The summer of 2004 was an especially trying time for me. My little blind kitty-cat escaped from the house, never to be found again. I was robbed while working at the front desk of a seedy hotel, and I moved out of the house I had been sharing with my friends and into a tiny room, at the afore mentioned seedy hotel in which I worked. Yet the worst was still to come.
After a few weeks, I found myself an apartment and promptly moved in. The first thing that I set up was my beloved computer, and then arranged my furniture around it. The second week in my new apartment, I was cooking spaghetti one night when all of the power on one side of the room suddenly went out. It only took a moment for me to put two and two together and realize that the wall that hosted the outlet for the stove was the same wall that my T.V. and computer’s outlets were plugged into. I went down the line, one by one checking each outlet for some sign of life. Nothing. Everything was dead. I found the fuse box and flipped the switches, headed back to the afflicted wall, and began at the computer, my prized possession, my link to the outside world. Power! I had power, but I had the ominous blank screen with a white cursor. A sinking feeling swooped over me and I felt as though I may faint. I took some deep breaths and steadied my nerves and then tried to enter the set up mode, pressing F9 repeatedly as I rebooted, saying silent prayers to Bill Gates as the power light illuminated on the tower. Nada. Blank screen, this time followed by the dreaded words “Operating System not found”. I tore through boxes, yet unpacked, and retrieved my Windows XP recovery CDs. Hands shaking, knees trembling, and with tears welling up in my eyes, I gently placed the first of the 8 disc series into the tray, to no avail. My computer was dead. I knew I no longer had technical support, it had long since expired. Even if it hadn’t, there’s little that can be done over the phone, when a power surge has zapped your hard drive.
They say when you are dying, your life flashes before your eyes. At this moment, my life with my computer flashed before mine. I suddenly recalled how I received it as a Christmas present, my all time favorite. I recalled how, upon moving back to Tennessee from California, I packed up my computer first, to ensure that I had it securely in place, even before packing photo albums, clothes, and other personal belongings. I remembered installing my DVD burner, the Bluetooth, and the extra USB port. I realized that the power strip that I had purchased at the flea market for $2.00 was not such a bargain as it had seemed at the moment of purchase.
The next day I took my computer to a friend who owns a computer repair shop. We decided my hard drive could not be saved and that I needed a new one. Luckily, I was able to install a new hard drive myself, and luckily for me nothing else, other than a very old television and an electric GE stove, was destroyed by the power surge. You see where my priorities sit. Replacement and or/repair sequence was as follows,
1. Computer (first and foremost)
2. Stove (gotta cook, gotta eat)
3. T.V. (a few weeks later)
The valuable lessons that I learned that dreadful evening were these:
A. Power strips are not an area in which you want to cut corners and
B. Always, always, always backup you data.
I quickly learned about online data storage, which not only frees up your hard drive, but is safe from power failures, power surges, and equipment failures. It makes data accessible from any pc, anywhere. And, it saves me from the nightmare of lost music, documents, and photos in the future.
And that, my friends, is how spaghetti once killed my hard drive. And who knew I would see the light, so to speak, and meet Wifester so soon after... The times, they do change. That is one thing we can rely upon.