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Those words are everyone's worse fear, especially if you use your pc 24 & 7, like some of us do. There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that you can lose almost all of your favorite photos, and those precious files, whether business, or personal.

The good news? Well, if you know someone talented, or have the money to pay a technician, a lot of the time you can reclaim most of your files and folders.

Let me share a daily diary with you while experiencing this calamity. At the end, I will offer some advice. I'm long winded, so if you prefer, just skip to the end for some really good help with this problem.

On Tuesday, August 7, my brand X laptop computer would not boot up. I tried everything that I know to get it up again, short of a hammer! I know you have seen that cartoon, well consider the hammer a last resort. Doesn't make the pc work, but it may make you feel better. :D

After calling on my kids, I found out that kid number 5, Mike, had an XP Reinstallation DVD. I knew this would help get me going, but I had to wait until Friday for him to come by my home. In the meantime, I managed to use "F12" and go through my pc startup procedures, which did not help, but did get me a failure code allowing brank X Techie guy, Jipender, to tell me by phone that my hard drive had bit the dust. He persuaded me to buy a new hard drive, and he would send me new installations CD's to load onto the new drive. He told me that the "Vista" CD's would be here the next day. We had a go around while I explained to him that my operating system was an "XP Professional". He disagreed, but would send me the XP CD anyway. On Friday, my "Vista" CD's arrived.:rolleyes:

In the meantime, Mike arrived here Friday afternoon with his CD, so he worked on my pc for about 2 hours, while my daughter, Kelly, kid number 4, a BB&T computer specialist, walked him through the procedure by telephone.

No Go! Friday night, Kelly met me in Richmond Virginia where I gave her my computer, while she purchased a $69.99 gaming console. Believe it or not, this console will allow you to hook up your dead hard drive to a good pc and allow you to pull off all good data. I could not understand how she knew this until she explained that kids that play games 24 and 7 butcher their hard drives on a weekly basis. They use this device all the time.This is normal to them folks! Gee, when is our government going to hire these whiz kids??

Saturday was not a good day for me! I score around 140 newsletters for the NAAP program and keep all my files on this dead computer. Having already scored most throughout the year, I was not looking forward to having to redo it again, if my pc would not refire. Luckily I keep all old scored newsletters. Well, Kelly got hung up in town and could not get to my pc that day.

So on Sunday she started her task, as Daddy kept texting, "How's it going!" Finally she called me to tell me that she had gotten all of my info off the old drive and transferred onto a 500 gig external drive that I already had. I am still waiting for the replacement Dell hard drive, along with the correct programing CD, to arrive today, Monday, August 13, 2012. I have my fingers crossed on that.

So, as a summary, here is some really good advice! Computers do not last forever, so make sure you back up (save) all important files/folders on a zip drive or external drive. My daughter suggested to play it very safe and save this data on both your computer and your external storage device. There are online companies that rent storage space for this too(some with an annual charge of $100.00), but who's to say they are safe? Even government computers crash, so who can you trust?

One other little suggestion from me too: Years ago, I had an external drive, which required a power supply. It got fried one day when I hooked, by mistake, a brand X pc 19 vote power supply to its 12 vote connection. The result was not pretty! To prevent this from happening if you have a lot of different power supplies, use NAAP Committee member, Judy Edwards' suggestion to put color coded tape on all of your electronic gizmos!

I hope this little story will help you guys bypass my troubles with pcs.

Good Luck,


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Wayne as your smart kids probably already told you, it is not will your disk drive crash, it is when will it crash.

On my lap top I do backups to multiple external drives (differential and full), not as often as I should but at least once a week and more often if I'm actively working on a project. My wife's laptop and 2 other desktop units I have setup to do automatic backups at least daily and one hourly. I also copy photos and other things that are not replaceable to DVD a couple of times a year and store in a different location.

My system doesn't guarantee I can be up instantly but I can recover most everything from backup if necessary and even retrieve older versions of software and files when needed.

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