Monday, September 08, 2014

Preparing for Computer Failure

On Saturday, my laptop started giving me messages no one wants to read. It's telling me my hard drive is about to crash.

This may seem like a total disaster about to happen, but I already have some preparations in place. In addition to my laptop, I also have a netbook, so I won't be without a computer. (I bought the netbook earlier this year to make writing on the go even easier.) My most important files (at least, the files I'm currently working on) are on a flash drive so I can use them on either computer. I use Mozy to backup my computers twice a day, so I should be able to recover all my other files. I'm also going to back up my laptop to an external hard drive to see if that will help me with the operating system and e-mail. Another thing I will do is sort through my messages and organize them so I can back them up to Gmail.

When I realized my hard drive is dying, my first instinct was to shop around for a new laptop. After comparing specs and prices, I decided I'd rather just replace the hard drive. I ordered a new one from Amazon and should get it this week. Now I have to decide if I'm going to try to replace the hard drive myself or find someone to do it for me. There are YouTube videos that demonstrate how to replace the laptop, but if I can't find one that matches my computer exactly, it might be safer to find an expert.

As for what to do after I get the new hard drive installed, first I'll have to figure out if I can reinstall my old operating system or if I have to upgrade. I'm not sure if Mozy will allow me to reinstall programs, so that may be another issue. At least this unexpected purge may leave me with fewer programs taking up space on my computer.

Have any of you had to deal with a crashed hard drive? Do you have any other tips for me? Conversely, if you haven't had this issue before, are you backing up your data regularly?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have several computers and back up things constantly.
I've replaced dying hard drives before. It's not hard, but it will take some time. As for reinstalling, it depends on how old the program, but it shouldn't be a problem.

Sandra Almazan said...

Good to hear, Alex!

Maria Zannini said...

At least it's warning you. Ive had two crashes. One was irrecoverable, but that was in the early days of personal computers so not much was lost. The second, the Best Buy Geeks were able to transfer my contents to a new computer.

Prepared or not, it's always a headache.

Jay Noel said...

Yeah, at least you got some warning. I've seen that blue screen of death before. Luckily, it was just a work computer. A pain, but not horrible.

I back up everything three times over!

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