My sister, her hubby and youngest son were in town all last week – it was so great to see them, and wish they’d move back here already! Apparently they’re still plotting for that eventual reality, in my opinion it just can’t happen fast enough.
The timing for their visit was perfect, what with Father’s Day in the mix, plus Egg Days here in our tiny town, my freshly minted college grad nephew’s birthday was on Tuesday – so no better way to celebrate than dinner on my brother’s deck in the gorgeous weather and fabulous view:
They headed back to Kansas on Friday, and it was back to reality for me and the ongoing fight with my old computer. Remember how my awesome boss bought me an awesome new laptop so I can perform my job more efficiently and faster? Well, I absolutely love it, and even appreciated it even more when I had to fire up my old , slow as molasses computer to see what was going on with my auxiliary drive that seemed to be acting up. This drive has all my blog files, multitudes of website files, my winemaking files – pretty much everything from the last 8 years or so on it.
It suddenly wasn’t being recognized as the named drive it was, just a drive letter, and I couldn’t access it. Say what? Panic set in, as I remembered my life pretty much being on that drive – a drive, by the way, that I made sure to have to thwart any potential computer crashes like I had in the early 2000’s that wiped out all Princess Nagger’s first year pics, among other things.
I found a data recovery ‘DYI’ software program, that while the $79 price tag gave me pause, it was cheaper than the minimum $300 price I saw to send the drive to some random place to have them pull the data off the drive for me. At least with this software, you could run a scan in trial mode, and see if the data is even salvageable before spending a dime.
It took two solid days for the software program to scan the drive – it found over a million files (see? told you my life was pretty much on that drive!) and when I got to the point that I’d need to pony up the cash to activate the license and actually let it do it’s job pulling the data for me, I figured why not? After all, it found all those files and I had no reason to think it would not be able to salvage them for me, since it actually read the drive to find the files and didn’t report any errors.
Once I paid the money and activated the license and clicked ‘recover data now’, nothing happened. I mean Nothing. Happened. It sat there, frozen, showing “0 seconds elapsed time” and “0% completed”. For well over an hour.
Stuck. Not moving. Not doing anything at all.
So I did what any IT smarty-pants person in my past has ever told me – if in doubt, reboot! So reboot I did. Only now the drive wasn’t showing up in File Explorer, nor was the now paid-for software finding it. At all.
I tried a different power cord (luckily I had just bought a new auxiliary drive with the intent of moving the files off the old decrepit one before it would come to this point – woulda, shoulda, coulda, right?) and while the light came on and I could hear the drive spinning, still nothing. I tried each and every USB port on my old PC, plus my new laptop. Still nothing.
It showed up in the system hardware as ‘usb mass storage’, so I followed a tip about uninstalling and reinstalling (or letting plug-and-play find it and install it) but it couldn’t be uninstalled. It would make you think you were uninstalling sitting there with the little bar ever so slowly creeping along, until it would just give up.
It’s like a ghost drive. Light’s on, but nobody’s home. I called the company, but since it was Sunday night, the non-English speaking person I spoke with seemed confused by my distress, and asked if I would please call back in the morning when someone would be there to help me. So I did.
After getting was told that they don’t do refunds, but I was welcome to spend another $49 to ship my drive to them and have them pull the data off of it. Oh, but that would cost me an additional $600. Uh, no thanks! What a racket!
I called bait’n’switch on them, and since I (luckily) paid through PayPal, I filed an immediate dispute and outlined the whole scenario – I’d owned the software for less than 24 hours, why on god’s green earth could they not issue a refund when it obviously is not going to work for my drive (even after the false hope of the 2-day scan that made me think it would)?
Somebody somewhere at that company must have taken pity on my plight, as I did get notified by PayPal later that afternoon that they agreed to issue a refund. Whew!
Meanwhile, I did more digging, and apparently this particular drive, being 8 years old, mind you, is notorious for the power supply portion of the motherboard to go bad and make the drive stop working.
Because it’s an older drive, the power supply portion is part of the motherboard of the drive (the newer drives now have a removable section that can easily be replaced). But hope is not lost – I simply had to take the drive apart to find the actual part number of the motherboard, order a new motherboard, and when it arrives, I’ll have to remove one of the chip components off the old motherboard and solder it onto the new one, but once that’s done and I put the drive back together, I should then be able to access all my data on that drive.
Here’s hoping, anyway. I don’t know what I’ll do if all that work is lost for good. I can rebuild, but man I don’t want to! Luckily I’m really good at weilding a soldering iron, so I’m not worried about doing that part of the whole thing…heh! I’ll keep you posted! Send up prayers and positive thoughts for a good outcome.
And yes, I have absolutely learned my lesson – if I get this drive running again, I’m immediately going to backup everything on it, then retire it. I’m even ordering an additional new auxiliary drive so I can back up the back up and let it sit and simply be a vault of important stuff, not plugged in to any computer (except during regular backups), and it should then hold its own and not become a failure like this one has.
Sorry I inundated your Random day with not as much random – so just to make it right, here are some random funnies for your enjoyment:
I would love to have this kind of ‘panic room’ in my house:
I’ll just have to settle to the wine cellar I plan on converting one room in the basement to…but a girl can sure dream!
This is totally me (and my sister):
You think I’m wordy when writing a post – just wait until you meet me in person and I’m trying to tell you a story…heh!
This totally cracked me up:
And I thought this was punny:
And finally, I’m going to leave this right here for you:
That’s a wrap for this week – you know the drill, link up and join in the fun, everyone is welcome, random or not. And that means even if you don’t have a specific Random Tuesday Thoughts Rebel post posted, you can still link up, I’m not picky. You don’t even have to add the badge, just link up so I can come harass you on your blog. I promise to play nice.
Link up your Random (or not) here:
Keeping the random alive (barely) – feel free to snag a badge and play along – one for my wino friends:
And one for my non-wino friends: