Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Perfect Storm

So I suffered a mechanical failure on my laptop hard drive- and lost a lot of work/material. I switched over to my desktop and everything seemed to be working okay there. I went even went online, blogged about the fault and then ordered a replacement hard drive.

Right the next day though, I turned on my PC and - boom! Windows wouldn't start-my 40Gb desktop drive seems to have sabotaged itself. Don't panic, I thought- and I dug out an old 17Gb hard drive (from back in the day when that was a substantial bit of kit) and plugged it into my PC. This was my rescue kit- a copy of Windows XP with nothing else but drivers and my DVD writing software installed.

Boot up Windows and check my 40Gb hard drive- I can access the information on it so just to be safe I copy over some files and folders onto the 17Gb drive. All well and good. I then go to write it to disc. Boom- Windows says it's missing a DLL and can't write. Which is news to me as the very last time I used the drive before it went into safe storage it worked perfectly. So I plug in my thumb drive. Boom- USB won't work. Feeling a tad more stressed I plug in my modem so that I can go online and track down the problem/missing file. Boom- it won't recognise my tried and trusty modem either.

So there's information's there- I just can't transfer it anywhere. I've backed up all I need off the 40Gb drive so I decide to re-install a fresh copy of Windows. Boom- won't get past the part where it installs the files it needs to begin the set up process. Nothing I can do will get XP to run on it.

So, I've lost everything off my laptop- every few hours something else that I should have backed up will pop into my head- and now my desktop machine won't run either. Crippled Windows doesn't really count. I have a tiny portion of info saved but I can't get it off that machine and onto my now-repaired laptop. As well as the 40Gb hard drive I also have a big 320Gb drive where I store everything- all my family photos, music, e-books, all my documents, saved web-pages, everything. I've a nasty feeling that the infernal machine has done something wicked to that too.

Right now I'm trying to set up my laptop again and waiting impatiently for my new desktop machine to arrive. Once it's here I'll at least be able to plug the drives in and see if I can salvage anything.

Who would have thought that a partitioned laptop drive, a desktop drive and a back-up drive could all malfunction in the space of a couple of days? I feel like I should be searching my home for Gremlins.

Anyway, let my tale of data woe be a warning to you. Don't rely on just several hard drive back ups like me. From now on I'm going to throw in some DVD copies and a couple of thumb drives into the mix too.


dondad said...

My boss had something like that happen to his laptop. The drive had data on it but would not boot or take a repair. We put in an Ubuntu live cd and were able to copy all of the important data to a usb drive.

Jay.Mac said...

I took the drive out and put it in enclosure and tried to get some info off it that way but it won't even spin up- just clunk-clunk-clunk. I have another HD enclosure en route for my desktop machine's drives- hopefully it'll be easy enough to transfer the data off them onto my new PC.

FrauBudgie said...

Yes. Gremlins -- I think they spawn in Vista.