My notebook PC went “toes-up” on Friday evening. After several of hours of troubleshooting over the course of the weekend I eventually determined that the hard drive had sustained an unrecoverable failure. (Notebook hard drives evidently tend to fail more frequently than their desktop counterparts.)
Happily, I didn’t keep much of anything vital there. Somewhere down the line I’ll probably realize it had my only copy of something, but most of my important files are stored on the desktop computer which gets backed up automatically. So nothing too vital appears to have been lost, though it did mess up my plans for getting some stuff done while I was sitting at the Shore Leave table during Balticon.
I took the drive out this afternoon so I could make sure the new one I was ordering would fit into the same space, and I’m really impressed at how small it is. 2 1/2 inches wide, by about 1/3 of an inch thick (9 mm). Who knew something so tiny could cause so many problems?
The replacement should arrive on Wednesday or Thursday. Then comes the real fun. I’ve installed various versions of Windows a number of times. But this will be the first time I’ve ever installed it on a computer that doesn’t have a floppy drive.

3 thoughts on “Meltdown”

  1. Sorry to hear about your HD failure, but you need have no worries about reinstalling Windows. All modern systems boot directly from the CD so you really don’t need a floppy drive.
    Unfortunately, the system restore disk that came with your notebook will simply format and reinstall everything so it looks like it just came from the factory. That means you have to uninstall the craplets and factory-authorized spyware again. Ugh.

  2. Damn, your computers were old. I haven’t had a 5.25 inch floppy drive for ages. (3.5 inch disks didn’t flop, no matter how hard you tried.)

  3. First things first: WooHoo! A new reader! (I know Tom well enough that I won’t call him a regular reader. He’s more of a 42 tall.)
    Tom: Booting the computer from CD is familiar enough. The challenge is that the last time I tried it, I don’t believe the restore CD was bootable. Happily, one of the diagnostic disks that came with the system is, and that’s enough for running the install program manually.
    The big pain though isn’t uninstalling the bundleware. Each of those is on a separate CD. On the other hand, I do have to reinstall all the utility programs such as the drivers for wireless card and the software that allows the CD and volume buttons on the keyboard to work. The install files are – of course – given very intuitive file names. Names such as R65447.exe and R65448.exe. Some of them are for options that I don’t have installed.
    This is going to be “fun.”
    John: I’ve seen plenty of 3 1/2 inch disks flop. I just buy less expensive (less sturdy) disks than you do. These days I’ve mostly replaced floppies of any size with a USB drive. 🙂

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