Monday, December 06, 2010


My Computer and I Are Unwell

This hasn't been my best year for blogging, has it? Mostly down to my own ill-health, though my computer's recently come out in sympathy. As most of my interaction with the outside world or even thinking time goes through it, this is a bit of a blow. In short, I was rebooting and it suddenly got no further than the company logo (a Dell PC running Windows XP) before the screen went blank. My very limited skills have got as far as unproductively re-plugging things and then failing to start safe mode, which simply sticks on one screen half-way through.

This far and no further for 'safe mode'

So if I've been grouchy, unsociable, introspective and silent, which I certainly have been, that's made it significantly worse. If you have any brilliant tips, please let me know – in addition to not being able to use the thing, I'm ashamed to admit that my last proper back-up was three and a half months ago, so while not everything is irreplaceable I feel like a chunk of my brain's gone missing, including all my most recent trains of thought.

Tiresomely, having become very much more ill than usual in the Spring, I still am. I seemed to be improving in parts of August and September, which was a relief – balanced by the crushing let-down of getting much worse again (and while he's usually spared my collapsing during the day, all that noisy late-night throwing up is difficult to hide from poor stressed Richard, who could do with a break). So I'm not getting out much, and that's been nothing to do with the weather. Today is my Mum's birthday, and while I'd hoped to be able to go up north to see the family, no chance. Hopefully I'll at least be able to totter out on the particular day in mid-January when my hospital appointment's due… The one my doctor said would come up within 30 days when he applied for it back in August. Ho hum. Maybe I'm just still ill so as not to waste it? Nah, probably not.

I'd like to write something today about the government's rubbish new drugs policy and about Doctor Who and Christmas, but as I'm feeling pretty ghastly and as Richard's laptop (which he very kindly lets me nab from time to time) knackers my hands much more than my usual keyboard does, it's unlikely. So try to imagine that you've read them, and then marvel at how different your memories of my different articles are when you talk amongst yourselves!
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Can't help with your computer problems but I am sending lots of squishy hugs.
Looks like the problem is with the hard drive - either just a data problem or a physical one.

If it's just a problem with the data, the solution is to get an Ubuntu CD/DVD, run it as a live CD, and use that to extract as much of your data as you can, then just reinstall the OS (or install Ubuntu or another GNU/Linux distro instead and avoid having this kind of problem in future).

If that doesn't work, then you need to get a new hard disc - they cost about twenty to forty quid for an internal one for a desktop PC. Replacing them's easy - just open the desktop up, look for the thing that looks like the hard drive you've bought, unplug all the cables from it, and plug them into the new one. Again, you'll have to install a new OS (and again, I'd advise you don't use Windows...)
Sounds like excellent advice above. I was going to say run the system retore disk but that's a bit drastic if you haven't backed up. So Andrew's advice is best to follow.

Can I give you a bit squishy hug as well?

It was lovely hear from you. And your posts on Doctor Who and Drugs were among your finest work!
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