back me up
tuesday, april 4, 2006

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today was the day to back up my files on the computer.

or so i thought.

for some reason, a number of the files wouldn't transfer from cd to hard drive or vice versa. i did manage to back my writing files onto a zip disk, but i was pretty tired of messing with the machine by that time. so, tomorrow, i'll put what i can on zip and go from there.

honestly, i think there may be a conflict in software or something. when we first got a burner for my machine, it used adaptec, so everything i own has been burned with adaptec. the burner (and my regular cd-rom, for that matter) finally went belly up and we picked up a new burner which uses nero. me thinks that adaptec and nero don't get along.

now it is possible that there's other issues. my machine is older and has had a lot of little, noninterference stuff come up. most of it has been ignorable. some of it has meant making little fixes here and there. on an occasion or two it meant getting rid of a particular program - -fortunately nothing i was particularly attached to. overall, it's been a good machine, but it may just be getting time to think about reformatting. i don't particularly want to, and will certainly look at taking care of backing up to cd in other ways before i do, but it is possible that the time has come.

i've been very lucky with this machine. my previous monster needed to be reformatted every 4 to 12 weeks. we never did find out why system files would just vanish or why the hard drive would suddenly up and disappear for no apparent reason. the place i bought it from kept blaming software, but that kind of wipe out wasn't software. the company just didn't want to admit it had sold me a screwed up p.o.s.

i was so happy to get my dell, with the tech support and in-home contract! and i know dells are on a lot of peoples **it-lists now days, but my dell has lasted me 8 years, never had a file disappear, never gone belly up for no apparent reason. i've had to replace an occasional piece of hardware, but she's still working, still has almost half her hard drive free, and is still a trusty, sturdy machine. she still runs win 98 s.e., and can't upgrade to win xp (win 2000, yes; win xp, no), but i've been very happy with it.

too bad it can't be a laptop.

and one of these days i will be picking up a laptop for convenience sake, and i am almost terrified of doing so. i've heard so many complaints about dell's more recent machine that i know not to buy one of those. but i'm afraid, no matter what i get, that i'll be trading in a good machine for a not so good machine.

maybe it's a good thing that the laptop is a long way in the future.

in the meantime, i take pretty good care of this machine. keep it reasonably cleaned out, run scan disk at least once a month, back up my files every two weeks or so, keep my virus and adware software updated, and delete unused/unneeded files on a regular bases. i may not have to reformat every month or so, but i'm still paranoid.

besides, i'm a writer. i need my computer, so i gotta take care of it. it's all i got.

i'll finish my back ups later this week. and i guess this summer i'll try to figure out what's up with copying from cd to hard drive to cd. might even start doing a file-by-file check on permissions and whatnot. it's been awhile since i've had to dig through everything i have on the drive -- some of the stuff i can't back up i may not even need.

just how long do you keep a software .exe file?

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