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Old 11-29-2012, 07:46 AM   #1
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My comp crashed today

Well,...it seems my computer has officially crashed as of this morning (I'm typing this on my mom's comp). It's been having problems booting up since Monday. I'm going to get a new computer, but, since I work at Wal-Mart, mom told me to wait until December 6, when I can use a 10%-off voucher that I earned for working on Thanksgiving - in addition to my 10% associate discount.

As for the status of my story files, everything's intact. I was able to back everything writing-related up (downloaded videos, not so much x.x).

When I'll actually get around to writing again is anybody's guess, though, because, once I do get my new computer, I'll have numerous programs to download and re-install, lots of DVD-Rs and CD-Rs to go through and copy onto my hard drive, and lots and LOTS of YouTube videos and other misc. things to re-download.

The one bright spot (?) is the hard drives themselves might be intact (or at least my main drive; my slave drive suddenly became inaccessible on Monday); it might be the motherboard that's fried (the Gateway logo won't come on). There's a chance that I can someday retrieve my files.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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That's never good. Here's to you:

Have you backed anything up on a thumb drive or on the cloud?


If your computer "crashed" its most likely your hard drive that failed. Or something burned up on the inside. I'd still test the drives to see if they work anyways.

One thing... I wouldn't come within 10 miles of a walmart computers. Whatever they are selling, you can build for cheaper and more reliable (If we're talking desktops). Laptops, please do your research before buying. (Dell, HP, Toshiba, Aser, Emachines, have the highest failure rates. Etc; shit sold at walmart...)
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:23 AM   #3
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Behold, the catchiest exhortation to back up your data that you'll ever hear. (Okay, that's not really what the "song" is about, but it is catchy.)

The Backin' Up Song
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mark Moore View Post
...The one bright spot (?) is the hard drives themselves might be intact (or at least my main drive; my slave drive suddenly became inaccessible on Monday); it might be the motherboard that's fried (the Gateway logo won't come on). There's a chance that I can someday retrieve my files.
If you need advice, I can move this thread to the Tech Help room, where the good folks there might be able to lend a hand.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:03 AM   #5
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I never backup on windows. It's the reliable os better than linux this server runs on
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:04 AM   #6
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I've heard Lenovo is a really reliable brand if you have to get a new PC or laptop. I've also heard that they have really good customer service and tech help. I was looking into buying a new laptop through their website myself. (I don't know if I'd recommend buying a computer at Walmart. Then you have to deal with a third party vendor if something goes wrong 15 days after the sale date for electronics, etc)

Sometimes it's something simple like some of the posters stated above.

Do you know how to take it apart and clean it? Dust can build up on the inside and create a thick coating due to the heat. Sometimes just pulling it apart and cleaning it does the trick.

I'm assuming you have anti-malware programs on your computer? (Not just anti-virus and a firewall) An infection could have gotten in, so sometimes wiping the system, and starting over again also helps.

It could be something really simple. It's hard to tell if it might be the motherboard until you can get a look inside.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:27 PM   #7
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That's never good. Here's to you:
Thanks.

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Originally Posted by WillSauger View Post
Have you backed anything up on a thumb drive or on the cloud?
Mostly on CD-Rs and DVD-Rs but also on a flash drive.

I seem to have primarily lost downloaded YouTube videos (and a bunch of random images that I'd saved from places such as forums such as this (book covers with cute girls, cute cat pics, etc.)), which I'm in the process of redownloading on my mom's comp while waiting to get my new comp.

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Originally Posted by WillSauger View Post
If your computer "crashed" its most likely your hard drive that failed. Or something burned up on the inside. I'd still test the drives to see if they work anyways.
Yeah, I intend to.

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Originally Posted by WillSauger View Post
One thing... I wouldn't come within 10 miles of a walmart computers. Whatever they are selling, you can build for cheaper and more reliable (If we're talking desktops). Laptops, please do your research before buying. (Dell, HP, Toshiba, Aser, Emachines, have the highest failure rates. Etc; shit sold at walmart...)
Not really an option. I work at Wal-Mart, and so does my mom. It's been decided that I'll be using my 10% voucher (which I really should get on personnel to give to me), combined with my associate discount, to get a computer for 20% off.

