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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> My D(insert vowel here)LL experience
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03/05/2018 08:31:11 PM · #1
Well, folks, I'm back1 My desktop has been (er) down for one month and 5 days (but who's counting).

Sagas are sometimes fun, sometimes excruciating, here's one. You tell me how you rate it.

My elderly D(insert vowel here) LL computer was, well, creaky. Now, because I liked the brand, I purchased my third computer from them , namely a desktop from yes, D(insert vowel here)LL with all the latest fun stuff. 16 GIG RAM, a humongous hard drive and all the usual bells. this was in 2011. Early in 2012, problems ensued, and on their recommendation I did a "repair install". dang, that didn't work. So still in 2012, (presumably) with great trepidation, it was suggested that I do a "clean install" which, with equal trepidation, I performed. It worked. Whew. But geez folks, that was hard!

Ah, then quietly I went about my business, taking pictures and printing them sometimes, posting them at DPC and elsewhere, and displaying them on my website and our bricks & mortar gallery.

All was serene until 2014. That's when my 2T hard drive failed. Corrupted files abounded. Nearly all of them were photo-related. So I lost cherished images. Sigh, such is life. A nearby computer repair replaced the hard drive and (er) very big-bucks later, sent me on my way.

Are you still with me?

Come the early dawning of 2018. Naw, you'll never guess. The hard drive failed again! Deciding this time against the close-to-home repair folks that charged $100 each site call, I went to another nearby repair facility with great recommendations and less expensive house calls, and the owner tried to bring back my not too ancient computer to the living. Well, his fix lasted one day, and then my lovely D(insert vowel here)LL had its last nervous breakdown. It started, and closed immediately. With some surprise, the technician said, " it wiped the partition clean!" There's nothing there.

Sometimes one can be too stubborn. (see above). Nevertheless, even the most stubborn can face facts.

I now have a completely new custom built computer with every bell/whistle presently available and you know what? If this one fails, (and it won't) I'll surely let you know. Of course, if it doesn't fail, and just performs as a computer should, erm, maybe I'll tell you that too!

Meanwhile, I'll get used to this new critter and when all the programs I know and love are up to where I can understand them correctly, I will be back in competition very soon.
03/05/2018 09:13:06 PM · #2
Sorry for your loss. I hope you has things backed up. Welcome back! I look forward to some entries.
03/05/2018 10:37:10 PM · #3
Hi Alice! Glad to have you back.
03/05/2018 10:50:11 PM · #4
Welcome back, Alice!
03/05/2018 11:11:26 PM · #5
A hard drive failure in 2007 ate many of my early digital photos. That taught me the importance of backups. For each file, one instance in the computer, one instance copied to an external drive daily (protection against failure of the main drive), and one copy on hard drive kept at another physical location (useful in case of theft of computer or fire or other physical catastrophe). I swap the off-site drive with the local external drive weekly. Thus, in case of equipment failure or physical disaster, just a week's worth of files at most would need to be reconstructed or given up as lost. Over the past months I've become a little lax in the schedule, but your episode is a good reminder to get back on track. Best practice would be to also backup the operating system (special software needed to make an "image" of the system disk).

The computer experts I knew at work said that no hard drive lives forever regardless of brand. They routinely replaced all hard drives every couple of years, and still maintained daily backups because some drives do fail sooner than expected. Sorry to hear of your computer troubles. Hope all goes well with the new one.
03/05/2018 11:44:14 PM · #6
Thank you for the replies and support. I'm looking forward to new entries.

Ah, yes, backups. I did have backups, and while for a bit I thought some of them had been lost as well, no the latest bunch seems to be intact. (Whew)

So, soon all will be well again.

But sometimes, I wish for "oh for the days of the dial up" and easy to reason out how to use this once new toy of ours.

remember the days of VisiCalc, Wordstar and the earliest versions of Photoshop? And there was something on the Apple 2+ that let us address each pixel and make our own pictures. Using a provided light pen.

