Saturday, May 12, 2007

.: Inspiron Death Part 2 :.

24 April 2006 8.47 PM

My laptop booted up with an agonising, painful whirling sound.. slowly into the BIOS screen. Checking Memory ... done. Detecting primary hard disk... FOUND!.

Okay so far so good. As long as the hard disk could be detected, there was hope, however faint.

Next, the Windows XP boot screen. Boy, that was the first time in my entire life that I was ever so glad to see the XP screen. That also meant the drive was at least partially readable. More hope. And even more nervous anticipation. Was my Inspiron going to come all this way, and then let me down?

And there and then, I started praying to God, Jesus and Adun. (Adun is the Protoss God in Starcraft). I told God that if He lets my drive boot up alright, I would quit smoking. I told Jesus that... well, come to think of it, I never spoken to him. But I promised Adun I would start playing Starcraft again if I can grab my data out alright.

And guess what? They seemed to like me much on this fateful day. Finally the Windows logon screen. My confidence grew. I punched in my password, and about a minute later, my DESKTOP!

Okay. I realised I forgot to do a list of priority things to backup. Took out a scratch pad, and the list looked pretty much as follows, with most important at top:

1. Work Data on D:\ (price lists, quotations, proposals etc)

2. Personal Data on D:\ (photos, videos, MP3s and projects)

3. Emails and Addresses

4. Full C:\ Backup (if possible)

"Tik ... tik ... tik...".

The damn sound was back. Damn damn damn damn, I cursed Adun. I had not barely even started copying my files. Have to work fast, I urged myself.

I checked the crossover cable from my Dell notebook to my Acer notebook, and making sure one notebook could ping the other. I brought down all antivirus and firewall programs in both notebooks.

On the Inspiron, I mapped my Acer's D:\, which contains almost identical data updated to about 3 weeks old compared to the Inspiron, and booted up a program called SynBack.

SynBack (from a company called is a wonderful program which scans both drives for latest updated files, and only copies files which have changed. I got SynBack to scan for changes, and start backing up immediately after.

I was sweating. I estimated that on my D:\, I would have roughly about 100 MBs or so worth of new files (MP3s, proposals, videos etc). Now, it was not the copying of the files that I'm worried about, as 100 MBs should not take a long time, but the scanning portion required the program to run through each and every single folder, sub-folder and file in the disk. That would take an extremely heavy toll on the ailing drive, but I had no choice.

A 3 week old sync would take about 1 hour to complete. I refused to wait at the sidelines, knowing well that it was completely out of my hands, and only Fate determined whether the data gets out alive or otherwise.

"Tik ... tik ... tik...".

I left the room for what might be the last ciggarette of my life, should the whole backup process go well. Came back 5 minutes later, and SynBack has done about 5% of my Inspiron D:\.

When (if) the whole process was done, I would have a perfectly syncronized and backed up D:\ drive in my Acer notebook at the end of the process. If it failed halfway during the scan, then all efforts and prayers would have been in vain.

I lowered the brightness of both LCD screens, and head to bed, to the sound of pure, clean death about to come to my beloved Inspiron as my only companion. Tomorrow is judgement day...

"Tik ... tik ... tik...".

To be continued.........


Jo-no said...

why not get an empty external hard drive and just sync ur whole drive contents over? Faster too ?

*adelaine said...

jono's right. I had a bad crash last year and I bought this small potable hard disk that I do back up one a month now..

once bitten ..

Jo-no said...

Yo leonie ? You okay ? did the death(which I am predicting) of your inspiron leave you empty and dry? Or youre just busy eh buddy ? I understand having other priorities / stuff to do than blog (Unlike 'that' other person who blogs about everthing).

Leave it at the third installment. Lay down your burdens and walk away. haha

Chienne said...

jo-no put it more eloquently, but i'm just gonna state it simply:


adhojlim said...

Leon: An external 2.5" hard drive (Western D)(80GB)is just about RM180. I just bought another one last week.... Buddy! Get an external drive and backup all your files progresivelyla... better to be safe than to be sorry. Heh! I once lost all my PhD research files due to that stupid clicking mechanism...Darn!