There's a Gateway with an AMD E1-1200 dual core processor, 4 GB of memory, and a 500 GB hard drive for $298. If I want to add the 21.5" monitor, it's $398.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #8
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If you need advice, I can move this thread to the Tech Help room, where the good folks there might be able to lend a hand.
That'd be great. Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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I never backup on windows. It's the reliable os better than linux this server runs on
Chiming in to disagree with the above: Windows is not more reliable than Linux. Both systems have their pros and cons, but Linux is mostly used for specialist reasons (like running a server) and not for day-to-day home computing so they can't really be compared.

All systems can fail. All work, no matter what system you're on, should be backed up any chance you can.

Sorry you lost data, Mark. Data recovery isn't my forte but hopefully someone else in tech help can assist.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:46 PM   #10
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Not really an option. I work at Wal-Mart, and so does my mom. It's been decided that I'll be using my 10% voucher (which I really should get on personnel to give to me), combined with my associate discount, to get a computer for 20% off.
There's a Gateway with an AMD E1-1200 dual core processor, 4 GB of memory, and a 500 GB hard drive for $298. If I want to add the 21.5" monitor, it's $398.
Wait, wait, wait... a 1200 for a desktop? They're netbook processors...

For under $300, you can build this, warning, some language.
That's like, 6 time more powerful than what walmart is selling.

Building your own computer can pay off quite well. It's easy too.

But I'm pushing it.


Oh, either way, check out thrift stores for monitors. You can pick up some for $20 sometimes.

And get a god damn flash drive! They run $10 and back up your files on it every couple days. Not hard, and could save your life.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
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The one bright spot (?) is the hard drives themselves might be intact (or at least my main drive; my slave drive suddenly became inaccessible on Monday); it might be the motherboard that's fried (the Gateway logo won't come on). There's a chance that I can someday retrieve my files.
The outlook for your drives is good. Both HDDs are unlikely to go down at the same time, and the missing logo implies a BIOS or motherboard issue. This can be caused by a static spark or a lightning stroke nearby, and the damage doesn't always show up right away.

Before doing anything drastic, take the cover off and wiggle all the connecting cables. Tighten any loose ones and check for single loose wires. Check the dust filter on the power supply and the heat sink on the mother board to see if the fan is clogged with dust.

Always unplug your computer when bad weather comes along. Merely switching off isn't enough. Those lightning arrestors aren't very effective, according to Consumer Reports.

In a lightning or static spark incident (I've had two), the memory sticks are the most vulnerable part, but you could go nuts trying to replace one part after another. The new computer is your best bet, and you can test your drives to see if they're still accessible.

You might find the 4 GB a little restrictive if you run more than two programs at a time, like Word and a browser, but expanding memory to 8 GB is cheap and easy. There are videos on youtube that show you how.

There are places that specialize in recovering data from blown hard drives, like 'Dr. Data' in our area, but they charge $150 just for the diagnosis. If you have your stuff backed up, just get the new computer, load it up, and go to work. The old computer may be repairable at your leisure. You can buy new motherboards for fifty bucks. A full suit of memory, say 8 GB, will run you another 50.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:13 AM   #12
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Just wanted to disagree with the 4GB/8GB memory thing, if I can.

I have 4GB in my computer at the moment, and I have no problem running multiple programs at the same time. Of course, there's always a limit... I wouldn't get away with running 2 browser windows, Word, Excel, Media Player and a graphics-heavy video game all at the same time, probably.

But for 2 or 3 programs plus some folders opened, it's been fine, no problems whatever. (Doesn't really matter what programs either.)
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:33 AM   #13
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If you need advice, I can move this thread to the Tech Help room, where the good folks there might be able to lend a hand.
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That'd be great. Thanks.
Okay, I'll send it there from Office Party.

Good luck!
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:06 AM   #14
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When I'll actually get around to writing again is anybody's guess, though, because, once I do get my new computer, I'll have numerous programs to download and re-install, lots of DVD-Rs and CD-Rs to go through and copy onto my hard drive, and lots and LOTS of YouTube videos and other misc. things to re-download.
This is why God created yellow legal pads and the portable operating system called PEN 1.1.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:53 AM   #15
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And get a god damn flash drive! They run $10 and back up your files on it every couple days. Not hard, and could save your life.
I have one. Two, actually, but the bigger one is only 8GB. I got it at CVS back in...April, I think, for around $20.

