Friday, April 30, 2010

Sometimes Procrastination Pays

It's been a Bad Day at Black Rock El Casa Móvil De Pennington... in that our run of nearly 25 years without a massive computer failure came to an an abrupt and painful end this morning.  We experienced yet another bout of disruptive shut-downs today, except this time the computer would NOT come up.  The box would run a maximum of four or five minutes and then crash... time after time.  So... to make a long story short... we were advised to do a total system restore by our friends at Gateway.  And guess what?  Yep... the box crashed halfway thru the restore process, leaving us dead in the water.  The next step is to pack up the box and send it off to Texas for repair.

But... as the title notes... sometimes procrastination pays.  We've had our old box sitting on the floor "awaiting disposition" for about ten months now and it's that box that I'm using to post this update.  We have much work left to do in the "restore files from the back-up hard drive" department... but we have downloaded a year's worth of Norton anti-virus updates and the like.  Happy Hour is less than happy this afternoon and we shall amuse ourselves by painstakingly restoring mission-essential files to what is now our back-up computer.

It's ALWAYS sumthin'...


  1. I'm so sorry, Buck. Sometimes procrastination works, but other times it can bite you in the ass!

  2. Thanks, Christina. I hear ya about procrastination, too. I have some scars... but not THIS time.

  3. Heh! My oldest two sons did customer support for Gateway at a call center in Shreveport long ago.

    They recommended that folks keep a spare on hand at all times. ;)

    No seriously, that sucks. But, at least you weren't cut off from the world for long. I woke up yesterday morning to no internet service. Some dang drunk had smashed into a utility pole. I panicked. I couldn't take care of my business. Man, we are really dependent on these things...

  4. GACK! So sorry Buck, this just sucks. Even with the spare waiting in the wings, the restore process is painful under the best of circumstances.

    Hope you have a better happy hour today.

  5. BTW, you have Carbonite? I had a hard drive crash about 6 months ago or so.

    New machine purchased, two or three clicks, reinstall programs...the whole thing took about 20 minutes. The best $50 bucks I spent last year in my book.

  6. I couldn't take care of my business. Man, we are really dependent on these things...

    EVERYone is internet-dependent these days. The state of our network security in the private sector is rather scary, in that we could have some seriously catastrophic damage from a determined and persistent cyber attack. It is to worry.

    That said, I'm glad you're back up and running, Andy. I don't have Carbonite... I use Norton Back-up and Restore... and I'm still "restoring," LOL!

    Kris: Thanks!

  7. Ain't it the truth? You, being an IT guy probably understand better than most just how bad it could get...and how quickly that could happen.

    The provisional AF Cybercommand was here at Barksdale. We spent 50 million dollars to build a Cyber Innovation Center
    in Bossier to support all of the contractors, etc. that were coming here.

    Jumped the gun...Lackland got they needed more military money in San Antonio. ;)

  8. Buck, Man that's a pain. I hope your Gateway can be brought back to life in TX. My Dell died in November, wouldn't even start up. It's in the storeroom now waiting till I get time to take it to Best Buy and see if they can revive it so I can at least save my pics. And no, I didn't have any kind of back up. I'm an idiot.

  9. Dan, you may be MANY things. But, an "idiot" is not one.

    "Idiots" can not learn from their mistakes. The rest of us are just "screw-ups" with experience. After losing tons of junk I regretted losing in a hard-drive failure a few years ago, I sprung (springed?) for Carbonite. And, no...I do not get a commission for praising them. Even though I probably should.

  10. Dan: I agree with Andy; you aren't an idiot at all... we all make mistakes. I just happened to be in the IT biz and learned my lesson second-hand.

    Andy: I'm pretty far removed -- over seven years -- from the IT biz, but what I read doesn't lead me to believe "things" have changed all that much. About the AF Cyber Command... whoops, I meant "Numbered Air Force"... I really thought Barksdale was gonna be its home. Provisional headquarters have a tendency to become permanent.

  11. You guys might want to check your power supplies in those computers. They are easy to check with a simple, inexpensive meter. The symptom you mentioned make me suspect the power supply because most manufactured computers are underpowered then we, as users load the USB with any number of devices and add on's. Power supplies are real cheap and very easy to install. The computers I build have either 450 watt or 550 watt units depending on the video card, the number of hard drives, the amount of ram, and last but not least the number of fans. There is other thing to look at is the small coin battery installed that keeps the BIOS refreshed. Some manufacturers use a small, low loss capacitor for a refresh voltage but most use a coin battery.

  12. Dan: Didn't you mention this when I had my first go-round with disruptive shut downs? I don't think I'm loading down the PS, as I'm not powering anything through a USB port. Every peripheral attached to the box has its own power supply.

  13. I might have, But I'm old and don't remember much past yesterday's lunch. Just saying though.

  14. Since I use my laptop for business, I always have a backup laptop. I've yet to have a complete crash, but the backup machine has come in handy several times--especially when the power supply cord fails. That way, I can order a less expensive replacement online. The folks in the big box stores price their replacements very dear.


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