Crash Big Time

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by kate.spencer8, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. My computer crashed earlier this week, had technician repair.
    Lost two email accounts,Bigpond Tech support restored one, Win 7 "Outlook) but Newsgroups not available with that account. (Problem 1)
    Worst thing after repair I tried to put Genealogy CD's back into Temp Files (don't want them on hard drive)as I had them before.
    Being stressed off my head I did something wrong add now the covering page of fist CD completly covers my Desktop and there is no way I can remove it.
    Bigpond Tech Support had no help to offernothing to offer.
    Would appreciate any help PLEASE.

    Regards Kate
    kate.spencer8, Dec 2, 2012
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  2. kate.spencer8

    Paul Guest

    If you look in


    you may see some files. Your desktop combines files
    from a few different places to make the icons. If you look
    in that folder, you might see the few "data" files you've been
    using. Some of the program icons, I'm guessing they come from
    somewhere else. In my example, I used "kate" as the account name.

    Windows 7 has winmail.exe (perhaps hidden, takes some work
    to set up), as well as Windows Live Mail (which you download).
    The second one, is more likely to be where your mail is set up.
    There might be an Outlook for Windows 7, but I don't think older
    versions of Outlook work with Windows 7.

    In any case, I trust you can figure out the name of the
    mail tool you're using.

    Some mail tools, support both email and USENET posting.
    Email would talk to an SMTP server perhaps,
    while USENET talks to an NNTP server. So the two,
    while visually you see messages, they're not
    exactly the same thing. On USENET, you send one
    message, and many people can see it without you
    addressing them.

    Some tools do USENET messaging better than others.
    Windows Live Mail does a poor job of formatting
    USENET messages, leading to confusion later about
    who said what. Some of us, as a result, will
    recommend tools such as Thunderbird for USENET.
    When it comes to the format of the messages,
    Thunderbird is more compliant. It doesn't have
    all the features of some other client programs,
    but I like it.

    The only problem with a tool like that, is setting
    it up. For someone who has never done it before,
    it is a bit daunting. I certainly didn't find it painless,
    the first time I used it. It took a while to find my
    way around inside. Very confusing at first.

    Even with articles like this, it can be pretty hard
    to get it working. The problem, is figuring out what
    to type in some of the boxes.

    Your ISP may have offered a USENET server for your usage.
    In some cases, they actually use a Highwinds server with
    their name on it (a third party). In other cases, like
    my ISP, they offer nothing, and you have to find a free
    one somewhere. When I signed up with my previous ISP,
    they gave me a paper with all the details of my servers,
    printed on the paper. Without that info, it can be harder
    to set things up.

    One NNTP USENET server that is free, and can be
    used for small text messages by anyone, is . It doesn't
    need a username and password, which reduces the complexity
    of the setup by a couple steps.

    This page shows the port numbers that can be used.
    The USENET client may default to 119 on its own,
    which will work fine. Port 119 is not encrypted, so
    your message could be "sniffed" by someone working at
    the ISP.


    In terms of storage locations on the computer, information
    can be stored in a couple places:

    1) RAM or random access memory. Computer programs run in there.
    When you edit a document, temporary space in RAM holds the
    document. If the power goes off, all contents of RAM are lost.
    That means, RAM is "volatile" and cannot be trusted.

    A person does not trust RAM for "permanent storage". But
    RAM is very fast, which is why we use it. Fast, and risky.

    2) The hard drive, on the other hand, holds files when the power
    is off. They don't get lost. The hard drive is "partitioned"
    into smaller sections, and a "file system" lives inside each
    partition. Your C: drive, which holds the operating system files,
    is just one of the partitions on the computer. C:\users\kate is
    one place where you can store data files if you want.

    3) You can write files to CDs. A CD-R can only be written once with
    files, while a CD-RW, you can erase the whole disc, and write it
    again later. So optical media is another way to store files.
    You say your "Genealogy" stuff is on CDs.

