Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Death of a Netbook

The Netbook won't start.

Acer screen, Windows XP screen, loading...then blank. Safe mode makes computer speak spill down the screen, then stop at the same nonsensical (to me) command each time. It goes no further.

Nothing has been lost in the way of photos or music; everything has been backed up on a pen drive along the way. What I've lost is the convenience.

Composing blog posts over the course of a spare few hours from the comfort of a sofa or bunk bed has been swapped for a computer in a crowded room, with a timer ticking away in the top right hand corner. Now, even just using Microsoft Word requires payment.

Writing words destined for the internet onto paper doesn't feel quite right. The sentences that often appear in my head need to be typed, not written.

10 minutes remaining.



(And yes, "Daaaaad, my computer won't worrrrkk" type text message and follow up phone call has been made. Alas, that computer repair man doesn't do overseas callouts.)


James said...

Just a thought...

But when my laptop died and wouldn't boot even in Windows Safe Mode, I used a Live CD of Ubuntu. Basically it bypasses your Hard Drive and loads up temporarily into your RAM. It worked like a dream for me an enabled me to recover my files that I hadn't backed up. I also did the same thing when my parents Windows machine was failing to boot.

If it works and you like it (it even has a netbook version), you might even end up installing it properly and using it full time like I now do.

Of course it depends what has broke on your netbook. But it might be worth a try.

Anonymous said...

Can you not try to get it fixed once you get back to Aus, or is there not some nerdy geek in your hostel who might fix it for some baked beans on toast?

The Unbearable Banishment said...

My netbook has been trouble-free since the day I got it, thank Bog, and I use it every single day. To implement James' fix, you'll need to get an external drive, since CDs cannot be loaded into netbooks. I'd rather give up a testicle than lose my netbook while on the road. (What?...I've got a spare.)

Anonymous said...

James' advice is good. One of my mates done something similar when his died.

Failing that, isn't your boyfriend due to come out and see you soon...a few hints to dad might see a new laptop arrive with boyfriend? ;)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sounds like a dead or corrupt hard drive. Does the HDD activity LED flicker as normal when it starts up indicating hard drive activity?

Here's a cheap and quick solution...
Buy another 4GB USB pendrive.
Plug it into a USB socket of a PC in an internet cafe.
Go here..
Download the installer to the PC and run the .exe file when downloaded.
A window will pop up.
Select Linux Mint 8 and tick the box asking to download the ISO.
It's a long download, 700MB.
Once downloaded follow steps 2 and 3.
It will install a working operating system on your pen drive.
You may need to change the boot order on your netbook when you next turn it on (with USB pendrive inserted).
Google "changing boot order in (insert your netbook model)" while you're waiting for the download.
Easily done.

Should be able to do in roughly 1 hr total.

Anonymous said...

Oh, format the USB drive when asked. A lot of them come with U3 software already on them and you just want to wipe all that bollocks out.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

James - I don't have a CD drive on my netbook, but will keep this in mind should all else fail...

perp - Just trying to avoid spending outrageous repair costs really. And the problem with befriending a geek whilst hostelling is that they then follow you on a night out and dance like your dad. (ref: saturday night)

unbearable - Mine has been trouble free too up until now. Thats exactly what it feels like. Well, iof I had a testicle to lose anyway. I didn't realise how much I used my netbook, not just for internet, but for everything really. Such a pain.

cynical - I think that might be pushing it a bit, but the boyfriend will be bringing his own computer fixing skills, he's emailed me a suggestion to try so will give it a go...

not twitter - It blinks at first then when the screen goes blank it stops blinking. I'm going to give my boyf's suggestion a go, which is to download a bios update from the acer website and try and overwrite the one I've got and boot it like you said in the setup menu (or something)...but if that doesn't work your suggestion is next in line! Thank you!

James said...

Ah no CD drive... Well as nottwitter has suggested you can run/install it via a USB Stick too, although I've yet to try it this way.

By the way Linux Mint is essentially just a face-lifted version of Ubuntu. It's just a matter of personal preference which one you'd rather use.

You might also find the help forums (http://ubuntuforums.org/) useful if you do end up giving this method a try.

Doesn't your netbook come with some sort of Windows recovery CD for these eventualities? A fresh install of Windows would likely do the trick I would have thought.

Good Luck!

Ellie said...

I can't help. I'd probably figure it was broke for good and start pricing a new one. Bad, I know.


Blog Template by YummyLolly.com - RSS icons by ComingUpForAir