The dreaded Blue Screen of Death [BSoD]
Here I was working on some logo doodles for a friend. Just when I was trying to adjust some colors the editing program just froze for a good minute, which wasn’t common for me. I didn’t think much of it at that moment as it started to respond again. I saved the file and started to do some web browsing for some inspiration. Suddenly, my browser froze as well and I got that funny feeling you get in your stomach, when you know something is wrong. And there it was, I was greeted with a Blue Screen of Death, something I haven’t seen in years since I had my workstation.
My system got rebooted, suddenly I got the message to please insert or connect a bootable drive. That’s when I knew there was something wrong with my SSD, where I installed my OS. So I quickly checked the motherboard connections and noticed that the SSD port wasn’t being seen at all. After that I disconnected it and tried a few more things, but in the end I had to accept that my drive was dead.
That’s a great way to start the day wouldn’t you say… So how does one handle this situation?
The first thing I did was call a few local stores to see if they had any SSDs in stock that I would like. Luckily, I still had access to other computers, so too win some time I started the download for the latest windows installation to make a bootable drive. With my internet speed this download would take about 2 hours. After getting the new SSD home I immediately plugged it into my workstation. In the meantime the windows download had finished and I had a bootable usb drive ready to install. The installation only took a few minutes and after doing some initial setups and logging into my account my system was up and running again. I did have to download and install all the software and drivers again. This also took about an hour or two and with that I had my workstation up and running again just like normal on the very same day.
But you might be wondering, what happened to all my important files?
Don’t worry, I still got everything. I have 2 other HDD drives in my machine where files are stored and these were still working like nothing even changed. It’s also important to note that I make regular offline backups of these. I also use Dropbox and OneDrive for cloud storage, so everything saved there eventually got synced back… yes even doodles I was working on right before the crash. It was immediately synced to Dropbox after I saved it.
This isn’t the first I had to deal with restoring files or risk losing data. Last month I also had my old phone break, but because I had everything synced to my accounts the transfer to my new phone was pretty seamless and I didn’t lose anything important. I could stay calm because I knew that I had my basis covered. Don’t wait until you actually lose something that you can’t recover.
I could stay calm because I knew that I had my basis covered. Don’t wait until you actually lose something that you can’t recover.
So here are 3 things you can do right now if you have not already
- Use an online cloud service like Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive. I even use all 3, but I have been using OneDrive more recently since I’ve also got an Office subscription which includes 1TB of cloud storage.
- A more traditional, but still relevant, is to make regular offline backups to another [external] drive of your important data. There are some pretty affordable options you can buy.
- Use a password manager. Aside from the extra security, password managers are also a way to make sure you have all your important passwords backed up for whenever you need to login into your accounts again after recovery. I personally use Enpass now but there are also some other options like 1Password and Lastpass.
Take care and always have a backup!
PS. Have you ever been in a situation like this and how did you handle it? Feel free to share your stories with me in the comments or on my social media.