It finally happened. The laptop I’ve relied on so heavily for the past few years has given up the ghost. For the past couple weeks, it has occasionally shut down. It seemed like a thermal control issue, and propping the machine up on blocks to let air circulate underneath helped, for a while. But Wednesday morning, it shut off, and wouldn’t come back on.
When the PC started its shutdown trick last month, I did a full backup, and Mozy (my online backup service) seems to have done its stuff through the end of last week, so I probably didn’t lose more than a few days work.
The service guy at Staples (where I bought the sick laptop and most other of my computers) is extracting the contents of the hard disk to a new 1.5 TB external drive. I was planning to put all these files onto my old desktop until I could justify a new laptop, but Staples had an attractive deal on a new laptop, and my will was weak. Wide screen, Dual-core AMD processor, 4GB RAM (well, 2.75 with a 32-bit OS), 320 GB hard drive, so I can store more than about three VMs.
After the files have been recovered, we’ll see if something easy like a new fan will revive the box. If so, I’ll have a spare. If not, I’ll take it and a couple other old machines to be recycled.
My first move, once I got the new laptop home, was to wipe out the Vista installation with all the OEM crap (Norton, Office 2007 Trial Version, etc.), and install the Windows 7 RC. It looks a lot like Vista, and it runs smoothly. Lots of RAM helps here. Then I installed Office 2003 and VirtualPC. I’ll set up a few VMs with XP, Vista, and Windows 7, and Office 2000, 2003, and 2007.
It used to be fun and exciting to get a new computer. Now it’s more of a pain. Install this, uninstall that, try to remember your favorite settings and shortcuts and zillions of passwords. I’ll be back in action in another day or two.