Monday, March 5, 2012

Saga of the Dead Computer

I planned to continue with the next two parts of the trio on women's fiction, but the best-laid plans and all that changed my mind in a hurry.

My computer was old--purchased in late 2007 with Vista Home as the OS--and it had been getting balky, but Tuesday morning (2-28) it hit the wall. First it notified me that a Trojan virus had been blocked. Then it began to shut down and restart by itself and the icons on the desktop began to disappear along with the wallpaper, etc. I could shut it down properly and took it in to be checked out. The folks at the local Staples Easy Tech Desk were wonderful. (This isn't really an ad...just thanks. ; ) As they checked it in, they knew what the problem was and watched with me as the rest of the desktop icons dropped off. Though they needed to do a diagnostic, they knew it was a crashed hard drive.

We know we are tech neophytes, even if we have used computers for word processing and email since Apple IIc days. All we had left to use is our fossil of a laptop with Millennium Home OS. Not only could it not open my blog, its browser couldn't be updated due to the age of the OS. Look at it this way, there's been XP, Vista, and Windows 7 since it was new. (BTW, I hear they are beta testing Window 8.)

After quoting the cost of installing a new hard drive, John and I decided to price new computers first. The tech guy who helped us was marvelous. He actually listened to our computer uses and showed us a new computer that was on sale that cost what the hard drive and installation would cost. Its OS in Windows 7. We decided to go for it instead of keeping the old computer with a reinstall of the old OS. While we shopped, we got a new wireless printer and a wireless router, too. The only thing left was to see if they could pull all the data from the dying computer. (BTW, having a wireless router sure makes it hard not to go Kindle book shopping at the slightest whim, and John is considering getting a Kindle Fire to go along with our Kindle reader.)

On Friday, we got the good news. Yes, they pulled all the data, including my Scrivener files, various documents, poems I had not backed up anywhere else, and all the photos. I did have backups of the Scrivener files and the photos at Dropbox, so I hadn't panicked, but I would have mourned losing the poetry. Needless to say, backing up everything is at the top of the "to-do" list.

Since Friday, we have reinstalled our licenses for Symantec/Norton, Scrivener, Dropbox, etc. for no extra $$.

And like John said, we've done our part to stimulate the economy. ; )