In the past couple of weeks, Mariel’s laptop had been having some issues. Besides being one of the unfortunate few computers that shipped with Windows ME, there were signs that things were going wonkey — Photoshop stopped opening, her Outlook rules kept turning themselves off, and just general slowness. On Saturday, though, her laptop decided it had had enough with this mortal coil, and refused to boot up. In normal mode, it bluescreened, and in safe mode, it gave the message, “Error Loading KERNEL. You Must Reinstall Windows.” Well, hm. To make things worse, her laptop didn’t come with a Window’s CD, only a Recovery CD, that, when put in the drive, would wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows, something I didn’t want to do since Mariel had some important files trapped on the hard drive. It was pretty clear that it was a hardware failure, not just because of the bizarre sounds her hard drive was making. After a couple of attempts at replacing kernel32.dll, and some consultation from Nick and Peter, I decided that the only option left was to put her drive into my computer, and try to save her files.
On Monday, I went to Fry’s and bought a laptop-desktop hard drive adapter, and put it in my computer. As you can see from the picture, it probably wasn’t the most ideal setup, but nothing blew up. When my computer booted up, when the drive was a detected, a big flashing warning popped up saying, in so many words, “YOUR DRIVE IS GOING TO DIE. BACK UP YOUR FILES. RUN AND HIDE.” Indeed, the hard drive was already on its way out, and every so often, when copying files to my drive, the operation failed with some sort of data error. In the end, though, I was able to save about 90% of her files.
Of course, this left Mariel’s laptop sans hard drive. Fortunately, I had recently purchased a 40GB hard drive to upgrade my Nomad Jukebox Zen MP3 player, so I had an extra 20 GB laptop harddrive on my hands. So I put it in her laptop, installed Windows 2000, and her laptop is now humming away, free of the pox that is Windows ME. And they all lived happily ever after.