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Extra computer in case of emergency
Thread poster: Astrid Elke Witte

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:45
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Feb 8, 2006

I have the feeling that I should have a spare computer soon, in case one day I otherwise can't do business any more, without warning.

My computer is only 18 months old and quite powerful, but was badly damaged by a virus when it was only 5 months old. I lost everything at the time (New Year 2005), and had to use the emergency software to put Windows back onto it. It has never worked properly since, i.e. does not switch itself off in a normal way, cannot get sound since that date and numerous other problems. Then one day last year someone told me that it should not have Windows XP on it twice over. It has the new copy I put on it from the emergency disk, plus the damaged copy, which it cannot use. I was told I should take everything off it, in order to clear it and start again fresh, with only one copy of Windows XP and the damaged copy removed. However, due to technical problems that I have with the damaged computer, I cannot back up any of my data, and would be reluctant to voluntarily lose it all.

Now that I am having increasing problems, and whenever my computer crashes it takes about 3 hours to even get back into the Internet or make any program work again, I am seriously wondering whether I should just get a new computer, in the form of a notebook, and firstly put all my data onto it (e.g. at least programs, like Trados, and scan in paper copies of what I want to save). However, I would like to be able to use it at home, if this one does not work, and not only when travelling. There are two problems apparently with that. One is that the man from my ISP who fixed up my computer when I moved into my new flat said that I was not allowed to run 2 computers. Secondly, the notebooks seem to come with a 56K modem, which I think would be too slow for me now, as I am used to a DSL connection. Do all notebooks have an old-fashioned slow connection?

Any light anyone could throw on any part of the issue would be of help.

Thanks in advance.

Astrid


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:45
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
All notebooks have ethernet modem Feb 8, 2006

So they all can be connected to DSL straight from the box. I would copy all essential data onto cd-roms (translation memories, addressbook) and then take the pc to a repair shop first. The harddisk should be cleaned and Windows installed from scratch.
But it is a good idea to have a second computer for emergencies. Notebooks are so cheap today, if you don't look for the latest model.
Regards
Heinrich


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 20:45
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Several ideas ;o) Feb 8, 2006

Firstly, yes you should have something to back you up in case of an emergency, like a computer crash.

I have a laptop and a PC, which connect to the same wireless internet connection. I can easily move files from one computer to the other via an internal network setup, but this obviously would not work in case of a computer crash.

BTW: What is ISP? Why are you only allowed to run one computer?

I have an ftp-site, where I sometimes store my most recent TMs, so that I will not lose everything in case of a crash. I have also just bought an external harddrive to back up files.

I don't really understand, how you cannot backup any files? Copy/paste doesn't work?
If this is the case, external harddrives and/or ftp-sites will not help you anyway. You should find a skilled computer nerd, because he would know exactly how to extract your files from the damaged harddrive.

How was the computer cleaned after the attack? This could be important, because there might be better ways.


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:45
German to Spanish
A good idea is Feb 8, 2006

to have on hand a Linux Live-CD, so in some cases you can rescue your files (or continue your work) in a easy way.
Knopixx, for example, is very good.

http://www.knoppix.org/

Rgds



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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 20:45
Swedish to English
+ ...
Internet to more than one computer Feb 8, 2006

Hi Astrid!
I think your ISP might mean the following... My internet connection is for use on one computer (I use my laptop at home and the computer is recognised as being mine when it logs on to my ISP). My partner's laptop is not registered on the system - even though we have broadband. For him to get broadband on his laptop he has to run the set-up disc from the ISP, after which my computer is no longer recognised and I have to perform the same procedure with my laptop. The obvious consequence of this is that we only use the Internet through my laptop.

Basically, you could have two computers, but only one at a time could be on-line and you would have to reregister when you swapped them. At least, I think that's how it works for me... I'm not particularly well informed about these sorts of things! Anyway, working from my laptop at home is fine, and my partner's laptop works well as a back-up, just in case (it's the laptop I upgraded from last year!).


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:45
German to English
+ ...
Router Feb 8, 2006

Astrid,

Since you say you have DSL, get a router and connect to the Internet through that. The ISP settings are stored in the router, and it is the router that makes the connection to the Internet. This effectively gives you an instant network, and you can connect any computer to it and have immediate Internet access from that computer.

The fact that it acts as a firewall is another reason for getting a router. A new router should only cost you 30-50 euros.

I cannot believe that any ISP can forbid you from connecting 2 computers to the Internet. You don't have to be using them at the same time, of course.

Since the performance of PC hardware doubles every couple of years and you can offset the cost against tax, it's worth buying a new PC every three years ago. Then keep the old one as a spare.

Marc


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:45
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all the tips Feb 8, 2006

The idea of a router sounds interesting. I will investigate it. Of course I cannot operate two computers at once, since I only have one pair of hands, but I would like to arrange to switch between two computers, if anything goes wrong with one, and have all the same data on each computer.

If a router would make it possible to connect up a notebook to the DSL connection as well, then it seems well worthwhile to buy a notebook, to firstly have a really good back-up of all data, and secondly, to disconnect, when necessary, and take on journeys.

Once the notebook is connected up and working, the other computer can, of course, go to the repair shop in the meantime - but not while it is the only one and there's no other way to process the translations.

Thank you all for taking the time to answer.

