When Computers Go Bad

A Brief Computer History

IBM Personal Computer

The personal computer has been around since about 1991. Although there have been some brands that have been around longer, widespread use didn’t really begin until the Internet became available to everyone.

I can remember a time when the cost of 1Mb of memory cost $1000.00. It was the days when you had to use two floppy disks to load the operating system before you could do anything. It was the days of DOS, the Disk Operating System. It was also the days that Bill Gates announced that there would never be a reason to have a program larger than 1Mb.

Computer Floppy Disk

Now look at us. We don’t even have floppy disks and it is becoming more rare to even find a CD or DVD drive on a computer. After the DVD came the jump drive. With the USB port still available, jump drives can be great for traveling with files. A SSD ( Solid State Drive) is becoming the norm and computers are getting nothing but faster all the time.

Computer CD DVD

Finally, there is cloud storage which allows us to store our files on the Internet. Just like any tweet out there, once something is placed on the Internet, it’s never going away. The only problem there is that the files could be hacked into from outsiders wishing to get the information.

Computer Jump Drive

The Computer Crash

Computer Laptop

Recently, I had my laptop crash. I’d had the computer for over four years and wasn’t too sure how long it would be before it was useless. Trying to run adobe products on the computer was next to impossible. Well, it finally went out. Fortunately, it wasn’t a hard drive crash. Windows would simply not come up. I tried multiple reboots, and even said a prayer or two to see if it would come up. No luck. I was in trouble because there were files on that thing that had not been backed up yet. Important stuff like articles i would read one day, pictures of stuff that I’d never look at again because they came from free image sites, and misc. Ideas for all the dreams I have. However, there were a few that I had wanted to save like some work files, education documents, and some photos of family that had been copied from my AGING PHONE that I might not be able to get back.

The Big Save

Alas, the computer came up and offered some advanced troubleshooting things to try. No luck there either. Then I noticed something. Something I had not considered. Yet, there is was. Access to the command prompt. Boom!

Computer Command Prompt

I accessed that feature and tried to remember some basic commands. I remembered c:\ which gave me the familiar c:> prompt. Then I remembered DIR. Sure enough, I could see the hard drive had stuff on it.

Since the cd-rom had stopped working a while ago, I could not tell which drive would show up if I attached my external hard drive so I started searching. I found it on the F drive.

The next step was to try and navigate the c drive directories and find my files. Once I found them, I actually had to look up on another computer how to copy files and folders and subdirectories. With some quick searches on Google, I was able to find the commands I needed and copy the files from the temperamental c drive to the f drive.

Success!

I checked on another computer and was thrilled to see my files intact. Whew!

I got my new laptop that day and began the process of loading all the adobe products back on and then the biggest snag. Where the heck did I put the Office 2010 disk? And another issue – I no longer have a cd drive. So not only do I need to find the disk, I get to buy an external cd/dvd drive.

In the meantime, I will start using google docs to create my files. They will all be stored on the cloud and I can continue to work with my files as needed.

Tragedy averted.

Of course, I will be making sure that any files I do store on my computer are backed up on the cloud so that I don’t have to worry about this kind of thing happening again.

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