Monday, May 5, 2008

Total system failure


So I am having a total system failure as my desk top just had a total hard drive failure. Seriously. Its dead. And Dell wants to charge me $1500 to $2400 to fix it!! Best Buy will fix it anywhere from $250 to $1500. I am freaking out. I have my life on there. My final edits of my paper I was going to submit this week are on there. My wedding plans (and music) are on there. My whole freaking life's worth of pictures is on there. My website is on there everything is on there!!!! OMG, I am freaking out. WHY WHY WHY. I know there are those sadistic people out there who think I'll deserve this and paybacks are a bitch, but ugg, think how you would feel! This sucks.

Any advice out there??

18 comments:

Silver Fox said...

Does Best Buy say they think they will recover the stuff from your hard drive? It really is possible to do that, you know.

$1500 - $2400 sounds like a hell of a lot to me - another option is to go to Office Max, and they have access to two programs (I mean they will sell them to you) - and one's about $450-$500, the other is $100 - and since your hard drive has crashed, you will call an 800# and it's possible they can fix it by talking you through stuff, and then fixing things online through Remote Desktop (I think) - if they can get it to that stage -- if it's not possible, get in advance the people at Office Max to refund your money for the program.

I'm about to try the $99 one, so I can't swear by it or tell you much more than it exists.

Remember - it is definitely possible to recover your data.

ReBecca said...

I spoke to Dell and they think they can fix it, but for a price. Same with Best Buy, for a lesser price. It depends on how bad it is and they will not know till they have it. I am going to call everyone in the phone book tomorrow. I may look into that program, but so far I have been told to keep the computer off and not run it.

BrianR said...

I'm sorry to hear that ... this has never happened to me, but I can only imagine.

Those quotes for retrieving data from your hard drive (which usually isn't that big a deal) do seem very high. But, hey, what do I know.

Good luck.

Ron Schott said...

My best advice is too late. Backup your data. I don't do it often enough myself, but I've survived enough hard drive failures to have learned from experience. I copy most photos to DVD within a month or two of taking them. Most working data (class grades, websites, etc.) are always on two hard drives (and often two separate computers) by design. External hard drives are your friends - cheaper than data recovery, and a good deal less stressful. I don't say any of this to gloat - I wish you only the best in recovering the data - just hope it helps avoid troubles in the future.

ReBecca said...

I hear you Ron. I often d back up, and was planning to this coming weekend when I got the computer packed up for the big move. 4 days to short. I have been intending on buying a external hard drive for some time now, I have just been waiting till I had better cash flow. Coulda shoulda woulda.

Now that I have calmed down I realize I have really only lost 2 years of data, I have most backed up from before then. And I can download my paper from JP and redo my edits again and resubmit it, it is not totally gone. It still stinks. I was in totally panic when I wrote the blog. I am going to hold on to the drive and call a bunch of local places tomorrow. If I can't find a good deal I will just have to wait until this fall when I have different money flow to get it fixed. Thank god for my laptop, but now I feel the need to back it up.

Silver Fox said...

Just a couple more thoughts. I take it the computer won't start at all? Or did you get a black or blue "screen of death" with some error messages?

Because I'm wondering how you are sure it's actually the hard drive (probably from people you talked to, or it's obvious) - just wondering, because some system crashes aren't really the hard drive, and then maybe Best Buy or some local computer geek (Geek Squad?) would only have to reboot in safe mode and change a bunch of things, registers, re-install stuff -- maybe maybe?

Anyway, you sound calmer, so that's good, and hopefully you'll get to the right person/outfit tomorrow and get things fixed. Best of luck and so sorry it happened - there is never a "good" time!

ReBecca said...

It went from the blue screen of death and all I saw was "Memory dump" then it shut down. Upon restart all I got was the black screen of death and the only screen I can get into is BIOS. It will not reboot. It keeps shutting itself down. I don't think it is a reparable problem. :(

hypocentre said...

What you describe may well be motherboard component failure - it is quite possible that the drive is intact and can be swapped into another machine.

Don't give up on it just yet.

CJR said...

If it's just not booting, then there's a good chance that it's only some of the system files that have been corrupted, and you can retrieve your data by taking out the hard drive and connecting it as a second drive to a working desktop. This is not difficult so long as you can work a screwdriver - I've done it several times when my backing up has languished to long at the bottom of by 'to do' list. Speaking of which...

Julia said...

Okay, having been through this recently, here are my thoughts. It's very likely that everything in your hard drive is intact still. Is it a laptop or a desktop? If it's a laptop, this is what I did (desktop should be similar - you'll need a different sort of case though). I went to Maplins (Circuit City or Radio Shack would do for you) and bought a 2.5" hard drive case. It came with a USB cable. I unscrewed the bottom of my laptop and took out the hard drive. I had to remove it from a metal holster and put it into the case.

Then we plugged it into Paul's Mac as an external drive, and he was able to copy everything over and make back-up DVDs. Since then, the same thing happened (but I hadn't changed much since the previous back-up). On my extended warranty they simply replaced my hard drive and returned the old one to me in case I wanted to take advantage of their data recovery service.

Data recovery really should not cost you more than $100, and if it does, it's a con. If the above doesn't work, I'm not sure the software route would be too successful. However, I do have a bootable CD I could loan you, which you could use to copy as much as possible onto a memory stick (or five).

Silver Fox said...

Hey, maybe I could help diffray costs by "donating" a couple hundred? Maybe that seems weird, I hope not, it's just that I can really sympathize, my computer's been a little strange recently - and two years of stuff would seem like a lot to me. Otherwise, I could post to ask the GeoBlogoSphere to pitch in for $20 each. Let me know what you think - and my email is on my site if that would be better than these comment thingies.

Andy said...

I had a similar problem a year or so ago. I yanked the hard drive, plugged it into a drive caddy, and had my data back in about 15 minutes. I agree with hypocentre that it's likely not a hard drive problem.

ReBecca said...

Thanks for the advice everyone!! I will look into removing the hard drive and trying your ideas when I get home.

I was worried the hard drive was dying because it makes a high pitched noise (like a really high dog whistle) and it made sort of a hiccup/clunking noise every few seconds.

Laelaps said...

That's terrible! I can't offer any advice, only empathy. When my computers were stolen I lost all my pictures and music and everything. I'm sorry, and I hope that you can do something to get all that information back!

ReBecca said...

Thanks! We found someone in Colorado who can recover information for $30/hr., which is far better than I have found locally or through best buy/dell. I will also still try everyones suggestions first. Hopefully something will work.

Derick said...

It sounds like some of the hard drive is corrupted.All hope is not lost, at least part of the drive can be read. Somehow attach the drive to a working system and copy the data.
Use a USB caddy, mount internally in another PC. If you have the recovery CDs that came with your PC, you could install a different hard drive, install the OS,and place the old drive in as an additional drive. You should replace the drive anyway.

If that doesn't work, visit grc.com, and look at "Spin Rite." You might be able to recover that way.

Peter said...

Hopefully, it's just an issue with a corrupt sector on the boot drive, or if it is a bad motherboard, your drive will be fine. You can always have someone pull it and make it a slave drive on another computer. That way it will show up as another disk and you can pull all your data off. It's easy on a desktop, but I've never done it on a laptop.
I'll ask my IT gurus for advice.

ReBecca said...

Thanks! It was my desktop that kicked it.