There are many things a lot worse than coming home after a long day and finding that your laptop will not work. However, when it happens, there is nothing worse at all. Yesterday evening, I got in and switched on my laptop ready to write a few emails, pay a few bills, check the lottery those kind of things. So imagine my horror when the screen showed the old “Blue Screen of Death” or BSOD as it was known at work. The error was reported that a ‘device’ could not be recognised and I need to ’Repair’ my computer. A lot of extreme language came forth accompanied by a huge amount of panicking. I literally did not know what to do first. Upon reading the instructions, I needed to ‘insert my Windows installation media, and restart the my machine’. The issue here was that the Windows version is an OEM version, and I did not have any installation media. Like many home users, Windows came pre-installed when I purchased the laptop. Not very helpful.
A lot of Googling and more swearing ensued, before I found what I needed to do. I had to download the Windows 10 Installation Media from the Microsoft website and install it on a USB device. Out came the old (and slow, flaky) laptop and I was successful in downloading the files and installing it on my portable hard drive. After 2 hours of stress and a few retries, the process finally worked. Now, I thought, I had better run the full backup before anything else. Normally takes on this machine, about 1.5 hours. But more misery, the backup failed. The error message was not very helpful, so I rebuilt the backup structure and set it off again. This morning, again the backup had failed. Another change to the back up was made, and it when then that I noticed, the the hard drive I was backing up to was only show a size 32gb instead of the correct size of 1tb, with only 3.8gb free. That would be the reason. But no matter how I tried, I could not get it to show the correct size. More Googling was needed and many of the results seems to show that I needed to use a Partition Manager to check the actual size of the disk drive. I downloaded a free, but well known one and checked the drive. It was showing that the drive had over 890gb of space, that had not been allocated for use. It was a simple matter of re-allocating the space and rebooting the computer. With a bit of trepidation I followed the instructions. It worked, and the drive is now showing the correct size.
I did a fair bit of reading up on this issue, and it seems that it is quite a common one. From what I read, the hard drive had become corrupted somehow, and Windows could not access it, although it could see it. I now think, that what I should have done was remove all the peripherals ie hard drives, mouse speakers etc and reboot the machine. That it seems may have worked. If only the BSOD had said that. We lived and learn I suppose.