Monday, November 15, 2010

My poor laptop and the blue screen of death

If you haven't backed up your laptop or PC recently, do it now!

Or you can find yourself in my situation. Total regret. I'm not having much luck with laptops. My previous laptop was a Toshiba. Renowned for their reliability. The motherboard pretty much fried and that was the end of it. Fortunately the hard disk drive could be removed and built into its own enclosure so that I could move my data off it.

I went with HP for my next laptop. All was going well until it unexpectedly blue screened. I hadn't performed any backups in the past few months because I had planned to buy some portable drives that I could backup onto. That was a huge mistake. In hindsight, and this will ensure I don't find myself in this situation again, if I need a drive to backup onto, I will get it ASAP and not leave the purchase pending.

Fortunately, my smart friend can most likely (so he tells me) recover my files. Since I'm not an expert in I.T, I don't know how he's going to do it when the laptop doesn't even get past the booting up stage. He tells me that my OS is corrupted.

I hope my data is salvageable. I've got 2 x 1TB drives ready for backing up whatever he can recover for me. They were a bargain at Office Works - $300 for two 1TB Western Digital drives. It was only just a few years ago that $300 could only buy a few gigabytes worth of storage. With the two drives, I plan to backup my laptop weekly and alternate my backups on the two drives so that even if one of the backup drives were to be damaged or fail in any way, I will have a spare drive and the most data that could be potentially lost could be only one week worth of data.

There are technology out there where you can have your backups backed up automatically but it's beyond me about how I could set that up!

Your data, files and photos are precious

If you haven't backed up your data and files, and your data ends up unrecoverable, you can't fathom how lost you can feel without it. Or how sad you will feel if you lost photos that captured memories of fun times. Most of us have procedures at work where the data is backed up regularly.

Unfortunately, our own personal laptops and PCs are left to our own devices and its our responsibility to ensure we backup our own drives. So don't be an idiot like me and ensure you back up your data regularly. Italic

Feeling lost without the laptop

It's very hard not to feel lost without the laptop. Unfortunately, as I've gotten addicted to surfing the net, reading my RSS feeds and playing various media on my laptop, being unable to use mine makes me feel lost and I'm left to reading books, magazines and newspaper. Not to mention, watching crappy programs on TV that I wouldn't be watching if I could be reading stuff on the net.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Fortunately the situation could be salvageable. As mentioned, my data is most likely recoverable. My poor laptop will have to be reinstalled with a new OS (operating system) and all the programs will have to be re-installed. I'll have to go through the settings and change them again. It'll take several hours and probably a few days but at least there's an option, short of buying a new laptop.

Lesson learned
  • Back up regularly.
  • Buy hardware and storage devices immediately if you need it to backup your data - don't wait to buy it and make it a priority.
  • If you use a laptop, watch out for overheating.

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