When technology and anger meet in the middle

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

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  • Anger Management

    I have been there myself.
    My solution was to hang a punching bag in my room and punch it rather than my computer.

    My room mate thought I was crazy for saving my work in three different networked areas after ever single paragraph. But I have had my work destroyed with out backups but I learned from my mistakes. Well one day my room mate lost his report that was his entire grade for a class he couldn't afford to fail. He managed to retrieve it but next semester he shared my network back up strategy.
  • RE: When technology and anger meet in the middle

    I had a similar situation, I had an 8 year old desktop I was using for school, when the hard drive decided I shouldn't be able to access Windows anymore, just when I needed it for finals. I ended up using the computer lab, but ever since I have been keeping a flash drive with a small live-bootable Linux distro on it. While its not as useful as a full Windows install, it does let me have access to Open Office no matter what computer I'm at, or if a hard drive crashes. I have the same problem abusing my PCs, since I mostly use desktops, my CRTs generally take the punishment, luckily they are a hearty lot.
  • Wanker

    It doesn't work so lets beat it into submission. I'd hate to see your dog.
    • Slippery slope

      C'mon, we're talking about an inanimate object here, not a living, breathing creature.
    • Jerk

  • Online backups

    Use Mozy or some other online backup service. You can get a couple of GB for free and the paid version is relatively inexpensive insurance ($5/month for unlimited data).
  • RE: When technology and anger meet in the middle

    Lesson One. Stop losing your temper. It seems more and more people are acting violently first, and later realising the consequences: often these consequences are suffered by others, so it's refreshing to see the p[ain land where it should.

    Lesson Two: Saving: Like it used to be said of Irish voting, do it early, do it often.

    Lesson Three: Backup (and test the restore works) and backup again. Unfortunately teh way Vista and most other Windows OS work makes it very difficult to set up and run a simple incremental backup that doesn't get bloated with tem piles etc, all of which get stored under a user's prfile because Microsoft cannot build a document and data repsitory for s**t.