Laptop Recovery

A friend’s laptop had started to behave badly with periodic power offs and freezes and I attacked it.  After running some tests it seemed that the hard drive was having issues.  A backup was impossible due to current sectors so I ran Spinrite on it for six hours, copied all the data to another drive, swapped that other drive in, and the computer seemed good as new.
All and all, it was straight forward but just a little time consuming.  Once I figured out that the hard drive was at fault the steps and tools were apparent and off-the-shelf solutions in each phase did the job as opposed to having to come up with scripts or some other recipe at each step.  The hardest step was running Spinrite.  The laptop had a CD drive that sounded like it was powered by a pull string and contained bits of gravel so I had to make a second copy of my Spinrite disk after finding the drive damaged CDs after a bit of play.  I smiled proudly when I returned the laptop to its owner.
Aside: Computer hardware has an emotional connection for me.  My second job at the age of 11 was working for an IT staffing agency run by a family friend.  We spent three whole days getting a 10BaseT network to communicate between three computers and when we saw that network drive first populate in “My Computer” in Windows 95’s File Explorer we were elated.  Tommy had an absurd belief in the power of technology and it was infectious.  Be provided my first 386 computer and bought me a copy of SimTower.  Tommy died when I was in middle school while he was in his 40s having never married and never having had children.  I’d like to think I carry that baton in their absence.
A few years ago, Sam Lodise and I installed a RAID array for a Windows Home Server.  We had blocked out the whole day but the process literally took minutes.  It worked flawlessly.  Tommy would have smiled.  When I restarted Suzie’s laptop after swapping out hard drives using a SATA to USB adapter and it booted into Windows without a hiccup, I think he was smiling then too.