Blog Notification: What Happened Last Week?

By now, all my honest readers have seen that there have been no updates since the nineteenth; here is what happened. It was quite a normal day, the nineteenth of this month. I rather felt that nothing was wrong until I discovered a horrible thing when I started my computer. I had lost all of my software and important blogging data!

I use four partitions on my system to store software and data. They are differentiated for the Operating System, all of the software, some entertainment stuff, and an emergency backup/crash drive. For the time being, let me tell you the sad state of the crash drive; it was full with some downloads, movies, and some of the software setup files. All these partitions are on two hard drives—The OS and entertainment stuff partition on the first, and software and crash drive on the second. The software partition on the second drive had failed overnight, taking with it all of what it contained.

There were quite a few bad sectors, which caused it not be recognized by the OS. But gladly, since the main HDD was in good condition, I was able to start the OS and browse the internet. I immediately started rescue operations to see if I can get back gigabytes after gigabytes of data residing on the lost partition.

At this time, let me tell you that the crash drive was working fine. It had not contracted the bad sector problem on the software drive. In my place, there is a serious electricity problem. Power fails quite often (mostly for two or three minutes to come back and fail again within an hour or two's time), and I don't have a UPS. So, whenever the power fails, the system is killed immediately. This was making issues more serious, as I would have to start recovery operations all over again.

When the power came on, I would start hunting for good data recovery software online. I found quite a few of them and was trying them out. But another issue hit me this time. I lost also the crash partition, which was on the same hard disk. Needless to say how severe the impact was!

I had now to restore almost 40 GB of data, and had no software to think of that works. I fished around forums after forums to find a good application to fix bad sectors and restore the data. Here are some of which I found out: Spinrite (which sadly I couldn't use as I don't have a floppy drive, CD writer, or USB drive), HDD regenerator (which fixed bad sectors taking the whole night only to find in the morning that the fixed bad sectors had come back), Flobo HDD recover (which helped get some fix as the former, but took a full day).

When I used Flobo, I could get the drive be recognized by the OS. That was a welcome thing for me, and I started a partition recovery program, Partition Table Doctor. The PTD had done me a great favor by recognizing and recovering an accidentally deleted partition in the past. Therefore, I had great trust on it. It showed me the lost partitions and offered to recover them on restart. I rebuilt the partition table and restarted the system only to find that the partition was not rebuilt.

Then I ran Flobo and HDD regenerator a couple of times more with the same result. At some occasions it showed slight improvement and hope. I again fished around for better data recovery software and found out Active partition and file recovery. It was seemingly better than the other software and I tried hard to regenerate some more data with it. Active also takes too much time for recovery. With my slow system, not upgraded after 2003, these tasks take entire days. On the top of that, since the partition contained bad sectors, OS ran slower than ever. You can imagine it when I tell you that even the right-click context menus took no less than two minutes to appear.

In the end, with Active File recovery, I could recover a little of the software and some of the files, which were restored back temporarily to the Entertainment drive. It was at this time that the new problems started to emerge.

I had told you that the crash drive was working fine before it also crashed. But now, the bad sector infection in that drive spread so fast that almost one fourth of the drive was completely lost. Formatting that drive would keep the system dead for hours and hours. I soon abandoned all hopes of data recovery and decided to format the entire drive.

As I said earlier, I had recovered a tiny amount of software and data (some setup files, which I had backed up). I formatted the entire drive and restarted the system to find an entirely new issue. The Internet connection was not working. My system was not recognizing the DSL modem at all. I could find no reason whatsoever for that. Only one conclusion could be made: Viruses! I was running the system without any antivirus all this time, accessing the Net, checking information, etc., were all without any protection.

Without realizing it may be an OS error, I checked the hardware, my network card, and various other things. Troubleshooting drivers also didn't yield any result. In the end, I recognized the source of the error: a Windows process called Network Connections was not running. It was the primary process that enabled any kind of networking between systems. When it doesn't run, PC doesn't connect to any other computer no matter whatever you try. This process can be checked from Start->run->services.msc. Look for 'Network Connections'. Among my services, there was not even any mention of this one.

I understood that the OS itself has to be reinstalled to get it back to working. That was done soon enough, with all drivers and recovered application files installed. By now, I was able to connect to the Internet without difficulty. The first thing I did was install the antivirus and firewall. With this configuration, I started downloading all free and trial software I use to run this blog and my system. I had to make a big list and do it all from the start.

As clumsily the system stumbled, so gracefully it was back in action. This is the story my friends, of the second worst of times I had since I have owned this computer. The worst time, which I hate the most to mention, was when I lost the entire hard disk at a time when I knew nothing about data recovery, about a few months after I had purchased this PC. At that time, I grieved the most for the data rather than the software, as there were a huge number of classic e-books and music, which love the most.

About The Promotional Content

A close reader of this blog, Suresh mentioned recently:

I have been following your blog from more than a year and love it in fact.

From the last two months I noticed a lot of review or promotional content, number of ads (even on the top of header), Info link ads and the thesis ad, felt like they are dominating content.

I do remember you writing that you will be active (each post a day) and hope you will be positive to this criticism that no a days quality of the blog is getting down.

I am saying this because I love this blog and hope you understand.

All the best.

Thanks for the comment. I agree with it very much. I have upgraded the promotional material much on this blog. But it is not without reasons. As you well know, the money that can be made with a blog without a great amount of traffic is trifling.

I have been trying hard to make this blog sustain on its own, but have to admit that there have been only small developments so far. You will find that many blogs have long stopped updating due to the lack of interest or scope for money making. But this blog will not stop until the Google Blogger service itself stops; and I see it's not any time near.

I will be posting useful content every day from now on, with a few promotional materials too interleaved. You have to excuse me on this one. But you can remove subscription from promotional content by simply looking at this post: How to Subscribe to topic-specific posts on Blogger. This post explains how you can subscribe to any of the several topics covered here; now you can easily not read any promotional material. It can go for the search visitors who will gladly help pay my bills.

About the sidebar ads and the top advertisement, I have yet to arrive at a conclusion. I am analyzing the monetization capabilities of each block, and soon enough you can see a serious improvement on them. I have almost reached a conclusion that the top banner has low CTR and so does the sidebar ads. But if there are advertisers, the sidebar is monetizable. It is what I am seeking with Project Wonderful.

So, that's it.

I have a commitment that this blog has to be updated with fresh content every day. It was so since about two months after I started this blog last year. But now, this commitment has not happened since 19th. So, I will be backpublishing more than one post daily in order to fill these days. Bear with me.

3 Opinions:

  1. Scary story Lenin, but also quite inspiring in that the internet seems able to provide a solution to almost every problem. Whatever goes wrong, someone, somewhere has had the same problem, and the internet can connect you to them or their solution.

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  2. Dear Lenin,
    Thank you for responding and addressing all serious concerns.

    This make me more attached to cute writing.

    Have a nice time.

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  3. Just to say I understand your frustrations with electricity supply - we don't get the little outages you get, but we have very dirty current! We finally gave in and bought a UPS - they really do help even everything out.

    So keep up the good work - and the good ads - totally understand the need for some revenue!

    all the best from fluctuating-current-St. Lucia!

    ReplyDelete

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