Astrid


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 20:45
French to English
This is basically what I do and it seems to work out OK Feb 8, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:

Since you say you have DSL, get a router and connect to the Internet through that. The ISP settings are stored in the router, and it is the router that makes the connection to the Internet. This effectively gives you an instant network, and you can connect any computer to it and have immediate Internet access from that computer.


My ISP allows up to 5 computers to connect via the router (even simultaneously). I use an Ethernet connection from the main PC (desktop) to the router and wireless for the laptop (and any guests who bring their laptops over and want to connect). I did have the main PC connected via USB to the router but that didn't seem to work very well.

MarcPrior wrote:
Since the performance of PC hardware doubles every couple of years and you can offset the cost against tax, it's worth buying a new PC every three years ago. Then keep the old one as a spare.

Marc


I alternate this way, too. A new machine every 3 years (right now my laptop is the newer one) plus an external HD with backup/synchronization software.

I back everything up to the external HD minimum once a day or more if I have work in progress. If there is ever a problem, I just plug the HD into the working computer and I am sure I have the latest versions of all my files. In fact, my main PC crashed last week and it only took me about 5 minutes to plug my HD into the laptop and get back to work.

Then it took me about 6 hours over the weekend to reinstall my system and software, but at least I had the peace of mind of knowing everything was backed up safetly to an external HD.

One thing I haven't figured out is how to synchronize between the three units (desktop, laptoop and HD) without losing track of what the latest version is, so I just avoid doing that by using my desktop as the "main" computer and synchronizng everything else with that as needed.

Sara


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:45
German to English
+ ...
Extra computer in case of emergency Feb 8, 2006

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

MarcPrior wrote:
it's worth buying a new PC every three years ago.


... or so.

Marc


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 20:45
English to Swedish
+ ...
My solution Feb 8, 2006

I have 2 hard disks on my computer and one external disk.

The first internal drive has 2 partitions, C drive for operating system and programs and D drive for continuous backup of the E drive.

The second internal drive has 2 partitions, E drive for work files and F drive for daily imaging of the C drive.

The F drive is copied to the external disk at the end of each week and all images except the last one is thereafter deleted from the F drive.

One ghosting program plus one internal and one external disk drive will cost you less than a second computer and provide you with a safer solution (in case of disk failure) and less downtime (in case of virus attack). You will also be able to solve your current dilemma with this configuration.


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Noelia Ruiz Pérez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:45
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
Strange Feb 8, 2006

OK, I am agree with the first comment, about external hard drive. That is the most professional solution for back up. Other solution if you dont want to spend the money is to regulary make cds.

Regarding computers, first I would suggest you go to a good computer company for advise. I live in Spain and such problems like connecting two machines to one ADSL are unknown. I mean, I can connect to my ADSL as many computers or laptops as I want! Without asking permission to anyone!!! All laptops come with modems, so do PCS, but they all come prepare to be connected to ADSL. I dont use pcs anymore, as I cannot carry them wherever I want to. Almost all laptops nowadays come with Wireless connection built in. Get a wireless laptop and a wireless router and you can sit comfortably in your garden to do some work (with no cables).

So yes, my best advise (and my boyfriend runs an IT company) will be. if you can afford it buy a laptop (go for Sony, Toshiba or Acer), repair your computer (it can be done, I promise) and check with ISP whats going on, or get another one. Win Xp can be installed a few times in the same machine. A professional should back up your files and reinstall Windows. But let a pro do it!

Good luck!


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:45
German to English
+ ...
RAID/Network Feb 8, 2006

Two ideas:

Firstly I think it should be possible to connect the two computers together using a cross-over cable (RJ-45 connection) between Ethernet network cards with one computer connecting to the Internet through the other.

Secondly I wonder if a RAID-1 setup might not be a good idea, if possible, where the data on the hard-drive of one computer is mirrored on the hard-drive of the second computer.


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:45
Spanish to English
I do use two computers at the same time Feb 8, 2006

It can be very useful, for example when a fax or pdf document has such small writing that it is impossible to read properly in printed out form.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:45
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
My solution too Feb 8, 2006

Sven Petersson wrote:

I have 2 hard disks on my computer and one external disk.

The first internal drive has 2 partitions, C drive for operating system and programs and D drive for continuous backup of the E drive.

The second internal drive has 2 partitions, E drive for work files and F drive for daily imaging of the C drive.

The F drive is copied to the external disk at the end of each week and all images except the last one is thereafter deleted from the F drive.

One ghosting program plus one internal and one external disk drive will cost you less than a second computer and provide you with a safer solution (in case of disk failure) and less downtime (in case of virus attack). You will also be able to solve your current dilemma with this configuration.


I have a similar system without the external hard drive:

One internal hard drive with 2 partitions, one for the operating system/programs and one for my work files, and another internal hard drive for (regularly) backing up both of the above. With the addition of a router, there is little chance of a virus attack. All of this courtesy of my son-in-law the IT expert.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:45
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Partitioning Feb 8, 2006

Hi Sven, can you tell us all a thing or two about partitioning? Do computers come with partitions (two or three, perhaps?), and can you create extra ones in order to, as it were, make two computers out of one (as far as saving data is concerned)? If so, how do you do it?

I realise partitions will not help if the whole computer breaks, but I'd be interested to know how to create partitions. I remember my next-door-neighbour talking about that subject one day when I sat him in front of my computer to try to fix it.

Astrid


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