Unlike Generalissimo Francisco Franco, my PC is no longer dead!
I’ll tell you about it but first let me apologize for being a general butthead and leaving you high and dry, with no fresh bluz to entertain you. Admit it… you missed me a little, didn’t you? What? You didn’t even know I was gone? You barely even noticed? Well, it damn near killed me…
It started on a dark and stormy night. Yes, really. Monday night we got a hellacious thunderstorm. Lightning was cracking and it seemed like the thunder was shaking the place. And like a dipshit, I still sat there on the PC, reading Red Town Blues. I knew I shouldn’t be, but it’s so hard to tear myself away from all your interesting blogs.
So naturally, there was a giant boom and everything in the place went dark… but only for a second. Then everything came right back on, including my PC. I took that as a sign, so I logged off and the computer did its usually shutdown cycles and turned off. Then I unplugged it.
Then Tuesday night when I came home from work, all primed to bang out a fresh post, the PC wouldn’t respond at all. Repeated mashings of the “On” button did nothing. (Yes, I plugged it back in first.) Around back, I noticed a flashing green light. I thought that might be a good sign, but wasn’t sure, because I COULDN’T LOOK IT UP ON MY LIFELESS COMPUTER!
All night long, I had a sick feeling in my stomach, because I know how much stuff I have on this unit. I’ve had this PC since 2004, so I have 7 years worth of digital pictures, all my writing material for this blog, personal records, and emails going back to 1999 from my 1st computer.
I was afraid all of that was gone for good. There was some stuff that I could replace, like all my music files. Probably 95% of the music files on my computer are also on my MP3 player, so I could reload those onto a new computer. And I have a lot of pictures saved to Flickr, but only about 25% of everything I have. Most of my spreadsheets, (sports events, DVDs, CDs, Movie ratings, medical history, annual gift log, Steelers mojo, etc) are also on my work PC. They may not be completely up to date there, but I wouldn’t have to fill in much.
What really made me sick was all the pictures. I’ve spent so much time over the years scanning old photos, plus taking a ton of them myself. And what makes me so mad it that I almost lost them because of my own negligence. First of all, about a year ago, I filled up a 2 GB thumb drive with all my picture files, just for safe-keeping. Then earlier this year when I bought my new car stereo, I deleted them all so I could fill the thumb drive with music to play in the car. And I felt OK doing THAT because I also just bought an external back-up drive, on which I would back up my pictures.
But I never got around to it. I loaded up a lot of my heavy files… videos and raw pictures straight from the camera… but I never got around to figuring out how to run automatic backup of selected folders. And then WHAM… the PC turns into a doorstop in an instant, trapping all my stuff inside.
I didn’t sleep well at all Tuesday night. All I could do was toss and turn and stress about all the things I would lose if I couldn’t fix the PC.
The next morning when I got to work, I Googled the problem and quickly found a message board that addressed the this particular issue. I copied and pasted a bunch of it and printed it off, so I could attack it at home. It called for going inside the box, which is something that I’ve never done. I don’t know jack about the inner workings of a computer, outside of the “On” button. But just knowing that there might be a solution made me feel loads better. And even if it didn’t work, I had reason to believe that the data could be retrieved. If my fix didn’t work, I’d take it straight to the Geek Squad at Best Buy.
I probably should have come home Wednesday and got right on it, but Wednesday is a good TV night. Both “Big Brother” and a 2-Hour “So You Think You Can Dance” were on, and if you think I’m going to skip my Cat Deeley fix, you’re crazy.
Then Thursday night, I had plans to go to an Orioles game with Sitcom Kelly, who again is making noises about starting her own blog. We’ll see. So mentally I planned to dive in after work on Friday.
But it was weird this week, being home without the computer on. No email checks, no checking blog-hit stats, no commenting on your blogs, no answering comments on my OWN blog, no reading Twitter… I was killing me! But on the bright side, when my shows were over at 11, I could just go to bed. I didn’t have to come over to shut down the computer, but first check stats again, check for new blog posts, check emails, catch up on the late tweets, play just one game of Angry Birds and goddamn it’s 11:45 already.
So I’m well rested.
D-Day was tonight. After dinner, I took out my instructions, got out my tools, put fresh batteries in the flashlight and had at it. It was touch and go there for a while. I had to unplug the motherboard, then plug in the PC again and reconnect the motherboard. The “jolt” was supposed to shock it back into functionality, much like the cardioversion I had on my heart. But I had a heck of a time getting the plug out of the motherboard.
I read that there was some kind of lever that I had to pull, in order to release the plug. Took me forever to find the right way to pull it, meanwhile I was turning my fingers to hamburger. Gonna have some sore fingertips tomorrow, I tell ya.
Anyway, it worked just like they said it would on the message board. So thank you to all the geeks that made it possible for me not to have to pay big bucks on a repair bill.
And first thing tomorrow, I’ll figure out how to back up my important files onto my external hard drive.
Well, maybe not “first” thing. The new Harry Potter just came out. Plus I have to go shopping… And stop at Wendy’s. So maybe “fourth or fifth” thing…
Thank you for coming back. I’ve missed you.