Do you use a STICK? You'd better.
It was a quiet afternoon in the Scott household. The husband was busy doing his thing. The kids were busy doing theirs. And I had plans to do some writing (I know, I know. We're not a very unified family, are we--off on our own).
But as I settled into the writing mode, laptop burning the flesh of my lap, and proceeded to check email and twitter (that's my warming up to write ritual), my computer flickered, froze, and then went blank. Dark screen.
What the heck? What happened? This couldn't be right?
I began to panic. My laptop and I are like this *crosses fingers*
I shut down the computer and quickly rebooted (adverbs suck, so use them sparingly). All kinds of mayhem ensued. First, a list of computer code ran down the screen--stuff I'd never seen, yet knew couldn't be good. Second, it asked me if I should do a recovery scan. Yes, yes, of course! Do a recovery scan. Fix it! For the love of all things good in the world, FIX IT!
A half hour into the recovery scan, I received a disheartening message, "recovery not possible."
Not possible? What did that mean? What did that mean? Oh, no, no, NOOOO!!
Recover, recover, recover. So I did what any sane person would do, I powered off the laptop once more and tried again. And again, "recovery not possible."
Don't say that! It's possible. It is. It HAS to be.
I decided to try something different. I decided to say no to the recovery scan. Saying yes sure wasn't working. So I said no, just bring up the laptop in safe mode. I clicked my mouse. I waited.
Nothing. Black screen.
I repeated the process. Blank screen.Saying yes didn't help. Saying no didn't help. That's not fair. I took out the battery. Rebooted. Again, blank screen.
At this point all sorts of profanities raced through my brain. (I have children in the house and we have a swear jar and I have no change). I did my best to hold it together.
Then I yelled for my husband. He's a computer guy. I needed good news, something to give me hope. Because, I had just spent the past several days working and reshaping my WIP, editing and revising. AND, I didn't back it up on my memory stick. I only saved it to the hard drive. I reworked whole passages, changing the POV from one MC to a another MC--that was painfuly hard work.
My husband ran it through some diagnostic tests (that's what computer guys do). It came up with another scary message, "memory integrity failed."
Crap, oh, crap, oh crap!
I love my laptop. Did I mention how we're like best friends?
It's possible my laptop only needs some new memory. So my husband tells me. That's the hope. Fingers crossed. But to order new memory will take time (do you recall how I'm not a very patient person?).
At the moment, I'm using my husbands laptop. I hate it. The keys are all weird. It feels unnatural. Wrong. But, I can blog
But you know what I can't do? Write or edit my zombie western romance novel.
BECAUSE I SCREWED UP! Yes, folks, I screwed up.
I didn't use a stick. Not lately anyway. What I do have backed up is old, weeks old. I never saved the new edits to the memory stick. *I'm smacking my head against a wall right now*
I'm so hoping the increased memory will do the trick, or otherwise I will have to rely on my own memory to recall ALL the changes I made to my manuscript. (I think my heart just skipped a beat--and not in a good way).
Oh, mighty computer gods in the sky, please oh, please, oh, please, let my laptop live! Give it life, if only for a moment so I can use a stick to back up my work. I promise, if you grant me this wish, I will ALWAYS backup my work. I will remember this awful feeling. I will repent of my nonbacking up ways. I will be better. I will be a promoter of using the stick. I will blog about it. I will encourage others to stop reading this blog post, this very instant, and pull out their stick and back up their important files (that sounded kinda nasty).
So, if you have a memory stick, use it. Use it now. Don't risk it. It only takes a seond. Hardly any time at all. I sure wish I had backed up my files. I really, really, do. I may not even know if I will be able to retrieve my work until the end of the week (ordering memory takes time). And until it comes, or until we figure out the problem, I can't write or edit.
I did this to myself. It could have been avoided. Don't make my same mistake.
