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.

Post to Google+ from Facebook Mobile

google plus

Google+ has been available for quite some time now and I finally figured out how to share to it from Facebook. I have searched high and low for apps or websites that allow you to post to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all in one app or website. I finally found it from within the Facebook mobile app itself. Although, it’s not an automatic sharing option, but it will allow you to share pictures easily.

This is a picture of my dog Flower. I wanted to share it on Google+ so all I did was click the 3 little dots and click Share, then a little window pops up and I click Google+ and viola, it allows me to share it. You can also email it, tweet it, share it on Facebook, put the image in your Google Drive… however you want to share it.

Screenshot_2014-01-22-18-02-12Screenshot_2014-01-22-18-02-24 Screenshot_2014-01-22-18-03-15

The same works for websites, all you do is click the 3 dots at the top right of the Google Chrome browser, assuming that is the browser you have installed, then click Share and choose Google+.

Screenshot_2014-01-22-18-43-01 Screenshot_2014-01-22-18-37-56

These screenshots were taken on my Nook HD+, but this option is also available on my Android phone as well. If you are using a computer, this isn’t going to help you very much, but if you are using an Android based tablet or phone, this works for you. I don’t know if this works with the iPhone because I don’t have an iPhone, so if it does work for you then let me know in the comments.

I can’t see how this will work with plain old status updates. The share button for status updates will only allow you to share it in your Facebook timeline or page. For that you will just have to select your text (tap and hold until the text is selected, then drag the bars to select all the text you want), copy it and then go to Google+ to create a post and paste the text.

Perhaps the day will come when your Facebook status updates will automatically get posted to Google+ just as they get tweeted automatically, but until then, this is your best option that I can think of that won’t cost you any money.

I hope this helps.

Google Chromecast

Chromecast

I didn’t know what to get my partner for Christmas because he doesn’t seem to show any interest to anything.  Everyone has a hobby of some sorts, but not him, so buying presents is difficult.  Last month he bought a new tablet from Verizon and I remember seeing the ads for Chromecast, so I figured this would make the perfect gift for him so he could watch Netflix and YouTube on his HDTV.

Chromecast Icon CircledOf course when it came, I couldn’t get it working.  I thought the setup would be easy, but it was anything but.  His tablet recognized it, but wouldn’t connect with it.  I decided that he could use my CR-48 (Chromebook) to watch Netflix, so I installed the extension and it recognized the Chromecast and connected instantly.  I went back to his tablet to the Chromecast app and it was already connected there too.  Despite the fact that I never even installed the Chromecast app on my Nook HD+, I see the Chromecast connect icon on Netflix and YouTube.

When I bought the Chromecast through the Google Play Store, I read the reviews and saw a couple of people bitching about the fact that you cannot watch home videos or pictures you have taken with your phone or tablet, but I found that to be false.  If you own a Chromecast, when you go to the Google Play Store on your device you will see a category with apps made specifically for Chromecast.  There is an app called avia which says you can share your personal photos, videos and music on the big screen.  The app is free, but it might be limited because it says “In-app purchase of $2.99  gives you Chromecast support, casting to DLNA enabled devices, access to Dropbox, support for themes and removes all ads.”  As with everything in life, read the reviews and decide for yourself.  There is only one app that will allow you to share your personal photos and videos… for now.

Loading the Chromecast is simple.  When you want to watch something, just click the Chromecast icon so it streams to your TV, then hit the play button and it will automatically switch to the Chromecast.  When you are done, you will have to get the remote control that came with your TV to switch the input back to the cable.  It’s actually very easy.

It’s a great device for those who don’t have an internet streaming device like the Apple TV, Roku or a Blu-ray player, it’s also cheaper at only $35.

Here are a couple of screenshots of YouTube and Netflix with the Chromecast icon.

Chromecast YouTube Chromecast Netflix