Those were the days.
03/05/2018 11:50:39 PM · #7
Don't feel bad.. same thing happened to me last month. Hard drive went.. lost all data including photo editor. Took several days to get hard drive replaced (long drive to Micro Center). On the third day Tech was still trying to reinstall Windows 7 which I previously had and system kept trying to load updates.. all 100-plus.. which it couldn't do so it started undoing the updates. I was having nervous breakdown.. told tech to fix the damn thing and walked out. My partner explained to tech that he needed to install Windows 10 and handled the paperwork (you have to buy it). Tech said "she might not like it but okay." I have since figured out Windows 10 and downloaded most of what I need to operate including undated version of Photomatix Pro 6 which is now my primary editor. Since I work as a real estate photographer/editor Photomatix is the perfect editor but also works very well for most everything. It's also a 64-bit program unlike my old 8-bit editor (which will remain anonymous). I've also got Neat Image back and Digital Photo Pro as a side program.. mainly for setting kilobytes.

Backups are extremely important.. one lesson learned. You'll do fine and hopefully it will be a blessing in disguise.
03/06/2018 01:59:24 AM · #8
Congratulations on pulling through. I keep hoping to find something that doesn't involve computers that will take up my possibly artistic and social energies before I have a meltdown. And welcome back.
03/06/2018 03:14:10 PM · #9
Thank you all for your comments and stories. It was another learning experience that I hope never to have again.

One bit of incidental intelligence: Did you know that graphics cards are very hard to get and have doubled in price? This apparently is because the Bitcoin industry needs them and snaps up all available good ones.

And on that note, I'll get back to my fun and photography.
03/11/2018 08:47:24 PM · #10
Wordstar!! Ah, the memories. Well, not really. I know I used it in the day, but I seriously doubt I remember how, actually.

I've been contemplating the "cloud" for storage of image files. Way back in the very beginning, WAY BACK, I'd edit my pictures then throw away the originals. Boy, do I hate that I did that. But then when I start thinking about backing up all my images, I think.... why? Seriously, what am I gonna do with 'em? What is anyone gonna do with 'em after I die? But who knows, maybe I can use some of them to remember the good times. :-)

Glad to see you have a new beast up and running. I'm due a new beast... prolly time to start putting one together!
03/11/2018 09:34:40 PM · #11
Originally posted by Melethia:



I've been contemplating the "cloud" for storage of image files. Way back in the very beginning, WAY BACK, I'd edit my pictures then throw away the originals. Boy, do I hate that I did that. But then when I start thinking about backing up all my images, I think.... why? Seriously, what am I gonna do with 'em? What is anyone gonna do with 'em after I die? But who knows, maybe I can use some of them to remember the good times. :-)


I'm with her. Peeps gotta leave they backups in a big digi pile before the pearly gates. Or the other gates.
03/12/2018 11:48:32 AM · #12
Originally posted by Melethia:

Wordstar!! Ah, the memories. Well, not really. I know I used it in the day, but I seriously doubt I remember how, actually.


Wordstar had a command, "CONTROL C" which when invoked, erased the entire document. To this day, even though Control C is only the first part of copy n paste, there's a little brain caution that lights up when I use it.
03/12/2018 01:12:50 PM · #13
Sorry to hear all the woes.

But I have a few ideas for you. It's what I do.

Backblaze...unlimited backup for around $50 per year. Yes, it takes a long time to back up over the internet, depending on your connection speed, but it will eventually get there. And you'll be covered.

Second, buy a USB hard drive dock -- the kind that takes bare drives -- about $50. Pick up some decent backup software like Macrium Reflect (what I use). Buy a hard drive the size you need (ok to be somewhat smaller as Macrium compresses). (You can buy regular external HD's but then you have to manage storing the power "bricks"), and the bare drive dock works just like floppy drive with fat metal floppies ;) )

Do a complete backup there, call that "Drive Even". Buy another drive next year. Do a complete backup there. Call that "Drive Odd"

The year after you can go back to Drive Even.

Now you have a complete backup...to save time in a pinch for restoring everything, you also have an annual backup -- up to two years old in case something was deleted. (I do this a bit more often, and keep some of the drives in a safe deposit box in case something happens to the house).

You can of course vary the hard drive routine. But Backblaze will (eventually) also cover you, and will be always up to date.

(There are other services like Backblaze--I've been through them all before settling on Backblaze which is faster to backup and works well overall. Not perfect, but good enough!)

Anyway, sorry to hear about the woes, and I hope next time you're fully covered.
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