    To burn a CD, you need some place to hold the files before the CD
    is burned. With two optical drives, you can make a copy from one
    optical drive to another. But more typically, a user copies the
    CD contents to the hard drive, to a folder, adds or removes a
    few files, freshens up the odd file, then asks the computer to
    burn a new CD. And with the files on the CD, you're protected
    against a hard drive failure. You store the CD away from the
    computer, and even if the computer catches fire, your files
    are safe on the CD.

    I would say, there is still good reason to hold files on the
    hard drive. But, you can keep slightly older versions on a CD,
    while you're making changes. And for safety, after enough edits
    have been done, burn another CD, a different one, with the results.
    The idea, is to keep more than one copy around. But by doing so,
    you have to remember "which is my latest copy". Even I get that
    wrong sometimes, and that's the clumsy part of using multiple
    copies of the files. (When working on files at home, I've
    driven to work holding the wrong set of files in my hand.
    Then had to go back home again, and copy a different set
    of files.)


    It's easy for a computer to crash. Either an error dialog appears,
    or the screen turns blue and there are some numbers printed on the
    screen. That kind of event isn't that serious, as usually the
    files are still intact. You may lose changes that weren't saved
    in your document editor, if that happens. But usually, the vast
    majority of files are OK.

    That is different than a hard drive failure. When the hard drive
    fails, you can turn off the power, and when you turn the power
    back on, nothing happens. The computer doesn't boot. The regular
    desktop wallpaper no longer appears. You're stuck!

    That could be what has happened to you. The severity varies
    in that case. If the file system has a minor corruption,
    your technician can boot with a separate boot CD, and do repairs.
    Maybe only a few files are lost with a minor corruption, where
    the disk still rotates, and works.

    But, if the hard drive simply refuses to "talk" to anyone,
    then all your data is lost to you. If the hard drive is
    sent to a "data recovery specialist", for a variable price
    ($0 if they can't fix it, $1000 if the fix is very hard,
    maybe a couple hundred if the fix is trivial), they can
    recover the data on the disk. That saves having to reinstall
    the OS, and may save a lot of your settings. I suspect your
    hard drive failed, which is why you're in such a mess. Paying
    the technician, he can reinstall the OS, but things won't be
    nearly the same as they were. If you send the old disk off to
    a "data recovery specialist", it could be more expensive, but
    depending on the problem, you could end up with things a lot
    closer to how they were before.

    If the broken hard drive has not been abused any further by
    your repair guy, it could still be sent off for data recovery,
    but it could be rather expensive.


    To prevent this from happening the next time, and allowing
    you to work more safely, you should do a backup to a second
    hard drive every once in a while. Perhaps once a week.

    In Windows 7, there is a System Image function, which can
    copy all the occupied parts of the hard drive. You connect
    a drive like this to the computer, as the destination for
    the saved files. So, buy one of these, and use the backup
    function that already exists in Windows 7.

    (Comes with a power brick and a data cable...)$S640W$

    You can copy the entire computer, Windows 7 and all, to that
    drive, using the System Image function. I can do that in ten
    to twenty minutes with my laptop. Because it doesn't have
    a lot of files on it.

    Then, the next time your internal hard drive fails, the
    "system image" you made on the external drive, you can
    take that to the technician and impress him with your
    level of preparedness. It is an easy job, for him to
    transfer the contents of the external drive, to the
    new internal hard drive he will install.

    If you run the System Image once a week, you'll lose
    no more than one week's worth of changes to the files.

    Paul, Dec 2, 2012
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  3. kate.spencer8

    TeeJay1952 Guest

    Paul for you to take the time to write THE answer to this Lady's
    problems is both kind and noble. You can never get enough attaboy's so I
    just wanted to give you some small amount of reinforcement.
    Nice Job
    Tee Jay
    TeeJay1952, Dec 2, 2012
    kate.spencer8, Dec 2, 2012
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