Hard Lesson Learned

By Eric Jones
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Well folks I learned the hard way just how important backups are. Installed SP2 on my Alienware laptop and found out that the hardware doesn’t play nice with the new SP. So I went to uninstall it and my computer did a BSOD in the middle of the uninstall, yea I know how much that bites.

So I’m sitting here at my lap top trying to get things back to normal while keep the keyboard dry of all my tears. 2 years of data, email, contacts, etc gone. life can be harsh.

But on the flip side this did give me reason to get that DVD burner I’ve been dying for, just a bit too late is all.

So it’ll be a few more days before I get you any good CF stuff (lost my entire “stuff to post” folder).

If you’ve got anything good drop me a line at gigado AT gmail DOT com and I’ll try to get it posted here.

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  • Damn man, that really sucks.

  • Ghandi

    could have done a reinstall without formating. That way you get your system back without losing all your data. Optionally you could create a seperate partition to keep your valuable data in so if you do lose your windows installation you still have your data in the other partition.

  • brian kotek

    I learned this very lesson about 2 years ago. Now, every computer I buy has 2 hard drives. For example, I have a 120 gig main drive and a 120 gig backup drive. Yep, a whole 120 gig drive that just backs up the primary drive. It sounds nuts…until you need to do a restore.

    I have Windows Backup set to do a full backup every week, and differential backups twice a week. Nice thing is with Windows XP if your drive is NTFS you can do a total backup, including sytem files that would normally be locked if you tried to back them up.

    I guess in short, the message is I feel your pain, I’ve been there, and I urge you to use this experience to force yourself to have a solid backup plan.

  • Trond Ulseth

    You could try som file recovery software. I once formated my d drive (where all personal stuff is) by accident instead of the c drive. I managed to get most stuff back with some recovery software though. Don’t remember what exact software I used, but if you Google around you should find something.

  • cholmon

    Even with all your data on another partition, other things, like a head crash, can occur that will render the entire disk useless…unless you’ve got a few grand to give a data recovery specialist. I’ve had a similar experience (and many close calls) where everything I had was rendered totally inaccessible, and while it really stinks, there’s no better teacher. There’s not much that is more important for any computer professional than having a data backup/recovery plan, even if it is as simple as burning a DVD by hand every week or two.

  • This is why i invested in a hard drive converter for laptops, so I can take the hard drive out, and put it into a PC to recover everything. Though, just reinstalling would have been a better idea than formatting. Though you should be still able to get your information back using some recovery software.

  • jonese

    trust me aside from shelling out a few grand there was no way to get to the data on this drive. The system kept locking up and wouldn’t allow for a reinstall of the OS, had to blow away the partition and start over.

    Removing the HD would have meant voiding my 3 year warranty, which i plan to fully use in the next year :)

    i did set it up to have 2 partitions this time. one for data, and the other for programs etc.

    glad to see i’m not the only knuckle head out there :)

  • i lost my hard drive in a thunderstorm a few months ago… total bummer. i’m still recovering. i feel your pain. :)

  • Charlie

    I hate it for ya. The same thing happened to me. Somehow, the server admin at my work backed out the SP2 install and brought my machine back from the dead.

  • Sean_Alienware

    You could try booting up in “Safe Mode” and reverting back to last known good configuration….

  • I hope this isn’t too late:

    RECOVERY: Knoppix On A Laptop? Via LAN!

    Lockergnome seems to be down, so try that Google cache. The original Knoppix article on how to recover data isn’t cached, unfortunately. Hopefully the site goes back up soon.