The Big Hard Drive Crash

I know, it’s happened to all of us, and the story is always the same: Working away diligently on trusty (they ARE trusty?) computer and then, out of the blue, the ap crashes, the screen does something wonky and the heart skips a beat. Perhaps a restart? Oh, it won’t reboot? So, hearing the restrained despair in my voice over the phone, my Mac Guy made a house call, brought my laptop into his laboratory and gave it an MRI or whatever he does. Diagnosis: the hard drive crashed, unrecoverable.

Thus began a couple days in hell, particularly since it was two days before Thanksgiving, I live in a small town and the stores don’t carry Mac products. I don’t know about you, but my computer problems always happen during the holidays.

I mean, I am in a bad mood, so don’t get light-hearted with me!

Did I back-up my files you ask? Yes, but it didn’t save me because it wasn’t elaborate back up. Examples: I lost about six hours of work on the novel,  my entire address book, all my bookmarks and my custom dictionary on a four-book series. Who knew that when you back up your email (which I did a couple weeks ago,) it does Not back these other things.) All this trouble, despite the fact that I back up my work twice a day onto two flash drives, having finally sworn off finicky CDs. Oh, I thought I was so thorough! Nope. For a writer, this is just not good enough.

On a borrowed external hard drive, I am back on the novel.  So I am at least in business, of sorts. So, penitent, I have solemnly taken stock of my back up practices. I am going to get an external hard drive and continually back up my system and files in their entirety.

I suppose really smart people already do this. Happy Thanksgiving. I give praise to my Mac Guy.

11 Responses

  1. kateelliott says:

    My sympathies. Ouch.

    The new Leopard OS has a backup feature called Time Machine which functions with an external hard drive and backs up new copies of everything once a day onto that external hd. I’m really thinking of upgrading my OS to Leopard if only for that one function.

  2. tbclone47 says:

    Things like this always remind me I’ve got TO BACK UP MORE OFTEN!! I had my own disaster a few years ago, if you’ll remember.

    Ugh. Well glad things were not TOO bad…

  3. Anonymous says:


    Yes, Kate, I’ve heard of Time Machine. If you’re using Panther, you could attach a second hard drive with the same effect as Time Machine, at least in its doomsday back up function. BTW, I met your daughter at Orycon! Fun.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Back up more often

    Yes, but how about all that email stuff, and all the items that don’t Really get backed up. I tell you, I’m gun shy now. Cheers, Patrick. nice to see you at Orycon.

  5. rhodric says:

    That really sucks. Will this uh push back deadlines and publication dates? I’m sorry! that must sound selfish, but i’m emotionally invested in your series now!!!


    p.s. home you got everything back on track and hope you had a great thanksgiving!

  6. Kay says:

    Well, yes, Carl, that does sound heartless! But never fear, the publication schedule will not change. I’m going to quit eating and sleeping, but I will deliver this book on time. The advantage is, I’ll be able to get into my favorite blue jeans again.

  7. kateelliott says:

    Re: Crashes

    I made a list of names of people she could “safely” introduce herself to – that is, safely in the sense that I figured the people might have some idea of who on earth she was talking about!

    Hey – congrats on Bright of the Sky getting on the year’s end list on Publishers Weekly. Or, as we sometimes say here, w00t!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Re: Crashes

    Rhymes with boot?

  9. kateelliott says:

    Re: Crashes

    it’s leet speak, or so my children tell me

    yes, rhymes with boot

  10. rhodric says:

    Your dedication is a wonder to behold Kay!! But please please eat, don’t want you keeling over on me. Though there is much to be said for squeezing into a favorite pair of pants again. Any word on the title of book three yet?

  11. Kay says:

    Book Three

    Yup, Book Three is “City Without End”

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