Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 87, Friday, 10th February 2012

Computer troubles, Day 2: This seems like an apt sub-heading to the almost continuous agony that I have been facing due to the crashing of my laptop yesterday. Over the day, I cooked a little food, and went for a short walk, but for most of the rest of the day, I was with Adil Ansari, the computer guy, to fix my laptop. I had stayed awake most of the night yesterday to download and install some essential software after Adil had restored the Windows by installing a new Home Premium version late yesterday night.

It seemed on this morning that the computer was finally okay and that there would be no further trouble from it. I went back to the computer shop to tweak some of the minor hassles and he (Adil) asked me to leave the laptop with him and return after a few hours. When I went back, he had just finished uploading some of the missing drivers and was going through the process of a restart. However, the unexpected happened: the computer went past the start-up "Please wait" section and then loaded the Acer Recovery Management Tool. This tool asked me if I wished to do "System Restore" or to go back to the "Image" of the disc created by me in the past. I wanted to do neither as my laptop had already loaded with a newly installed Windows. Adil and I struggled with this for a long time.

Eventually, we decided that we had to let the laptop win. I had checked in the morning, and all my desktop files, images etc. had been preserved in a new folder called "Windows.old" within the main drive. I had hoped to take all the data from there and restore them to a non-Windows drive on my hard disk. Now, since the computer wouldn't boot at all, we had to face the very real risk of losing all that data since we would HAVE to format the C drive. I took a deep breath and told the engineer to go ahead and format the disk. This done, I re-checked the C drive of the newly installed Windows. The windows.old directory was there, and all the folders within it under the sub-folder "Administrator\user\, but the folders were all empty. I had, within the space of 24 hours, lost hundreds of photos, the data from my Indian mobile stored on Nokia suite, all financial data of the last four years (purchases and sales of shares and mutual funds, credit card statements and IT statements .... and much more), video clips of old Hindi movie songs, and lots of other stuff which I cannot even remember. In their place was an empty shell that nearly made me cry. 

I can perhaps get back the songs, the financial data (from the websites) and even the telephone numbers of my old mobile when I visit India later this year, but I have lost hundreds of photos of my stay here in Saudi Arabia. I had kept them, sadly, on the desktop, which falls under the C drive. 

So, was there anything at all to redeem the bleak scenario? Yes, not one, but several things: Firstly, many video songs were also present on a flash drive that I had used to transfer these songs to Dr. Narendra's laptop; secondly, I had been meticulous in storing all the set-ups of the programs downloaded by me yesterday night into the E drive, so I could now re-install these programs without additional trouble; thirdly, I had uploaded many of my Saudi photos into this blog, so I had not lost all the photos - I can download these photos from the blog whenever I want to; I can always get the phone numbers from my family in India; and lastly, at least now my laptop was free from viruses or malware!

These thoughts relieved my depression to a large extent. However, some problems still remained: my touch-pad was not functioning well - although its tap function was working, its scroll function wasn't; the Fn + Fx keys were malfunctioning, so that I could not easily start the wireless or Bluetooth, could not manipulate volume of the speakers and so on (this was, however, rectified by Adil through the day and over the next few days); and, of course, this was no longer a laptop with an Acer Welcome screen, an Acer Screensaver and so on. Even the Microsoft Office I now had was a 2007 version, since Adil did not have the 2010 version. Furthermore, it was not the same as the legal copy I had at home with a legal key. So, there. 

I did most of my routine tasks as usual and there is nothing more to write about. I paid Adil for his services (SR 70) but I don't regret paying him because he has, over the next few days, given me several concessions and helped me a lot.

No comments: