Typically, I am religious about backing things up. My home server has two external hard drive connected to it and everything gets backed up to there. Always. Without fail.
Last Wednesday, I moved a bunch of stuff from one of the externals to my daily laptop so I could sort and clean up. I was going to delete all that I no longer needed and properly catalog what I could not afford to lose. During all this was the conversation about making sure all the photos of the last 10 or 11 years are properly sorted and ready to store in long-term storage. In other words, after sorting, they would be burned to disc and put in the safe deposit box at my bank. I’ve paid for this box for about 10 years and there is not a lot in it. Perfect place for a back up of all “important” things like pictures.
Mark was helping with the process of cleaning up and storing for long-term storage. Jen was helping sort pictures by date for long-term storage. My task was to go through all the other stuff and get it cleaned up, deleted or cataloged. I moved (read: took off the external and put it on my laptop) everything to the laptop that cost me a very pretty penny a little over a year ago and has had zero problems. We were slowly working on getting it all done. Finally.
We were having conversations about laptops and how they fail. We were talking about external storage HDDs and how they fail. We all decided it was best to get it done now – before something bad happens – and setting up a “standard” for future storage. Getting it done with only 6-10 years of stuff to go through instead of 18+ years (when the boys are grown) would be a lot easier.
This weekend, I took a road trip with Jen. We took pictures and had a great time. We got home on Saturday night, driving through a mini-blizzard to achieve our goal of getting home before the “big” storm hit. When we got home, Jen put the remaining pictures on my laptop – the one that has had zero problems for over a year that I have owned it.
We hung around the house on Sunday and, on Monday morning, I decided to head off to Shari’s to sort the new pictures and get them put on the external hard drive. I had a job to do for two clients and was looking forward to a full day of working. In between client things, I was going to keep going through the “other files” that were my responsibility to sort, catalog or delete as necessary/possible.
The storm hit on Sunday night and the boys had a snow day on Monday. No school. I talked Mark into taking us all to breakfast before staring our respective jobs. He agreed and we set out.
On arrival, I booted up my laptop. It seemed to be running sluggish so I switched to Safe Mode and started up one of my scanning programs to look for malware/spyware/etc – just in case. Halfway through the scan, I could hear terrible noises from my hard drive.
I turned to Mark and warned him I might have a problem coming soon. Letting him know I might need money to get a new hard drive for my precious laptop. I asked Jen to run home and get my external backup drive so I could start the process of backing up the items I had just put on the laptop.
Before she could return with the external, the scanning program locked up and I attempted to restart the computer in Safe Mode again. No dice. System reported no hard drive found.
It was gone.
10 years worth of files, documents and random pictures – nearly 300 gig of information gone.
In a blink of an eye.
To retrieve it – if it is at all possible – will cost between $500 and $1,000. I had to text/call my clients and tell them I was dead in the water until I can get things put back together. Most of what I was doing for them, I can recreate. In the meantime, I am working on getting myself up and running on Jen’s computer – that I just gave her. It’s a half year older than mine and worth a ton less than mine (Mine is still worth around $600-$1000 all by itself). I’ve ordered a new hard drive and system disks from HP. I can recreate the environment I had. I just don’t have the information.
All the pictures from our drive this weekend are gone. Unless I can get them retrieved from the hard drive that crashed – along with that 10 years worth of files I was working on cleaning up.
So, until things calm down in the laptop department, I’m “Dead in the Water.” I’ll see y’all when I get up and running again.