Tech-Tuesday: Recovering From The Blue Death

So, you may remember that I suffered the true Blue Screen of Death.  I've had my new laptop for a couple of weeks now.  A new Dell Inspiron 15R.  I ordered it from Dell, it was delivered quickly, and my wonderful wife, Cora even found an on-line coupon at RetailMeNot to save me some additional CA$H.  In the few weeks I've had it, things are going okay.  But here's a quick roundup of my thoughts and lessons learned.

  • Routine and regular backups are a good thing.  Saved my bacon.  I had most everything stored off on an external hard drive.  I know I lost some stuff, but I'm not sure what it was.  I have upped my game a little by adding a 2 TB NAS (Network Attach Storage) device hanging off my wireless router.  It's doing automatic copies of my data weekly now.  I now need to get this set up on the other computers in the house.
  • When backing up your content, put some forethought into how your data is organized.  I have 3 sets of some data.  Which wouldn't be too bad, except that it's things like "My Pictures" and "My Music". Does anyone know of any good "de-duplicating" freeware?
  • This is my first personal laptop.  I've had a few at different jobs, and I have a netbook, but this is the first legit laptop I've owned.  Not really a fan of the keyboard on it.  A little mushy.  I usually use it at my desk where the desktop was, so currently, I use a real keyboard plugged into a USB hub.  I'm thinking of upgrading the USB hub with a full fledged dock that will allow me to more easily use my big monitor and wired network.
  • Wow, does the battery life on this thing suck.  I may buy an external battery/ charger so it has juice to make it that 4 hour flight to Seattle.
  • Back on the subject of backups, make sure to back up a copy of your browser favorites.  I hadn't done it in a couple of years.  Oooops. 
  • I had a BIIIG collection of fonts downloaded on the old machine.  Even though I still have many of them (thanks to those backups I mentioned), I'm really not looking forward to re-installing them.

Overall, I would say that once I got the laptop, I was about 2 or 3 days before I was mostly back to normal.

Let's see if my blog-posting is getting back to normal.


Cora said...

YOUR blog posting getting back to normal?! I haven't posted in about SIX WEEKS! Soooo pitiful.

So. Cal. Gal said...

I haven't heard great things about Dell. Sounds about right, hunh? lol!

After the 1st time my computer crapped out, the tech was able to reinstall everything. Then it crapped out for good. After I bought the new computer, the tech was able to take everything off the old hard drive, so I now have 2 copies and I don't think I lost anything important. I backed the important stuff on an external hard drive so I think I'm good to go. And you're not the only one who's fallen down on the blogging job.

SkylersDad said...

Good to see you back out here. I echo your sentiment about backing up often, and to remember the stuff that usually doesn't get backed up. Like bookmarks, and email!

Anonymous said...

Docking, yes...docking.

Scope said...

Cora - Hopefully my blog posting isn't the only thing that get's regular soon. Sorry, I left the fan running, but you might want to light a match if you go in there. :-)

So. Cal. Gal - All I have ever owned are Dells, and have had little trouble. The PC was over 6.5 years old, so it was pretty due.

SkylersDad - Didn't back up the email, because it's on the mail server, too. I just let Outlook download it overnight.

Joshua - Technically, "port replicator". And the more I move from the desk to the sofa and back, the more I know one is in my future.