Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rebuilding a laptop is like Converting to Exchange

Sorry, laptop ran out of batteries and caused some problems. Here is the post.
It's just painful, especially when you didn't plan properly(we know it wasn't YOUR fault).
For admins even more painful is the magnitude of problems they will face.
Especially if you have missed a step or in my case a file or maybe 2.

Clients don 't think about the fact you now have to manage multiple servers compared to one previously(or multiply by at least 2 for moving off Notes to Exchange if ALL you want/use is Exchange, otherwise multiply by at least 4 to get the full package).

In my case I have multiple backups and drives now after getting my HP laptop returned with a new screen hinge, and a new drive(thanks tigerdirect for the 320GB for $60, maybe even get one for my ideapad) but these are killing me as none will "fix" vista. Not that XP is better, but I am better prepared now for the next backup. Bought an external 2.5" case and that works really well. But I digress.

So you have to get your whole network updated to 2008. But you knew that going in...didn't you? No? Your Microsoft rep forgot to tell you that one? And your Business Partner suddenly hit you up for extra consulting fees too? All this to change email platforms, now you have to upgrade your whole infrastructure of Microsoft pieces or nothing will talk to properly? You don't say.

Likewise I am reinstalling drivers and software and it is taking MUCH longer than expected. If I had only made the effort before hand to test my backup I would have noticed the thing missed some open files. Or had the external case.

I know some of you are thinking loser, and you are right. But there is no fun like reinstalling anything Microsoft. So much so I am tempted to try the MAC osX idea and dual boot my machine.

The moral of this story is I brought this mess on myself because of the following reasons(in no particular order) and most of the same goes to you if you are moving off of Domino:

1) I trusted my backup solution (The White House lost emails are legendary, they should have stuck with Lotus)
2) Microsoft told me their software could back up my drive and transfer my data and I believed them, well i wanted to at least, figured they could get this right...WRONG.(I could put almost anything here I guess that Microsoft says which is never reality for 2 more releases....or 5 years)
3) Listen to your friends on Twitter every time or Sametime.
4) HP made me do it, I didn't want to send them my hard drive (Substitute your favorite quote from lousy analyst companies and blame them)
5) It was done on the cheap and may just end up as a cutover and not a migration(how MANY migrations from Lotus end up this way because companies "suddenly" realize what they got into and can't change their budget(for 2-3x more) later in the cycle?
6) I read that other business people (Thanks Bilal for your tale of woe)sent their laptops back and had problems but this would never happen to me. (Other companies committed to Microsoft and never moved or have taken YEARS to do so, that won't happen to us....Riiiiight)
7) I like my new Ideapad so much I just can't go back to the old laptop. Just kidding, I do love it, but working on it the last week or so has reminded me why it is for TRAVELING. And the Ideapad is inheriting the 120GB from the HP soon and that is really needed on it.
8) My kids(clients) like the new stuff. (If you don't keep your server updated NOW by running older versions of Domino, what makes you think you will keep it updated on the new solution? Right you HAVE to otherwise the rest of your infrastructure will stop talking to each other)

So learn from my woes, spend the $10 and get an external drive case to do a perfect backup of your drive next time.

If only I could cluster my laptops, but that's a whole other post.