Okay, picture this ... your computer system has been destroyed by most recent outbreak of dreaded typhoid Mary virus. You never knew what hit you. One minute system was fine. You received a nice email with an attachment which you opened, and boom, your system crashed. You rebooted but it got an error. Now what?
Or you could have mice (the animals) in your house. Mice love to create nests in warm places, and your computer is pretty warm. Just imagine all those little teeth gnawing away on all of wires ...
Worse yet, imagine it rains and a leak appears directly over your hard drive ... or your "friend" spills coffee on CPU cabinet. I could go on and on about what could happen to your computer.
I don't know about you, but I spend more time on my home computer than I do watching television, reading, eating or anything else except possibly working at my day job. When my computer has a problem, especially one that results in a boot failure, I get extremely angry. I feel like I have been betrayed by my best friend. If system gets damaged, I feel just as much pain as if a good friend went into hospital.
The thing to do is to make sure you are prepared for worst possible thing that can happen ... total system failure. This is a very difficult task to write about as there are many different ways that a computer can eat itself or be eaten - perhaps as many ways as there are computers.
It is beyond scope of this article to go into great detail on how to make your system totally recoverable. There are many other great resources on internet and in documentation that originally came with your computer which will help you prepare.
Briefly, though, what you need are following:
- The CD ROM containing operating system installation files. This virtually always comes with a new system. It will be labeled something like "Windows 95" or "Windows 2000".
- Any other kind of recovery CD that came with your system.
- A bootable media. Sometimes CD ROM itself is bootable. More often, you will get one or more floppy diskettes with your system. Keep these in a safe place.
- An emergency repair disk. This is usually one (sometimes more) diskettes which contain all of configuration options for your operating system. You need to create these occasionally (they are not automatic) - usually whenever you make a major change.
- Copies of all of updates and patches that have applied to operating system. What I do is maintain a writeable CD with a copy of each service pack and hot fix that I've installed. It is also a good idea to keep a text file (one writeable CD itself) with a list of what needs to be installed in correct order.