Getting back to square one

April 16, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

On Saturday night, I decided to improve my home computer, a PC.  I was attempting to swap out an external hard drive to that contained an iTunes library with a different external hard drive. It’s not as easy as you might think, because iTunes is twitchy when it comes to connecting up with its data.  The details of my attempt aren’t important, but I suspect that my overall experience is universal.

My attempted fix didn’t work out, and that was clear in 10 minutes. OK, then all I need to do is undo the fix, but that wasn’t easy. In fact I ran into many snags, including trying to turn my external G Drive back into the H Drive that it used to be, but there was a ghostly obstinate H drive in the way and it wasn’t clear how to change that letter (it turned out to belong to a printer and I eventually figured it out using the “manage” function under “Computer” of Windows 7.   In the meantime, iTunes half-reverted to a past configuration, and after trying to stay patient for a couple hours, I decided that I was a very smart person for deciding to make a full metal-to-metal backup the night prior to trying engaging in this job. Thus, I turned to an excellent backup/restore program that I’ve been using for several years, ShadowProtect, by StorageCraft. I went to bed and let the restore function do its thing–when I woke up, everything was back to the way it was before I caused all of the trouble. Cool. 

Several things come to mind. First, there is often no way to fix things unless you’re willing to break some things along the way.

Second, if you don’t have a metal-to-metal backup program for your PC, You should seriously consider getting one. There is nothing quite like the feeling of getting your machine back the way it was after something goes wrong (which could include something like a lightning strike or the natural death of your internal hard drive). The home edition is less than $90 and the only other thing you need is an external hard drive or two. I keep one backup drive at home, a second one at my office and a third in a safety deposit box. If this sounds obsessive, consider that my computer is probably a lot like yours. It contains almost every photo and video of my family. It contains all of our digital music, all of our tax and financial records, all of my writings, all of our emails and contact information (Outlook), all of my digital books, and much more. I can use to turn any PC into my PC (It takes only 2 minutes to set up the backup routine and hit the go button; I then go to bed while ShadowProtect simultaneously backs up my entire internal hard drive and a permanent external drive).

Third, I’d like an “Undo” button for real life. I would like to make use of it at least several times per week.

Fourth, my adventure getting back to the beginning reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s quote regarding the craft of writing:

“This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back in again.”


Category: computers

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jim Razinha says:

    I rant at iTunes every time I have to make an update, change or add a new device. Worst interface with a version 10.xx (Windows…no idea what Mac version they are on) ever. I want to put all of our music on a network drive, but iTunes can’t handle something that simple, so we have multiple copies on multiple computers . Nor have its programmers figured out how to handle ebooks: “author” is “album artist”, and the rest of the meta-tags are music related. Playlists, sorting, grouping – this list is far too long for an app that has been around as long as iTunes.

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