Oh boy, my hard drive crashed

hard drive crashed

Well this is unexpected, then again when is a crashed hard drive expected?

I have, or well I had a 320GB hard drive that once upon a time was my actual computers hard drive.  When I upgraded my computer a few years ago, my hard drive would not boot into Windows so I had to buy a new hard drive. My 320GB hard drive was installed as a slave drive on the same IDE ribbon and I was able to use it to hold all of my data. I only had 1 IDE ribbon. I could have bought a second one, but I never did. Oh well.

When I recently upgraded my operating system to Windows 8, it wouldn’t install because of that hard drive. After finally figuring out that that was what was causing my installation problems, I unplugged the drive, but once I had Windows 8 installed, I plugged it back in and Windows loaded fine. It loaded slow, but at least it loaded. I managed to copy all of my most important files, and some not so important, but there were still some very important files that I did not copy. Copying was tedious and was taking hours, so I just figured I would give myself and that hard drive a break by not copying the rest. I never imagined the drive would fail.

I have 2 external drive cases, but I didn’t think either of them worked. Since I had to remove the drive, I figured I would give the external cases a try. First I used the bigger external case, which I knew had problems loading hard drives. I forgot that I had a smaller external case. I found it and plugged the hard drive into it and it still did not load. The computer recognizes that something was plugged into the USB drive because it makes a sound when I turn the drive on and off, but it doesn’t show me anything. I plugged it into my Chromebook and it recognizes that something is plugged in, but nothing happens. Just out of curiosity, I put another hard drive into the external case and it immediately showed me all of the files on the Chromebook. That is actually what confirmed that my hard drive crashed and it wasn’t just the external case that was malfunctioning.

I’m not too broken up over this crashed hard drive, but I am thankful that I managed to copy 75% of it to my new hard drive before it crashed. I did lose a lot of files, but luckily I backed about 80% of those pictures onto social media websites like Facebook and Google+.

So now my task is to download all of those pictures, and upload them to the Microsoft Sky Drive. I can add pictures to Facebook and Twitter from the Sky Drive, so that’s what I will do.

What sucks is that there were a lot of files that I did not back up onto the internet, but what good are they anyway? Who cares, right? It’s just a picture, it’s just data. What good is data anyway? I mean, it’s not like it is a part of me, it’s stuff. Stuff can be replaced by more stuff, but what good is stuff in the grand scheme of things? It doesn’t matter because I have lived my entire life without it, so why should it matter if I still have it? There are pictures of me as a child that I will never see because they are being held hostage by people who are mad at me, but I manage to live my life without seeing them. I am perfectly okay with this loss because it doesn’t matter to me. Life is too short to hang on to things that don’t matter, so life goes on and I will be just fine. It is time to start making new memories, so off to the future I go.

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Windows 8.1 Installed

Windows 8.1

My new Windows 8.1 Full Installation DVD’s came yesterday via UPS. I didn’t exactly have the easiest time installing it, and it literally took me 4 or more hours to figure out why. It turns out Windows 8.1 hates my storage hard drive, so the only way for me to install it is to unplug it. I’m sure that now that Windows is installed, I shouldn’t have any issues plugging it back in, but just in case, I will use a second IDE cable to plug it into the IDE 2 slot in my motherboard instead of using the same cable.

This is the error message I kept getting.

windows 8 install problems

But… here’s the thing, I was able to install the 64bit version of Windows 8.1 on the first try, but when it finished installing, it gave me an orange screen with thin white lines and a blinking underscore in the top left of the screen. I Googled that and found that it was a hardware error, but I figured it was because I didn’t have enough ram. I have 4GB of ram, but I figured maybe I needed to install the 32bit version, so I did and that was the first time I got the error message in the image above.

I asked on Facebook and a friend named James Benstine helped walk me through it on my Nook HD+ with Facebook messaging. I took several pictures with my phone so he could see what I was seeing. That is a huge help for anyone who is trying to help someone. I know I’ve tried helping people and they don’t think to take a picture with their phone to let me know what they are seeing, which makes it difficult to help, especially if they don’t give you details of what they are seeing. I took pictures of the BIOS menus every time he asked me to show it to him.

storage configuration bios menuI kept telling James that my hard drive was SATA and he couldn’t figure out why it kept showing up as IDE in my BIOS menu. I knew I had a SATA drive, but I forgot that it was my DVD burner that was the SATA drive. I mean duh, it says it right there in the BIOS menu as clear as day.

So I wrote myself a note and put it in the Windows 8.1 box that tells me to unplug the storage drive before installing Windows. I know that I will eventually have to reinstall Windows, I’ve had to reinstall XP more than a dozen times over the years.

The reason there is an issue with that storage hard drive is because when I built this computer, I tried using that hard drive, but it wouldn’t run Windows XP, it wouldn’t even turn the screen on. I had to buy a new hard drive and install Windows XP onto it to be able to use my computer again. I knew that I couldn’t load an operating system onto it which is why it is a slave drive and not a master drive. I didn’t have any issue installing XP on the master drive, so I don’t know why I had an issue installing 8.1 with it installed as a slave.

My next question will be this, will it cause an issue loading Windows 8.1 when I plug it back in? Tune in to find out. Same bat time, same bat channel.

Update: I bought a can of compressed air from Walgreen’s and managed to blow out all the dust from my tower, including all the dust in the heat sink and the fans in the back, as well as the dust at the bottom and laying on top of the video card. There was dust EVERYWHERE! I was still sneezing hours later. Should’ve wore a mask first. Lesson learned!

