Slowly Editing On While Tending an Ill Laptop Computer

A few days ago – I think it was Monday when it began – my poor, sweet laptop began to show signs of illness. First, it had issues playing a DVD when it never has before. The next day, it began to lag on the internet, having difficulty scrolling down pages and clicking on icons. Late that night just as I was about to start some Pulp Runner editing, it collapsed, barely able to open a program and running at amoeba-shuffling speed.

I am not a computer expert. I am perhaps one of the beings in the universe that is furthest from a computer expert. But I know what “malware” and “viruses” are. At least, I know they break stuff. So, instead of editing, I spent the night frantically backing up all of my documents (I keep several comprehensive backups on a USB and external hard drive, but considering it was all my writings in danger, better safe than sorry). It took several hours for the poor machine to, sputtering and heaving, eventually finish backing up. Then, it was on to the virus checker. I thought a full scan would be prudent. It took fourteen or so hours when it usually takes no more than two.

No virus.

Dad then helped me run something called scan disk – again, I’m showing my computer ignorance – but it didn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary.

Next, the anti-malware programme.

No malware.

My long-suffering baby sister, who is a computer expert, eventually installed a programme to check heat levels. It’s always been a fairly warm computer, but the motherboard resting temperature (I think that’s what she said it was …) was 66 degrees Celsius. Apparently, that’s just too high.

Not entirely sure what to do about it. The fans appear to be working fine, and I plugged in a fan board underneath for a bit of extra cool, but it’s not doing anything to bring down the heat. Another computer expert friend suggested under-clocking it, which I’ll consider (asking someone else to do) if the problem continues. Right now, it’s working mostly normally. But as soon as it starts heating up, it begins to lag and slow again.

I edited for maybe an hour and a half this afternoon before it began to grow unhappy – at 66 again – so I’m letting it rest a while. As I imagine this pattern will grow aggravating fairly quickly, I’m wondering if I should start working on my desktop. I don’t like to move between work stations – I prefer to avoid any doubt as to the location of the most recent document.  But so long as I copy everything back onto the laptop once it’s recovered, hopefully I won’t wind up accidentally saving over the most recent file, or with multiple, slightly different copies. It’s happened before. A few new bits of story added to different versions. Had to download a file comparison programme to get through that.

About sixty per-cent through editing Pulp Runner, by the way. Lost a lot of time, with the laptop’s illness. Should’ve thought sooner to get some notebook work done on Treading Twisted Lines while it was down. Moved on to that eventually, but not without a full day of dithering, trying to put off shifting to my desktop.

Maybe it’s a good in the long run, fretting over things that aren’t really important. Hopefully, that means we’ll keep our heads when it comes to the important stuff.


2 thoughts on “Slowly Editing On While Tending an Ill Laptop Computer

  1. We’ve found that it helps to run a pedestal type fan at it and also to remove any stuff you’re not using off it too.

    • It’s got plenty of space left; I took iTunes off when I got back home. I’ll buy a little fan to stick right by it when I next can, but the fan on my desk is aimed significantly higher than the laptop. I think there might be something up with the battery, actually. Should probably talk to someone about replacing it.

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