Thursday, February 9, 2012

Back It Up

Okay, before I get to my ranting and raving...here's the moral of the story...back up every dang thing on your computer.  Regularly.  Like every day.  BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER!!  Yes, I'm shouting that.  Now, go do it now.

Sorry, no photos.  I don't have any right now to put on...read on...you'll find out why.

Every Sunday Biker Boy does a system backup through Windows.  It's suppose to back up all our files and even make a system image that has our programs and stuff on it.  We did that all onto an external hard drive.  Every Sunday night.

We occasionally backed up other stuff on other external hard drives when we thought of it.  I usually thought of it and didn't do it. 

This past weekend we purchased a new external hard drive at Costco.  My photo taking is taking up quite a bit of room.  We decided to get the biggest one they had (3TB), even though it was the most expensive one.  We already do that Windows backup thing, but the new Seagate GoFlex external hard drive had its own little program to back up your files.  So we did that.  It automatically backs up anything we add or change.  Me likey that.  I don't have to manually do it.

So I did some portraits for a friend with a precious new baby the other day.  Then I downloaded all those photos.  I shot in the RAW and didn't have a program to edit those and convert them to JPEGS.  Just keep reading if you don't understand.  So I uploaded a program that came with my Nikon camera to do that.  I loved it.  It's amazing to work with the RAW files and then convert them to JPEG and touch them up in PS Elements.  I'm only saying this because the Nikon program is the suspect here in my computer problems. 

So this morning I go to turn on the computer and it starts to boot and then gives me this message:

NTDLR is missing.
Press alt+cntl+del to restart.

So I push that three finger salute to restart and get the same darn message.  I know it's bad.  I try the unplugging computer thing and everything I know to restart the computer.  No luck.  I call Biker Boy crying.  Yes, crying.  I knew it was bad. 

Biker Boy walked me through some things and the computer still wouldn't start.  I shut it down and left for my day of dropping a kid off at preschool, working in the first grade classroom, and picking my daughter up.  Then I turned the computer back on and stared at that stupid message.

I called the Costco number for technical problems with electronics.  They're helpful and when their suggestions (which I had already done, but tried again hopefully) didn't help, they put me in contact with Gateway.  It's a Gateway computer.  I still blame Windows and Nikon.  Biker Boy discovered the error message is something with filling up temporary files.  Well, Gateway told me to put the computer back to its factory settings.  Bummer.  I knew that was going to happen.  I wish I would have asked more questions though to see if we could have restored to a previous time point.  I'm so not technical and I was so upset I just went along with what the tech guy was saying.  I had already located my recovery discs, but was able to do the recovery without them following the tech guy's directions.

So the computer was set back to its factory settings with all that extra junk on it.  But....we had done a system image backup on Sunday.  Right?  That should put our programs and files back on from what they were on Sunday.  Then our new fancy external hard drive had backed up last night so I should have all my files and the photos I worked on last night.  Right?

Enter a bunch of frustration and an hour long call with Biker Boy....and more tears.  And there was some chocolate eating.  I made a hot fudge cake earlier because I knew I was going to need it.  And....we were able to recover the files from Sunday, but not the programs.  Apparently the system image didn't back up as it should have.  Or we can't find it.  Stupid Windows. Now I'm saying words I don't let me children say, that's how frustrated I am.  Stupid, stupid Windows.  I am stuck with a bunch of files that I have nothing to open them in.  Actually my files are still being put back on from the external hard drive right now.  They're taking awhile.  Thank you Seagate!  You were a timely purchase and I love, love, love you!  Not so happy with Windows and its error messages and its not backing up my system image.  I don't find it so user friendly.  Maybe it's time for a Mac?

But that means I need to reload every single program back on and delete all those extras that new computers come with.  That means I need to locate passwords and stuff for all those programs that were downloaded off the Internet such as Quicken and Biker Boy's engineering program (all that we paid for).  I should have been editing photos tonight, but instead I have to wait for my files to populate and then I have to put Elements back on and hope I backed up the actions I use.  Bummer.  On the bright side...at least I still have all the photos I already worked on last night.  And thankfully I didn't delete them off my memory card either for additional backup.   But what a waste of time.  Computers waste time.  When they work they waste time and they waste even more time when they don't work. 

Thanks for letting me vent.  I'll get through this.  And through the two medication less kids who obviously need to go back on meds.  Stupid allergies.  And thanks to my honey for dealing with me and my emotions.  Stupid computer. 

Oh, and I took a suggestion from a photography site to put my camera in Auto ISO...it can override my ISO setting to help exposure.  That sucks.  I tried it and thought it worked fine, but when I did my last 2 portrait sessions...the photos look too soft because the ISO went up way high.  Yet another thing stressing me out.  And yes, I stress out about that because the photos didn't turn out as sharp as I would have liked.  I don't like giving people what I think are inferior photos (totally cute kids in the photos though!).  I should have checked the ISO better, that's my fault.  Okay, I'm all better now.  I think I just need to go to bed or eat more chocolate.

So...share your computer woes or tips?  Help.  Please.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it. Comments will be moderated eventually. Computer use only occurs when kiddos are asleep or otherwise occupied. Thanks for your patience.

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