Back 'Er Up

>> Monday, March 1, 2010

Apparently, this week, I'm going through some of those niggly little details that aren't so much a part of writing except that, if you don't do these things, your writing may suffer. My plan is to get the bulk of these out, at least the ones I know, this week and dive back into writing on Monday.

Why? Wel,l because I was reminded yesterday why this is so important.

See, I was happily messing around on my computer when it started to lag, bad. I rebooted. When it came back up, I had a near coronary because it was making ugly sounds, grinding sounds, sounds like the hard drive was dying in an ugly way.

And I didn't have the hard drive backed up because, well, the backup software won't work unless I can make a "startup diskette" which is irksome because this computer has never had a diskette drive. But I digress.

I was frantically looking for another backup program, wondering how long it's going to last when the computer grinding moves up and adds a growling, then a loud bang following by and ominous rattling.

But my computer is still going. I can't shut it down fast enough. My husband pulls it apart as we try to find whatever failed and realize, happily, that my CD drive has killed my Diablo II disc inside. Shattered it. Happily because that's readily replaced.

What it reminds me, however, is that writing demands backing up well and often. And multiple places. When I had my *$*#^&@ Vista computer, I was using Office 2003 which was, unfortunately, not compatible. At one point, Word crashed and not only did I lose the work I was working on right then, it erased it from my hard drive. Ten chapters, gone. I had to rebuild the first few chapters with bits I'd put on line for friends to review. The rest I pulled together over months because it was so disheartening.

Take a moment to take that in. Ten chapters.

Even before that software nightmare. I've managed to accidentally copy old files over new ones, failed to save so that a day's work (if not more) was lost. I'm absentminded, but I'm also aware that there are software vagaries, hard drives that can fail, jump drives computers don't read any more. At any given time, the bulk of my writing is on four different drives, two jump, two hard. All the work I do day to day is on two jump drives. Every so often (every few days) , I coordinate them so they're in sync, then I back the files on both hard drives.


All the inconvenience of backing up and having your work in multiple places is, believe me, far less irksome than losing a file you were working on once and for all.


  • The Mother

    My computer auto backs to the mobile me account once a day, without my help. Once a week I do a local time machine backup, and once a month I do a full hard drive clone.

    Not overkill. Can't tell you how many times I've needed two of those three.

    And how many times I've said, "I told you so," to others in my immediate vicinity.

  • Jeff King

    Amen... I use a flash drive to save my work as well, plus I save my WIP under 2 names so if I do accidentally delete it or save something over it: I have another copy protected..

    Great reminder!

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