That was how long it took for my computer to fail. I was knee deep in a new version of my business plan and now all I could do was watch my PC as it restarted itself over and over. Not only was my computer broken, but I could no longer access my work. If I reformatted, all of my data would be lost. Three weeks worth of research was now stuck in some algorithmic black hole, I could only hope that it wasn't lost forever. The only solution was to cross my fingers, pay 35 bucks and take it to a computer repair store.
Four days later I had a broken computer, and a burned CD with my multi-million dollar business plan on it, hanging on for dear life.
Almost 100% of patients who successfully beat cancer report the experience as having a positive impact on their life. Though not as serious, nearly losing all of my work got me seriously thinking about improving my relationship with my computer. Looking for a solution, I started thinking about computer terminals at the library, or at school. Every time someone sits down, the computer is as good as new. It restores itself to normal and runs quickly, like the first day it was used. If library users could enjoy this "New Computer Smell" year round, why couldn't I?
After asking around for a few days, I discovered a program called Deep Freeze. The program works by restoring windows to the same state, every time it is restarted. Like getting to use a brand new computer every day. I also discovered that by creating a "partition" on your hard drive, you can virtually create two separate hard drives. By "Freezing" the one that windows is on and keeping the other one "Thawed", you can now save your data while making sure that windows works as well as it did the first day you bought it.
I reformatted (or erased) my hard drive, reinstalled windows, and installed deep freeze. That was more than a year ago. Since that day I have never had a single computer problem.
How to get rid of viruses forever
1. Save your important data (a burn CD or USB drive will do)
2. Stick in your Windows CD and start a normal reinstall.
3. Setup will ask you where you want to install, it will give you the option to create a partition. It looks like this. Create a smaller partition and install windows on it. (20 GB) Format the remaining space as the D: drive.
4. After installing, configure windows how you like it and move My Documents to your second hard drive.
5. Download and install Deep Freeze. (A free trial can be downloaded here) Set it to freeze your C: drive, keep your D: drive thawed.
To install a new program, simply use deep freeze to "thaw" your computer, Make your changes, and then restart back into a frozen state.
Your computer is now bulletproof. You can open your Windows folder and delete system files, change all of your settings, or download viruses; once you hit restart your system it will operate as well as it did the day you bought it.