Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Random Thoughts

- I have very good reason to be grumpy today.

- Oddly enough I am not really feeling grumpy, just defeated.

- My hard drive crashed and I lost everything.

- No warning, nothing, just died.

- I went out and bought a new computer and it had windows 8 on it.

- After just a few minutes using it I came to the conclusion that windows 8 was designed by a 13 year old girl with ADD.

- What is with all the giant squares with colorful stuff in them all over the place.

- Where the hell is my desktop.

- How come every single thing I open has no way to close it until I control alt delete to close it.

- And then it puts me back to that stupid screen with all the big colored squares.

- It seems like it was designed to work with a touch screen only.

- Ladies and gentlemen, we found a company that makes worse decisions than blizzard.

- And that is no small task.

- I want to thank the salesman at best buy that helped me out, it is not his fault that the person that gave the go ahead for the release of window 8 should die a horrible death.

- He asked me what I was looking for, I said, anything that can handle gaming.

- He was surprised, said as long as he had worked there only one other person had ever said they wanted a computer for gaming.

- Is being a gamer still that big of a stigma that people will not admit they game?

- He plays Eve, has for 7 years.

- We talked about gaming some and he was a really nice guy.

- Like I said, not his fault windows 8 sucks and the best buy didn't have any better gaming machines in stock.

- Either way, it was $1000 bucks wasted.

- I ordered a new computer online, much better suited for my needs, and it has windows 7.

- Cost me $2500 but I would pay that again 10 times over to never have to experience windows 8 again.

- I was looking at programs that can try and get the data off the old drive.

- None have worked so I am looking into the places you can send it out to.

- That will run me a lot more money I am sure and I am already $3500 in the hole.

- It is not the money that bothers me, it is the lost data that bothers me.

- I feel defeated.

- I had 3 new books I was working on that I had not had backed up yet, which is my own fault.

- Had no problems with my computer so you know the saying, out of sight out of mind, and I did not back up.

- All that time lost, over 800 pages of writing lost, so many other personal things lost.

- Then there is the gaming issue.

- Trying to remember all the addons I had.

- Then setting them all up to my liking again.

- New weak auras, new need to know, new bars, new heal bot.

- I spent the entire weekend, I am mean entire weekend, setting up my characters to be even remotely usable.

- I had wanted to take advantage of the double valor to get some alts some valor, but couldn't.

- Setting up all the addons made me wonder, maybe life would be easier without them.

- I should depend less on addons in the future, I just got so used to them.

- I really think blizzard should back up our addons and settings.

- Hey, at least I did not lose my macros, and I had hundreds of those.

- That would have been worse.

- So in case you ever lose anything, blizzard does keep your macros for you.

- And then after setting them all up there was knowing I was setting them all up only to be getting a new computer delivered in 2 or 3 weeks, it makes it feel like it is even more useless.

- If anyone has some idea how to get information off a hard drive (it just would not boot any more, not even from CD) please send me in the right direction.

- If I can't get my old settings back I might just say, screw it, and quit playing.

- It really sucks to feel like you are starting from the beginning.

- Even on a character I worked hard to set up I was walking around the world and it felt like I was playing someone elses character.

- It did not feel right, it did not feel like I was on my account.

- It felt like I was playing on someone elses account.

- I just do not feel comfortable right now.

- And I need to find my mouse disk and my keyboard disk, because playing without those "extras" they give me is killing me.

- Yeah, not so much grumpy, just defeated from losing everything.

- The game stuff I can rebuild over time, the personal stuff, sucks at a level of sucking I could not even explain.

- I can't wait until I get the new computer because I am going to take the other one I just bought out back and shoot the F'N thing.

- Windows 8 can suck my left nut

- It make what was already a horrible day worse.

- And on that note, have a great day, it can't be worse than mine.


  1. Rumor has it that in 8.1 they fixed a lot of the horrible horrible horrible mistakes they made switching from 7 to 8. I haven't played with it much, though. 8 was definitely designed thinking everyone would go use a touchscreen. I have no problems with tablets or smart phones, but I have a desktop because I want to have a desktop, so it really pissed me off that MS tried to make my desktop into a tablet.

