Wednesday, February 28, 2007


My chunky old HP laptop died on me yesterday. I went into our home office to see the machine had rebooted, with the warning that the system had recovered from a 'serious error'. My mind was elsewhere, I surfed, then went to watch tv. By the time I came back to the laptop, the death rattle had gone and been. All attempts to boot resulted in a brief blue-screen flicker then the machine switching itself off. Nothing doing.

This was somewhat irritating. Although I have everything backed up on a Lacie external drive , with the last back-up at the weekend (including of course all my Northern Nigeria pics), i hadn't backed up the past two days of report writing (the official version of my trip to the North). So now I have to rewind and remember. Grrrr.

On telly, you often come across stories about paedophile's computers being seized, with the implicit warning that nothing can be erased forever on a computer (remember what happened to Pete Townsend?). Enough to stoke a little fear in any casual pornographer's soul. Don't believe it. I set a young tecchie to the task today. He tried to re-boot the hard drive, using an external hard-drive gadget. Nada. He then put the drive in the freezer for a few hours (this is apparently a last resort stage) and tried again. Zen like emptiness of being. Not a file remained.

Just as human beings can appear in the middle of the country, mud on shoes, without a clue who they are or where they have come from, with only a prodigious talent (say for the piano) to mark them out from anonymity, so too can computers lose the plot, and end up in erasure.


Fred 7:19 pm  

Barring your "pedo" references, believe it: as long as the magnetic bits on a drive haven't been destroyed, you can get it back.

Try Ontrack. If the drive is dead (ie. the electrical and mechanical components are no longer functional) if the data is important enough, someone (like Ontrack) will still be able to get your data back. It'll cost you though.

More here.

mochafella,  7:29 pm  

Err, I'm pretty sure your files still exist. Most hard drives don't erase or wipe out they just overwrite. Barring a read head crash the equipment available to recover the files is typically what determines if a hard drive is considered redeemable or not.

Kayode 2:11 pm  

there are lot of softwares that could help you recover data's from your old hdd, but that would mean slotting the hdd using a USB to IDE or something to another system.

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