Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Computers Crash!

Don't fall victim to every writer's worst nightmare - computer crash!

I've heard horror stories of losing all your hard work to a computer crash. Till last week, I'd never actually experienced a total crash.

Friday night, I completed my novella, Seduced by Darkness. All I had to do was edit and send to publisher.

Something told me to take that extra second to back it up to my flash drive, and I did.

The next morning, the computer was incapable of starting up. Recovery DVDs + screwed up DVD drive = dead computer. I haven't given up, but for now it sits to the side, and I'm using my back up computer. She's a slow girl, but she'll get the job done till I can figure out my next step.

Thank you to all writers who have ever shared their horror stories. You saved my life! I have most everything backed up to flash drives thanks to all the warnings.

Yes, I lost my favorites. (I'd just started using a new browser and had it on my list to do - backup favorites.) I can't think of anything else that wasn't backed up. But, as in a move, one day I'll go searching for something and discover it was lost in the crash.

There are many alternatives for backup - flash drives, DVDs, external hard drives, online storage. As a safety precaution - back up your work.

How do you back up your work? How often?


Siv Maria said...

Wow! Thanks for reminding me!

Michael Offutt said...

Chances are, your hard drive is still doing fine. A loss of power is probably related to either your power supply or your motherboard. That being said...your information is probably still intact and can be retrieved.

The easiest way in my opinion is to reinstall your operating system (if it is windows vista or above). If you have windows XP...install vista over XP and it will bundle all of your files on the hard drive to a windows.old file.

ONce the operating system has been loaded, you can go into windows.old and retrieve everything. If you are nervous about trying this...then don't do it. Rely upon a professional. Anyway...I'm saying to you that your information should be easily retrievable by someone that knows how to do it.

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Flash drives and burned CDs and even external hard drives are good, but having files backed up outside the home is important too.

Flood, theft, fire loss.

An author can only do so much to save their work(s), but an author should do as much as they reasonable can.

Glad you took the few seconds to save to the flash drive, Cher. Sure, only a fraction as glad as you are, but still :)

Misha said...

I'm so glad that you managed to back up before hand. I back up more often now, but not as much as I should.

I'm doing it now.

Joylene Butler said...

I have an external HD, but I don't use it near enough. I do keep my mss on a flashdrive and work off it. I learned the hard way.

Glad you're one smart writer, Cher.

Anonymous said...

Siv, You are welcome. :)

Michael, it turned out to be the hard drive, (I believe.) Bought one Tuesday evening, booted from restore disks and it seems to be working fine. I hope other problems don't arouse.

Terry, well said. I'm going to look into dropbox, once I get caught up on all these emails, lol. Yes, very relieved over the lsat minute back up.

Misha, me too. Good luck with your backups.

Joylene - I've thought about the external, just never looked into how it all works. Flashdrives are relatively easy to keep up with, but as Terry said an outside backup is important. For instance, I would have lost a lot more if not for my emails - lots of attachments I hadn't got around to backing up were saved cause they were online.

Thank you all for the kind comments.

Anonymous said...

Great reminder! I have some of my stuff on memory sticks. I want to get all my poetry burned onto a CD. I better do that real soon, so I don't lose any of them. Some are from when I was in middle school/high school!

Sorry about your PC!

Anonymous said...

Susanne, Glad the post served as a reminder. My poetry is in spiral notebooks, which have already survived one house fire. I really need to get them on the computer and stored in online storage. Most of mine are from teenage years.

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