Thursday, May 20, 2010

PC Crash

Last week my PC crashed...froze at the Windows XP splash screen. Yikes.

Like many Gainfully Unemployed, I rely on my computer every day. I send audition MP3s to agents, jobs to clients, query letters and submissions. I do Internet research on facts and grammar rules when editing, agents and editors when submitting...the list goes on and on. So I, not very technically inclined, had to decide what to do, and fast. (One benefit of gainful employment: an employer who offers tech support and/or a replacement computer.)

Fortunately I'd backed up most of my data (if you haven't, do it now! I use an external hard drive, and probably will add online backup, also.), and I have a laptop and wireless Internet, so I was able to stay on top of email. But the laptop doesn't have all the software I need, plus it's not getting work done has taken a lot longer. And figuring out how to get quality sound for my auditions has been a challenge.

Not to mention time/money/frustration I expended troubleshooting, deciding what to do about fixing it and updating my laptop with new drivers, etc. I'm not quite sure how I figured all that out, especially when I realized I'd downloaded an XP driver for my Bluetooth mouse though my laptop has Vista...

I ended up taking my hard drive to the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Fortunately all of my data was salvagable. They wanted to run a $69.99 diagnostic that would take 3-5 days. They called on the 17th to say my PC had acquired 271 pieces of malware (I'd thought my antivirus software/firewall would prevent that, but obviously not.) and so my OS was corrupted. They could fix it for another $130, and would need until the 19th or the 21st. Better to cave and buy a new PC (or a Mac, as many friends advise)...or go with the fix? I chose the fix.

It's not ready yet, which means 10 days so far without my PC. Seems like much, much longer. Maybe this cloud has a silver lining...when I do get it back it might run faster than before.

From students to freelancers to telecommuters, many of us simply can't their jobs done these days without daily computer access. There's no way I know of to prevent future crashes and the frustration that goes along with them...but adequate preparation via backup and easily accessible alternate technology helps a lot.

No comments: