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Deja Vu

June 30, 2014

Dear Reader,

It seems that every time I have a computer error – every time – it’s a hard drive failure.  I’ve only once had a problem that wasn’t a hard drive crash; pink lines were appearing in my game of Fallout 3.  It was pretty obvious it was the graphics card in that case, so I replaced it – like that – and was back to fighting the Legion.  Hard drive failures, though, are much more expansive problems.

So far be it from me to be surprised this morning when my computer wouldn’t boot.  It would turn on, try to boot, then flash a blue screen and try again.  I figured it was the hard drive, but ran a system diagnosis.  Sure enough, the only error was the hard disk.  Lovely.

So after lunch I went to the local computer store and bought a replacement – an upgrade, actually, since conveniently the mid-line drives were out of stock.  Whatever.  It’s just money.  It’s not like I have a house to sell and a cross-country move coming up or anything.

So now I’m writing from my wife’s computer while mine finishes installing Windows, which will be followed by an enormous about of system updates, since the Windows I’m installing is wildly out of date.  After that, I suppose I can install Steam and download a game to play while I’m installing all the gigantic pieces of software on my computer.  Then, of course, come all the peripheral programs like the Curse client, virus protection, and so forth.

Hopefully I’ll be caught back up by tomorrow night, but in the meantime, I’m stuck wondering which of my games save information server side and which I’ll be starting from scratch.  I hope the Steam Cloud is as prolific as I’ve heard mentioned; otherwise, I’ll likely not be finishing some of the games I’ve invested so much time in simply because I don’t want to have to go through them again.  It’s not that they weren’t fun; I just don’t usually get much out of playing a game a second time; playing the first seven hours of a game just to see the last hour or two isn’t a good investment in my book.

So that’s where I am, today.  I’ll go swimming here in a bit to give my computer time to get the Windows updates, but other than that, I see a lot of sitting and waiting in my future.

Hope your day’s going better!

Sincerely,

Stubborn

P.S. I suspect it’s my power company’s fault, by the way.  There were zero – ZERO – power issues for two years when I first lived here, and now the power seems to go out about once a month for an hour or two.  I have no doubt that the sudden outages have contributed to my hard drive death.  Good luck proving that, of course, for any kind of compensation.  The most recent power outage – this morning – immediately preceded my computer’s failure to boot.  Thanks, Ameren!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Malchiah permalink
    June 30, 2014 4:22 pm

    When hard drives fail, there are often a number of reasons, some of which I don’t fully understand, especially in cases where they inexplicably work again after formatting (though I wouldn’t trust them at that point). However, I’ve had occasional success with installing a failed drive as a secondary drive and was able to retrieve information I didn’t want to lose.

    Hopefully Windows is able to recognize the drive and retrieve files easily. If that’s not the case, and assuming the drive is installed properly and Windows can see it, there are hard drive recovery programs you can download that range from “free” to “scam.”

    Years ago, I used a program that allowed me to see all the recoverable files but had to pay for anything larger than 64k, so pretty much everything. Another allowed me to save 10 files for free but had to pay for additional files. Both seemed unreasonable to me considering their pricing was ridiculous, but hopefully there are better options these days.

  2. Malchiah permalink
    June 30, 2014 4:41 pm

    An old but interesting article at Popular Mechanics from 2008

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how-to/tips/4294038

    A more recent and slightly more useful link that lists some free recovery options:

    http://lifehacker.com/5951822/how-can-i-recover-data-from-a-dead-or-erased-hard-drive

  3. Krel permalink
    June 30, 2014 5:52 pm

    You’re backed up, right?

  4. Helistar permalink
    July 1, 2014 1:01 am

    Hard disks are cheap, buy double the number of them and set up a raid1 (mirror) configuration for any disk containing important data. Also run periodically something readin the drive SMART information, as it can provide information on an upcoming crash.
    But it’s really raid1 which changes your life. After setting it up on linux I forgot about it until one day I got one strange message (I did not have time to check what it meant, so I postponed it until the week-end). It turns out that one of the drives had failed, but the raid1 array kept working for the entire week and I didn’t even NOTICE one of the disks was dead untile I googled the message. I bought a new one, checked the procedure to add it to the raid 1, installed it, waited for the raid1 to sync and it’s been running ever since…. no reinstalls, no data lost. I’d recommend it even more if you are using windows, since a windows recovery from a crash needs A LOT more reinstalling than a linux recovery.

  5. Cain permalink
    July 1, 2014 7:10 am

    I’m sorry to hear that. It is always a pain in the ass when that happens.

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