Thursday, June 25, 2009

A crashed computer

There is some hope we will see the sun before this day is over, perhaps even by the time some of you see this. That doesn’t mean we’ve finally gotten into dry weather. No, it just means that we could see some sunshine at times for the next few days. If we do, it could be interspersed with some showers, possibly thundershowers. However, the weather people say, “Not all cities and towns will see them every day.”

Unfortunately for me the day didn’t start out dry. It wasn’t raining, but we did have a little fog and it does the same thing to my body. Actually, it’s the low pressure system, not the rain, which causes the discomfort. And the latest low is pulling away. Unfortunately some sort of new systems are expected to swing through each of the next several days.

This morning’s system had moved far enough away for me to be able to function during my senior fitness session. I got my full 30 minutes in on the stationary bike and successfully completed the rest of my routine. That, at least, is a real positive start for this day.

After Gator Wife and I have a little breakfast, I have to do some searching. My main computer, a Dell desktop XPS multi-media computer, has been periodically doing funny things. Tuesday it crashed. I called Dell support and the technician talked me through getting it running again, but from my description, he believed I had some corrupted Windows.

One of the error messages I had received said I had a hard drive failure and when I tried to reboot, the message appeared on the screen that no boot drive could be found. That’s when I called for help. He had me do a few things and to my great surprise, the computer came back to life. The techie told me he didn’t think the problem was solved and suggested we reinstall Windows. Running some tests showed the problem was in the software as my hard drives passed their physical tests.

That meant reformatting the hard drive and losing everything that was on it. All my precious pictures and my document and other data files would be gone. I don’t do music. So the techie and I agreed that I should, as long as the computer would let me, spend some time making sure all those files were backed up. I do regularly scheduled backups so I probably had most of them on an external drive. Nevertheless, the techie suggested I make second copies by going through folders (Didn’t we use to call them directories?) one by one making sure I had the material saved on my external drive.

I did and now all those files are saved, probably twice. Then it hit me. I have to reinstall all my programs, too. I don’t believe I have a single illegal program on my computers. Finding my CD/DVDs, however, is becoming a huge chore. A few of the programs were downloads and I do have them on my backup drive.

The techie called me back last night and I told him I needed one more day; so he’s going to call again this afternoon and talk me through a couple of procedures I’ve never done before. One of them is converting the two internal hard drives from a raid configuration to distinct drives. Raid Zero isn’t mirrored drives. There’s another reason I want separate drives, but I won’t go into that here. The conversion is, I believe, just a software switch.

That’s my day. It’ll be busy and a little bit scary. My Fearless Friend does this stuff all the time and he says the only hard part of it is the time it will eventually all take to get what I need back onto the computer.

Great day yesterday. I left home in a driving rain storm but by the time I got to the restaurant for our retired group’s Last-Wednesday-of-the-Month lunch, the rain had all but stopped. I think all of us enjoyed the visit and, as I had hoped, our legislator member was there. That lunch is a mealtime worth looking forward to.


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