Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Rest of My Laptop Files Accessed

INFOSAFE External Hard Drive Enclosure

My sister took my mortally wounded laptop into the computer technician today to find out what my options were, if any, to get my files off of it. His solution, since the problem was with the monitor and not the hard drive, was to remove the hard drive and put it in an external hard drive enclosure (pictured above) which I can then access via a USB port from my netbook (or any computer with USB ports). An added benefit of this solution is that once I get the files I need off of it, I can reformat it and have an approximately 30 Gigabyte file storage and backup drive.

The enclosure case plus the service of removing the hard drive and installing it in the case only cost about $30 which was a huge relief when I was braced to hear something much bigger (upwards of $100) for some hard to imagine solution.

I was thrilled to hold this little case in my hand and feel the relief at now having access to the 8 to 10 G of files locked away from me for nearly a month.--mostly graphics and audio. And to top that off like whipped cream on pie was the unexpected plus of access to the applications. It's probable that some of them won't be supported on Windows 7 though. But at least I get to try and if they won't work I will have all the info I need to find out if there are upgrades. I'm speaking here mostly of freeware and shareware applications that I'd forgotten the full names for so I couldn't search out their download sites or web pages.

My thrill turned to a good spell of anxiousness when I got the drive hooked up to my netbook and accessed the files only to find that the place where my personal files were supposed to be seemed not to exist. The 'Joy' folder in Documents and Settings which should have contained my 'My Documents' folder which contained every other folder showed as empty and when I clicked on it a dialog popped up telling me I did not have permission to access that folder. But next to a security shield icon it said 'For permanent access click here' so I did. And was treated to the entertaining site of the busy icon spinning until my screen saver kicked in five minutes later. I nudged the mouse and watched for several more minutes.

The external drive was whirring like mad but the green progress bar had showed full since the first thirty seconds. There was no indication it wasn't just stuck in an endless loop. So I clicked on the parent folder and the busy icon went away but the drive continued to whir and click. I clicked on the 'Joy' folder again and again got the dialog and again clicked OK for permanent access. Then watched the spinning icon for several more minutes starting to feel the first hint of panic over that 'empty' message I got when hovering over the 'Joy' folder. I felt as though I'd been teased by the promise of access to my files only to have them pulled away again as I reached out to take them. Like that children's Keep Away game.

I clicked back to the parent folder and then its parent folder until I was back at the 'external drive F' folder but after a couple minutes I went back to 'Documents and Settings' and about then the whirring stopped and when I hovered over the 'Joy' folder this time it showed the familiar folder and file names and when I clicked to open it it opened. After browsing among the folders for a few minutes I stopped to prepare this post.

Meanwhile I wonder if I've learned my lesson yet. How many losses of files and scares over losses to I need before I take back up procedures seriously? This time I sweated it out for nearly a month. If all my text files had also been inaccessible for that entire time the anxiety would have been triple at least and mixed with serious grief over all the work done on my stories in the six months since the last time I'd backed up. It was only thanks to the fact that my laptop monitor lit up again after going black the first time which gave me the kick in the U know and time to back up those files which are still under a gig and thus still fit fine on their back up thumb. It was while I juggled the nearly 8 G of graphics files trying to figure out how to split them onto two 4G thumbs that the screen went black again and stayed black through repeated rebooots.

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