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My week in IT Hell

It's been a whacky hardware week here, and I'm still not done digging out of the mess. 

Sunday my desktop PC at home experienced a catastrophe.  The motherboard or power supply (still don't know which) died. 

Monday night, I installed Safari for Windows on my laptop in the Toronto airport lounge.  It was the last straw for my aging HP TC1100 tablet PC.  Already flaky, the PC folded up and died due to something in the way that Safari uses video.  So, Tuesday I set about rebuilding it.

Tuesday night I had the bright idea of using the PC I keep in my basement as an Asterisk server as a temporary replacement for my desktop PC while having the desktop PC serviced.  Janice has been complaining for a while that her PC needs a rebuild (kids downloading stuff, etc), and the Asterisk box is a nice shiny AMD Sempron 3200.  Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone, I reasoned.  I'll format the Asterisk box to Windows, use it myself until my desktop is fixed, and then pass it on to her, take her old PC (a 1.8 Ghz Athlon) and turn it into the Asterisk box.  Down to the basement I went, and… as hard as this is to fathom… I knocked the Asterisk box on it's side, while it was running (it was stacked on another PC).  I've never heard a sound like that from a hard drive before… 

A replacement 200G SATA hard drive was $99 at Staples. Copies of Windows Vista and Office 2007 were purchased, and installed.  Then I parked the PC at my desk while working on the laptop.   

This morning most of the files are in the right places, and most of the PC's (except for the desktop that kacked on Sunday) are up and running again.  Thanks to Foldershare (Microsoft's file synchronizing solution) I had nearly current backups of everything.  I did end up wasting a good chunk of Wednesday recreating iotum's financial modelling spreadsheet, because it somehow hadn't been synchronized to my backup server, but all in all the data seems to have survived and been moved into the right places.

Now on to the corrupt WordPress installation on my blog.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Dean Collins June 15, 2007, 8:34 am

    Alec,
    Why dont you setup a SBS2003 server in your home like I do, automatic backup of all your files from each workstation each time you log in/out, also remote access, isa2004, Raid SAN, exchange, IIS etc all built in to 3 single cd's.

    This way next time you lose a workstation you can just drop another one in it's place and be up and running as soon as windows finishes installing.

    Also the ability to backup up weekly from the sbs server to an offsite online security service means even if your house burns down all you need is another server and you can reinstall from there.

    Cheers,
    Dean http://www.collins.net.pr/blog
    P.S. plays friendly with asterisk etc – voicemail to email, remote access to FOP etc.

  • Alec June 15, 2007, 1:54 pm

    Hey Dean,

    That’s not a bad idea. I’m actually looking at the new home server too… I sure don’t want to go through this again.

    A

  • jules June 16, 2007, 2:51 am

    Holy cow.
    Sorry to hear about your computer adventures.
    remind me that it's about time I did an annual clean up/check up/back up of all my wee laptops around the house 😉

    -jules

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