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?