"Blue Screen of Death" by IMustBeDead -

Well, it finally happened.  I spent the last two years avoiding reformatting my hard drive.  A couple of months ago, I took my laptop apart and gave it a thorough cleaning, a new squirt of thermal gunk for the processor, fished out all the crumbs from beneath the keys.  I had high hopes that all my computer needed was to be clean.

Apparently not.  And I have to confess, through most of the month of November, while caught up in the fervor that is NaNoWriMo, I was getting the Blue Screen of Death pretty regularly.  I just kept telling the computer, “Ah, no big deal, just go back to the last config settings that worked.”  That should keep working, right?

Nope.  Unmountable boot volume.  Would not, could not make the darn thing boot up from the recovery disk.

I should back up a pace here and just mention that the day that my boot volume decided to stay unmountable was on the day that my final project for my creative writing class was due, and all of my work that was to be included in my fiction portfolio was on my laptop waiting to be printed.

So I did what I had to do.  I put it out of its misery and reformatted the darn thing.  The neat thing was, I didn’t pop a vein, I didn’t curse — not once! — and I didn’t even blame my husband.

How was I able to maintain such a cool head amid such fire-stoking events?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

For the first time in my life, I had BACKED UP MY STUFF!

[The crowd goes wild.]

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Yes.  Thank you.

That’s right, folks.  A few weeks ago, sensing that perhaps I had attracted the god Murphy’s attention, I had purchased a little 4GB flash drive that attaches to my key ring.  I also had the whole shebang backed up on a large external hard drive (that took care of all the pictures, court reporter files, music, and videos).

So when it became apparent that my computer was not going to mount its boot volume for me, I calmly switched to another computer and got my homework done and printed.  And then the next morning, I trotted down to my favorite Starbucks and reformatted my hard drive while sipping a latte.  Quite surreal.

(And if it sounds like I’m bragging…well, I am.  This is the first time I’ve handled a situation like this with any amount of grace.  If ever one of my previous brushes with the Blue Screen of Death had happened to be recorded on video, I’m sure it would be on YouTube right now, garnering votes as the “Best Freakout.”)

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