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Die computer!

December 15th, 2007

I hate my computer. It all began yesterday when we decided to do a repair on my C: drive to try and get Windows to run faster. Joe ran the repair while I was still at work, but got a bunch of errors, so I ran it again when I got home. The second time seemed to work – things were running faster, particularly with the new RAM Joe installed. I was able to load all my programs and surf like normal the entire evening. Things were good.

Fast forward to this morning when suddenly my computer locked up on Joe and would not load Windows. Nearly all my personal files are not on the same hard drive as Windows, and I had backed up my bookmarks the other day, so we decided to do a clean install of Windows. Joe formatted the C: drive and ran the install.

Everything seemed fine after that except my computer would not connect to the internet no matter what we did, and trust me, we tried everything. Joe thought we should do another clean install but now I was getting paranoid and decided I wanted to back up a bunch of stuff from my secondary drive first just in case. I don’t know what possessed me to do this, but I’m glad I did!

Just so the following makes sense, here’s my current hard drive setup:

Drive #1 is the main drive. It’s 80GB with two partitions. Partition #1 contains Windows and all my programs and Partition #2 contains a backup folder where I put items from Drive #2 that I’ve not yet backed up to DVD.

Drive #2 is my secondary drive. It’s 160GB and contains all my personal files including all the photos I’ve ever taken and my MP3 collection.

So I was accessing Drive #2 to burn DVDs of my photos when I realized that while the directories were there, some of the photos were not. They had simply disappeared! Luckily for me most of them, but not all, were in the backup folder, so I burned my DVDs off that data instead.

I started poking around Drive #2 after that and the extent of the damage became clear – either files simply disappeared as I tried to move them or they wouldn’t open up at all. Most noticeable was how suddenly my MP3 folder, which was nearly 30GB the last I checked, was only 13GB.

I started burning everything to DVD like a fiend. After all was said and done I had 11 DVDs and lost some recent photos and a significant portion of my MP3 collection. Those MP3s can be replaced, but not my personal files which seemed to be in tact. I won’t know the full extent of the damage, however, until I go through the DVDs and actually try to open each and every file. I just burned everything as quickly as possible to avoid them disappearing from my hard drive. It was like there was a pacman on there eating through the data or something.

Once I was done burning the DVDs Joe disconnected the secondary drive so he could do a clean install and not worry about any further damage occurring. That became unnecessary, however, when just for the hell of it he checked the internet connection and it was mysteriously working. WTF?

I’m not sure what to think. I don’t think I can blame the Windows repair or clean install for this because it shouldn’t touch my secondary drive. The secondary drive was probably just starting to die and was corrupted before all this occurred. When I was accessing it today to burn my DVDs it was running really slow. In fact, it seemed to be running slower the past few days. Hindsight is 20/20 they say.

This is at least the second hard drive I’ve had fail and I’m starting to feel like maybe I should get a brand new machine altogether. I’m really not sure that will make a difference but I don’t trust this hardware anymore. Joe made the mistake of showing me a Dell that Walmart is selling for $618 that I want now. I like the idea of all brand new parts. Faster processor, more RAM, USB 2.0. Oh yea, bring it on!

I’m currently surrounded by burned DVDs and tons of old burned CDs and I don’t know what to do with all this shit. I feel so completely disorganized at the moment which in turn makes me feel very anxious. My desk and the area around it are a disaster zone. I’m afraid to get another hard drive just to load it full of files and have it fail again. Do people really back up all their stuff to DVDs constantly? My MP3s are constantly changing so that would be wasteful, not to mention hard to keep track of.

What I really need is a RAID system but I think they can get complicated and expensive. Maybe I should just stop taking photos and listening to music and I won’t have to worry about data storage anymore. ;)

Oh and I realized too late that iTunes stores my downloaded songs on the C: drive so those are gone. I’m not so sad about the songs I downloaded last year since I’ve since bought the CDs, but I just bought three songs yesterday that I do not own and now they are gone and iTunes doesn’t let you download them again for free. :(

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