Out of action

Last month my computer froze twice. Well, not a complete freeze – everything just slowed down, eventually halting completely except for the mouse. There wasn’t an obvious cause, and I figured it was the usual: Weird Driver Stuff. I knew at some point I’d get a proper error message and would be able to pinpoint it, but the problem wasn’t urgent enough to start hunting down causes with such vague symptoms.


On Wednesday the same thing happened, and I restarted. Or rather, I didn’t, because I never got further than ‘re’. Vista threw a can’t-access-the-registry BSOD, which 99% of the time means the hard drive has a problem, and a quick scan from the Ultimate Boot CD confirmed bad sectors. My data was mostly unharmed, and it’s backed up each morning anyway (I had the same scenario five years ago without a backup drive, and vowed never again), but a new drive was definitely needed. So I hopped onto Scan and ordered myself a 1TB Samsung. I had it sent to my parents’ offices, since I never know where I’ll be from one hour to the next. Next-day delivery would mean I was out of action for only an afternoon.

Unfortunately, City Link have so far failed to deliver said drive, claiming that they tried and failed. This is made up, as a) the office is occupied all day and b) there’s no note. I’m hoping they’ll manage to find it today. Grrrr.

I don’t think I should have seen this coming. Random crashes are ambiguous, and the drive wasn’t reporting SMART errors. It would have been a leap to scan the drive. Still, maybe in future I’ll have something run periodic sector scans. Hopefully that’ll give me time to swap drives without losing a few days.

It’s amazing what gets done when your computer’s not working. But it’s also amazing how much doesn’t. I can reply to emails on the iPhone, but I have masses of photos to edit, and a couple of websites to build…It’s not the best timing, but then these things never are.

The silver lining is that I had 4gb free on my old 500gb drive, and was regularly having to clear things out, so I needed an excuse to buy a new one. Especially with the upcoming uni module on video.