It took a little longer to load Windows, but it did eventually load. It has taken me most of the day copying and pasting my files from the storage drive. I decided that I should probably check for redundancy and unwanted files, so I was deleting unwanted and unneeded files, copying the wanted files and then deleting them from the storage drive. Once I have everything that I want on the drive that runs my operating system, then I will format the storage drive.

It would be nice to have a storage drive to keep all my files on, but if it’s just going to slow things down then it just isn’t worth it. I will see if it still slows my computer down after I format it. If it doesn’t slow it down then I will keep it, if it does then I will have no choice but to unplug and remove it. I could always install it onto a external hard drive case and plug it in with the USB cable and just plug it in as needed.

Oh would you look at the time, it’s 2 a.m. I will finish my copies tomorrow.

Reformat Fun Time

I just love to reformat my hard drive and start over from scratch.  Okay so that’s a lie, but it is nice to start fresh every now and then when my computer becomes so slow and even using crap cleaner and defragmenting doesn’t help.

The first thing you want to do before reformatting your hard drive is to back up all of your files either onto DVD’s, any cloud service or a back up hard drive.  I chose to use a back up hard drive because I don’t really feel like having to copy all of the files from DVDs or having to download all of my files again.  I won’t have to do anything with a back up hard drive, I’d just leave all the files there because they are easily accessible if I need them.  I’ve already done that, although I had a little issue when moving files around that resulted in panic and using Recuva.  See my last post.

The second step is to reformat my hard drive, but making sure I pick the correct hard drive, you know, the one that has my current operating system, not the back up hard drive, because talk about a nightmare.  UGH!

The UPS tracking says it will arrive tomorrow between 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. which means I can start reformatting either tonight before I go to bed, or when I wake up early in the morning.  I like to be prepared so I can just pop the DVD in the drive and get the show on the road, because the sooner I install the new operating system, the sooner I can get back to doing the thing I love to do, which is check Facebook and Twitter, despite the fact that I can do that on my Chromebook, Nook HD+ and my phone.  Could someone remind me why I even still use a computer? :p

I’m just kidding, of course I have a computer so I can play EverQuest, blog, money management, print packing slips and labels for my Etsy shop among many other things.  It’s not just about Facebook, although that’s mostly what I use it for.

I was hesitant to get Windows 8.1, but now I’m kind of excited to start over with a new operating system.  This should be fun.

Recuva from @Piriform

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I’ve been making backups of my documents from my hard drive to my backup hard drive because I am getting ready to reformat my hard drive to install Windows 8.1. Instead of copying all my files, I moved them so that they were no longer on my hard drive, well, I learned the hard way that that was a huge mistake.

On the backup hard drive, in order for me to get to the My Documents folder, I had to go through several other folders, so I wanted to make it so when I went into the D drive, I would immediately see the My Documents folder. You see, my backup hard drive used to be my main drive, so it still has the Windows installation on it, so I had to go through documents and settings. Anyway, I tried moving the My Documents folder and an error occurred with moving one file and the moving stopped which for some reason deleted everything in the My Documents folder from My Pictures down. Ouch!

So I went into full panic mode. I googled on my Nook how to recover deleted files because I couldn’t access my D drive recycle bin. I found Recuva from Piriform. I am familiar with their program called Ccleaner because I’ve been using that since 2002 or 2003. I did a deep scan which said would take 4 days, and it scanned all night and most of the next day. I was chatting with someone on my Chromebook and accidentally used my desktop computer’s keyboard which canceled my scan, but it still showed me all the files it found to recover. It took 13 hours to recover all but about 5591 or so files.

Recovering all of my files is a huge weight of my shoulders. Now I can continue where I left off so I can reformat my hard drive so when Windows 8.1 comes, all I have to do is install it.

I have Recuva in my list of programs to install with the new operating system so I will be prepared for future disaster, if that ever happens again. Also in my list are Ccleaner and Defraggler. I highly recommend these programs to anyone who needs them.

Windows 8

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Well I bit the bullet and bought Windows 8. I couldn’t really afford to pay the full price of $119.99 +$9.00 tax, but I was able to buy it from sales on my Etsy shop. I can’t say I’m happy that I was forced to upgrade to an operating system that I hate, but Microsoft ended support for XP, so my options are limited.

I’m backing up my files onto my spare hard drive so I won’t lose everything. I’ve already done the compatibility test and it is compatible, so all I have to do is wait for the DVD to come in the mail. In the meantime, I will have to use my Nook HD+ to do all my web stuff because I wouldn’t want to catch a virus before 8 comes.

I also had to cancel Netflix and EverQuest for the month because I didn’t have the entire amount from Etsy. I had to take some of my grocery money for the balance which was $30 and I had to pay my Etsy seller fees for the month which was $17. I should have just enough money to feed us, although, it would be nice if I could get some of that grocery money back with a few more sales on Etsy.

I dread having to learn how to use my computer all over again, but I’m actually sort of excited and curious at the same time. I’ve used a Windows 8 computer a couple of times because people are always asking for my help. I’m a computer nerd, so people think that I automatically know how to use an operating system even if I’ve never looked at it before. Well, now is my chance to go in balls deep.

Today is Saturday, so I’m sure they won’t get the order until Monday. Who knows how long that will take to get to me. It will give me just enough time to back everything up though. Now it’s a waiting game, which is the worst game ever!