.
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#4  hobnail 01-19-2021, 11:59 PM
Paint.net is what I use for basic graphics like you're talking about.
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#5  hobnail 01-20-2021, 12:10 AM
Rather than cloning the disk you could get a NAS box and have it mirror the drive. For example, the Asustore AS5202T, $300 at amazon (according to an article in PC Mag). And that $300 doesn't include the drives. Even more fancy would be their 4 drive NAS and set it up to use raid 5; you need a minimum of 3 drives for raid 5 and you get the space of 2/3s of their combined space (i.e., you effectively lose the space of one of them that's used for the backup data, but it's scattered across all 3 drives).

Probably a less expensive option would be to revive that old PC and install OpenMediaVault (free, open source) on it. I've yet to sit down and study it and see what all OMV provides. I'm assuming it will also do raid so you could buy 3 new drives to hook up to it and away you go.
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#6  Pulpmeister 01-20-2021, 01:04 AM
You can clone a disc drive yourself. The only reason mine failed was there was a seriously wrecked sector which the cloning software stalled on. However, any reasonable disc clones quite easily. Buy one new hard drive, same size, instal software, plug new drive into spare drive bay, and clone. Takes ages, but we got as far as 83% before the software stalled. My data recovery guy says that the error in question is terminal for cloning.

Anyway, very slowly regaining control of my desk, and might even be back up to full speed in a week or two.

I use my ancient Office 2007, which works fine but unfortunately Win10 does mess with it a bit. I gather if I can instal a copy of Adobe, Win10 should find it and offer save as pdf as an option. Dunno.

I looked up settings/devices (took a while to find it) and yes, there is print to pdf. Thanks hobnail. Once I've got my printer installed (last device yet to add) I'll give it a whirl. If it works, I'll be happy. The club quarterly magazine is the only thing I need pdf format for. If you want to see an example, google rrocwa (rolls royce Owners club western Australia), and in the articles section are the last two mags.

I use Paint.net now, but miss rotation by degrees. But still easier to use than most other photo programs.

Many thanks for your thoughts. I do tend to hang on to old equipment too long, because it's such a hassle updating.
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#7  Pulpmeister 01-20-2021, 02:14 AM
Ran first test "print to pdf" and it worked fine! Thanks again hobnail!
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#8  JSWolf 01-20-2021, 07:15 AM
IMHO, you are much better off using Windows 10.
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#9  hobnail 01-20-2021, 02:25 PM
Quote Pulpmeister
Ran first test "print to pdf" and it worked fine! Thanks again hobnail!
Great, glad that worked.
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#10  Pulpmeister 02-06-2021, 12:03 AM
Now, bizarrely, print to pdf has vanished and I get a weird error message.

"The Active Directory Domain Services is currently unavailable."

I'm assuming that some update or another has stuffed something up. Not to worry, deep down in my junk box I found a proper copy of Adobe PDF, installed that and it works fine. I remember that I never installed it back in the day, when I discovered I could just "save as...."

Better late than never, and a good thing I never toss out software. Anyone want Windows 3.1? Dos 5? Aldus Intellidraw? Scripsit for TRS80 on 5 1/4 inch discs??
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