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Bloviating Zeppelin: The Trouble Is Not In Your Set

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Trouble Is Not In Your Set

It's in my confuser.

My desktop confuser at the cabin died. I received the complete Black Screen of Death, which read:


Which, of course, would bring you right back to the same screen.

Sadly, all of my photographs with my father are on that hard drive.

I've taken it in to a computer builder in Auburn today, and asked that as many of the photo files be extracted as possible. I gave them my Western Digital terabyte external drive to work with.

At this point I'm working with a small HP netbook my wife gave me. I am on dial-up. It's only by the skin of my teeth that I figured out how to hook it up to my stupid dial-up.

Back soon. Once I figure a few more things out.


Something tells me I'm going to lose a ton of family photos, and I'm going to have to have an entirely new computer built. What price can you put on irreplaceable family photographs?


Blogger Mike Pittman said...

BZ, I use an on-line backup service. It costs me a few bucks a month but all of my photos are stored there. I have an unlimited amount of storage. I did this awhile back and am so glad I have it. If my hard drive crashes, I can get back all my important files. I use Mozy, but there are others and you have to find one that fits you.

Tue Aug 31, 05:54:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

VW, I'd use one too if I had a slick link to the WWW. But I can't even view YouTube videos on dial-up, much less even try to back up stuff.

And therein lies the truth: I am well and truly fucked. With a capital "ucked."


Tue Aug 31, 06:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Greybeard said...

Don't give up on 'em BZ. If the outfit you're using cannot recover them, go somewhere else. My son had a similar problem and a specialist recovered more than 90 percent of the stuff on his drive.
I can't imagine your fear here...
Good luck.

Tue Aug 31, 07:52:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Greybeard, I'm not giving up; I just need to know where I am with regard to my hard drive. It is, at this point, too early to tell.

The last time this happened, the guys had to stash my hard drive into a freezer in order to extract what they could.

You'd think I'd learn by now. With the exception that I am on a FUCKING DIAL UP.

Okay. Vented. For a moment.


Tue Aug 31, 08:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Capt. Schmoe said...

Why not use the external hard drive? That's kind of what they're for. I create a folder for every month, then copy the files into them. I plan on using an on-line service as a back-up back-up. Good luck.

Tue Aug 31, 09:03:00 PM PDT  
Blogger CJ said...

Oh, no, BZ! How horrible. I'm teary eyed at the thought of it. I hope they can retrieve most of your photos!


Tue Aug 31, 10:11:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

all of my photographs with my father are on that hard drive

A good tech may be able to recover them. Don't fret. Yet.

When my desktop crashed last spring, a good shop near me got everything back!

I now backup everything I can't afford to lose. Time consuming, but necessary.

Wed Sep 01, 05:35:00 AM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Use the search engine of your choice for 'hard drive data recovery'.

Ontrack has been around for a long time, but others are also in competition. There is also the old - buy an external usb hard drive cable, attach non-working drive to it and see if you can get it to show up for data transfer.

Storing data on a separate hard drive from your main drive is always recommended. Getting a spare external drive used for weekly back-ups is also handy and software for that has the great price of free of the MotherShip for Win users, but also free pieces from other folks for other systems.

Try the USB route first (if you know how to unscrew and detach your hard drive from your computer, which is screwdriver work and pulling out the data and power cable). That worked magic on two 'dead' drives of mine that the system wouldn't recognize and let me pull data off of them. If they even register on a USB extension, then there is lots of software to go after a drive. After that the experts can do all sorts of fun things at a higher cost...

USB first.
Data recovery software if the drive shows up but you can't get it to register as an active drive second (on the USB cable).
Then the experts.

Your data is still there.

Getting it is the problem.

Wed Sep 01, 05:49:00 AM PDT  
Blogger ASM826 said...


Don't give up. There are specialty companies that will recover the data. It won't be free, but if that is your photo collection, I would think there is a 90% chance to get them back.

Also, never ever have only one copy of data again. DVDs, off-site storage, portable drives.

I do this for a living, and I give this same advice out a lot. I don't always take my own advice and I have regretted it a few times.

Wed Sep 01, 07:59:00 AM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

I really hate it for you BZ... I save my pics on Photobucket, just in case... Might be a thing to consider...

Wed Sep 01, 11:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mike Pittman said...

Well that settles that. The alternative then is to buy an external hard drive to keep copies. Both won't crap out at the same'd think.

Good luck. May have to do similar. daughter's computer isn't doing well. She lives on her own so none of her stuff is on my machine.


Wed Sep 01, 02:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

You know, in reflection, I really should be beaten with a tire iron.

I have this Western Digital terabyte external drive, which I bought for the express purpose of backing up my photographs. But I never really learned how to run the thing and for whatever reason it didn't just automatically back things up -- like I thought it was going to.

I can specifically remember, about two months ago, trying to copy my photo files onto the external drive, but the desktop -- for whatever reason -- stopped copying files when the screen went to screensaver.

I just put off trying to fix it and now I am well and truly hosed.

I really should be beaten with a tire iron.


Wed Sep 01, 03:07:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Old NFO said...

Think positive BZ, these kids can work wonders with supposedly dead disks...

Wed Sep 01, 03:48:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Newegg has a number of wonderful USB to IDE/SATA hard drive adapters to choose from. They should run natively to PCs and Macs.

Step one is to get one, remove the hard drive from the computer, attach it to the USB drive cable to another computer and see if it shows up... if it does you are golden and only need to copy everything from one drive to the other.

Shut off the screen-saver if that is stopping things.

Wed Sep 01, 06:10:00 PM PDT  

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