Where Is My Hard Drive?

One of the first things I do each morning is boot up the computer, let the Spam program do its thing and then download the good e-mails. This morning was the usual routine, but the computer had a mind of its own. With the black and white screen still showing, there was a message that the NTLDR was missing. I should press CTRL-ALT-DELETE to reboot. Computer problems are my middle name, so I have since gotten over the “I am going to have a nervous breakdown if this is not resolved” stages at this point in my life. However, what gets me by is having a second desktop in the kitchen for guests to use and two laptops. It is not like my cable Internet is out. Then I would be downing coffees at the nearest WiFi coffeehouse.

So I hit CTRL-ALT-DELETE and rebooted. Same story, same screen, nothing new. Thinking three times is the charm, I did it again. There were no lucky charms this morning, nothing changed. On the kitchen computer, I Googled the problem and found hundreds of others with the same issue at one time or another making me feel like I found a new support group. Hello, I am Ryan and I destroy working computers. Then a chorus of “Hello Ryan” echoes back to me. After digesting each solution, I transferred my new unwanted knowledge on the computer. Nada, nothing, nincs, no serenity prayer was going to change this situation. After a good ten different ‘solutions’ I humbled myself and resolved calling the Expat Tech Repair, a computer repair company run by an American. Friday, late morning is desperation time to call for a repair person regardless of what country you are in. I pleaded my case like an addict calling his sponsor for a life line, told him I had grades on that computer that needed to be turned into the university on Monday. Being pathetic has worked in the past with getting repairs done expediently and it worked this time too. Within an hour, Alec was here.

Alec was here for four hours. He reinstalled Windows on another drive as a last resort, but I did not have access to any of my programs. All of them would have to be reinstalled, an unbearable task usually taking two days. When my eyes teared over, he suggested he try one more thing. What he discovered was that my C: drive renamed itself as the F: drive. The D: drive was now E: while the E: drive was now C:. All of this musical chairs playing of the drives, Windows did not know where to look for the program to start up since none of the files were now in the C: drive. Once Alec was able to discover this, he was able to ‘trick’ it as he said into redoing itself to the original configuration.

After he left, I cleaned a bunch of stuff out and I am doing a mirror back up of all drives on my 500 GB external hard drive with Acronis TrueImage. It will take four days for the initial image to be created, so I am destined to using the other computer for a few days, but hopefully, this will be a saving grace in the future.