Bad Weekend


It’s Wednesday, and now I have the time and inclination to recall the weekend in this blog. Two things broke down – the Audi, and Hannah’s laptop.

At least with the Audi, the effort of towing it from our house, up the hill out of Cowes to the garage was amusing. Hannah’s Suzuki Swift, with its 1 litre, 3 cylinder engine struggled to haul the 2.6 litre Audi A4. Hannah was taken by surprise by the stretchy tow rope, and the first time she pulled away in the Swift, she stopped after a few feet because she thought the rope must have become detached as she hadn’t felt it pull. I was very surprised when she stopped because I could see what was happening. After that, her pull offs were rather like those of a learner, as the weight of the Audi jerked the Swift back as the rope pulled back on it. Nevertheless, with lots of low gear and effort, the little car dragged the big one up the hill. It is now sat in the garage, waiting for them to have the time to look at it. What was wrong? The starter and/or ignition, with absolutely nothing happening in the engine on turning the ignition. Definitely not the battery, because all the lights and stuff came on.

Hannah’s laptop had no amusing outcome. I thought it about time to put Windows XP service pack 2 on it, before upgrading the antivirus/firewall package from an out-of-date Norton to the current Kaspersky (there had been no updates because this is a computer from school, but they have shown no interest in maintaining it). While SP2 was installing, the computer blue screened. Disaster. It wouldn’t reboot, and bunging in an XP install CD and using the recovery console didn’t work because it refused to recognise any hard disk. Arse. I employed all my meagre computing knowledge. I used an Ubuntu Linux live CD to boot into Linux and try and look at the disk, in case it was something Windows was struggling over. I went out and bought a device that allows you to plug-in hard drives to other computers over USB in order to try and recover data. Despite using several tools in Linux and Windows, I couldn’t get to any real data on the disk, and got lots of bad sector errors from it. The reason I really wanted to get the data off the disk, despite having a backup that was a month old, was because Hannah had been writing a presentation for a PSHE workshop on Tuesday. Unfortunately I never got it recovered, and Hannah had to build on the old version of the presentation all through Monday. Fortunately the workshop on Tuesday went well, so there was no long last disaster.

What was a downer was that it meant I spent all of Sunday trying to recover this disk, rather than spending good time with Hannah, Ella and Miriam. Hannah and I did take advantage of Miri’s babysitting skills to go to the cinema in the evening, at least.

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