Dell Inspiron 1525 Crashes and Data Backup Follies

I guess it was bound to happen; our 3.5+ year old laptop met a cruel fate, as the HDD suffered a catastrophic failure. What a mess; one of these days I will learn to do a better job of backups. I do at work, but not so much at home, as my most recent full backup (images, music, docs, tax returns, etc.) was from Feb. Oops!

So I spent the better part of the weekend running diagnostics, trying to get to Vista Safe Mode, etc. No luck. I did manage to uncover that “system volume on disk corrupt” – not pretty. Apparently Windows Resource Protection “found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.” – not so good.

I could never get into Safe Mode because the system would hang on CRCDISK.SYS; presumably attempting to fix the corrupt files.

It was real easy to see where this was headed. I have another six months of warranty, so when I contact Dell, they are going to tell me to format (restore to system to factory default settings).

So I decided that (A) it was time for a new laptop; really need one anyway (B) I would attempt to recover my data manually. Skipping to (B), I went to Best Buy and purchased a RocketFish USB 3.0 2.5” SATA Hard Drive enclosure, which I used to get access to all my data. For (A), at Best Buy I also picked up a Toshiba Satellite P745-S421 – Intel Core i5-2410M 2.30GHz, 6GB RAM, with Windows 7 (64 bit), which is a nice upgrade over my old Insprion-1525.

The RocketFish worked like a charm; I found all my data intact, copied it to the appropriate location on the new Toshiba, and am pleased that I lost little to no data. While I did manage to pull in most of my contacts, I “lost” my Outlook email, although I figured out a way to browse the messages; I just do not have them loaded into the P745’s Windows Live Mail client.

Today I finally got online with Dell tech support (instead of playing NCAA Football 12); of course we had to go with the Restore System option!

So now the Inspiron 1525 is back in action, sans all the original clutter of loads of software, music, and miscellaneous data. I am now going through 100+ Windows updates and other fun stuff (only without the fun) before relegating the old 1525 to the kids’ school table.

I still have to get OOTP11 and a few other odds and ends up re-installed, but other than that … I am ready to move on to something more fun; say NCAA Football 12!

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