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Hard Drive Crash – Again and Again and Again and Again

Timing is everything and anything. After finally getting back to work after all the insanity of life after Hurricane Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and…I’m sure there are more hurricanes that smacked us. Sure felt like it…and working like a fiend for the past two weeks totally focused on catching up with tons of deadlines and past due work, my main computer server and my husband’s laptop all crash at the same time. Have you been keeping score for me? I think that makes six hard drive crashes so far this year. I’m really, really, REALLY tired of it.

Luckily, this time both computers responded to using Windows XP Recovery Console and running chkdsk /r to fix all hard drive errors, but I don’t expect either hard drives to last, just long enough for me to do an emergency backup of the most critical files (again and again and again – as long as it lasts), and to check warranty and replacement plans to get new hard drives in before these give up again.

Since hard drive crashes and computer bumps-in-the-road are a fact of life for everyone who comes within a meter of a computer, here are some tips to help you with your next crunch.

Other than switching to a non-Windows based operating system (I’m considering it), any good recommendations on resources for handling computer crashes?

And send good wishes for no more computer crashes…EVER. And invest in stocks for manufacturers of external and portable hard drive units. We are buying them up for backups faster than the local shops can keep them in stock. Ugh.

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  1. Posted October 27, 2005 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Knoppix and other live CD linux distributions are rather useful in case Windows breaks and you need to copy files off the drive.

  2. Posted October 27, 2005 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Greg, you got a link to find those programs to help recover files? That sounds slick. Thanks.

  3. Posted October 27, 2005 at 4:02 pm | Permalink, the official site of Knoppix, has ISOs available at a variety of mirrors. This was the original Live CD distribution and features fantastic hardware compatibility, but isn’t as user-friendly as other distros.

    Ubuntu also has a live CD version out. It isn’t as full-featured as the installable version, or as compatible as Knoppix, but has a more polished UI. I don’t remember if it auto-mounts your windows partitions, though.

    Both distros, as far as I know, mount the windows partition as read-only. Linux support of NTFS (Window XP’s filesystem) is sorely lacking.

  4. Posted October 27, 2005 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Greg, you are a star! Thanks!

  5. Posted December 17, 2005 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, you can get a huge external USB/Firewire hard drive for a few hundred dollars; drag and drop your files there.

    With a clean machine, though (where you’ve just reinstalled and are sure there’s nothing *weird* on it — no adware, spyware, viruses), my network guy tells me a better solution is to have a second internal hard drive and copy the first to it. If anything happens to the first, you’ve got a clean hard drive ready to go. I’m thinking a combination of the two would be ideal.

    The real question, though, is: what could be going on that you’ve had six HD crashes in 12 months?

  6. Posted December 19, 2005 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I have both second (third and fourth) internal hard drives, and several externals (ranging from 250 gigs to 400 gigs) but none of those are guarantees. 😉

    It is now eight hard drive crashes since January 2005 on three different computers. Yes, there is something bigger going on and we’re still trying to figure it out. We have massive surge protectors and backup UPS units on these, and no sign of viruses or any software glitches. It’s just our year for mega computer crisises. Hate it!

    Shhhh, for Xmas, I just bought my husband a mongo new HP laptop. This is his first ever brand new computer purchased with him in mind. He ususally gets my left overs. He’s going to be a seriously happy boy.

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