Over the last two weeks I have had a nightmare with my computers.
I decided that my old personal laptop and my work laptop were too slow to do what I wanted. I was sick and tired of clicking the mouse and having to wait a few seconds for something to happen. Over the years that I have had them, I have upgraded the RAM to the maximum they can take, and also upgraded the hard drives to a much larger capacity. Yet still they were too slow.
So I bit the bullet and shelled out over €550 for a brand new, all-singing, all-dancing laptop. The best that I could afford at the time, and as future-proof as possible.
Now, over the years I have amassed a large number of bookmarks in my browser, and also a history that I didn’t want to lose. I also have around 15 email addresses being monitored on my Outlook, complete with all the emails going back years. There are also tons and tons of programmes installed. Starting out from scratch, installing everything again and losing all my settings wasn’t an option. Moving all my data from one computer to the other shouldn’t be difficult, should it?
All Windows operating systems have had a transfer wizard included, for just this scenario. But no, that would be too simple, Windows 8 has had the ability to do this removed! So I search around on the internet, ask in some knowledgeable groups on Facebook, and eventually buy some software that, supposedly, can do it for me. I set it all up and set it off before heading for bed, thinking it will all be over when I wake in the morning. Next day it still says it is transferring files. 24 hours after I started, it is still transferring files, so I call the USA helpline from Ireland, to be told that with the amount of data I’m moving it could take up to 6 days. 6 DAYS!!
No way can I wait that long, so I uninstall the software and get a refund. Someone had mentioned a free software that would shift all the settings, so I went with that, and installed all of the software again.
So now I have my new computer working, I transfer all the files I want to keep, and wipe the hard drive of the old computer. Then re-install the operating system and it’s ready to be sold. In the mean time, I find I’m due an upgrade to Windows 10, so another night gets used up upgrading.
Today, I’m working merrily away on the new laptop, and decide I need more coffee.
Off I pop to the kitchen, get into a conversation as you do, and return after maybe half an hour. The screen is blank, so I assume that it’s powered down into hibernation, and I press the power button.
Nothing! Not a beep, not even a flicker from the screen. No power light either.
I check the power cable and even get out my multimeter and check the power output – all is fine.
I look underneath, but there’s not even a catch to remove the battery.
Everything is on the hard drive of this laptop, and there’s not even a cover where I can remove it and clone it. What happens if I have to return it to the factory and they wipe the hard drive? I don’t want to start removing screws and stripping it down, as that might invalidate the warranty.
So I start searching for the manufacturers helpline details, and this is not as easy on an iPhone as it is on a computer. Their ‘responsive’ site means that I can’t get the real-time chat working, and it took me 15 minutes of searching their site to find a number to call. This is, again, in another country, but I’m used to that by now.
So I ring them, and the man on the phone couldn’t have been more helpful. It appears that Windows put out another update, and the bios chip doesn’t like it, and needs to be reset. From the way he was talking, it sounded like he had been getting calls about this all week long. Anyway, long story short, 5 minutes and it was back up and running.
It got me to thinking about backups. I back up all my websites and databases automatically, but up till now I’ve not even considered what I would do if I lost everything on my hard drive. So I’m making it a necessity that I get a new external drive and back up everything to that.
What do you have in place as a backup? Would your business go down the pan if your hard drive crashed and wasn’t recoverable?
Let me know in the comments below, I’ll be interested to hear all your horror stories.