When technology and anger meet in the middle

Summary:I'm away from Canterbury at the moment to work on a few projects around the United Kingdom. Whilst doing these, I'm slap-bang in the middle of exam and essay season, so have been spending a lot of my time writing mind-numbingly boring essays.

I'm away from Canterbury at the moment to work on a few projects around the United Kingdom. Whilst doing these, I'm slap-bang in the middle of exam and essay season, so have been spending a lot of my time writing mind-numbingly boring essays.

Friday evening, I'm sat in my office working away when Office 2007 decides to freeze up on me half way through one of my essays. With a deadline approaching (which has now passed as of 1pm today), I was already feeling the pressure. I lose my temper, slam my hands onto my laptop and bang furiously until I feel better.

That was mistake number one.

By this point, my 2.5" SATA notebook drive had already suffered a blow it could not recover from. It had thrown me a blue screen of death and restarted and there was nothing appearing past the first BIOS screen. I couldn't boot into either of my operating systems, Windows 7 (primary) and Windows Vista (secondary) and I was panicking.

As quickly (as humanly possible) search the networks on my office PC to find a Vista ISO for me to burn to disk, bang it into my laptop and run the repair. This alone took me over an hour, not realising the extent of the damage to my hard drive.

I finally get to a boot menu and decide "Safe Mode with Networking" will be the most appropriate for the time being, and it loads up - slowly, but without a hitch.

I feel like I'm against the clock backing up everything I can, transferring everything I can find to my server. With my dual partition setup, I'm into Windows 7 in Safe Mode but cannot access anything on my V: drive, my Vista partition.

My second mistake was deciding to reinstall Windows.

The laptop restarts and fails, miserably. I whack in the Vista disk which I had just downloaded to reinstall an operating system, at very least, but it fails at the last hurdle. I ring up my brother in a panic, furious at my own mistake, of which he tells me about the HDD Regenerator software he has.

I throw in the disk, it boots up and starts "regenerating" and recovers 149 bad sectors within the space of an hour, and at the rate it would finish, would be 2 weeks down the line. It was time to give up.

After taking advice from a friend of mine, I pop onto Amazon.co.uk and buy myself a new hard drive for my laptop. It'll take a good few days, maybe a week for it to arrive, but at least I have most of my data intact on the server.

Windows wasn't the problem, nor was Office 2007. My laptop hardware wasn't even an issue, nor was the regenerating software I was using. It was my temper... and it's not the first time I've lost it with my laptop.

Students of the world, I have some golden advice for you: backup your work, for crying out loud - because the gods are always against us and nature is always trying to screw us over at any given opportunity. Secondly, try not to smash the sh*t out of your laptop - it may make you feel better, but it will be your undoing at the end of the day.

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Software, Windows

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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