I was hoping to be able to pull all his settings and such off of his old system drive, because it seemed that all the problems were actually with the motherboard, not the system, but alas, his system drive was pretty much DOA. Or mostly dead, at least. But there's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do. Go through his clothes and look for loose change. But this was mostly dead, so I filled its lungs using a bellows and asked it what it had to live for, and it answered "To Blathe" which everyone knows means "To bluff."
I chocolate coated a miracle pill, but alas, all my cajoling wouldn't get any of the settings information off the drive. The Applications Data directory had given up the ghost.
It was a this point that my dad reminded me about Carbonite. Now, he's amazing at finding little programs on the internet, paying for them, and then asking me how they work when I've never seen them before. So at first, I assumed it was one of those. But as we discussed it, he convinced me that this was something legit. So we logged into his account on their web page. Reinstalled the software on the new machine, and lo-and-behold... there was a freakin on-line backup of all his data, AND all his computer settings... the whole Applications Data director, including his desktop items, cookies, favorites and such... all there for the downloading.
Ho. Ly. Crap.
It was a miracle.
The service is $50 per year, and the way it saved our asses, it's WELL worth it. It runs in the background and does incremental backups of files whenever they change, so the most recent version is always there, and apparently the previous version is kept for 30 days as well. How awesome is that?
So if this is something you're interested in, let me know, and I'll get you an invite code. You get a month free service for each person you refer. :)
Fixer of things
* This is a story for another time. That time will likely be later this week.