The joys of hard disk failure

This morning, the hard drive on my primary laptop PC failed. Not a sudden failure, more a gradual grinding down over a period of time.

The signals had been there since last week, now I think about it. Peculiar noises from the computer (a heavily-customized Toshiba Satellite 5105-S701), hard disk activity when there really shouldn’t have been, things taking a long time, the CPU cooling fan on more frequently than usual, other odd things happening. But I didn’t pay much attention. Some app I’d installed to play with (and I do a lot of that) not behaving very well, I thought.

One thing I do, though, with almost religious zeal, is back up my hard drive every week. Not the whole drive – you can always reinstall the programs – but the documents, emails, RSS stuff, etc. Backup day is usually Sunday and, thankfully, I had done the weekly chore last night. All I’ve lost today are some emails that came in this morning, and a lot of time.

Now comes the inconvenience of re-setting up all my stuff on my secondary laptop. On that PC (an IBM ThinkPad T30), I don’t have my favourite things like WindowBlinds or ObjectDock installed. The screen resolution, video memory and sound quality aren’t as good as the Tosh. But I can live with all that for a short while.

One thing I will say about Toshiba is that, in my experience, their support services are excellent. I bought my laptop in the US two years ago. Last year, with only 3 days left in the international warranty, it needed a new system board. Off it went to the Toshiba Europe repair center near The Hague, back in 10 days with a new board. No questions, no quibbles. That’s what I call service. I hope to have a repeat relationship this time, warranty or not.

Meanwhile, normal blog service will be resumed as soon as possible.

5 thoughts on “The joys of hard disk failure

  1. My sympathies, Neville. Michele’s hard drive crashed a couple weeks ago. A recovery service wanted $600 to fix it — and that was at a discount.

  2. I can feel your pain. This morning when I got to the office I was greeted by a “can’t find the hard disk” error. I endured a few hours of super-slow performance, grinding noises and crashes (complete with several appearances by the infamous blue screen of death) before I gave up and called for re-enforcements. It’s still chugging along (barely) but I lost most of the day today. 🙁 There is nothing worse than losing productivity during a super-busy week! Oh and I hate working on a spare machine which isn’t set up with everything I need *shudder.*

  3. Neville,
    I know the pain, it’s the little things that take the most time. Specific configurations, utilities, things you forgot you loaded but you use regularly.
    By the way, you’ve committed a ‘Cheney’ism’, the link you give to Windows Blinds is to a company that provides physical blinds for house windows 🙂 People will wonder why you have blinds on your laptop!!

  4. Thanks, everyone, for the sympathy!
    Getting up and running again quickly on the alt laptop has taken a really long time. It’s Tues early afternoon as I type this and I’m still a bit out of sorts, so to speak, with all my stuff. Email was the biggest problem: transferring the Outlook PST to this machine (4Gb file: yes, I keep everything), configuring Outlook again… Pain! Worse, I use a cool add-on called NEO Pro for email management and I haven’t installed it on this laptop. Haven’t had time to do that yet. Plus I don’t have ecto (my blogging software) on this machine yet.
    The good news is that I spoke with Toshiba tech support first thing this morning. Pick up the Tosh tomorrow morning, diagnosis next few days, fixing and return. Well, that’s the plan. Shel, hopefully cost a lot less than $600: if it’s a replacement hard drive, the total should run to max 200 euro (about $240).
    You’re dead right, Candi, re losing productivity!
    Tom, thanks for pointing out the Chenyism! Fixed in the posting.

Comments are closed.