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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Laptop Detonation

My laptop was stolen in January of this year.  It was a nice laptop, and it was my own stupid fault.  I left it on a plane.  Twenty minutes after arriving at my hotel I realized what had happened, phoned the airline and asked that they look for it.  I had my seat number...
The thing was never found.  I think someone swiped it on the way out of the plane.  Heaven knows they all searched for it (and were very nice about it).  So, it was gone.

I had a short-lived moment of panic: there was a lot of personal information on that thing, but then I remembered that I had a password that was about as break-proof as can be managed.  After a couple tries the memory banks would have been erased and the machine sold on.  It was still annoying, but, as I said, it was my own stupid fault.

I was out of town.  I commissioned a friend to find me another, gave a price range and a sincere thanks.  She found a laptop that had been marked way down because a newer model was being rolled out.  The markdown was very dramatic.  The laptop had huge memory, incredible RAM.  It was fast, capacious - and it was on sale for just about $30 more than I'd budgeted.  Definitely a fabulous buy.

I have been using it and very happy with it, but it started getting a little cranky.  I backed everything up in duplicate and then took it to 'The Geek Squad'. 

They looked it over, gave some suggestions, and I took it home and followed the suggestions - defrag the thing, do a disk cleanup, upload updates.  It froze.  It would not start.

So I took it back the next day.  It was under warranty, though I had declined the extended warranty.  I left it there, ran my errands - and received a phone call.
You have a defective hard drive.  It will need to be replaced.  It is, however, under warranty... (Imagine the voice of the announcer for Superman).
What can you say?  Machines fail.  I gave the OK to ship the laptop out and get the hard drive replaced (they didn't have one in stock, since it was an 'older' model).  I had no complaints.  It was under warranty and it would be fixed. I had backed everything up, so I had lost no graphics or manuscripts.  And my friend, who found me the laptop in the first place, has one she isn't using.
Life isn't always convenient, of course, but I think I was lucky.


  1. A hassle, yes, but SO MUCH better for it to occur under warrenty! Glad they're fixing it for you!

  2. You're right, Hart - and guess - just guess! - who's buying an extended warranty on the new hard drive....?

  3. I shudder to think of a loss, meltdown or other calamity in connection with our computers. Your own experience confirms once again: Use your memory stick frequently (even if it is a pain). I have been thinking about a new computer (I am using a 2001 Dell Inspiron on a docking station with a large monitor)...still hums along but I try not to do anything too complicated on the Internet. As sexy as the new laptops are, as a writer I still prefer an All-In-One with keyboard and mouse.

    Hope you (but not the thief) could retrieved all your information--I can just imagine how devastated you must have been.

    That reminds me: Let's all back up our documents NOW.

    Thanks for sharing, Diana, no matter how painful it was.


  4. You were SO lucky! I try to back things up, but admit to not doing it as regularly as I should.