Whew, a catastrophic computer crash,…

Whew, a catastrophic computer crash, then some good luck.

My main PC, then one I use to create this blog on, went completely south last night. First it wouldn’t access the Net and produced some odd errors. I called RoadRunner, my cable co., after some testing, they said it appeared the Winsock files were damaged. This was very bad news, winsock controls your access to the Net. They advised calling Microsoft.

Microsoft, and I will genuinely say their tech support is the best in the business, tried very hard. We spent four hours on the phone. And the end, the system was barely booting, and doing so in 640 x 480 4 color mode only. It appeared very dead. It looked like I’d have to reinstall Windows and lose everything on the computer.

I managed to back up everything important to a CD-Rom and a portable USB hard disk. I took the computer to a friend’s today, as he’d built it for me.

That portable hard disk saved the day. I’d backed up the entire computer on it using Norton Ghost. We did a restore, and held our breath, not really expecting it to work. The computer booted – and everything was back, no weird video, full access to the Net. He said sometimes Ghost restores, sometimes it doesn’t, this time we got lucky. If you live in LA and need a computer built or fixed, check with my friend Ken Buckner, 310-670-2803. Thanks, Ken! And thank you Don Allred of LaOkay.com who stayed with me for those four hours last night on the phone with Microsoft. I’m exhausted.

The moral of this story: Always always always do backups!

PS My blog software, Radio Userland, creates a web server on my PC, I write the stories locally, then publish them to the Net. One of the many well-thought-out features of Radio is that the installation does not update the registry. That means, in the event of a crash or if you want to move it to another PC or drive, you just copy the entire Radio folder to wherever you want. And it runs. No reinstall needed! For you propeller heads out there, the Radio folks are also the ones who invented XML, which is how most blogs and news feed operate.