Monday, October 17, 2011

Backing Up

You'd think I would've learned this lesson already.

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?

Photo credit.


  1. Yikes! That would have made me freak out too. I try to double and triple save everything in different locations. Usually by e-mailing it to myself and then also saving it once in a while to a cd/dvd thingie, but I usually forget that one.

    Actually, there was a loose wire in my computer about a week ago, and this caused it not to be able to connect to the power cord and since my laptop's battery life is like 5 mins (seriously, it's 3 years old) it died. And I really thought it had died for real and I wasn't going to be able to work on it ever again (I knew I could get to the info inside it), but I was just sad that my laptop wasn't working. Yeah, I get overly attached to stuff. Anyways, luckily my husband took it apart and was able to fix it the next day!

    Okay, I'm done talking now : P

  2. God, System Restore hates me, too. Restart in safe mode? Uh... okay?

    I'm neurotic enough that I have transferred a copy of my "My Novels" folder to my work computer, which is much less prone to crashing than my four year old Vaio laptop. I also email the current version I'm working on to myself pretty much every day.

    Plamena, my laptop does the same thing. It's evil! I need my Twilight millions so I can buy our crit group new mac books and write it off as a business expense. ;)

  3. Thank you for this reminder! I backup my really, really important files to a flash drive but I need a better system. (Constant PC crashes are another reason I switched to a Mac.) I keep thinking about getting a remote hard drive, but haven't done it yet. When I have a file that I absolutely can't lose, I send it to myself in an email, which means the file is on someone else's server. That makes me feel safe, in case an earthquake destroys our entire house, including all of our flash drives (god forbid).

    I love the computer in the fireplace!!!

  4. “Remember to backup your files on a regular basis.” – I agree. A backup system vests the owner with the peace of mind they need about their data whenever their computer crashes. And with regards to your question, in my opinion, it’s more convenient to use the online backup system. It’s very accessible with minimal drawbacks, and in terms of its security, your files are kept at a safe place at the virtual sphere.

    --> Ruby @