When a hard disk dies…

November 11, 2009 · Filed Under Babel fish, Sir Arthur's Den 

Babel fish - A mental interface between Sir Arthur's sensibility and the events from the outer world. And for all the rest, too It always happens so, you get the blow when you expect it the less, the latest backup dated back to half and a month ago and you end up facing the little comfortable situation in which you have to restart from the beginning with a new hardware, a new operating system with its pros and cons, the software - all the software - to reinstall and so on. Two Fridays ago my laptop’s hard disk decided to leave me for good, in the evening I had turned it off as usual and the following morning I was welcomed by a very little encouraging error message informing me about the the impossibility to load the system registry Hives in memory.

After a forced restart that error message turned into - as I already feared, I had already understood what to expect for - the familiar “click, click, click” made by a hard disk that terminated its days, the magnetic head had stopped working (the noise was essentially the same as the one audible on this page under the entry “Hitachi/IBM”) and with it my worst computer nightmare for some years now had become real: the PC was dead, and the last time I had saved a disk image via Norton Ghost it was still hot and I hadn’t the need to turn on the stove.

Someone recently told me that I’m too much reckless, and very likely this is true. The first thing I thought after having witnessed the death of my hard disk (an IBM/Hitachi hard drive, once again…) was: “that’s enough, now I buy a new PC and pull this useless, old and wrecked crock to pieces!“. And so I did: after some hour the IBM ThinkPad T23 which had accompanied me for the last two years was lying in front of me literally chopped, disemboweled by force where I hadn’t found visible screws and hooks and the failed hard disk showed off as some kind of trophy for the just performed slaughtering work.

By bringing the 30 Gigabytes Travelstar near the ear and slightly shaking it, it was possible to hear the defunct head cheerfully hopping on the plate to strengthen the fact that a half and a month worth of data - links and bookmarks, images, photos, articles for Punto Informatico, MP3s, e-mails, programs - were vanished overnight. “So long“, I thought with a bittersweet feeling, “thanks for all the fish and go fuck yourself once and for good“. Later I also tried to make the HD connect to an external adapter to have a last evidence of what was clear in front of my eyes, but meanwhile I already had my mind turned to the new system and the huge work that divided me from the restoration of an environment functional to my personal computing needs.

HD crushing

The choice to purchase an Acer Aspire 6935G laptop has essentially been forced by three mandatory parameters, ie the need to buy a PC straightway, products available in the nearest local store (in my case the Mediaworld center at the entrance of Benevento) and the total budget of around 600 Euros I had at my disposal. In the end, for 590 Euros I got an Intel Centrino 2 platform-based system with a T6400 Core 2 Duo CPU @ 2 Ghz, 4 Gigabytes of RAM (3 available to the operating system), a GeForce 9600M GT discrete GPU with 1 Gigabytes of RAM (+1 shared), a Pioneer DVD burner, 16:10 screen, Windows Vista Home Premium operating system and some other stuff.

Recovered what I could from shreds of binary sub-background noise I usually count on very little (links from Google Reader feeds, e-mails from Gmail, images on APOD etcetera), accepted the fact that Windows Vista (SP1) is an excellent system at least until you don’t try to copy an almost 0 bytes-long file (the OS is still trying to calculate the needed time, lol :-D) or run uTorrent turning a dual-core in a Pentium III on the fly (firewall problems? TCP/IP connections hard-coded limit? intrinsic Vista filth? I still have to figure it out), I am currently at more than 30% of the restoration of “my” system. A good amount of utilites are still lacking but the central core (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, DAEMON Tools, Avira AntiVir, Firefox+Thunderbird, Sandboxie and so on) is installed and ready to use.

Granted the regret for the fact that at least for another 10 days I will have no money in my pockets, the demonstration of my chronic inability to turn words into facts (backup, backup, backup, how much times I advised the other people to make frequent backups..) and the enduring need to give my life some equilibrium (sleeping for five hours a night isn’t exactly the best for health), at least now I should have the chance to do those things I couldn’t until now for hardware inability (like, just to say, play to Street Fighter IV, download and enjoy MAME’s complete ROM set, the new Dreamcast emulators, the PS2 and Wii ones) and a poor tendency to make the upgrade hoping to proceed one step after another (a work, a new home, a new PC, …).

But future, as Borges teaches, is always enigmatic because the enormous mechanism of fortuities makes its perverted game people being aware of it or not and now I’m here in front of a new machine with new needs, new desires, new problems (I hope the Windows 7 upgrade disk I ordered will be here asap UPDATE: the package arrived today) and new hopes for a closer accordance between thought and action. Sir Arthur’s Den, from this standpoint, should be advantaged consequently.

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One Response to “When a hard disk dies…”

  1. Dude on November 5th, 2010 8:17 pm

    i just lost my HDD too , hitachi crap , 250gb and a 4 months work ( programs and source codes written down by me ) is all wasted , i feel so frustrated when i realized its dead DEAD.

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