Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Everybody knows that you hit ‘save’ before you walk away from the computer.
And then you end up with a situation like mine, in which I was surfing the ‘net last week, not doing anything in particular, and my laptop died. I don’t mean that it went black but started back up again; it DIED. Without any warning whatsoever. It was only two years old, and so far, has refused to cooperate with all attempts at necromancy.
So I was left with this very expensive paperweight and, even worse, no way to get to my unpublished work. You see, whenever I publish a book, I save a copy of the manuscript to a USB drive. And I periodically save my notes to that drive, but it’s not a regular thing.
The computer didn’t quite die at the worst possible time, but it was pretty close. I wanted to bring out A Small and Inconvenient Disaster last week, and had a short story due on the 31st. Neither of these stories were saved to the USB drive; though I had a very early draft of ASaID in my email.
I’d love to say that I worked some kind of technological miracle and recovered my work. But I’m not the hero of this story; my father-in-law is. He’s a tech wizard, and managed to pull the hard drive out of the old laptop, copy the files, and add them to the new laptop. But if not for Dan working his magic, I’d be out of two finished stories and a whole lot of unfinished work.
So I’ve learned a little lesson, and passing it along to all of you: back up your data! I hate to sound cliché, but I never thought it would happen to me, until it did. I’m very grateful to Dan for getting me back on track, and I don’t want to make him rescue me again. So there will be some changes in Smithville, re: the save button. I’ve ordered an external hard drive, the little USB drive has been added to, and I’ll be sending myself a lot of emails with attached manuscripts in the future. The last one is a bit of a concession; I don’t like cloud storage, but I see the use of sending my data to myself.
The old laptop is Dan’s new pet; he’s going to see if he can get it to run off of an operating system stored somewhere other than the hard drive. I have a shiny new laptop- an extra expense, alas!- that has showed no signs of dying. And I sent in the short story on time. A Small and Inconvenient Disaster should be available on Amazon later this week.
Don’t you just love happy endings? But not all tech disasters turn out so well. Tell me below in the comments- have you ever lost your data? Were you able to recover the files? What changes did you make to your setup afterward?
Image is from Pixabay