Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Contingency plans for laptop failures while on the road

My previous post detailed a failure of the hard drive on my relatively new Pavillion Laptop. Stuff like that happens and I’m still very satisfied with HP.

Anyway, the good news is that the failure happened at home. Had that happened on the road, things might have been a little more of a pain. Here are some thoughts on contingency planning for those who travel and absolutely have to have their laptops.

  • I am going to make a Knoppix Linux boot CD. That should give me a decent amount of limitied functionality. It gives you an OS, browsing and openoffice. My air card won’t work and my wireless probably won’t work. I would need at least one USB stick to store any data.
  • There are some tools such as the ultimate boot cd and bartsPE that I’m going to make sure are packed with the laptop for the road.
  • When we travel, my son usually takes his laptop. I’m going to make sure that I have my aircard software and some of my other important software on his machine.
  • I have to make sure that I have my critical data available on either a usb, usb hard drive, remote computer or dvd. Whatever choice, the data should be encrypted. I just got fios and they have some online space that I’ll look into.
  • I’m going to burn my critical apps to DVD or cd and bring those. In a complete disaster scenario, you could always take the old credit card and buy another laptop at the local office store. That is an expensive way of doing things but it could end up being necessary.
  • Going back to the remote access. Having a machine with your data available via RDP or something like Go2mypc could be a great help. If you have a linux boot cd and wired access, you could get at all your data and apps.

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