December 01, 2011

If any of you follow my twitter you probably know that I didn’t experience quite a nice evening last night because my computer decided to crash. Since it has crashed before I didn’t think much of it and decided to try and fix the problem with my adept computer skills. Basically I Googled things until something magical happened on my computer. After a few minutes of trying all the standard methods to get things working it started to get frustrating. I had been planning to buy a computer for a while now but never really got around to it. Since money is still an issue and I can’t justify getting a new computer because my old one still technically runs, I decided to hold off. A week ago I finally decided I will wait until February until a new model of _________ come out and buy it. So after this happens it is safe to say that I wasn’t exactly in the best mood since it would push me back a day on working on various things such as projects and this website.


I have run into the problem before but decided to ignore backing up constantly since I figure it was a one time thing. It is quite rare for something like this to happen, but nevertheless I backed up some data (roughly a month or so ago). Now quite a lot can happen in a month apparently. Projects, research, other random things on the net. And let’s not forget the endless number of programs you install to get your computer just right. So what exactly happened? Well basically this:


My entire harddrive has been wiped. I have no old files except the months of old data I happened to back up after the first crash. Never learn do I? I managed to get a lot of customization back because I have done this more than I wish to say. I ran programs to try and recover old data but most of it ended up corrupted in the reformat and proved to be irretrievable. Lovely. The website is up and safe thanks to it being a remote server and I can still get the data from it by simply downloading it through my FTP. All 10,000+ files. Thanks to my backup I wasn’t too discouraged and I knew a few tricks to get back the data I lost. Luckily I email myself constantly different projects that I complete off dumb luck. However, one thing didn’t get saved. One thing that has been lost and gone, my research.


My entire research project has been wiped cleaned and hurled me back three weeks of progress. That’s right, all the coding, formatting, and enjoyment completely swept away. Needless to say my graduate students probably aren’t too thrilled with the thought. So basically I just wanted to let you guys know that my planned updates and reviews might not come out as soon as I hoped. Also a bit of ranting to ease the pain.

But this also begs the question, what would you do if your computer was completely wiped with no retrievable data?

  • LOLDSFAN says:

    Ahhhh I know how yah feel.

    Something similar happened to me a few months ago (except it was all my doing :P). Luckily most of the stuff was backed up, but it was just read-only.

    Oh and if you ever have documents or anything important that needs saving, but easy to access. Just use Dropbox. The files stay on your computer, and when you update them they get updated on Dropboxs’ servers too. You only have like 2GB or something, but it’s better than nothing. Also Google Docs too. I use that when I need to access my papers outside of my computer when I can’t find my flash drive 😛

    • Jester says:

      Yeah I use Dropbox for my school projects (usually…) but this one time I didn’t really think about using it. Ugh! Plus I didn’t realize how quick 2GB gets filled up.

  • feal87 says:

    Oh god, that should hurt, I have auto-planned on my pc a periodic backup everyday of all the sensible data on a remote US server.
    I think you should do the same…:|

    • Jester says:

      Probably a good idea. I’ve been looking up a lot of backup database things. I just hate throwing my stuff online for the simple fact I’ve turned into a security nut. Especially after taking all these CSE courses. Right now I have an external with backup, Dropbox, and learning to use GIT. Rather easy program if you have ever used SVN actually.

  • HollowSix says:

    I actually use a raid 5 array on 3 750gig drives so that if any one drive gets damages it will be easy to recover. This is backed up once every two weeks to single 1.5 tb drive in order to ensure that two drives failing simultaneously will still not cause any data lose. However it does mean that I have a massive computer to fit the 4 drives plus the 5th that I use for file storage in my hot swap bay. A good option would be to set up a desktop with a large raid array that you could use as network storage. Obviously this would cost a chunk of money though and would require pretty extensive skills to set up. Not the most viable option I guess. 🙁

    • Jester says:

      Yeah I got rid of my desktop for a laptop just for the mobility. Although desktops are generally more reliable it would cost quite a bit of money. I used to have a server with dual quad-core, 12GB of RAM and Raid 5, 2 TB drives but I gave that up because it wouldn’t fit a graphics card. Plus it sounded like a jet engine.

      What do you use for weekly backups? Manual backup or is it scheduled using a program? I have a decent enough external to hold the files I need. I was thinking about finding an online service but those all cost money (at least the worth while ones). I think it comes down to me just not being lazy and remembering to back things up 🙁

  • hikaru says:

    Wow, all those techno-lingo I can’t decipher! But I guess I share the same sentiments as my laptop crashed a couple of times as well. Sadly, there are some files I failed to back-up and can never recover. This includes a presentation I made for my graduation party, even my thesis files. Good thing I was able to submit my thesis already and I have a not-so-neat back-up in CD.

    I’ve learned my lesson by backing-up in CD every now and then and emailing files to myself as well. I have yet to try dropbox though.

    While the inside of my laptop may be a little broken down, even the outside is as I’ve been having trouble with my keyboard in the past months. Hence, my delay in writing some reviews. I’m getting myself a new laptop this Christmas so I’m hoping I can write with more efficiency in the coming year…

    • Jester says:

      I really want to get a new laptop but I’m holding out for now. You should really try Dropbox, it’s amazing. Easy to setup and pretty nice way to back things up. I hope you get your keyboard fixed! I can’t wait to read more of your reviews.

      • hikaru says:

        While I’m still able to manage with this faulty keyboard, my patience sometimes runs out when I want to type as fast as I can think but can’t because of a stuck key or something similar. Yeah, I do owe you a couple of reviews. My notebook where I write down notes as I watch is filled with unfinished drafts which I hope to complete during the coming Christmas break, no matter how short that is for me.

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