Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lost My Hard Drive

This has not been a good week for me. In addition to being on crazy deadlines at the day job, my cell phone died on Friday and I had to replace it on Saturday. Then, last night when I got home from work, my computer was flashing a message saying:



I know zilch about these things, but I tried to follow directions and back it up to the backup drive, but of course that would only hold about a tenth of what's on my hard drive. I then tried "restore." The computer rebooted and my desktop was still there, but since I didn't dare to play around with it, I shut it down and called my daughter, who suggested I run to Best Buy and pick up an external hard drive and try to save my photos and music to it before the computer died completely. So I ran to Best Buy and bought the external drive (my credit cards are taking a real beating this week). But I shouldn't have shut down the computer, because it wouldn't boot back up. I could get to the DOS menu with the screaming message about the IMMINENT FAILURE. But Windows would not come up. It would just sit there loading, and loading, and loading, but never getting anywhere. So I now have the external drive and my photo printer attached to my laptop (thank God I still have that!) and my poor desktop unit is waiting until I can afford to take it to the shop where, hopefully, they can salvage my 40,000 photos and nearly 1,000 mp3 music files.

I am quite impressed by my own ability not to panic. Many of the photos I took on my long drives, photos I eventually might have used for paintings. Not a big deal; I can always take more long drives with my camera. There's no shortage of available material for paintings. It's the personal stuff I'm concerned with: photos of the grandchildren on holidays, photos of camping trips, four or five years of digital photos we've taken. And of course, there's my entire iTunes library which represents not only the music I love, but hundreds of dollars I invested, paying for those songs.


Looks like I've learned a hard lesson: always back up everything one way or another.


Debra said...

Oh no, that is not good news! I hope you are able to save everything, especially the family photos! That is a good reminder for sure, something we put off doing...

I've started emailing myself a copy of photos that I really love, that way even if the computer crashes it will (hopefully) always be in my gmail account.

Painting the Light said...

I have my fingers crossed. My awesome former son-in-law saw my posting on my MySpace blog and offered to look at it. He thinks he can recover the data. He's a long-time computer geek; as a matter of fact, that's what he does for a living, so he knows what he's doing. I'll keep you posted!

True story: years ago, when I was a struggling author (as opposed to what I am now, an out-of-work author), I made friends with a young writer online. She wasn't backing up her manuscripts, and I told her that I always kept backup copies on my computer at work, just in case my house burned down. TWO WEEKS LATER (I am the kiss of death), her house was struck by lightning and burned down. As she was chasing her terrified cat into her office, she spied the floppy disk (a lot more portable than a hard drive, I have to admit, although I don't really miss the things!) sitting on her desk and scooped it up. Then she stood in front of her burning house with the only three things she saved from that fire: her four-year-old daughter, her cat, and that floppy disk with her half-written manuscript on it. Even her car burned up, because it was in the garage and the electricity was off and she couldn't get the door open to get it out.

And while she stood there, she said all she could think of was me, and what I'd said to her. After that, she planned to keep backup copies of her work at her mother's house. Just in case.

Man. It's been ten years, but I'm still half-convinced that I jinxed her.