I am playing catch-up on my blog writing. At the end of December, my main computer had a “fatal” error.
I woke up to the “blue screen,” and no amount of refreshing, restoring past restore points, or fixing windows
in any manner would work. After six hours, I realized the computer would have to be reformatted. I then spent
the next four hours attempting this process. Nothing I tried worked. At one point, which lasted a couple of hours,
the computer would shut down within a couple of minutes because of the error state, which meant I had to restart it,
pick an option within the BIOS only to find the computer was powering down because I took to long. In the end,
I contacted Microsoft tech support. They were no help. They told me I had some other issue, and I needed to take
it to the local repair shop.
At 7 PM I had an idea. You see I had experienced this about two years before when I had taken the “free” update from
Microsoft for Windows 8 users to go to Windows 10. In the process, the computer had many issues, and I was elevated
to Microsoft’s highest tech support. During this support time, they not only take over your computer with remote
assistance, but they talk to you on the phone. At this level, they are the only ones that can fix your computer. There is no
other option. Making a long story short, I recalled something I had seen this technician do, so I thought there couldn’t be
anything to lose in the process. I tested my mental memory and tried what I thought I remembered the technician doing.
It worked. I brought the computer back to life.
I felt so empowered.
When my husband came home from work, he highly suggested I get a different computer. We had been planning on getting
the kids a stronger machine for what they were getting into anyway. Ah, the life of owning a computer.
They are great until they don’t work.
Why am I telling you all this?
I learned some vital lessons along the way, and I thought I would share them with you.
First, always have a USB with Windows loaded on it. You can search the topic on how to make a Windows backup to a USB.
There are plenty of videos on it. You need a copy of windows to fix most problems you encounter. Without this, you are dead in the
water. It used to be that you could insert the disks that came with your computer to do this. Now the computer manufacturers
expect you do to it yourself, yet most people have no idea of how important it is. I didn’t have this the first time around, which
caused me more problems.
Second, never trust your computer to keep your stuff safe. Always have a backup. Storage disks are cheap these days.
You can buy a 1TB Seagate for under 60 bucks, or you can back up to a cloud storage place for a few dollars a month.
If you have a lot of documents, you don’t want to lose, or you have pictures you always want to keep, then back it up.
Equipment fails at the most inopportune time. Trust me. I’ve lived through this. I currently have two Seagate External drives
attached to my computer, and I have everything backed up to one external drive that resides off the computer (and I back
everything up to this monthly, so I always have quick access to most of my files). I also back up to a cloud storage. My backup
plan leaves me with three copies should one of them fail. Take inventory of what is on your computer, and think
about what you would do if it was wiped clean.
Third, write down all your computer details. You always need this at some point. You want to know what version you have,
how much RAM it has etc. I keep a print off of this information in my filing cabinet. It makes it easier to troubleshoot when I know
exactly what processor I have.
Be prepared is my motto.