Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If it ain't broke...

My PC, which gave me enough headaches over the weekend to almost "skip" it, has now been stable for two days. Further, having had to basically vape it and recover/reinstall the Vista OS, I've now also as a by product cleaned it of all manner of kludge that had accumulated on it since Christmas when I bought it. Bearing in mind it probably gets used for 2-3 hours every day be me and the kids it had got all manner of stuff on there which probably wasn't helping the cause.

Anyway, you'll recall that one of my suspicions was a corrupt, or at least out of date BIOS (crudely the bit of code that actually starts the PC and allows it to boot to it's OS).

A quick scan using a program called BIOSAgent confirmed that if nothing else, there was an update available for my BIOS and I duly signed up (and paid) to get hold of it. Now I've got it though, and now the PC has been OK for a couple of days, I'm wary of flashing the BIOS - it's not as simple as a normal software update, and if I bugger it up I could kill the machine once and for all.

So, in the spirit of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", or in my case, "if it ain't broken again, leave well alone", I'm just going to hang on and see. If it all goes arse about again I'll bite the bullet, but hopefully things will settle down a bit now.

As an aside, I've also upgraded my backup software. I ditched Norton Ghost a few years ago as a piece of bloatware that at the time caused all sorts of conflicts with my PC. I moved to a backup program that had been recommended but I'd not heard too much about - Acronis True Image - then at version 8 (I think). Anyway, it was OK and worked well enough. Each iteration has improved, and last weekend I stumped up the £20 or so to go to the latest version True Image Home.

I have to say, that so far I think this version is a huge leap forward. It's far easier to use than v10, is highly configurable, and just looks and acts like a classy bit of software. It's also much faster in my experience than previous versions.

Backup software is one of those boring things that few people ever get round to installing, and even few use seriously, but believe me, if you value your data one day you'll be sorry if you haven't got a backup plan in place. I reckon Acronis True Image is one of the best out there. (Can I have my fiver now please Mr Acronis?....)

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