Surviving a Computer Crash

We live on our computers, so the screen of death is an unwelcome sight. It’s even worse if it means losing data. So, how can you work through a crash?

Just in case you went too far uptown.

Before

Back up your files.
You can use an external drive, or a free cloud service like Dropbox. But if your hard drive crashes, getting anything back is going to be a struggle. Save yourself the stress and back them up. Anything that’s important (like your thesis) you should save and backup excessively.

Take care of your computer.
Update your software regularly. Don’t download sketchy files that could infect your system. Get it checked out if something seems off (like weird noises, or things taking a noticeably longer time to load). While crashes sometimes come out of the blue, taking care of your system could prevent bigger problems.

Know what to do.
Write down the serial number so you have it handy if you call tech support. If your computer’s manufacturer has a good extended warranty buy it (Apple’s AppleCare is worth every penny in my personal experience).

Know a reputable place.
Know where to take your computer if it breaks. That can save you time, and energy, if your computer quits on you. Student Computing can help you figure out where you should go for hardware problems.

During

Don’t panic.
Contrary to how it may feel, a crashed computer is not the end of the world. Hopefully you backed your stuff up. If you didn’t and now everything’s gone, it’s okay to feel upset.

Use the labs.
Thankfully our campus has multiple computer labs where you can wait it out. That back up you’ve been using can be plugged into one of those computers or accessed via the internet.

After

Microsoft Office.
If you use Office you can reinstall it using the same product key if your system crashed.

iTunes.
iTunes now allows you to re-download all your apps and purchased music or videos. Once you’ve logged into iTunes, go to the iTunes store, and on the right hand menu there is a purchased tab.

Chrome.
If you use Google Chrome, and have synced it with a gmail account once you have re-downloaded Chrome you can sync to your gmail and all your bookmarks will be restored.

Image courtesy of CT Computers.

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