• Why My Hard Drive Crashed But I’m Ok

    So, last week I return from a foray into the kitchen to find my laptop humming and a blue screen of death. I was scared.

    I was really scared.

    Apparently the motherboard was overheating, and the hard drive died. Completely. As in, nothing can be rescued from it.

    Now, I’m not saying I didn’t freak out, because I did. (ask my poor husband)

    However, I am saying that my career/world did not end, and here’s why:

    • Almost all of my work is done electronically via Gmail. Instead of deleting an email, I label it and archive it. I can pull documents that I sent or recieved that are years old from Gmails archives.
    •  I’m a listmaker, I have a Blackberry, and I’m not afraid to use it. If I make a list of something on, say, a Word document, I’ll also add it to my Blackberry’s “MEMO” function. This is because I like my lists with me at all times, in case I have a free moment to work on them, or a stray to-do to add to them.
    • I’m visual. Right now I am staring at print outs of my work schedule. This took 2 hours and 3 versions to put together last week, right before my laptop died. I also have my business plan posted in plain sight. Right now these are the only copies of these items in existence.
    • I back up. We generally back up about monthly. But something happened to December’s copy–it seems that it wasn’t saved. So I am working off an external back up that is older than I prefer. But I am surviving. I am living. Keep breathing. Don’t panic.

    Please, please let this be a lesson to you: You must make a copy of everything on your computer and store it away from your computer. You simply must. And then, you must get into the habit of updating that copy at least once a month, or after you complete an important project. Or whatnot–as you feel comfortable.

5 Responsesso far.

  1. Chynna says:

    OMG!!! My harddrive died in the beginning of March last year and I was devestated.

    ALL of my articles were on there; ALL of my queries/tracking of queries/queries “to do”; my manuscripts for my NF book projects; ALL of my schoolword…everything. ::POOF::

    I remember working on my computer late into Saturday night and when I got up the next morning to turn my computer one…nothing. Nada. Thankfully, I had done a back up at the end of January so I only lost Feb and the 1st week of March but I do ALOT of stuff so it wasn’t fun figuring everything out again and it was embarassing writing to editors/clients to explain. Fortunately, they were all very understanding but still.

    So…YEAH! ALWAYS back up. I now have a removable harddrive thingy I back up to AND back up on my partner’s computer AND to disks. Paranoid? Maybe but that’s not happening to me again. LOL

    EXCELLENT post!


  2. Mary Lewis says:

    I just posted about ways to save files in multiple places the other day. http://virtualwordsmith.blogspot.com/2009/01/now-where-did-i-put-that.html Sorry your hard drive failed, but glad it wasn’t the tragedy it could have been.

  3. Christie says:

    It’s stories like these that have caused me to have TWO backup plans. One, I back up to an external drive. I was pretty happy with that until one of my friends got her computer AND her external drive stolen. Well, that got me thinking! Now, I still do the external drive (easier to pull from and also to hook up to my laptop when traveling), but I also do a remote online backup of my most important (client) files. And I have a trusted IT guy on speed dial if need be!
    Thanks for putting this blog on the PG list.

  4. J Grenier says:

    I back everything up too. EVERYTHING. Especially where flashdrives are so cheap now, compared to what they were. 🙂

    I also tend to email myself copies of anything I do for a client. I email myself on my “main” email, then cc to two other emails that I maintain at different hosting sites (gmail and a small private email).

    I learned to do this AFTER I lost about half a dozen articles I had written when my main (and then only) hosting site died”.

    Thanks for your tips. Love the blog/about.com site.

    Good luck w/ everything in the future.


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