I do make use of them. They helped me save a lot of my personal, created files.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:02 AM   #16
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Before doing anything drastic, take the cover off and wiggle all the connecting cables. Tighten any loose ones and check for single loose wires. Check the dust filter on the power supply and the heat sink on the mother board to see if the fan is clogged with dust.
The guy did that at the computer shop. He sprayed air all around inside it to clear out the dust. He also fiddled with my memory sticks. Then the comp turned on.

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Always unplug your computer when bad weather comes along. Merely switching off isn't enough. Those lightning arrestors aren't very effective, according to Consumer Reports.
Oh, absolutely. When my comp's not turned on, it's unplugged. I even unplug the Ethernet cable.

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You might find the 4 GB a little restrictive if you run more than two programs at a time, like Word and a browser, but expanding memory to 8 GB is cheap and easy. There are videos on youtube that show you how.
I doubt it. My old comp has 512 MB of memory. I doubled it around early 2010, and it made a huge difference. I've had plenty of programs running and browser tabs open.

My mom's comp (which she got last year and which I'm using now) has 3 GB of memory, and it's God compared to mine. I suspect my new one will be even better.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:06 AM   #17
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This is why God created yellow legal pads and the portable operating system called PEN 1.1.
Hehe, well, I might write while I'm redownloading all of those YouTube vids, much like I'm now browsing this forum while downloading vids to my mom's comp.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:49 AM   #18
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It's not hard to mount a hard drive externally to suck off the old data. The adapter cables aren't awfully expensive. Then you could use your old drive for extra backup too, if it's healthy enough.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:15 PM   #19
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Just wanted to disagree with the 4GB/8GB memory thing, if I can.

I have 4GB in my computer at the moment, and I have no problem running multiple programs at the same time. Of course, there's always a limit... I wouldn't get away with running 2 browser windows, Word, Excel, Media Player and a graphics-heavy video game all at the same time, probably.

But for 2 or 3 programs plus some folders opened, it's been fine, no problems whatever. (Doesn't really matter what programs either.)
Seconding this. 4GB is enough to run most tasks with no issues in my opinion. An 8GB update is cheap, but it's probably not necessary (especially if you're not comfortable poking around in your PC, and since you took it into a PC shop I'm guessing you'd rather not be opening it up yourself).

I really like Matera's suggested solution. USB external drives are cheap and reliable, as long as you're only using them for back-up and keeping your data somewhere else too. Remember that hard drives failures are very common. It's nice when you get lucky and they just keep on chugging, but don't count on that happening.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:20 PM   #20
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Hate to be a downer, but you can only use 8GB of memory if you're running a 64 bit OS. The 32 bit version can only address a total of 4GB of physical memory.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Cliff Face View Post
Just wanted to disagree with the 4GB/8GB memory thing, if I can.

I have 4GB in my computer at the moment, and I have no problem running multiple programs at the same time.
I could always run multiple programs on 4 GB, but they got slower and slower, and the HDD was running its ass off continually, swapping pages. I finally took pity on Griselda and bought her another 4 MB.

Also, Firefox gets bigger the longer it's run without restarting. This is an issue because it doesn't just slow down. It freezes Griselda up solid, like Lot's wife, and requires a power-off restart.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:38 AM   #22
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I've never had those problems.

Granted, I don't keep Firefox open continually. If I'm not actually using it, or keeping a page there for when I finish doing whatever else I needed to do, then I close Firefox.

As for the multiple programs... I tend to not use all that many very often. The biggest ones tend to be games, and it's not like I'm going to have multiple games going at the same time. In fact, if I'm playing a game, everything else is closed. Except maybe Winamp, if I feel like listening to my own music while playing (which isn't very often).
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by SianaBlackwood View Post
Hate to be a downer, but you can only use 8GB of memory if you're running a 64 bit OS. The 32 bit version can only address a total of 4GB of physical memory.
I was just going to say this. That's what my research turned up when I was having computer issues. Come to find out all my computer needed was a bit of wire jiggling and dust blowing and so far *knock on wood* no issues.

Also, I have a 32-bit OS and have 4GB and have had no issues running multiple browsers with many tabs open, playing a video game, word, winamp and other programs.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:20 PM   #24
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People still use 32-bit OSs/CPUs?

I guess that's like people still using 8-bit H.264.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:43 AM   #25
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Is XP 32-bit? Because if so, then my desktop is 32. My laptop, on the other hand, has 64-bit Win7.
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