Computers..sometimes, they suck


I couldn’t describe the last 24 hours of my life without getting a homicidal twinge. It all started with a hard reboot coupled with a battery backup failure during an electrical storm (one of many we’ve had here in the past few days). After the reboot, I got the dreaded blue screen of death on my PC. I’m not usually a reactionary type. I stay pretty pulled together during times of stress and crisis…normally. Blue screens, however? They make me nail bitey.

Which takes me to my the next phase of my homicidal rage. See, I’ve had these brand new hard drives and brand new RAM just hanging around my office for the past month, just waiting for a moment in time that I could possibly find to rebuild my computer. It was in BAD need of love..and I knew it. But, I kept pushing the envelope because.. well….time. Between design projects, book writing and edits and ..just…life….time is evasive. There’s just not enough time to stop and love my PC.

Apparently, it got really sick and tired of all the neglect and decided to walk out. It’s only until something like that happens that you truly appreciate what you had, now that its gone, hey?

So I was forced to drop everything and rebuild. I do love my 2 new VelociRaptor SATA 300GB Hard Drives coupled with a fantastic upgrade from 2GB RAM to a blazing new 6GB (Corsair Dominator DDR2. I’m adoring the speed at which my PC operates, currently. (Remember when Bill Gates said “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” ?? Ha!)

After doing a clean install of XP and running the GAZILLION service pack updates.. then installing MS Office and running yet another GAZILLION updates – I finally had a clean, working system and promptly went to work re-installing my Adobe CS3, Mozilla, Corell Suite and all my must have programs..including all the little apps that make my life livable…including Thunderbird for email.

That’s where I ran into my snag. My email. I have been using MozBackUp to do daily backups of my email because I’ve learned some pretty hard lessons in the past with email program crashes…so luckily, I had an 8/4/08 Thunderbird backup from that morning (pre-crash). Long story short…I did a restore with my backup and…..nothing. *crickets* I tried with my other backup files, as well… and no love.

No emails. No accounts. No message rules and filters. No settings… no nothing. I’m looking at a Thunderbird email program that is a blank slate.

You’re talking to a girl who saves EVERYTHING. Every business email – every correspondence. I archive it all. You just never know when you need this stuff, ya know? And here, I’m looking at a blank Thunderbird that is asking me if I’d like to set up a new email account? Ugh.

I am hoping that I will figure this out and will be able to successfully restore my emails soon. In the meantime, I need my program functional – so I’ll be spending a few hours this morning rebuilding the email from the ground up. I still have the backup files – – so I am thinking there *is* hope and that maybe…hopefully… I’m just too buzzed from the whole ‘restoring my entire system from scratch’ experience and if I just step away from it for awhile….I’ll have a bit more luck with it later.

If you’ve emailed in the last 24 hours – I have to apologize. It’s probably going to take another 24 hours to get myself back to normal around here – so I very much appreciate your patience!

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” ~ Tyler Durden – Fight Club

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15 thoughts on “Computers..sometimes, they suck”

  1. For some reason, my wife’s palm pilot randomly reset itself, wiping out all of the data. She hadn’t backed up for close to a year. She spent the next day in a daze, totally agitated at having to rebuild all of those contacts.

    I completely know that blank slate feeling of staring at a failed restore. It’s brutal. Just keep in mind that short of any recent or client related e-mails, you really won’t ever need like 98% of the archive you lost. It’s a fresh start, rethink your filters and maybe there’s a better way to organize things now that (inevitably) a lot has changed since you originally set them up 🙂

  2. Jay – thanks for helping me keep a positive spin on this 😀 I have been spending my morning rebuilding the emails.. and you are right, it does feel like a fresh start and I am rethinking and restructuring my filters and rules in a more organized/productive way than before.. so just maaaaayyyyyyyybe this is a good thing?

    Happy Tuesday!

  3. Sorry to hear you are having problems, I just downloaded the MozBackUp app to see if I can work out a way around the problem, can you just set up the new profiles and just copy your back up files into the new set-up? If you’re not sure where to copy them to this post might help: 😕

  4. Your post just reminded me that my MS Outlook accounts mysteriously stopped working a few months ago. I simply redirected all of my e-mail accounts over to gmail and set that up to be transparent for anyone who e-mailed me. I planned to go back and try to figure out what the problem was as well go through some of the old e-mail.

    Guess what?

    I never did it…., and never missed it…., so all of that old, valuable e-mail is really just OLD…, with questionable value — at least in my case.

    Hope you get it all squared away to your satisfaction!

  5. Somehow, every time I undertake a major redo of my computer, I am convinced it will be easy-peasy, because, after all, I’ve done it before and I know what I’m doing, right? And every time there is some major pain.

    Congratulations on the fresh start, anyway. I have been learning a lot from your book about how to tweak my blog. Thanks!

  6. @UKStevieB – The MozBackup didn’t work so well for me. The backup files I tried to restore didn’t work at all. 🙁 I ended up going back to Outlook for email handling and have abandoned Thunderbird, at least for now 🙂

  7. @Mike Goad – I did think, briefly, about using Gmail and just forwarding everything there. Something about depending on Google for email storage gives me pause… but then again, I did lose all my local email this time around – so what would be the difference that way? ha.

    I hope you’re right about never missing that old, archived email… time will tell on that one 🙂

  8. @Kathi D – – rebuilding a computer from scratch is never ‘easy peasy’ haha – – although, you’re right, it *seems* like it should be doesn’t it?

    Good to hear the book has been useful – thanks for letting me know! 😀

  9. @Douglas – thanks 🙂 We get a lot of electrical storms around here in the spring/summer. We have all our computers on battery backup units for that reason alone. I still have no clue why the battery backup failed this time – – I’ve tested it since and it is working just fine *clueless*

  10. I never figured out what happened to mine either. I lost a well pump controller, a TV, and a computer. Totally different circuits, and not physically close to one another. Other electronics on the same circuits, or physically close to the damaged ones were fine.

    The good news is that the computer I built to replace the fried one is quite nice.

  11. This sounds like the time my computer died on me 🙁 I hate it when that happens, except mines I knew it was coming.

    It was a Soyo motherboard. But apparently when they sold me the computer it was defective. The owner not being computer savvy never picked up the problem. I did, but by the time I did it was a tad bit too late.

    Blue screen of death? Try having a plethora of those. Every day the computer might just throw one at me. The CMOS was not even working properly either so if for some reason I had no energy into it it would reset the BIOS. That was a real pain in the butt.

    Then was the problem of the memory incompatibility. The SOYO (I believe KT 477 Platinum Edition) I had was incompatible with the memory I was using (DDR 400 I think) so I had to always and I do mean ALWAYS set up the BIOS to at least diminish the problem. Sometimes the computer would not want to boot… I felt at times like I had it on life support.

    Then there was the next issue: AMD Processors tend to get really, really damn hot. And you needed a special thermal compound, not just any compound, for it. Specifically one that had at least silver. God I lost count how many times I clean off the processor and place fresh new thermal to keep it alive to keep it running. I felt like one of those doctors using Electric Shock to keep their patient alive.

    Finally I got so fed up with it that I took the motherboard apart after two or so years of this and went and looked for a big metal mallet, the ones you use to break cement walls down. And YES I beat it into a pulp. And got a lot of satisfaction out of it.

    Now I got a much better computer 😡

  12. Ah yes and the computer did die BEFORE I beat it into a pulp. It just suddenly didn’t even boot. Nothing, nada. Just the sound of the fan running. Not even a check up beep. Thats when I got real fed up and pound it in. Probably out of frustration of how much pain, money and time it cost me to even keep it running.

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