March: In like a lion’s tale, out like a lamb’s whisker . . . or something like that. What a story of woe I have, but it’s a very common one. My computer crashed and burned at the beginning of March. The trackpad had been wonky for months (a whole year?), so I should have known this was coming, but the Lenovo Idea Pad wasn’t even three years old, so I thought I had time.
Ah, time, my old enemy, my dear friend.
(Shakes head from reverie.) Friends, if a part of the computer is going “wonky,” don’t count on time being generous. Back up that stuff hourly if you love it, and at least weekly if you just collect fun things for later. Back it up in two places for better sleep at night.
I know this to be a good plan. You know this to be a good plan. Everyone knows this is what a computer owner should do. But of course, I didn’t. Saving files not a lot of fun.
You know what else is not a lot of fun? Wandering around an electronics store for 45 minutes while they download your data from the hard drive into the USB stick, then digging in your purse for ten thousand yen. (\10,000 sounds so much more impressive than a hundred bucks; still a lot more expensive than BACKING UP THE DATA.)
You know what’s even less fun? Having the technician sorrowfully intone, “I’m sorry, there was nothing we could do.” Ranks right up there with Hemingway’s lost suitcase on the train.
So, in the effort to make this a little more fun, I’m imagining a self-care scenario. After all nothing causes wrinkles like MEMORY LOSS. Take care of your skin, give your brain a rest, and back up your computer every week with this fabulous spa plan! (For Windows 10; I hope some kind soul will explain how it’s different for other operating systems in the comments, or we can even give the right pitch a Monday post.)
First, select something to binge on – the networks used to have a whole evening line-up of great comedy and detective shows, with commercials. That would be perfect for our purposes. If (like me) you don’t really do TV like that, choose a different format. I’ll probably go with Disc II of the BBC Pride and Prejudice.
Now, drink one cup of water, and prepare a large mug of warming beverage – I recommend hot honey lemonade. I’ll put the instructions for my situation in italics so you can scroll past them if you don’t have a Japanese computer.
Start the System Image Restore Point by plugging your computer into an NTFS (New Technology File System) formatted storage point. I just got a new solid-state drive from Buffalo that is TINY! Fifteen grams, and it’s about 6 cm by 3 cm – smaller than a credit card, although a little thicker. It holds 960 GB, which is good enough for my purposes.
You can find the instructions for setting the System Image Restore Point here. My silly computer doesn’t understand English very well, so I have to do it through the back alley. I type “backup” without the quotes, in the search box. This takes me to Settings (設定settei)→Updates and Security(更新とセキュリティkoushin to sekyuriteli)→Backup(バックアップbakkuappu). At the bottom of the script, there’s a blue sentence that says (freely translated) take me to backup and restore Windows 7. ([バックアップと復元]に移動（Windows7) bakkuappu to fukugen ni idou (Windows 7)）
On the left column, there’s a Create System Restore Point (システムイメージの作成shisutemu imeeji no sakusei). Click on that. Make sure the device you want to store the data on is right. Press Next (次へ（N）tsugi he (N)). It’ll tell you how many GBs it will take (67 in my new and shiny case) and that it may overwrite the previous system restore point. Press the first box if you are ready to go. (バックアップ開始（S）bakkuappu kaishi (S)) (If you don’t want to overwrite your old system image, navigate through your files and rename the old system image, if you didn’t do it last time.)
NOW, put your media-to-binge on your screen, and binge awhile!
FIRST BATHROOM BREAK
Whoosh, that’s the system image done. If you are paranoid like I am, you may wish to save your library to an external hard drive or USB. Of course, if you are truly paranoid, you will have saved anything important immediately after you’ve downloaded it, changed it, or otherwise put it into the computer. TWICE. Perhaps the safest thing to do is to save it to the cloud, and save it to an external piece of hardware. That way, if your house falls down on the computer, you can still access the information at a Starbucks or 7-11. And, if the international cloud network is invaded by the aliens or hackers, you still have a copy at home. It may not seem like a big deal in such extreme cases, but it’s ONE LESS THING TO WORRY ABOUT, so just do it, OK?
Put on a nice mask. I’ve been enjoying honey with turmeric powder lately. Binge for another half hour or so while your libraries are saving.
BATHROOM BREAK, THE SECOND
Wash your face, moisturize. Do some lovely stretches.
Download the security updates to your Windows while you watch more TV and buff your nails.
THIRD BATHROOM BREAK
Congratulations! You’ve updated your computer, and have softer skin than you did earlier this evening. Shut down the computer, moisturize your hands and put on cotton gloves, and get ye to bed with a hot novel. Read until three in the morning, sigh in envy and happiness at the wonderful ending, and get a little sleep before you start a new day.
There are waffles in the morning. Because, of course there are. We deserve them.