The last four years of my life have not gone quite as I expected they would four years ago. Most of my life has been plugged into this machine, stored on a hard drive. I've seen so many chances slip through my fingers. Mostly this was because I was too absorbed by the soft light emitted from my CRT but sometimes because of unfortunate events, sometimes. This really doesn't have anything to do with anything except recently my hard drive puked on me. This wasn't just a regular hard drive crash. This was one glorious failure to be remembered forever. Ok not really since I haven't missed a thing that I lost. But coming from one computer addict to another I'm sure you can appreciate this tale.
I sat down at my computer exactly ten days ago and tried to fire up my web browser. This is a fairly regular task that I require of my computer and one until now that it had done very well. This time the browser opened, everything2 popped on screen. Then as I moved the mouse it hesitated, then skipped and everything froze. The finger ballet of simple fixes began: Ctrl-Alt-Del, wait, Alt-Tab, Alt-Enter, Ctrl-Esc. Nothing. Esc. I don't know why I hit escape. It never does anything, I guess that just seems to be the ticket to get out of those bad situations in the movies. Sometimes I pretend my life is a movie. I do it over again, twice, just to be sure.
Ok, now I'm still not worried, no big deal I'll just reboot. It is a Microsoft product after all. I restart the computer watch the BIOS screens scroll by … IDE devices found blah blah… DPMI verified… and… nothing. Ok now I'm a little worried. The full impact of the situation hasn't quite hit me yet. I flip the switch and do it over again. Same thing. I'm not quite smashing anything within reach yet. Flip the switch again, I would hit the reset button but for some reason the wires that go with the reset button on my case don't match the motherboard and I'm too lazy to solder. Again through the BIOS screens and nothing.
This time I figure I'll let it sit for awhile. Maybe it's decided that today it needs to take things slowly and think its moves over. Fine, I can appreciate that besides I'm going to be late for work. So I hop in the car and it's all "How can I help you?" and "Do you need help finding something?" for a few hours. I'm back and the screen hasn't changed. I decide to crack the case. Initial inspection looks good, although I'm not sure what I expected to find, maybe green glowing alien guts splattered on the inside like some good sci-fi horror flick.
I decide to restart the power again. I don't know why I'm obsessively restarting it, I think it's how I'm coming to deal with the potentiality of losing all my data. This time things change. This time the machine decides to give me a hint. This time my worst fears are realized. Warning Primary Master Drive Failure. Yeah just like that. It still didn't hit me yet.
So I grabbed the drive and slapped it a few times. Power on. No more drive failure message, but still doesn't get past DPMI. Ok what the fuck. I think maybe it's not getting enough juice, the power supply is a measly little thing. I pull the power plugs out of all the other drives in my system and restart. It hits the DPMI message like a brick wall. Shit. I turn off the power and yank the drive. It's drop kick time baby. I slam the drive on my desk, I hear that works sometimes.
I pickup the drive from where it bounced and plug it back in. Power up. Things are looking good. I make it to the Win XP startup screen. I make it past the Win XP startup screen. It sure is taking it's time about shit though. I go down stairs and grab a snack. I come back and it's at the login selection screen. I've never been so happy to see that stupid little picture next to my login. I click it. HAHA JUST KIDDING. It freezes. Fuck.
I power off, drop the drive on the desk and put it back in. Nothing "Primary Master Drive Failure". I don't have any backups. It hit me.