Friday morning, I sat down at my computer to find that some "wonderful" updates from Microsoft had been applied during the night and my computer had been rebooted automatically. I'd saved everything I was working on, so no big deal. Well, except that the computer kept locking up. So I restarted it, since that usually corrects any issues.
That was the beginning of the end. Okay, so maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but when it got stuck on the welcome screen (probably not the actual name of the screen) and refused to boot, I freaked out a little. Other than the whole I can't write without my computer concern (yes, I know technically I can still write without my computer), I was mostly worried because it's been at least six months since I backed up my hard drive, probably a lot longer.
Periodically, I will save my WIP to my hard drive and then to a flash drive where I keep the most recent version, plus I recently uploaded it to my crit group and printed it out, so I knew that was okay. My photos and all my other documents, on the other hand, are only on my hard drive. Fortunately, my computer is setup with a recovery program, so I was able to go in and backup all my files--four very stressful hours, especially when it got stuck at 89% for over twenty minutes, but it did work.
Then it took three tries, but System Restore finally decided to cooperate (I swear System Restore HATES me) and I haven't had any problems with it since. Well, except for my Norton Internet Security which either got damaged in the process or was the cause of the problem (and probably the reason System Restore hates me), but that's taken care of, too.
So, my point? Remember to backup your files on a regular basis. This could've been so much worse. Losing my writing would be hard, but my photos? I once lost six months of photos (including my youngest daughter's first birthday) thanks to a computer crash and I was sick for a week. It still makes me a little nauseous when I think about it.
What about all of you? Do you backup your computer regularly? Is it set up to run automatically or do you run it manually each time? Anyone using an online backup system? If so, how do you like it?