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Lessons I Learned from a Computer Crash

Posted by PatriciaD on December 10, 2009

Things I’ve Learned About A Computer Crash

We all think things like this can’t happen to us but they do and if you’re prepared whether it’s a hardware crash or a software crash (as mine was) you will be prepared if the worst happens.  Don’t wait another day to be prepared.

  1. It can happen at any time with no warning

  2. It will be a lot better if you’ve prepared ahead of time
    1. Know where all your program CDs are stored

                            i.      Recovery disks that came with your computer

                           ii.      Programs that you use or have purchased 

                 2.   Photo on CDs or other backups

                 3.  Store them all in one place

                 4.  Look thru your computer now while it is still running and list ALL the programs you use on a regular basis and wouldn’t want to have to do without including the ones that are downloads (free or paid)

                 5.  Here’s my list

                          i.      Operating system – Windows XT (have disks) and download service packs

                         ii.      MS Office Professional (have disks)

                        iii.      MS Publisher (have disks)

                         iv.      Adobe Photoshop CS3 (have disks)

                           v.      Adobe Reader (download) latest version

                          vi.      Mosy backup (download)

                          vii.      Seagate FreeAgent (external hard drive software & hardware)

                          viii.      Mozilla Firefox (download)

                             ix.      Internet Explorer (on OS disks, download latest version)

                                       1.       plus anything like Google toolbar (download)

                                        2.     4shared toolbar (download)

                              x.      McAfee Virus protection (download w/password)

                             xi.      SnapZip (download)

                            xii.      Bamboo Drawing Pad (have disk & hardware)

                            xiii.      ScanSoft Paper Port (have disks)

                             xiv.      Printer driver (have disks & printer)

                              xv.      Forex, ThinkorSwim and other investment software (download)

                             xvi.      ftp software (download) 

                 6.  List all the web sites you don’t want to lose the address for – the Favorites folder won’t be there when you have to restore your computer to factory condition

                 7.  If you’re using your computer to remember your passwords – all your passwords will be gone because the cookies on your computer will all be wiped clean

    3.  Backup, backup, backup

                 1.  Have a backup

                 2.  Know where it/they are

                 3.  Have a backup of your backup

                         i.      I have an external hard drive but it can crash, too

                        ii.      So I have it backed up on CDs and even another external hard drive

                        iii.      Use an Internet storage service – Mozy.com

     4.  Now having said all that you’re gonna think, “well, it’s never happened to me so what are the chances that it will now”…if your computer is out of warranty (and possibly even if not) it will happen sooner or later but it will eventually crash.  My computer just fell out of warranty three months ago. 

And even more than that it’s human nature to ignore or put off what doesn’t feel eminent but I can tell you this would have been a simple enough thing to get through if I’d done all the things I listed above to plan for and prepare for a crash.  I did, fortunately have my external hard drive and only lost a few files.  But instead of taking 1 day or so to re-load it took me 5 days plus another couple of days to recreate the files I lost and some cannot be recreated.

      5.   Now if you’re really paranoid the next step would be to get copies of all the CDs listed above and keep them in a safe deposit box.  Barring that I would suggest a firebox.

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