Do you own a stick? How often do you back up your files? How often should we? Leave a comment (because I love them) and tell me you backed up your files. If you do back up and leave a comment--someone's gonna recieve a prize (a drawing).
6/13/2011 12:24:26 am
I do have a stick, and forget to use it all the time. I started using dropbox at the suggestion of a techie friend. My biggest fear is exactly what you described! Good luck! I hope you get it back. Ohhhh *pacing and feeling pain for you*
Ohhh Angela!! This post scared the crap out of me. I have literally been saying to myself all last week that I need to find my external hard drive and start backing up my book. Or at least emailing it to myself. I'm doing that tonight. This post has sufficiently scared me straight.
6/13/2011 01:37:42 am
Oh no! I've lost two whole books that way (one I wasn't so sad about, but the other? Oh man, that broke my heart). Now I back everything up to a stick AND put it on my work computer AND put it in Google Docs (or at the very least email it to myself). That might be a little overboard, but I don't care. Better safe than sorry.
6/13/2011 01:37:45 am
This is a great lesson for all of us, and thank you for the reminder. I'm going to back up right now. And get a back up of my back up!
6/13/2011 01:38:42 am
DROPBOX!!! Use it now!!! And that way you can access your novel from any computer, anywhere, anytime, and it can't disappear. Yikes. Here's hoping you're able to get those edits back... *cross fingers*
I don't use a stick--not after I plugged mine into my husband's computer only to find it bricked ("Oh, sorry--I forgot to tell you that my USB slots short out USB sticks"--ARGH!). Lost three chapters to that disaster.
Great blog! I'm going to back up my WIP on my SD card as soon as I get home. I've been doing it every so often, but I will be keeping my SD card near by at all times so I have a suitable backup. Changing POVs is definitely hard work, I know I've done it a time or two, however what's even more annoying than that?
6/13/2011 02:03:54 am
As I read this I began to panic and my anxiety reached levels that could induce a stroke. And I just quit smoking. Mentally I was going through the reasons it was crashing and the whole time I’m thinking, “Why now? God, I need a cigarette.” My heart is still pounding.
6/13/2011 04:44:11 am
A trick I use (because I'm always missplacing my flash drive) is to email yourself a copy. If you have web-based email, the draft lives on in the sent email folder even when everything else crashes. I, too, learned this through harsh circumstances--I lost days worth of edits once. Angela--I hope everything works out okay!
Hell I back them up. You poor thing... see this is why people should go back to Nature and forget about computers (says the social media addict).
Terrifying! I hope that the memory did the trick --and if not, you were still able to recover files off the hard drive! I've experienced the loss of files before so when I started to have some problems with my macbook a while ago, I started using Apple's Time Machine. I have a small external hard drive and every night my laptop backs up onto it. It's nice because all I need to do is remember to plug in the USB cable. I hope that you can recover your files!
6/13/2011 05:07:34 am
I wear my memory stick around my neck so I remember to back up. Whatever it takes, right?
6/13/2011 05:54:07 am
My husband decided to take off the back of my computer and pull parts out. I freaked! "You're killing my laptop!" (I did mention he's an IT type of guy, right?) But at the moment, it didn't matter.
6/13/2011 12:55:41 pm
Oh Angela, I've had that happen and it's not a pretty place to be. I agree with Faith... Dropbox! It's fantastic. Now, I use a 1.5 TB Western Digital My Book Elite. Much too big for what I do, but, it runs in the background and saves everything continuously. No need to remember to back up.
6/14/2011 09:51:52 am
That's a scary story, poor you. I'm bad, I don't use a stick, even though I have one. I also I have a 'ghost writer', some type of backup software, but I don't use that either (slapping myself on the hand). Thanks for the reminder, and it's a good thing your hubby is an IT guy!
6/14/2011 12:37:48 pm
Angela, sorry, I feel your pain, but I gotta tell you, I laughed out loud when you started praying to the computer gods. Forgive me. I've been down that road quite a few times.
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