Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gack, another dead laptop

My work laptop ate itself yesterday.

Technically speaking, it's not 100% dead; but I'm getting intermittent I/O errors on the hard drive, and four reboots out of five, it wont load the full disk encryption software we use to secure our disks, so it can't boot up.

Even if the hard drive wasn't bad (and it seems unlikely that it isn't at this point), when you get disk errors like that on an encrypted volume, the encryption software tends to puke and garbage the whole drive.

In 4 years using this software, I've lost six drives to it; including one previous drive in this machine, which I've only had for 11 months.

At any rate, they're going to have to repair the thing, which is going to take over a week, because next week is a holiday week.


However, as it happens, earlier this year we were thinking about going to Boston to visit my father for thanksgiving; and I took the whole week off.

So at least I wont be two full weeks without a laptop.

That said, I decided to see if I could short circuit the system.

We allocate a certain budget every year to laptop replacement. I asked my boss, and his boss, if we had any budget left; and if so could I skip around all the repair BS, and just get a new laptop, have this one repaired, and turned back in to the pool for allocation as a spare.

Given that our groups only current spare laptop is a ThinkPad T43 (from 2005), they agreed.

So, I'mna get a shiny new laptop. Again. For the second time this year on work machines, to go along with the second time this year for my personal laptops.

And, I'll most likely get it Friday or Monday, instead of two weeks from now.

Even better... and this I find funny as hell... Since I got my last work laptop we stopped buying the Dells and switched to HPs.

So the HP laptop I originally thought I was going to get when HP upgraded and replaced my previous one free of charge, was the Elitebook 8730. A 17" high performance machine with discrete graphics, and all the bells and whistles.

Funny enough, that's just exactly what work will be giving me this time around.

Not bad at all really... especially since all my power supplies will now work on both machines... plus they'll send me a new docking station and spare power supply.

Of course I'll have the usual several weeks of unproductivity while I fix everything HP and my own desktop support people did to screw my machine up... but I'd have to do that with the repaired laptop anyway, since it would just be re-imaged on the new drive.

In the meantime, I'm basically working off my crackberry... which is having it's own issues.