What a Scare

February 01 2005 11:08 (+ 7 - 6 )

18 days. It doesn't seem like all that long a time. Two weeks, four days. That kind of time goes by so quickly for someone who lives 70 or more years, on average.

In the life of a computer, however, 18 days is a long time...a very long time.

That's how long Thaddaeus (the computer I am now writing from) had been running without a restart or shutting down, until yesterday. It seemed a little unstable; some programs weren't running like they were supposed to, failing to do what they are supposed to do. So, I look to see what kind of uptime I had. 18 days! "Well, I guess it's about time to reboot."

Thaddaeus reboots without a hitch. Then I get to the login screen. Click on my username, input my password, and wait...and wait...and wait some more. It's not logging me in.

Grrr, time is running short. We had to get to Salem for a prenatal doctor's appointment (come quickly, baby, it's supposed to be your birthday). I hold the power button in--the computer shuts down. I wait ten seconds and turn it back on. Try to login and wait...and wait...and wait, again. "This is not good."

Turn off the computer, turn back on, hold down F8. "Safe mode," I thought, "Maybe I can do someting from safe mode." For some reason, and it turns out to be fortuitous in the end, I select Safe mode with network. I try to login, and the same thing happens.

"I don't have time for this now!" We arrive at the Salem clinic just in time for the appointment--thank God for these rural clinics which are a little more lenient with regard to schedules, but it's nothing I want to take advantage of.

From Salem, we head to Sioux Falls. We have an appointment to get the car seat make sure it's in properly. Owell, the guy that does it called in sick, so we reschedule. Next, to Saturn for an oil change and to get the front license plate bracket remounted. That goes off without a hitch. From there, to Sears for rotation, balance, and alignment (that's where we get our tires). It was a nice hour-and-a-half roaming the mall, doing some shopping, spending some nice together time with preggers. Dinner time follows, courtesy of Jessie. "Hey sis, we had some delicious build-your-own burgers from Chili's thanks to you...thank you!" Then Sam's Club...I bought Norton SystemWorks here (excellent price) with the idea of reformating Thaddaeus and starting over. Finally, over to Wal-Mart for some other smaller things.

All this time, Thaddaeus sat at home, powered down. gen_here (my wife's computer) was powered down, too. Tychicus, the file server, was still up and running, however.

So, we get home, and my wife tries to login to her computer. She's getting the same thing. "Man, this really sucks...two computers down at the same time?" Something was fishy. On a hunch, I checked the router. No flashing lights, everything's solid...that's not right. gen_here get's turned off, the router get's rebooted, gen_here is turned back on. Here comes that login...we wait...and wait...PRESTO! She's in! Thaddaeus gets turned back on; I try to login...and wait...and wait...voila! I'm in! I wake Tychicus...the screen is blue...nothing else. So, it gets powered down, and powered back up. It works again.

A scare due to a router fart. Now, I'm out $50...well, sorta. One of these days (maybe this summer), I'll take the time to reformat Thaddaeus and get it back to a more stable state. It's long overdue. When I do, I'll be installing SystemWorks anyway. It's a handy suite of system tools to have to keep an eye on how your computer's running, so...yeah.

I was dreading today all day away from home yesterday. I kept running through my mind how I was going to try to backup various bits of data so that I could restore everything that I wanted to restore to a renewed configuration. It's a good thing I already backup all my documents and such, but other things, like Outlook configurations...well, that's another story. I'm thankful that I have all kinds of Outlook information stored on Tryphaena (my Pocket PC). Thankfully, I can take the time to backup everything I want and put in place measures to either remind myself to backup more stuff or do it all automatically.

Still, yesterday afternoon was not a fun day...well, in many aspects it was, but not computer-wise. I'm glad it's come to some sort of resolution.

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