Minor Disaster, slightly embarrassed

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Master Mechanic
After what happened a while back with my computer, you'd think I'd know better!

I've been doing some painting and upgrades on some of a friend's locos. He's the one that I did that little Centercab for a couple of weeks ago for.

I am currently doing another for him, as I "inherited" an Athearn SW1500, from another friend, and after looking at some pix from the CB&Q histerical society, it looked like I could convert it into a passible SW1000. Which I did.

Well, I got to a point where I needed to install the decoder and program it. Put it on the programming track, connected the Locobuffer to the laptop I have always used to program with, and all I hear out of the computer is the hard drive spinning. Nuttin' comes on the screen, It doesn't even post. No big deal I think, as the LT is over 10yrs old, running Win95 and the only thing I use it for is programming locos with JMRI. Then it hit me, no backups were ever made to the "catalog" of locos in the computer.:eek::eek: I had all of my locos, most of several friends rosters, some with special "light functions" in them and even had a couple of Rex's locos from a couple years ago in it.

D**b A**! Why didn't ya back it up!!!:rolleyes:

Are you sure it's done? Not a power supply problem? Or it could be the motor bearings (oillites).

I had a similar situation with a HD in a co-worker's laptop. He had lots and lots of work related stuff that was not backed up, so we had nothing to lose and everything to gain by mucking around with it.

The drive simply wouldn't spin up. The problem had to do with the oillites being all dried up and the motor not having enough power to initially get the discs to spin up. I removed it and set it up with an external cable (2.5 to 3.5 adapter) on a IDE-USB. Then we did several restart attempts, and finally got it spinning by physically "rotating" the entire drive just at the point where power was applied, just to get the discs moving. It spun up, was real unhappy about it (noisy and sucking power big time), but did initialize and we did get most of the data out of it.

I do feel your pain though - recently dropped a drive on the basement concrete floor with ALL my stuff on it with disasterous results. Grrr...



Ouch, sorry to hear that. Hopefully you will be able to get back to that data somehow.

I will however, take this as a sign that I need to get my data backed up too.
In the case of the computer failing I would remove the hard drive and take it to a computer store and have all the info you need taken off and put onto a CD. I have saved many of my wanted items off of failed computers that way. I also have a few of those deals that I can take an internal harddrive and plug it into it and transfer the data myself. Even if your hard drive is dated to a earler version of windows you still can pull off data that you want.


Fleeing from Al
Sorry to hear that, CJ. I tmay indeed be anything from a monir problem ot a total hard drive failure. As has been said, you can usually get the data off but it won't be cheap. I have an 8 Gb thumbdrive and find that's the easiest way to back up my data. Not even sure it would work with Win95 but my backup program had preselected directories that get backed up every morning at 4 am. Of course, since I'm doing regular backups, nothing has failed. The one time it doesn't get done is going to be the time it blows up. :(


Diesel Detail Freak
Cj, if the HDD spins but nothing comes up, try accessing the computer through another one. Or pull the HDD and try it in a new computer, you might have just fried PSU, or Mother board stuff...
Laptops are notorious for having their LCD displays quit working. Try squeezing the screen or connecting the laptop to an external monitor.


Master Mechanic
Thats a bummer Carey, hope you get it sorted out sir
I'm sure I will Steve, et al!

The hard drive does spin up on boot up, right after the CD-ROM does. CD-ROM stops, hard drive doesn't. But as for getting it fixed, data recovered etc, there's no reason to even bother. 1. Its was new in 1994, so that makes it 14 years old. I tried to "upgrade" it to Win98 a year or so ago, but couldn't because the CPU is to slow. It only ran at 45Mhz. 2. Its only got locomotive programming on it, and I can get the "really" important ones back, (mine, a few others) by reading the info from the loco back into my desktop. The Laptop is simply too old to even bother with.:)

The best that this episode has done, is it reminds us to back-up our data. No matter what the data is or what machine its on!:D
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