12 June 2009 by Published in: Battlefield stomping 8 comments

At 4:30 on Wednesday afternoon, as I was busily working on a draft of a complaint, my laptop suddenly locked up. When I tried to reboot it, it would not boot; the hard drive just made a clicking noise, and I came to the incredibly unhappy realization that I had suffered the same hard drive crash that my wife had suffered 13 days earlier. Apparently, the Fujitsu hard drives that Apple was using at the time (and Sony, too) are prone to zero-sector damages, which lead to crashes.

Of course, my whole life is on that computer. Most of the important stuff had a recent back-up done, but I still panicked. Anything that was sone since the back-up the week before would be lost, and there was a lot of work done during that period of time.

Luckily, everything will be recoverable. I should have it all back early next week. WE went and bought a new 2.5 inch drive for the laptop–Western Digital this time–and it was installed today. The old drive was 120GB, while the new one is 250GB, so I am better than doubling drive capacity. And the best part was that drives have come down so much that it cost me $79.99 for the new drive.

I am using our back-up laptop as I write this. It’s something like 6 years old, and it was the forebear to netbooks. Susan calls it the tiny laptop, for good reason. It weighs like 3 pounds and has a 10-inch screen. However, unlike netbooks, this is a full Pentium II processor running Windows XP, and it will do until I get my machine back Sunday when I get home.

All things considered, it could have been MUCH worse. However, as I told Susan yesterday, I feel like Linus from Peanuts does when he can’t find his security blanket.

I spent the afternoon today laying out the driving tour of the Brandy Station battlefield for my upcoming book, including adding GPS coordinates. I only addressed the publicly accessible portions of the battlefield; the Yew Ridge portion of the battlefield is entirely in private hands, and I have too much respect for the property owners to turn tourists loose on their property.

The battlefield is still beautiful, and I’m so grateful that I know it well enough to be able to lead tours there. I’m leading a tour of Kelly’s Ford and Brandy Station tomorrow and of Trevilian Station on Sunday before making the banzai run home Sunday.

Like I said, all things considered, it could be much, much worse.

Scridb filter


  1. Fri 12th Jun 2009 at 7:55 pm

    For something like $80 per year, Norton backs up pretty much everything on my hard drive continuously. Having lost everything to a laptop hard drive once, $80 for peace of mind ain’t too bad. Some might say that an external drive is cheaper, but it would be in the same house as my laptop, on the same elctrical system, so a catastrphic loss of both primary and backup is more likely than the remote backup with Norton. And for a few bucks more, you can get a backup that keeps folders and subfolders segregated.

  2. Mark Wade
    Fri 12th Jun 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Glad your back up and running.

  3. dan
    Sat 13th Jun 2009 at 1:30 am

    >Of course, my whole life is on that computer.

    uhh… bad idea, eric.

    i hear microsoft has an operating system similar to macintosh called “windows”. you might want to give it a try. microsoft says it’s really reliable.

  4. James F. Epperson
    Sat 13th Jun 2009 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for posting this. I will back-up my toy immediately.

  5. James F. Epperson
    Sat 13th Jun 2009 at 11:45 am

    Harry, why pay Norton $80/year when you can buy a large memory stick for that amount of money and back-up your data yourself?

  6. Sat 13th Jun 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Cause then I’d have to worry about the memory stick, its failure, my loss of it, and my remembering to do the backup. I know me.

  7. Jen K
    Sat 13th Jun 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Glad you got your data back!

    Think I’ll do a pre-emptive upgrade on my MacBook hard drive…..

  8. Tue 16th Jun 2009 at 6:28 am

    Eric, Eric, Eric — you’re already set up with the superior system, OSX, so you must have Time Machine already installed. Get a large-but-inexpensive exterior drive, and let TIme Machine work its magic.


Comments are closed.

Copyright © Eric Wittenberg 2011, All Rights Reserved
Powered by WordPress