    Also, if you feel up to it, just pull the hard drive out and hook it up to your new computer as a slave drive (you'll be able to find plenty of guides online, but depending on whether it's IDE or SATA it'll be slightly different). Then you can generally pull everything off of it.

    If not, you can actually take the whole thing apart, and put the "disk" into another case. But that's not within the abilities of normal computer users. If you do pay for someone to get the info off of it, that's probably what they'll do, though.

    1. The least they could have done is made it so that if you do not have a touch screen it would work the same. I really hate having to open the task manager to close everything.

      I tired that and tried using a drive wire. It just gets stuck at 99% when trying to access anything on the hard drive. :(

      I am probably going to end up going the pay route. While I believe I have the ability to do it myself I would not want to take any chances. Better safe than sorry.

      Thanks for the input.

  2. yeah, make sure you get the latest update on your pc, it likes the 'old' desktop better. You can resize your home screen buttons until it looks like a win7 desktop littered with buttons or keep multiple size live tiles (weather, calendar, email, facebook?) and the rest can go small. Also, if you can close the win8 apps by clicking on the left side of the screen and they'll all appear, drag them down to the bottom of the screen, or right-click mouse close. The WINDOWS key should flip you back and forth between Home screen and your desktop..

    To get stuff off an old hard drive, check out one of these ( Remove the drive from the old PC, and see if you can still access it when booting from your new machine. I had malware hide my boot sector on my pc about 2 years ago. Had to go through same pain. New hard drive, reloaded the OS (from Win7 to 8), found I could recover all the data but needed to use something like this so the malware couldn't hide the data. Cloud backups are your friend. I use Carbonite to backup my docs, pictures, and Steam Save Games and WoW Interface folders.

    1. I have a drivewire, which is similar to that. It hangs up before completely opening the directory. Same thing happened when trying to access it as a slave drive. I wonder if that would work if the other two options did it. Worth a short for 10 bucks however and at least I would have it for later use should I ever need it. Thanks, I will give that a try as well before going the send it out approach.

      I think I need to start using an online back up like that being I forget to make disks. When my external drive died a few months ago, which is what I used to back up to, I kept saying I would get another. Never did and apparently it was too late.

      I wonder if it were a malware or something that did it because it will not boot, will not let itself be accessed otherwise as slave or through drive wire. Perhaps I should consider that. Thanks again.

      Just wonder where I would have gotten it. Was playing warcraft waiting on an ordos group, had bad lag, went to reboot, and never came back.

    2. Can you recover the backup from the external drive? At least you'll have most of what you want back, minus a couple months.

    3. I have not tried. I would have to take it out of the box and attach it to the drive wire. I would think that if the wire connecting to it (which is basically jut a drive wire) is not working that might not. However, I will give it a shot because what can I lose, a little time? It is worth trying.

  3. Upgrade to Win 8.1 and install StartIsBack ( It will look just like Win 7.

    I use it on my machine at work and I put it on the new computer my Mom got recently. I recommend it to anyone who gets stuck with Win 8.

    1. I love you man.

      I am going to have to do that as soon as I get home. Already purchased a new computer with windows 7 however, but I would have needed it anyway, this one can not handle even an ordos group without smoke coming out of its ears. Amazing it is a new computer.

  4. I sympathise. Losing your data sucks deeply.

    Are you sure it was a HD problem?

    You said "If anyone has some idea how to get information off a hard drive (it just would not boot any more, not even from CD)" and I'm not entirely sure what you mean. If you can't boot the computer from CD, then the computer has a fault that is not the HD. If you meant that, even after booting from CD, you couldn't see the HD, then it may well be a HD problem.

    I'm a software bod, not hardware. If the drive can't be mounted, or is beyond my ability to plug into things, I call the guys with the screwdrivers, but I have recovered a lot of data for people with the simple Linux utility disk at

    Download it, burn it to a bootable CD or DVD, connect the dubious hard drive to a PC, and boot that PC from from the CD. If it can recognise the hard drive, then usually data can be recovered.

    1. I know it is hard to explain but I will.

      When the drive is connected to anything, nothing will load. Which is why it could not load from CD.

      When I connected it to the new computer as a slave the new computer would not boot. When I connected it to the new computer through a drivewire it would recognize the drive but when I clicked to open it it would freeze.

