with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Computer Crash – Again – I know

Our laptop is now in the mail on its way to be repaired and so I wanted to warn everyone that I’m trying to set up our server so I can use it until I get my baby back.

Crap. This is the second hard drive in this laptop to crash and it has caused me no end of grief. I was really good and didn’t push the envelope with this computer, well, mainly because I was too busy over the past two years. So it’s being treated like a “normal” computer.

It looks like the motherboard went screwy, which could explain the rest of the problems, and so hopefully the main hard drive will be fine…I hope.

Anyway, responding to email and a few other activities will be delayed as I have to set all the software back up on this computer. Ugh. Luckily, I have a good backup of my documents from a month ago and a pretty good but not excellent backup from a couple days ago, so we’ll see. It’s just that the whole computer wasn’t backed up, which wouldn’t help me with this computer, and I have to install programs from scratch, since this is a storage device rather than a full functioning computer. It will be when I get done with it!

Back to the drawing board, again…as usual.



  • Posted June 17, 2005 at 14:02 | Permalink

    So what software and what hardware are you using for backups?

  • Posted June 17, 2005 at 17:53 | Permalink

    Software? Hardware? Backups?

    Oh, yeah, those.

    I’ve used all kinds of different software, and the problem is that when I need to do the restore, odds are that I can’t find the same software I backed up with. I’ve done this so many times, I now use the basics.

    For critical information, I zip it and transfer it to a CD, DVD, flash drive, or another hard drive. I have several types of removable hard drives, including a 250 gig Iomega portable hard drive unit and hard drives set in removable mounts in my server style computer. I use what is available, with enough free space left for the backup zip file.

    I use WinRAR and WinZIP both, depending upon what I want to do. More and more I’m leaning towards WinRAR from RARLab.

    When doing a full backup, and creating a zip file is just too much fuss, I just copy the information directly over to one of my external or removable hard drives. Just simple and no fuss. No need for special software that has to be installed before you can transfer files, just copy.

    With the laptop crashed, I had a backup of just my documents (my most important stuff) on the Iomega drive. We hadn’t hooked up the new server computer yet. So I borrowed a monitor and plugged it all in, and within 20 minutes had moved my document folder on to the new computer system and then just had to install the programs I use, like WordPerfect, FireFox, and so on, and ready to go.

    Sorta. I’ll talk more about the “sorta” later, but honestly, to answer your question, invest in a portable or removable hard drive unit and keep a constant EXACT copy of your critical files backed up frequently. Keep your most important software program CDs close by and easy to access.

    Sure it takes time to install all that software, but a totally clean reinstall from a backup is often borked because you are restoring the backup onto different media, and Windows doesn’t play nice when it comes to some restorations.

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