Crash and Burn

October 9, 2006

It's been just over a week now since my daughter asked me if it was ok for her to download a GRE sample exam and use my computer for a couple of hours.

Since it was one of her last days in ABQ before heading off to Europe I had told her I would stay home and not climb the mountain. I had found some work to do using the upstairs computers and told her to go ahead and use the one she wanted.

A couple of minutes later she asked me for help.

"I downloaded it and tried to run the program and it immediately caused the computer to shut down. So I went to the website and got this "read me" file to try and figure out what to do next.

Read it?

Who reads 8 pitch read me files? I needed a telephoto lens to try and sift through all that stuff, and besides, there were pages of it.

"Here let me sit down and I'll see if it gives an error message."


Screen Blink

No signal

Great, I'll just reboot.

Start boot, Error message:
Disk Write error. Proceed Y,N?


Disk Write error. Proceed Y,N.

Long/short. The hard drive was toast. Maybe even wet toast after the toaster got thrown into the bathtub full of water.

Ok, not a problem, I'll repair windows.

No work.

I'll reinstall windows.

<b>The drive you are attempting to use is not formatted. Proceed with caution. You must format the drive before you begin. If you format the drive, all data will be lost.

Proceed, Y N</b>


Format hard drive, reinstall windows and then spend hours on phone with Dell trying to figure out how to fix this and that, mainly with the video card.

Decide Video card is toast.

Enter big dog on Monday.

GelForce 6800
Graphics to drench your senses.

Thankfully, all the client data was saved on the D drive. All the photos are on the E drive (and backed up 2x).

Unfortunately, I did not have a "backup" mirror image of the computer before it toasted, so I've been downloading files for just about every spart minute I had last week.

It appears to be working just fine, and yes, with the new video card the photos do seem to load a lot faster.

Meanwhile, I put daughter on the plane at 6am on Tuesday, and picked up Mrs at 11:30pm on Saturday. They met in Veniece while I fed the computer disks.

Oh yeah, and the GRE (Graduate Record Exam - for Grad school entrance)... You get your scores immediately.

Mrs got a 1200 plus about 10 years ago and was the highest in her class at the time. Now however, the resident brain surgery PA has been knocked off the household brain pedestal by middle child's 1320 score.

We celebrated with peach cobbler.

Ok, and a few beers.

Big smile on that girl's face as I dropped her off at the airport the next morning, even if she didn't sleep all night.