      I downloaded a few programs like recurva for data retrieval and if the drive was connected it would not open. As soon as I disconnected the drive recurva would open. If I plugged the drive back in, it would not show that the drive was there.

      So whenever I tired to get data off it, in any way, it froze everything. The only time I could see it is if I plugged it in with a drive wire and had absolutely no programs open that would be able to access it. But as soon as I tried to access it, via program, disk, clicking on the drive itself, etc, it froze and moved nowhere.

      I hope I explained that well. It is almost as if the drive does not want the stuff on it to get off and it is blocking attempts to access it. Yeah, I watch too much sci/fi maybe.

      Would that work if I have that drive on the drivewire and used it? Or do I need to put it back in the old computer and try to boot with it?

      I would guess, but am willing to try, that it would just stall like it did when trying to boot from CD.

      Thanks for your input, seems like you know a bit about this stuff.

    2. I'm sorry; nothing I know will help here. Once a drive image is available, I have some experience in piecing together data sections that have been orphaned by the loss of allocation pointers, inodes, directory structures, and where parts of the file data have been lost, into files that can be loaded into their intended applications, like AutoCAD or MSSQL, but that doesn't apply to your problem.

      Nothing in what you say implies that your data is damaged. It's just on a disk where you can't get at it. Since you don't mention horrible sounds, it is unlikely to be a crash proper. It could just be a failure of the disk controller.

      I know that data recovery services do not have the friendliest front-counter sales staff, but they're more often lied to than a New York cop, and they do have a sniffy attitude and an unwillingness to commit to people calling as a result. But there's a reason successful data recovery services stay in business: "The thing is that Mr. Dibbler can even sell sausages to people who have bought them off him before."

    3. No horrible sounds. The disk still spins. No clicking, no grinding, nothing. Sounds fine.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and trying to help me with some advice either way. As I said, it is a weird thing. I've done so many searches and have not been able to find anyone that describes the same thing I am experiencing. Close, but nothing the same.

      I might be forced to use one of those "user unfriendly" recovery services.

  5. ontrack is the gold standard. they are expensive though.

    1. Thanks, I will take a look. Already talking to a few of those sites and they all seem to be rather blah with their responses and do not give me faith in using them.

  6. Ouch, that hurts.

    First things first, recovering data from a hard drive. You have two options. The first and the best one if the data is very valuable (eg, weeks+ of work to restore) is a paid hard drive recovery service. There are many of them, DriveSavers, etc, they are doing a good job, read the reviews and choose. Second option, is, of course, to try and do it yourself with hard drive recovery software and whatnot, but I would only recommend it if the data is not too valuable, since with many tools there is a chance to screw things up worse. From what you say, it seems that the drive won't even start so we are likely talking about damaged circuitry. This can be good for data, actually, so don't panic just yet.

    Second, on preventing things like that in the future. Of course, there are backups and some already suggested cloud backups. But there's also a parallel complementary tech that doesn't require doing anything at all: RAID 1. The way this works is you install two hard drives which are completely the same, and you join them into RAID 1 after which they mirror each other. You'll take a small perf hit on writes, but you'll actually gain on reads, and it's the reads that count, because writes are typically small and happen much less frequently, so it's a win-win. When one of the drive starts failing (you'll know through the OS or through some monitoring software of which there's plenty on the Internet), you'll have ample time to (a) backup valuable data from the working drive, and then (b) replace the failing drive.

    And, yes, Windows 8 is a disaster. You aren't alone. It gets slightly better with Windows 8.1, but it won't get too much better until Windows 9, so... What's worst is that Windows 8 actually has some great tech inside it, if only they moved that stupid Metro interface somewhere other than front and center...

    Good luck and don't despair, your data is very likely still recoverable.

    1. I contacted drive savers, they seem to have a lot of good reviews but when I explained the problem in complete detail and even said that money was not an issue and asked if they could help me they gave some BS answer that was 2 lines saying "we can do that. we will move the data to a new disk and you will be able to get your data from there."

      No price, no time estimate, no saying they have heard of my issue before when I can find no one online that has ever experienced what I am saying. No details on how to pack it to send it to them, no details on if my information would be secure, no guarantee that people are not going to go scouring my financial data. Just "we can do that"

      Sorry, you do not want my business if that is your answer to a very detailed quote request. And yes, it was a quote request. You noticed I did not mention him quoting me anything, because he didn't.

