Removing an electronic brain

Last Monday, in all my running-around errands, I took a personal moment for one final duty.

I had its memories removed and preserved.

And as soon as I receive a special part from Amazon … I’ll restore the memories once again.

No, Chuck is not channeling his inner mad scientist.  I was not cruising the cadaver lab to build a new life form.

Although … if I did … I would make you a ma-a-a-a-n…

Okay.  Let me explain.

Back in 2011, I purchased a Toshiba Portege laptop from a Computer Renaissance store in Latham.  The Portege was a very dependable laptop – it replaced my Sony VAIO laptop, which I owned for several years prior.  I used the Portege for the better part of five years – heck, the laptop still had Windows Vista on it.  You heard me.  Windows Vista.  And it worked like a charm.

That being said, the charm was wearing thin.  It survived at least one malware attack, it received a memory upgrade, I replaced its power cord when I accidentally left the original power cord in Toronto …

But it started showing signs of old age.  And in 2016 – flush win a sizeable amount of money won during my first appearance with the Stir Crazy trivia team at the World Tavern Trivia championships in Atlantic City – I purchased a brand new Acer laptop.  Windows 10 and all.

I kept the Portege as a backup, but realistically I rarely used it.

Eventually, though, when I did crack the computer open and started it up, I’d get messages about how Windows Vista was at its end-of-life service, and that I should upgrade the computer if possible.  Hardly likely… the laptop was maxed out on Vista, it couldn’t handle an upgrade to Windows 10 – or even a band-aid upgrade to Windows 7.

So I put the laptop away.

And last Monday, I took the dusty laptop out of storage.

There’s probably some files on there – some old photos, maybe a software package or three ….

But I couldn’t go back to Computer Renaissance for upgrades.  The Latham store no longer exists.

So I went to my current computer repair shop of choice, Computer answers on Central Avenue.

As I brought the dusty laptop in, the technician kindly removed the hard drive for me, he placed it in a Mylar bag, and said that I would need a SATA to USB cable to transfer the 120g of data to another storage drive.

He also ran a quick diagnostic on the drive, alerting me that there were bad sectors on the unit and that I would be foolish to try to use this drive as an external storage device.  Pull the data and then dispose of the hard drive, that’s the only option available.

I asked if there were any salvageable parts from my old laptop.  He said there weren’t – maybe some of the screws at best – but that the laptop would be recycled for its core materials, so that nothing toxic would fill land in a landfill.

So now I’m waiting for Amazon’s delivery service to envoy me a SATA to USB cable.  Once I get that, I’ll spin this hard drive one more time … and, if all goes well, I’ll have a pile of data that will transfer safely to my current super-terabyte external storage drive.

Hey, the laptop did last a good five years.  How many electronic devices do you own that can achieve that goal?

Now it just needs to do one more awakening.

And then it can sleep forever.

Which, in the end, is all that truly matters, right?