Thursday, November 5, 2009

That was the easy part

I am sitting in my living room in Canada, surrounded by a mountain of cd's, power cables, hard drives, and books.

As you may recall, I've been babying my laptop for the last month - trying to keep it running until I was finished working for my client. I succeeded in doing that much, going back to an old drive when the new one bombed out.

Before heading to Canada I did a full backup of the drive I'd been using. I have backups on two different external drives, from various points in time. I really thought I had it covered.

When I got here Tuesday night I showed Miko, my son-in-law, the drive that had bombed out along with my slave cables that I'd not succeeded in getting to work (the cables would power up the drive but my laptop(s) would not recognize that there was anything on the other end of the USB cable). Of course he plugged it all together just as I had, and as soon as he stuck the USB end into his computer, it recognized the drive and starting loading. Sigh...I can't tell you how many times I'd done just that, with more than one laptop...and got no results. I know Miko doesn't believe me, but I swear it's the truth - there just isn't any other way to hook all those cables together.

The only thing we did differently was I was very careful as I handled the drive, barely touching it and trying to make sure I did not zap it with any static or bump it on anything. Miko, in searching for a power outlet, dragged the entire mess across the floor, static mat and carpet to boot, and the thing thrashed around like a fish at the end of a hook. And started up just like it was supposed to. From now on I'm going to abuse my drives, maybe that's what they want!

In the morning I booted up my laptop with the drive that had been working in Mexico, only to be greeted with the miserable "Unmountable boot volume". I am sick of that error! I tried to reboot several times, thinking maybe the laptop would change its mind and be nice. No luck.

So I took the drive Miko dragged across the floor, stuck it in my laptop, and gave it severe punishment. FORMAT C:! (and don't ask me again, YES, I'M SURE!!).

After the third format attempt, I successfully got Windows installed and then started the tedious process of reinstalling most of the normal programs I own on cd. So that took me all of yesterday.

This morning I attempted to copy files from the backup drives from the "My Documents" folder. Guess what? Access denied. I could access any other folder on those drives except the one I REALLY NEEDED. Miko blamed me - "I don't know what you do with computers to have all these problems". Well, guess what - neither do I.

Anyway, before giving up I decided to do an internet search on the error, and lo and behold, in 2005 someone had asked the same type of question on a tech forum and some guys who really knew what they were talking about responded. So thanks to Mike and Ross I was able to change the security settings on that folder and get to my files.

So I'm back in business, that apparently was the easy part. I still have a bunch of other programs to be loaded - programs I'd purchased via download, where the 25-character license key isn't there on a sticker right in front of me. I have to do some digging through emails to find the licenses. I will leave that for when I'm back in Mexico, I have other pressing business to attend to here.

Somehow I broke a molar. I don't know when, or how - probably from clenched teeth. Tomorrow I will make a visit to my dentist to see what he has to say. I love this dentist - he is all about ensuring his patients do not suffer pain. He actually did some work on Miguel's teeth a couple of years ago, and Miguel was very impressed with the professionalism and service. I have not been to see him in a couple of years, but he kindly agreed to fit me into a booked schedule tomorrow morning. I suspect I know what is needed, and it isn't cheap, but I will wait for his opinion.

I am taking a web design program online. For the first week there was tons of reading and three assignments. The toughest assignment was to put together a composite of what I am planning to do as my project for the class. I have never done a composite, I don't really know what that is, and I can't draw. So I used three different programs to put together something that I thought was suitable and submitted it. Then I saw what others submitted and knew I was way off. teacher's feedback: "I don't usually accept labs without a solid attempt at a composite, but I've never had someone turn in such a detailed and well-thought out plan accompanied by images and ideas. So what you have done certainly works for me!"

Whew! So I don't have to rework Week 1, and I can now focus on Week 2, which is due Sunday, no ifs, ands, or buts. If only I can keep the laptop from interfering with my plans, I might stand a chance. Off to do my homework...


jeanie said...

Sue, Leave some time for yourself this weekend. It's supposed to be sunny and 15C and it's gonna stop raining! I went to St.Kitts today for an H1N1 shot, a haircut at Paul on St.Paul and lots of goodies at Antipasto's. BTW all the downtown streets are 2 way now. Glad I wasn't driving!

Islagringo said...

I hate computer problems. They are even worse than car (or golf cart!) problems in my book. Enjoy your time away from this horrible weather we are having.

IslaZina said...

Can the post and build up wait til you get back? Dr Canales, in private practice after his oral surgeon job at the Navy base, is quit good and very inexpensive!
Darn those laptops in our climate!

Bennie said...

Oh my God. And you have worked with computers for a large part of your career. You need a break from these computer issues.

Oh and when that external hard drive is running be careful of slamming it into the ground. They tend to loose data and stop working when you do that. And don't ask why I know that.