      Drive savers might have good reviews, but their customer service rep seems more like someone that works for blizzard.

      The new computer I order has 4 hard drive bays, easily accessible, so I can add more drives, I might go the raid route for my data. Thanks for the idea.

      I wonder what the hell microsoft was thinking adding an interface that basically required a touch screen in a medium where probably fewer than 5% of their customers have a touch screen. It boggles the mind.

  7. Win8 are a disaster , Win 8.1 are slightly but notebly better , regarding the interface. On the "under the hood" area, 8 are better than 7 and slightly faster ceteris paribus.

    With that out of the way, if I got this right, you've bought 1 pc for a 1K and then spent another 2.5K to get another, just to get Win7 ? Wouldn't be easier and cost efficient if you'd just bought a licenced copy of Win7, format the 1K rig and install it ? Am I missing something here ? Even if you don't know how to do it, I'm sure that some friend could do it for you, or that tech guy at that store for a small fee.

    1. The 1K one is a decent computer, but it is not a gaming computer even if that is what is is supposed to be. I am experiencing all types of lag in 25 man and lets not even talk about doing a world boss with 40+ people there when my computer comes to a near stand still.

      I did not buy the other one "just" because it had windows 7. I got it because I needed one that could handle my gaming needs and made sure it had windows 7.

      I'll give the computer I just purchased to a family member that does not game, they can get good use out of it. Most likely my uncle, he likes to do video editing and his computer is old. I am sure it will be fine for that, but for gaming it is not going to cut it.

    2. It sounds like you spent way more money than you needed to, and would have been better off just asking someone for help with getting a new computer instead of making rash decisions. For 1k you should have been able to get a computer that would game fine, and when you didn't like the one you did buy there were much cheaper options to fix that one so it did work for you instead of going and buying another overpriced one. It seems like you paniced twice about not having a computer to game on.

      I hope you are able to recover your data as that really sucks when a hard drive dies. You should consider using a cloud service to back up or store your writing or set up a daily backup to an external hard drive.

    3. I did jump the gun and end up spending a little more than I needed to, that is true, but if I end up happy and with something that suits my needs I will be happy and have no regrets.

      The only thing I am worried about is recovering the lost data. Still having an issue finding any place that will give me any straight answers other than "we can do that". I lost something important to me, I need to hear more than "we can do that". I need them to make me have faith that they can help me restore what I lost if they want my business.

      I am going to start doing that instead of the old way of only backing up once every 6 months or so.

  8. You've likely moved past this hard drive situation already but just in case...

    There's a data recovery service company local to me that I've used quite a few times, twice personally and a handful of times professionally, they've always had good results, I've gotten most or all of the data back that I had on the drives. They're in Canada, though, in case that's an issue. If you want a referral either e-mail me (if you got my e-mail a few months back) or mention it here and I'll e-mail you again.

    Generally, if they can't coerce your drive back into (temporary, at least) functionality, they get hold of an identical drive and swap out the control board for yours, that'll usually give them access. They have other tricks as well but I believe in all of my cases that's how they've resolved them.

    Don't feel too bad about not being backed up, few people actually do it often enough (or at all). I had a crash back about 15 years ago and lost a complete drive and unfortunately that wasn't enough to get me into a long-term backup strategy, I have a few scattered around but I couldn't even tell you what's in them, I'd probably just start from scratch instead.

    1. Nope, still trying to find a decent place to send it. Each one I contact is useless, they will not give me any information or talk to me about the process, price or time it will take. They all just say they can do it and to send it to them. Sorry, not going to send something with important data to someone that will not answer basic questions.

      I would be interested in contacting them. Maybe they will be better than some of the companies I have found in the US.

      I used to be so good about it. I would back up once a week, heck, I would back up whenever I did anything I did not want to lose. But with so many years of never having any problems I slacked off on it. Seems that is what happens to everyone.

    2. Ok, e-mail incoming with details.

    3. Thank you. I hope they can help me. Just want to get my writing back, that is really all I care about.

      I have old saved, but to redo all I added would suck.