Tuesday, September 18, 2007


It's not like I'm new to the whole computing thing. I've been doing it for a long, long time, actually. I know the risks. I know you're supposed to back up, and often. But do I? Did I?

I'll bet you know the answer.

Yesterday, my procrastination and lack of discipline came back to bite me in the butt. My brand-new laptop was working just fine one minute, and then...a bizarre clicking sound coming from the hard drive and the Blinking Folder of Death on a gray screen. Dead. Totally and utterly dead.

Since it's so new, I haven't added much to it. I haven't downloaded any photos yet--though, if I had, I also would have uploaded them to Snapfish, thus having a backup. No, the only thing that's on there that is of any worth at all is my manuscript. And how much of it do I have backed up? Only whatever I had written when I got the new computer; whatever I had at that point is still on the old computer. If memory serves, I've added somewhere between four and six chapters since then.

We're in Ventura until Wednesday, and wouldn't you know it, the closest Apple store is closed for renovation until Thursday. So I won't know until then what the extent of the damage is. I'm praying it's just the hard drive reader and not the drive itself. If it is the drive, then hopefully a data recovery service will be able to get it back for me for cheap. I'm trying not to stress, but man.

Take it from me, boys and girls. Go now and back up your files. Thumb drives are cheap, Google files and Snapfish are free--heck, open a Gmail email account and email your important stuff to yourself; it'll all be saved in your inbox or archives or wherever you choose to put it. And then you won't be a sad little girl like me.

1 comment:

Timothy Fish said...

I had a similar experience a few years ago. I was probably 60,000 words into a manuscript when my three month old 250GB hard drive died. The only thing I lost was the manuscript. It won't do much for you with a laptop, but I replaced mine two hard drives that are mirror copies of each other. So now it is less likely that I will lose anything. I am more religious now about copying important files to CDs or DVDs.

I don't know how it is now, but at the time data recovery was much more expensive than I wanted to pay, so I just sent the drive back to the manufacturor. They sent me a refubished drive that I now use exclusively for video editing.

In my case, I had bits and pieces of most of the manuscript I lost, but I never went back and rewrote it. That particular manuscript was terrible. I can't help but think that it was by the grace of God that my hard drive failed. Even so, it taught me a good lesson.