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31 December 2007 @ 07:51 am
Help Again! - Final Day Goes Out with a Bang  
Hopefully, this will be the last thing to happen to me and 2008 will be good. Please.

You know how for months I've been saying I thought my hard drive was dying? It makes a grinding noise every time I reboot. Very bad. I thought maybe it was the spyware program I had that caused it (it's been doing it since the program was installed) but I'm out of denial now. I've been backing up files and everything just in case, but my computer would usually bounce back.

Okay, last night, I restarted my computer and it wouldn't start up again. Windows wouldn't start. You know how it does that loop thing? So I got the black screen and instructions on how to start normally. I did.

Windows started up.

I am not stupid. I know death is immenient. I've been here twice before.

What do I do? After work, I'm going to run out and get a hard drive. I can't afford it, but with classes coming up I can't afford not to have a computer. What is the best way to copy information? I googled and I saw stuff about cloning and manually copying is harder. And system restore? What is that? (Yes, I am that dumb.)

What is worse is that I have missplaced my operating systems disk from the last time my computer died. If I can grab everything before its death, I shouldn't need that right? If it dies on me prior to picking up the hard drive, am I screwed? Do I need to buy a new operating system? Should I anyway?

Do I need to buy any software to copy my hard drive or whatever I am supposed to do?

*is not computer savy*

God, my room is a disaster and I can't find half my stuff. Trying not to panic here.

It's an old computer but still cheaper for me to get a new hard drive. (The speakers are dying too, but that's not important.) And I'd rather do it myself than shell out tons of money that I don't have to people at Besy Buy or something.

Please help?
Current Mood: nervousnervous
Spiletta42spiletta42 on December 31st, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
Cloning is a lengthy process, and it might not be successful if the hard drive is dying. Also, it's expensive whether it works or not. If you've backed up every bit of data and have disks for all of your software, or know where to download them if you're like me and use tons of open source, you don't need to clone anything.

You don't want to buy the new OS, Vista, because it is garbage. Worse than garbage. You want to find your disks, even if you spend the day cleaning to manage it. Starting the new year suddenly more organized might not be such a bad thing.

If you're going to a real computer store for this hard drive, pick up an empty external hard drive case. It should be twenty bucks or less. Then later you can pop your dying hard drive into it and dig around for whatever files you forgot to back up. Sometimes, once the pressure to make windows work is taken from a drive, it'll function perfectly fine in that manner.

Once you have the new hard drive in, use the system restore disks, which you are going to find. Or reinstall the operating system, depending on whether you have system restore disks or just XP disks. Then you get to set it up just like a new computer, and import all your documents from your backups. It's fun.

Working for the Mandroid: D'ohmoonshayde on December 31st, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping and praying that I have the disk. There is no reason for me not to have it.

What I plan to do tonight is to backup whatever I have left and then when I find my disks to go ahead and install them on a new drive. I have to remember how to install a new drive. Hopefully, this ghard drive will last me until I can find everything and back it up.

It's working okay now, but I'd rather not wait until it's too late. That last thing I need is to be left hanging when my classes start.

majorsamfan: ThinkyJackmajorsamfan on December 31st, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
When I bought a new computer 7 or 8 years ago, I bought Intellimover and used it to transfer all my old files, but really, if you have made back-ups of everything onto CD's I can't imagine you'd need it. At the time, all I had were 3.5" floppies that didn't hold much, because the old compy I'd borrowed didn't have a CD-writer drive.

When I switched to the laptop - and yes, I went with Vista having used XP before - I just copied everything to an external hard drive and have mostly left it there, accessing it from there if I needed it for any reason. (Now that I think about it, I probably should back that all up and keep a copy at the office in case of fire...)
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on December 31st, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I've backed up everything. At least I hope so. I'll double check later. The only thing I am worried about is my missing operating systems disk. I misplaced it after bringing it in for Best Buy to try to recover anything off my hard drive. When that didn't work, they replaced the hard drive and put the OS on for me. I know I have it somewhere. I made sure they gave it back.

If I can find it, I guess it's just a matter of figuring out how to put everything on the new hard drive. That is the scary part for me. Heh. Hopefully, I was sensible enough and backed up just about everything. I seriously need to learn how to do all of this.
jessm78: sg-1 teamjessm78 on December 31st, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
Oh boy... here's hoping 2008 starts off better. *hug*

I had the same problem with my computer at work about 2 years ago (and assorted similar problems before then). I'd get the weird grinding noise when booting it up. Then I'd get the blue screen that would say "beginning dump of physical memory" or something like that. Every time after that when I booted up, it would say a "hard drive failure is imminent." I had to have a tech guy come in and fix it, but in the meantime I just copied all my data to an external hard drive. That worked pretty good.
Working for the Mandroid: Deanmoonshayde on December 31st, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, I haven't gotten the blue screen yet. But my hard drives have fried twice before so I kind of know what to look for. I've been in denial for a while but with classes coming up, I have to get my act together.
cyren_2132cyren_2132 on December 31st, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
I'll echo the "if you've made backups of your documents you don't need to clone" sentiment. I'd also burn a disk with install files for any programs you might have installed (firefox and whatever). As for your OS, yeah, you definitely don't want to buy it, but there should be a way to make your own recovery discs.

My computer is always yelling at me to do that. I didn't, and when my copy of Windows decided to eat itself I had to buy recovery discs from Microsoft. It was about $60.

A system restore is something you can do to your computer that takes the hard drive back to the state it was in when you bought the computer (or to various points in the past), but won't be much help if the actual mechanics of your hard drive are shot.
Working for the Mandroid: Hatmoonshayde on December 31st, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
I'm going to check what I've backed up and make sure I plug any holes. I'm pretty sure I have everything backed up aside from the actual operating system and stuff I should have on disks, though I need to find the darn OS disk to make it complete.

I hope the hard drive will hold together while I clean things up and prepare to install a new one.

And I am going to be dumb and ask how one does a system restore. Is that on one of the disks?
cyren_2132: doughnut1cyren_2132 on January 1st, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
Your on a PC, right? On my PC, from the start menu, under 'programs' there's level that says "PC Help and Tools" (yours might say that or something similar...maybe just tools or PC help...) From there 'system restore' is an option, and if you click it, it should tell you a little more about what system restore is, does and how to do it.

But like I said earlier system restore won't help you if, like my computer, your OS eats itself (I believe the technical terms from the Best Buy guy was "It just randomly corrupted. Sometimes they do that.") or if your actual hard drive goes bad and needs replaced.
suzannemarie on December 31st, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
I have no answers about the computer stuff, but I am remembering an old superstition about New Year's. At midnight, you take a broom, open the front door and sweep out. It sweeps out the bad luck.

A friend of mine passed that long one year when several of us were having worst year evers. I must admit, that even knowing it's a just silliness, I felt better when I did that. It helped me feel like i was closing the book on something bad and making a new start.
Working for the Mandroid: Daniel and Teal'c Brothersmoonshayde on December 31st, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
I may just do that. I may also going on a cleaning binge tonight just to get it over with.
seacrystal on January 1st, 2008 11:08 am (UTC)
I hope everything's going OK with you right now, I'll second all the recommendations to just backup all your files in an external hard drive including all the installation files for the programs you're using, just in case.