Computer drive failure

Anyone who read my newsletter knows my old computer died. As in one day it was running slow and the next minute I had a scary error about not being able to boot up or something…it was dead. No longer pining for the fjords, it had joined the choir and vestibule (ten points for anyone who gets the reference).

I bought a new computer and with the help of my friend Danny pulled out the hard drive of the old computer before properly driving the chassis up to ewaste. Then came the more daunting task of trying to get the old data out of the dead hard drive. I wasn’t (and still am not) freaking out because I backed most of my stuff to Dropbox and also had copies of most of it in Yahoo, Submittable, other places. Most, but not all.

Danny and I tried to retrieve my data remotely. He moved to Wisconsin with his family, you see, and I don’t know another in-home computer guy I trust. He walked me through a bunch of stuff, all of which failed, and then suggested I get a hard drive docking station. Okee dokey. Off I went to Fry’s to purchase the appointed equipment. After I got that and a 2 TB external hard drive for the future, we proceeded to try and retrieve my data.

Yeah…and it took me a few tries to figure out how to use the hard drive docking station but once I did we got an error message when we looked at Disk Management that asked if I wanted to reformat the drive. The old hard drive. Reformatting it would wipe out whatever data was on there. Aka it was deader than dead.

Since we had reached the limit of what he could do remotely I took it to a PC repair shop. They did all the same diagnostics that Danny did and came to the same conclusion. However, they thought they could retrieve the data (Danny also thought he could, if I could send him the drive in Wisconsin…now that’s being a good friend!). So right now the hard drive is with a place near my house where they are attempting to retrieve the pictures, blogs and other assorted things that I did not save to Dropbox onto the 2 TB drive I bought

I will not be so cavalier in the future. I have (had) a rather desultory attitude toward backing things up, as is evident from this blog. I’ll make sure to have more backups and may even go toward Carbonite or one of the online methods. I have never thought that what was unsaved was that important but I keep tripping over things I want to access that I didn’t bother to save and unless PCTech can retrieve them they are gone.

It will be an interesting test to see if anything is truly gone. I have always heard not to recycle a hard drive or let a computer be sold with your data still in it and now I know why. Gone, but never truly gone, and certainly not forgotten.



  1. Stace on November 17, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Claire? We need to have a heart-to-heart chat about backing up. Carbonite is only a small piece of creating security. How do I sign uo for your newsletter?

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