Monday, August 27, 2007

This is what makes my heart heavy

Four weeks ago, the lesser of my two PCs blew a power supply (and possibly more) during the night. There was a lightning storm, and I wonder if that's what caused a small scorch on one outlet of that computer's surge protector. The computer no longer would turn on, and borrowing the power supply from the other computer yielded iffy results: the motherboard was getting power, but it wasn't POSTing, and the CPU fan spun only sporadically. Rather than spend money on an outdated computer, I decided it was time for a new system and bought a Dell. Wonderful machine, but Dell's been having supply problems. The first delay, I was told, was caused by supply problems with my video card. The second was because of high demand for LCD screens, for laptop screens and LCD monitors, and I had ordered a 22" widescreen.

Vista seems ok so far, but it requires incredibly hardware to look pretty. I've turned most of the effects off. My favorite Microsoft OS is still Windows 2000, which required a lot of HD space but ran smoothly. XP and Vista feel so bloated, particularly with dialogue boxes and applying new configurations. When they work for several seconds to pull up dialogue boxes that 2000 pulled up quickly, you wonder what else isn't running efficiently.

But I now have a big gripe with Vista and XP, which apparently "lost" a lot of files. I had networked the new Dell with its working predecessor and copied most of my files over, using Explorer on the new PC to browse folders on the old system, select files and folders, indicate a copy, then paste onto the new machine. However, Explorer had problems with the files in one particular folder, telling me it couldn't access them. The folder was shared, and oddly enough, the two subdirectories copied over just fine. So I told Explorer to skip the first several troubled files, checked the box to do the same for the rest of the conflicts, and figured I'd get back to things later. This Saturday, I checked out the old computer and discovered, to my horror, that in that folder on my old computer, the only files remaining were the two subdirectories and their contents! In other words, of that folder on my old computer, the only remains of the folder were what had copied over to my new PC. All the files in the main directory were gone. I have no idea what happened, except that Vista went nuts and somehow had XP on the old machine delete all files in the directory. If anyone's heard of something like this, please let me know.

A couple of recovery utilities (Pandora and Undelete Plus) recovered some of the lost files, but only some. I'd rebooted the computer a few times as part of changing network settings, and whenever I restarted Mozilla, SessionSaver would refresh the cache as part of restoring all my saved windows. So, a lot of my lost files were impossible to restore, because the disk space was already overwritten. Tonight I plugged in the hard drive from my defunct computer, but I can't find the duplicate of that folder. I had made CD backups some time ago, but now I can't find them. Yes, it's ultimately my fault alone for not having readily accessible backups, and I'm the first to preach about making backups often, but it's nonetheless upsetting. These were the high-res originals of pictures I had taken over the last couple of years, especially Central Park and the last two company holiday parties.

Anyway, it's been a busy weekend. Don't worry, Tutton, I haven't forgotten about you. Your e-mail is still sitting untouched in my inbox, and sometime tomorrow (i.e. later today, because of the late hours I keep) I'll get around to reading it. But don't be a coward, Kraut-Wannabe: feel free to continue the "discussion" in comments. You know I'll post your e-mails regardless.


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