08 December 2015

Defrag & all that stuff

Turning on the computer after a weekend with it off, during which I managed a bit of drawing-class research and preparation, once again the orange box with "Critical Error" that "Start menu and Cortana are not working" came up. When it happened before, I fixed it (myself!) by googling the phrase, watching a succinct video, writing down the steps, and doing exactly as they said. But this time, those instructions didn't work. Which meant I had to spend some time relying on the ipad for email and not being able to download pix or access Word files or InDesign... leaving a window of opportunity for doing the xmas shopping, and some house cleaning ...

Fortunately "my computer guy" was able to come this morning to sort the machine out, and as you can see I can now blog again, and will be able do a few other things like finish preparing the January CQ newsletter. Still, it was nice to have a bit of a "holiday" - I baked cookies!
Sifting through 326,440 files, no wonder it's taking hours!

When the computer-fixer left, he left defrag running ... and oh my it had a lot of red squares, ie fragmented files, probably more red than green (not fragmented; pale blue is free space). When I returned from an afternoon drawing session [to be reported next Tuesday] the "status" was 67%, after 4 hours of work; 1.5 hours later, it's 75%, which means the rate of progress is slowing down (from roughly 16% an hour to about 6%).

Here is evidence that supports a silly theory I have developed over the years: namely, that when you're working on a project, two-thirds of the way through is when the going gets tough and any sense of progress is lost. But you just have to keep going... just like the defrag program. I find with the project, it seems to pick up speed again - wonder if the defragger will? Hmm, during the few minutes it's taken to write these two paragraphs it has done 2%, so maybe it is!

I did check online whether it was ok to use the computer during defrag, and found a lot of opinion that defragging does no good at all, and may shorten the life of the disk if done too often. Hah, I'm safe from that - it's definitely not something I do every week, indeed once a year is probably too often.

Fortunately I had recently backed up the all-important files, but even so the computer problem was a worry. Making a laptop also makes 114 kilos of waste; I'd rather keep this one going than have a shiny new one, thanks.

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