The Day My Computer Gave Up

Last week, the sky fell.

Well, no. But my stomach felt queasy. I booted up my computer, and all my data was gone. I mean, the programs were there, but they were empty. EMPTY!

I didn’t mourn the books I had written and recorded on my computer, some ready to be polished for publication, others needing more work. Not yet. I ran the recovery program, only to discover that my automatic backup had never backed up. That’s when my stomach started to hurt when I thought years of work might be lost forever.

But yes. I still had clickfree, an external backup device, which I had used just the day before the catastrophe. Would it work? Or would it hang? Gradually over the months, my computer would hang–increasingly.

The retrieval did work, but interestingly my security system discovered a trojan horse and removed it. When had that intruded? After my computer shut down the day before? Can a virus infect your machine overnight?

I breathed easier after the retrieval, but the problems were not all solved. For one thing, Microsoft informed us that it no longer supported Windows XP. I hadn’t realized that it included windows 7, which I had. What to do? My computer was a dinosaur, dying a slow and agonizing death. Instead of a joy to use, it provided an exercise in frustration.

Answer: visit eBay. It’s what you do if you’re not a millionaire.

I got a good deal on a computer with Windows 8.1. The problem came from trying to transfer info from the old computer to the new. And…some of my other programs are outdated, according to Microsoft standards. They’re in the grave, so to speak, and dead to the new world of 8.1. So I’m turning to programs like Open Office and will see how that works out.

Another thing that did not transfer to my new computer was all my email contacts. Looks like Facebook will gain greater value.

The leap from Windows 7 to 8.1 is a world-class broad jump for me. But I’m working on it.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Day My Computer Gave Up | Along the Path
  2. Brian Piper
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 18:57:11

    The trials of running a computer these days can sometimes be too much. On my Windows 7 computer I had virus scan programs reporting hundreds of Registry errors, which I never did get cleaned up. My primary problem was limited memory of only 1 gig and my computer would slow to a snail’s pace, whereas my newer computer with 4 gig of memory was running Windows 8, but I upgraded for free to Windows 8.1. I was having problems in Windows 8 and 8.1, mostly it was my fault because I did not know about all of “almost secret” mouse functions. which are explained well in the Windows Help. I have not had any such problems for months now, which was probably due to my own original lack of knowledge.
    Many years ago I accidentally corrupted file in a customers early age computer. I spent a couple of days and managed to recover the corrupted file, after the customer discovered that their backups were not working, and that they could not recover the file themselves. By doing careful analysis, I finally figured out the normal file structure, which included a header area followed by data blocks. I wrote a small program and copied the data from the corrupted file into a new file of the same size, but without the original data. The new file then worked fine. It was a trick to pull this rabbit out of the hat. Two days of my regular job were missed as I analyzed and rebuilt the corrupted file.
    On bit of warning …. don’t trust customer backup systems as they may not be functioning correctly, and the user never finds this out until it is needed.


  3. Brian Piper
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 19:17:04

    There are free non-Microsoft versions of Office available. Edward turned me on to one which I have downloaded, but have not used yet. I read a lot of the Help, especially on their spreadsheet program, called Math or Calc and not Excel, I don’t recall specifically right now. All the other pieces of Office are included, Writer for word processing, and other major components. The package I have is called “LibreOffice 4.2”. You can find websites from which you can download it by using Google or some other similar search tool. Let me know if you decide to check into it. I think download and install are simple procedures, but get any available help you can if you wish to set this up. There are some options as you set it up, none of which I recall right now.


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