An OT side-note: It's a Hippocratic thing - do no harm. Any tech who is
really prepared to work on a computer should be able to create a copy, or
'image,' of the hard drive before doing any invasive work on your system. If
it won't copy, you'll know the source of the problem right away. NEVER let
your original HD out of your sight until a copy is made. (Consider having a
firearm on display nearby.) After that, the tech can fiddle with your
original disk, with the risk of hosing it, and its loss won't matter.
If the problem turns out to be hardware, then your old disk (or its image)
can be reinstalled after repair - a simple process. If the failed HW is the
hard drive, well ... you made a backup, right? (See below.)
If the problem is software related and a fix is complex or uncertain, bite
the bullet. Buy a replacement drive and a new copy of Windows (or install
the factory recovery copy). Have those be installed and confirmed okay. Then
have your data scanned for viruses before their transfer to this new system
from the copy/image. You're likely to have to do this anyway, after hours of
the tech fiddling (see above). It can be a hassle to reinstall applications
and all, but at least your data is saved, whatever was haunting your
original system will be (should be) exorcized, and the two most
trouble-prone components (HD & OS) will be brand new.
Never mail your system off to warranty service with the un-copied/imaged HD
in it, even with all the promises that it won't be touched. It will be wiped
clean and returned to factory original - almost certainly.
If you seem to be a magnet for Internet viruses, look into "sandboxing" your
Web browser. Kaspersky has that feature and it can save so much heartache.
If you are using Win 7, take the time to make a system image and file copies
by using Windows Backup. It is quite easy. Do this while the system is
healthy! Save it to a portable drive, which should then sleep in your drawer
(or safe deposit box) and only be used once in a while (like for additional
backups). Don't leave it turned on constantly, as it will be subject to wear
and damage. This is simpler than NAS/RAID schemes, though those are also
Resist the urge to do computing on the cheap. Systems are already absurdly
inexpensive, thanks to slave-labor. That allows us to spend the extra money
on establishing a backup scheme for what really has value - our data.
Sorry that happened to you, Uncle Dave. You're not alone. It's one of the
computer industry's many scandals that customers are left to fend for
themselves in a cold, cruel world.
Carl, once an IBM Zipper-head
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Lewis
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 11:20 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Are your archive's off-site files safe?
The notion of a "computing cloud" is taken here to signify something very
limited -- off-site storage -- but it does have a larger meaning, and is
more commonly used in that context; the interconnectedness of several of
one's devices and the web. I used to work within a company that thought and
behaved as if they were the only ones who ever had this idea. Their attempt
to dominate this market so far has come to nothing, so far as I can tell;
there is too much multiplicity in services and options. I used to say
things like "you'll never get my 78 turntable into that chain" and they
would look at me like the guy who really ought not to be in the meeting.
But I had the right answer; not all, not even very many of us, would want
to be able to control everything in our households with our cellphone or
the remote to our cable TV setup. As archivists especially we can see the
wisdom of having multiple eggs in multiple baskets. If you don't keep all
of your storage in one place, then when one service decides to invade,
alter or delete your holdings than you can access them from another and
kill the service that is giving you trouble, or let them kill themselves.
In the later months of 2010 I was in desperate need of a computer tech to
service my machine, and connected with one who was both incompetent and a
thief; he wiped my computer out twice, killed a drive that had a ton of
stuff on it and stole my best peripherals and replaced them with junk,
before skipping town after selling my daughter's laptop -- which he had
been paid to repair -- to a third party. I am still recovering from this
debacle; I still do not have a working MS Office program, a CD burner that
burns CDs etc. though I hope to have these issues resolved very shortly.
Nevertheless, I was thankful indeed to be able to recover about 80 percent
of my files from an online storage facility that I have been using for
several years. So personally I am not greatly concerned with the fallout
from Megaupload; I wasn't using that service, and what they were in the
main was an enormous clearinghouse for large, illegally traded files, or so
their detractors say. I wouldn't want to be a part of that anyway, the same
reason I did not join Napster, Kazaa or any other file sharing service that
tended to be less than private. I am more concerned, actually, with live
humans that pass themselves off as computer technicians and integrate
themselves into your system, and life, in order to rip you off.
David "Uncle Dave" Lewis