December 21, 2010

Tech Support

So, my (new, under warranty) laptop died last night. Continuous Blue Screen Of Death loop from 1 AM 'til 2 AM or so when I finally called it quits and hard-powered-down.

I'm on the East Coast with E's family for the Holidays, but I still need to work. Ideally, I need to be able to work so seamlessly that it doesn't occur to my clients that I have a physical location, much less one that's changed since the last time I was helping them.

Today, after confirming via phone emails that I only had a couple of hours of work that needed to be finished by COB PST, I bailed on my workout and tried to drop my laptop off at the only Lenovo Service Center in downtown Atlanta. The friendly folks at the glass store in its place informed me that it moved to the burbs 3 years ago. (Interestingly, once I gave up on physical repair and dedicated myself to the toll-free solution, I learned that the call center is just down the street from us in Atlanta (Dunwoody), but that I couldn't drop off my computer with them because repairs are done in Memphis.)

Frustrated with the lack of an immediate Lenovo solution (meaning I would be without-computer for at least 1 day, and likely many more) I cried uncle, returned to Nolan's folks for lunch involving bacon, and went for the solution of least conflict.

A Netbook. On sale for Christmas. The perfect back-up machine. Today, I got the last $250 Asus 1005HB that was in stock from the closest Best Buy.

And, I'm up and running. I've got a disaster recovery plan. Today's work is done and I'm blogging from it, even.

Prior to today, I'd backed up through last week on one of E's servers in the cloud, so I only had 1 week of potential loss which E was able to pull off via a SATA enclosure despite the slow clicking protests of my hard-drive.

In short, if all goes well, my Lenovo will be safely in the hands of tech support while they diagnose the problem, and I will be freely using my super-light, super-small netbook until they figure it out.

Between regular self-done back-ups and hosted email/calendaring/tasks/notes via a hosted Exchange provider, it took me all of 5 hours to research repairs on my existing machine, locate and buy a new computer, get it up and running with my current situation and voila -- back in business.

Next time I won't even have to go shopping.

It is indeed a brave new world.

Now, please, keep your fingers crossed for a useful response from the diagnostics -- this is the second time in 3 months that my Lenovo has BSOD'd repeatedly on me. Last time it just miraculously recovered with no explanation, which is, of course, absolutely no comfort. This time, since it clicked and slowed and struggled through the SATA drive recovery, we thought we'd figured it out.

Yet, here I am, running my second hard drive diagnostic (since the first one passed with flying colors) and wondering what other surprises the computer Gods might throw my way.

Here's to figuring out problems...


Anonymous said...

Hosted Exchange is amazing for emails. I use CloudSuite Exchange from CloudWire and my email works on my iPhone, iPad, Macbook and PC. and I dont have to worry about computer/device being destroyed because viola they live on CloudSuite servers and I just put my email and password on the device and I get emails, calendars, contacts, notes, tasks and all my folders just like I have them everywhere.

Arvay said...


bt said...


This is the "Tron" Christmas, not the "Bacon" Christmas, which means E's mother only prepared 2 pounds of bacon prior to our arrival...