Although I leave my computer running most of the time (to do downloads and backups at night), I reboot it about once a week under the belief that it behaves better if I do. To my shock and horror, on Monday a routine reboot failed.
- I spent Monday morning on the phone troubleshooting it. All hope to resurrect it was eventually abandoned.
- On Monday afternoon, the hard drive was wiped clean and Windows XP was reinstalled, with the service packs and updates.
- On Monday evening, I reinstalled most of the applications that I use, the number of which tops out at two dozen.
- On Tuesday morning, I began restoring my files from the most current data backup (an off-site service). During that time, I set about configuring the applications for (a task that is still not complete).
- Taking 12 hours to restore only 14% of my files, the projected completion time was Friday (more than four days).
- To expedite things, I copied the remaining files from an on-site backup (2 days old), hoping that the off-site restore would have anything missing or not current. The off-site restore finished at 5:41 Wednesday morning, almost two days after the ordeal started.
After putting in several 16 hour days, my desktop is again humming along nicely and things are mostly back to normal. The flaky software problems are gone and all my data is intact. (I had updated three files just prior to the fateful reboot; those changes were lost.) Everything else is fine.
Now that the calm is returning, I can reflect on the lessons learned from this ordeal.