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StephenT [userpic]

Fun and games with computers

25th May 2010 (11:03)
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Or, why backing up your files is important...

A week ago, I had a PC with two 300 Gb hard disks, both of them pretty full. The first hint of trouble I received was when I switched the computer on on Sunday afternoon and couldn't see my desktop wallpaper - just a black screen. "File not found". Double-clicking on icons for programs stored on the second hard disk produced no result. So I checked Windows Explorer:

"The disk in drive D is not formatted. Would you like to format it now?"

Yep, drive D is one of my hard disks. Without any warning, it just failed. Completely. After some quiet panicking and trying the usual things -- rebooting the computer, waiting and trying again, and running a virus scan - I downloaded some diagnostic software from the hard disk manufacturer. It had barely started working when it flashed up a big red FAILED! sign. Okay, got that. So just to make sure, I checked my other hard disk. This got about 40% through the test and failed too. Not really surprising, the disks are both the same make and equally old, so if one has failed the other one wouldn't be far behind, but still - not a good sign.

And this is the bit where my first paragraph comes in. The good news was, I had a regular offsite back up of my most important files - you know, accounts, tax information, projects for clients. Things I really, really couldn't live without. The bad news is, that still left vast amounts of information with no backup because there wasn't the storage space available. All the clips I've created for vidding; dowloaded software; artwork; personal writing - including bits and pieces of 'Buffy' fic and meta I've been working on but never finished. All those things - lost in time, like tears in rain.

So, even though I can't really afford it, I had to buy a new computer - it arrived yesterday, and it's what I'm typing on now. (On the bright side, it's far more powerful -- and shiny -- than my old one, and cost less that that one did. The wonders of progress.)  I also got an external hard drive, connected it to my old PC and set to work salvaging whatever data I could. I used file recovery software on the dead disk, and was pleasantly surprised to see it manage to retrieve quite a lot of files. But a lot more weren't recovered.

So, that was my week. :-\ At least all the stuff I've posted to LJ and AO3 is still around, since it's on their servers...

Comments

Posted by: Cal (caliente_uk)
Posted at: 25th May 2010 10:42 (UTC)
oh dear cap john

That happened to me last year, so you have my sympathy. The one thing it taught me is that you should always back up your files.

Looking on the bright side, at least you have a shiny new computer now! :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 25th May 2010 10:47 (UTC)

There is that. :-) But now I've got to get used to Windows 7 (my old machine used XP)...

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