A Bad Computer Day

After going through a day which happened to be Valentine’s Day but I spent part of it getting carsick and throwing up, then reaching home to promptly fall asleep at eight something P.M., I woke up at 7 this morning, feeling quite alright.

It’s a good nice beginning for a day, but things continued to de-rail from that point.

I switched on my computer, went into Windows then login to my MSN Messenger, then it gave me a black screen. Naturally I’m quite alarmed, so I tried to see what’s wrong, if the monitor’s cable became loose or something, and I accidentally loosened the power cable and resulted in a very hard reboot of the computer.

Okay, not really panicking yet because that does happen sometime. When Windows told me ‘did not shutdown properly bla bla’, I thought, it’s going to be okay. Then when I saw it truncating a lot of things, with bits like HP in it (yes, a HP computer here), I got worried.

But Windows booted fine, so my worry level dropped a bit. Then I tried to login to MSN Messenger again (trying to find somebody), and hey there again, black screen.

Of course, I restarted the computer. Then Windows truncated more stuff, after which I got a flash of a blue screen after I login to Windows then the computer rebooted itself.

Tried to boot it in Safe Mode, Windows started to load for a very long time. Restart. Asked for sister’s advice, tried to boot it again, same shit.

At that point, I was very worried about the stuff I store in the computer. So my sister got a copy of Mandriva and booted successfully into Linux. Phew.

After some worrying on her end (thank god she’s learned to use Mandriva) to help me get access to the harddisk drives, both internal and external (backup purpose), I could and started copying files over to my external HDD. Some 15 GB of my files, and backup of my Document and Settings were happily transferring away.

Things are looking better now. Then, a short time later, Mandriva kicked into screensaver mode, and suddenly my external HDD could not be read. Plug it into another computer, and it asked to be formatted. Okay, nevermind. Plug into yet another computer and same message. Hmm, sometimes my HDD has issues, it’s alright. Plug into my netbook and I could see two new drives being added, but their names are not shown and trying to access them caused my Windows Explorer to be not responding, repeatedly. Well, shit.

Good thing is, I discovered that, using Mandriva, I can locate a network drive that’s for backup purpose. So I got about copying my stuff over. Bad thing is, my external HDD is now unreadable, possibly requires formatting. And it’s got tons more stuff in there.

That’s just not good.

Sister did some googling and discovered that some other people faced the same problem, and while it can be solved by taking my HDD to some experts and fork over a sum of money, there’s this neat little program called TestDisk that can help.

She got it setup on her computer and analyzed my HDD and thank god the files are still there! I am still not entirely sure what’s wrong with it (some filesystem issues, I think), but using PhotoRec, I’m now in the process of recovering the files in one of the partition.

The crisis of losing my files is somewhat solved, but I’m still have to wait hours to complete both the file recovery of partition number 1 and start on number 2, and the copying files from my poor computer over to the network drive.

I’ll still have to ask my father, the inhouse tech expert, after he returns from work to check and see what’s wrong with my computer.

I’ve had a computer meltdown on me before but never a backup HDD giving me problems in the middle of backing up. This is just not my lucky day.

Lesson learnt – Back up often. Linux is a lifesaver.

PS. It’s a weird coincidence that the initials for the title reads as ABCD.

Update #1: I didn’t check properly beforehand so when I saw that the files recovered by PhotoRec does not have their original name and are not in their original folder.

If I only stored jpg files or mp3 files, there’s some help for it. But I store all kinds of files. And I didn’t use PhotoRec properly so all kinds of file extensions I don’t even know exists are showing up.

T_T I’m searching for some other methods now. Sigh.

Update #2: My wonderful tech savvy father got my computer to boot from another copy of Windows (stalled in my own computer) and after it ran a quick check disk, my computer is now back to normal! Hooray!

I can’t say the same for my external harddisk drive. It’s still running a disk checking process. T_T

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