t440-laptopI did a laptop recovery this morning – because it was completely dead when I woke up this morning.
I had everything I needed to continue on in about two hours. Want to know how?




laptop-recovery-diedWe’ve all had that sinking feeling when you go to turn something on and it is unresponsive. That was my Saturday morning.
My laptop is just over a year old and still under warranty, but I run a business and I may need access to emails, documents, and documentation at a moment’s notice.
I’ll be taking my laptop back to the store this morning, but that doesn’t help me check my multiple email accounts for issues and support tickets.
Fortunately, I have thought about this ahead of time and have things in place.

Laptop Recovery

After trying multiple things to get my laptop working again (pull the battery, try to reset, change power supplies, etc) I resigned myself to the fact it was done.
I have an old laptop that originally ran Vista on an Intel Centrino chip (pretty slow) but now was the time to drag it out of the closet, dust it off, and fire it up. Make sure everything is good and then start getting access back to things I need.

Email Recovery

I have multiple email accounts, lots actually, so my Outlook is pretty busy. I get about 250 emails a day and any one of those could be very important, so email is the first thing to get up.
My email account information is all documented up on Google Drive so I was able to just go to a browser and have access to my login usernames and passwords, ready for this laptop recovery.
It took a while for Outlook to sync everything back, but everything was there.
There was, in fact, an email with a request for support and I was able to respond right away, the customer might never know my laptop died.

Internet Favourites

The next thing for me is to have access to all those favourites, shortcuts, to important websites to be able to support my customers.
For this I use Chrome and sync my account information so that Google keeps a copy of all my shortcuts, history, settings, the works.
I just fire up Chrome, login with my account and everything is back.

Documents and Documentation

Next up, access to business documents and customer documentation. I use Google Drive for this so that even if I am not in front of my computer (very rare) I can get to a document from any web browser.
I also use the Google Drive Sync and I went to my account on Google and downloaded this to my slow backup computer. Google Drive Sync makes a copy of whatever is up on Google Drive to a folder on the local computer so that access is faster and easier.
I designated a new folder on the old laptop and started the sync. It took about 15 minutes to pull under 10Gb of documents back down.

Cloud Backup

I have a cloud backup, of course, and I could have restored my desktop, photos, and music right away. However this is an old laptop and I’m hoping I won’t be using it for more than a few days so I didn’t take those restore steps yet. We’ll see if I need to do it later, but it’s all there if I need it.

I’m Back!

In the span of about two hours I went from a total failure of a laptop to being pretty much fully functional again with a planned laptop recovery. (not including the time it took me to write this blog post)
I didn’t mention my phone, which also provides some access to email, but to me that is certainly more cumbersome than actually having a computer.

I’m comfortable I have everything I need to move on. I spent a little time in the past, thinking about how to keep going if disaster strikes, and today I proved it works.
You can have the same resiliency with a little planning – and a backup.