It started on 11/07/04 (Lord's Day). The computer had strange noises and the hard disk seemed to be unable to locate the information. All these resulted in a very slow running computer. It's not exaggerating! A simple warm boot (restart the windows) will take more than 20 minutes.
Something went wrong! I immediately used BounceBack software to do a full backup. The completion time was estimated about 3.5 hours. Therefore, I just left it running and my family dined out with another couple.
After back from dinner, the computer was at the Windows log in stage. Obviously, the backup was interrupted and unfinished. For an unknown reason, computer just restarted and came to the log-in stage all by itself.
Then, I used Acronis True Image in trying to create an exact disk image for complete system backup. Again, it was estimated more than 3 hours. I just left it running and went to sleep.
The next day morning, computer was still at the Windows log in stage. The disk image creation was also unsuccessful and incomplete. The worst thing even came. I could not start Windows XP anymore. Even I chose "Last known good configurations" or "safe mode", windows just kept running in the loop --- Booting, starting windows, User log in and booting.....
The last thing I can think of is using the recovery CD. Unfortunately, the recovery CD will wipe off all the information on the hard drive. Therefore, I can not run the CD because I need to recover my personal important data files!
At this point, I can not do anything. After making many calls with my friend, I took his suggestion to send the computer to either Bestbuy or CompUSA and see if they can recover the data as much as possible. The most recent back up I kept was dated 9/16/04. In other words, almost 2 months data were gone if the recovery could not be done.
I've heard many times the importance of backing up your data as frequently as possible, monthly, weekly or even daily. I was never serious until now. I confessed my sins for being imprudent in data backup. I also told Lord how much burden I had for the data loss. The things that are impossible with men are possible with God (Luke 18:27). Lord, please lead me. My prayer last for about 20 minutes.
Sigh. I started to pack the computer for the store repair services. Before doing that, I remembered that the recovery CD was still in the CD-Drive. In order to take out the recovery CD, I need to turn on the computer and eject the disc. Miracle happened! I noticed the booting was as quiet as it normally did. At the log-in stage, I entered the password and windows started normally. At that time, I thought all problems were gone just because the computer has been turned off (cooled down) for 20+ minutes. I immediately copied the important folders to a removable hard drive. The data file size is 3+ gigabytes. After that, I exited windows and turned off the computer. If 20+ minutes cool-off will help, a longer rest of the computer will be even desirable.
6 hours later, it was about 4 p.m. I turned on the computer. The nightmare repeated again. The computer kept looping in endless cycles of booting, starting windows, User log in and booting.....Even until today (11/10/04), the computer still can not start the windows!
Lord! Please forgive my unawareness and foolishness. I thank you for your help and save me out of the hard drive crash disaster. Then he answered, Whether or not He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see (John 9:25). Lord! You are so living. One thing I do know, that You help me retrieve the lost data. Praise the Lord!
Here are my last words. Be a person of prayer. Being one with Lord through the prayer and calling upon His name. You do not have because you do not ask (James 4:2). Also, back up your important data as frequently as you can! These are not doctrines but shall be our daily practices.