Argh! Laptop hard drive crashed!

TL;DR: Laptop hard drive seized/crashed, replaced it, now need a new, legit copy of Windows. Also lost some stuff, most notably my Minecraft world saves.

It’s been a frustrating and somewhat sad few days; it appears the hard drive I’ve had in my Acer Aspire 5536 laptop I bought from PC World back in 2009 has seized. I fear I’ve lost the most recent backup of the diary I’ve been keeping, I think the latest version I have was from April 15th.

Not that too much has happened since then, but I am sad to think that those entries are gone. Most distressingly, however I have lost my Tekkit and Feed the Beast Minecraft worlds, I know, doesn’t sound so serious, but I have spent hours building in them, oh well. I have started again using the same seeds and am well on the way to rebuilding what I had lost. In fact, I was astonished how consistent the seed generation is in Minecraft, the world I have now seems identical to the one I had prior to the crash, but now I have the benefit of hindsight and have dug my hovel/lab entrance in a slightly better position and lower down.

I’ve been watching ‘The Call Centre’ on BBC Three lately and am slowly coming round to the idea of working in a similar, soul-crushing environment, it’s better than being unemployed, and I need money, I need a PC, possibly even a new laptop if this blows up. I like the boss, Nev, I hope I have a boss like him. Been thinking about going onto JSA in the meantime, that will either be the stepping stone into work I hope for it to be, or a depressing, weekly insight into the depths of the cesspit that is Britain’s benefit culture that I sometimes fear. Either way, I can’t go on the way I am, I am entitled to a job and if not, unemployment benefit at least.

Yes, so back to the laptop. The whole thing occured when I went for a shower, I shut down any programs I had running and put the laptop to sleep by closing the lid like I had done many times before. When I got back, I lifted the lid and hit the space bar, for a split second there was a BSOD (blue screen of death) and then the laptop shutdown. After trying to restart it, there was a worrying noise, a series of beeps in bursts of three, it didn’t get past the POST screen, I quickly turned it off and wondered what to do next. I was sure my beloved laptop of four years was dead. I had nightmare visions of having to buy a new laptop with what little I have left, or even worse having to cope with no computer at all (how could I cope?!).

I eventually worked out it was the hard drive that had failed (I started up the laptop with the drive removed), this was good and bad, good because it meant I just had to replace it, but bad because it meant I had almost certainly lost all my data on the drive.

Luckily, I have managed to install a replacement and have installed Windows 7, I have the original drive in an anti-static bag, I may try to revive the disk with the help of an external USB caddy soon and attempt to salvage what I can. Both drives are the same make (Western Digital) and even the same model (Scorpion).

I now have the dilemma of what to do regarding my choice of Windows operating system. The one I’m running now has not been activated and expires in 26 days (although can be rearmed 3 more times). My laptop came installed with an OEM Windows Vista Home Premium, but I think I am now set on Windows 7, so I will most likely be having to buy an OEM copy and use that, this of course means that the copy of Windows can only be used on this laptop, if it breaks altogether, then I am screwed and I am back at square one. This is why I need a job, too.

Okay, enough waffling, time to enjoy a hot lemony drink and have a think. The recovery starts here, I will rebuild! Lesson learned. I will take the backing-up of my data more seriously and with greater efficiency and regularity in the future.