• H2GD Part 34: death of a laptop

    This is the story of the death of my laptop, followed by some even more surprising behaviour. When I was in France in November my computer told me it was time to get a new battery. So I bought one. Back in France for Christmas (Brittany rather than Provence) and the computer started seriously misbehaving. It seemed to be overheating when in sleep mode. The fan was whirring and the machine was hot. It seemed to want to keep on charging the battery. A couple of times I noted that it would not awaken from sleep mode. I had to turn it off and wait for it to cool down before it rebooted. At the same time, for at least 3 days, Microsoft kept on delivering update after update. I wasn’t getting any work done, spending the whole time either nursing my sick machine or waiting for it to start up again. I also decided to uninstall a couple of programs I was not using.

    Eventually, on Christmas Eve, the machine died completely. I tried opening it up to see if there was anything obvious but couldn’t get it apart. I was able to get the disk drive out. I plugged it into another laptop and confirmed that it was OK. I would be able to recover the files I’d been working on since I’d taken my last backup, just before we left for France.

    On Boxing day, which is not a bank holiday in France, we visited a nearby computer shop and bought a casing to enable my disk drive to be used as an external drive.

    Eventually, having set myself up as an admin user on Susan’s machine, I got my emails working again. Then as I was responding to the messages I noticed that a whole directory had gone missing from the external drive.

    I have absolutely no idea how it disappeared. I have tried running an undelete program but it lists nothing. I have searched to see if the folder was moved but no files can be found. The oddest thing is that the files in the directory were not small, but it appears that no disk space has been recovered.

    The good news, if there is any, is that I did take a backup before heading off to France. Plus, I can recover/recreate the files from elsewhere. What’s most annoying is not knowing what routine deleted the folder, and whether or not any other folders are going to disappear without a trace.



    Published:

    Last updated:

    August 18, 2014

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