Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Computer Difficulties

For the past few weeks, I have been having trouble with my laptop. 

Most of my computer issues are caused by cats in my lap while I'm working.  Those little feet can cause a lot of chaos by pressing keys and clicking things.  Alice is especially good at 'helping'.

The problem started fairly innocently.  Sometimes when I was running on battery power, my laptop would shut down without warning.  I would restart, and continue as normal.  This began happening more and more often, to the point where I only felt secure using it while plugged in.  Soon, the problem progressed to the point where the laptop would shut down WHENEVER the cord became disengaged.

This was not a battery issue.  The battery is relatively new, charges well, and is making good contact.

These photos were taken while I was ACTUALLY working on this post.

It's really handy to have a computer guy in the house.  On Monday, The Husband called Dell to try to diagnose the problem.  The guy from tech support was patient and helpful, and the he and The Husband ran various diagnostic programs to test different possibilities.  One test caused a flashing error code ... which the Dell guy translated to mean that I had a defective hard drive.

The Dell guy recommended that we back up the information on my hard drive while we still had access to it.  I already had a back up on an external hard drive, but it was a few months old, so a new back up was started almost immediately.

See?  Alice is helping me type.

My new hard drive arrived yesterday morning, free of charge, via overnight express.  (My laptop is just under two years old, and apparently is still under warranty.  Yippee!!)  It took The Husband a few hours to do whatever he had to do to put my old data onto the new drive ... and I'm pleased to say that this new drive works PERFECTLY!!!  All he has to do now is wipe the old drive clean and send it back to Dell.

This brings up a very important issue ... what would I have done if my drive had just died, since my back-up was not up to date?  All of the photos and documents and stuff here on this computer is so fragile and fleeting, and I would be beyond disappointed if it had vanished.  Thank goodness we didn't have to deal with a situation so dire.

Have you backed up your hard drive lately?


  1. Sounds a bit similar to the way my MacBook has been acting. I have to keep it plugged in all the time or deal with the unexpected shut downs. But, my computer is five years old and I think I have my money's worth.

    Cats. So funny. My husband left his netbook open next to the bed while it was installing anti-virus software. While he was in another room, the cat removed some of the keys and scattered them about on the floor.

  2. I am worry free with My stuff stays backed up 24 hours a day and only $59 a year for peace of mind.

  3. Lucky you that your computer gave you some warning issues.

  4. I am so glad you got your computer taken care of and was able to back up you hard drive. I think it's time for another back up for me. Mr ALC is my computer guy and does lots of this for me. Still it is my responsibility to remember to ask him. Oh and I have to really watch Charlie or he types all sorts of things on my computer. hugs, Linda

  5. I have never backed mine up. I keep meaning to try to figure that out... but limited brain cells make it difficult.

  6. Get an Apple. I've had mine for 5 years and never a problem. I'm updating this Christmas for documentary/media reasons.


  7. I love your cats. My cats help me while I'm on the computer also. They either sleep on the keyboard or under it. I use a Click Free device to back up all my data weekly, no fees after the initial purchase price. Also you can back up photos on Picasa web albums and music on Google Music free. I really look forward to reading your blog. Love the roses, too.

  8. I hear ya, Connie! That's exactly why I'm going to buy an external hard drive next week! So glad that everything's a-ok with you now. I'm sure that sweet Alice is happy, too. :)

    xoxo laurie

  9. I have mine backed up on 2 drives because I had a loss of some special photos when a tech erased a drive of mine.

  10. Just backed up 2 days ago when I decided to upgrade to Lion (mac). And since then, I've been dealing with a few minor issues that take time to figure out! Thank goodness Google seems to have an answer for most things but hate taking the time to do this stuff ... much rather be blogging and visiting others!

  11. Hi Connie, we had a situation not too long ago.We've been backing up our data on a separate network storage. I began having problems connecting to it remotely, so I moved all my stuff to a passport (portable hard drive), including over 5000 digital pictures. A few weeks later, the storage drive failed. If I hadn't moved my stuff to the passport, I would have lost a lot of it (I do a cd back up every once in a while, but usually at year end). It's scary!

    I love the pics of your kitty on the laptop. Did I tell you we have new kittens! They were at the vets office that I used to take Shadow to, and I saw them on Facebook. They are brother and sister, about 3 months old. They are a lot of fun. I love hearing purring again.

  12. Glad you were able to get it fixed in time!!
    Seeing Alice reminds me of my dog. When he thinks the computer is getting more attention than he is, which happens all too often, he gets right in the middle of my laptop and my face. I try to keep him from pressing keys that make the computer go bonkers, but I've not always succeeded. :)


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