Posted by: Jodi | July 16, 2010

Another Important Reminder to Back Up Your Work!

A few months ago I went to wake up my cute little netbook, it whizzed and whirred and then ZIP, shut itself off. Being the tech savvy gal I am, I had hubby open it up and give it a good clean. I suspected that there was too much dust inside and the fan might be clogged. Sure enough, after a thorough blow-out with the canned air,  it started up like nothing had happened.

That is until a few weeks ago, when it did it again.

After another cleaning it again started up and worked great, until this morning.  Anyone see a trend here?  Looks like my netbook is starting that long journey to the broken computer pile in the sky.  Good thing there are two other laptops available for my occasional use.  Bad thing is that they are not mine to use freely.

I save all my files for the manuscript both on the hard drive and on a  USB flash drive, that is until I started using yWriter – which uses its own system to organize and save files.  I haven’t gotten around to finding those to save them to the flash drive as well.  Stupid me.  I’m lucky enough that the info on the hard drive isn’t damaged and I do have a way to pull it off.  But, it will have to wait until I can dissect the hard drive out – something that cannot be done with my children around. (“Hey what’s that? Can I see it? Why are you breaking the computer? You broke the computer!!!  [sobbing and screaming]…)

Big lesson:  Regularly backup your work externally or to a web service! If it has been a while, do it today. You never know when the cosmic computing forces of the universe will conspire against you, forcing you to work somewhere else.

For more information about backing up data, click here.

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Responses

  1. My main machine went out day before yesterday, way after dark, when the manufacturers were getting their much-needed rest. Usually I can fix an error–sometimes after much hair-pulling and foul language, but not this time. A flash on the screen and nothing. Not a whisper, not a blink.

    Yesterday I called the makers (this is an expensive, custom-made computer, and I was in a panic. Netbook is OK for SKYPE, but for all writing, Novel, Stories, Blogging, the Big Mo is the most comfortable.

    They set it up. Plugged it in. Bam. Workd. It was slow, but it worked. Guy gets out a mallet, a jack-hammer, and a BB-Gun, tinkers a bit, now el Machino is working better than ever.

    The problem? One I should have seen right off. Bad power cord.

    As for backup, oh, yeah… One of the BAD THINGS about having an internal Terabyte drive is when it goes, it takes a 1000 Gigabytes with it.

    amen

    • That’s a lot of bytes to lose! Glad you got it working again.

  2. Oh dear, I’ve been in your (and worse) situation. Around Easter I was working on the edit of a math literacy book, I was about a third of the way to meeting my deadline when my computer crashed. Everyone was on leave for the Easter holidays, so I had ten days to wait before I could find out if my work was retrievable. It was pure hell.

    • Wow, that’s much worse! I can only imagine your frustration. Were you able to meet your deadline?

  3. Your post is so timely. I actually woke up thinking about backing up everything on my computer because it’s slowly dying. Better get on that… Thanks. 🙂

    • Do it! There are so many easy ways to keep work safe and backed up, just a matter of taking the extra 20 seconds. You’ll be glad you did.

  4. The following is a link to my blog post of March 13, 2010…I, too, have been where you are now…blessings on you!

    http://reflectionsfromacloudymirror.blogspot.com/2010/03/taste-of-life-without-habit.html

    • These last few days have been hard – not having my computer really makes me see exactly how much I use it and think about it during the day.

  5. I’m going back to paper and pencil . . . easier, cheaper, and no need to back up data. : )

    Good reminder, Jo.

  6. Oh god, it’s scary how much we rely on our computers. I keep copies of my Writing Folder that contains all my writing in three different places just in case…

    • Smart! I also burn a CD of my folder every month or so and store it at hubby’s office. If the house floods or blows up and the net goes down I’ll still have that. Now I’m only in danger of the electronic apocalypse where no computers will work…

  7. Portable flash drive: Don’t leave home without it.

    • Amen.

  8. might be the power supply which is a $50 part. hope all goes well.

  9. Might be, on these tiny netbooks they tend to be more $$$ and harder to find. I think I’m going to invest in a new desktop, I’ve been using hand me downs for ages.

  10. Even just e-mailing a copy of your latest revision to yourself on a free service like gmail can be a worthwhile backup, and has the added benefit of not being in your home if you suffer some sort of fire or flood or other catastrophe beyond simple computer failure. There’s websites that provide actual backup space as well, of course, but for the writer on a budget (and is there any other kind, really), an e-mail to yourself is a quick, cheap alternative.


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