The Importance of Backups.

I’ve known of the the importance of backups for a long time - learning a harsh lesson when I got my first laptop and everything went wrong several times. I’ve made an effort to have at least one backup. I thought I was safe, I thought my files were safe. 

Yesterday/this morning (I hardly know any more, I’ve not slept and it’s doing strange things to my brain, having food has helped though) my external hard drive decided it was time for it to not work. Every file was gone. Now, the hard drive had been a bit sketchy for a few days but a new one had arrived yesterday so I set myself the task of transferring everything before it really kicked the bucket. As ever, the gods of technology weren’t kind; I had to take everything off of my laptop last week and so only had the one copy of everything (which I was planning on backing up as soon as I was able). Of course, the ever cruel gods of technology decided that now, when I only had the one copy of my files, was the time that my 8 month old drive decided to die. 

It was a slow process, I’d copied two rather large folders over without incident. I started on the next and it told me that some files couldn’t be found. Naturally, I checked the drive and saw that the files were there so tried to copy them again. Not found. So I decided to try to open one. Not found. From that point the drive ate away at everything. Folders were saying that they were empty when they shouldn’t have been and eventually the whole drive said it too was empty. Devoid of even the software that came with it. Panic set in, as did tears at the thought of losing years worth of files. 

I couldn’t fathom how it had happened. The drive was supposed to be portable but all of the forums said DON’T MOVE IT. EVER. I think that was my mistake. I believed that it was portable due to the somewhat deceptive title. Portable Hard Drive. I was devastated, I felt cheated. I still feel somewhat cheated - it’s only 8 months old and I treated it very well, as with all of my electronics. 

I had little hope for it but decided to unplug it (despite not being able to eject it because it claimed that its grand-total-of-no files were in use) and then plug it back in again. It worked. My files were there. I didn’t know whether they were corrupt but I could see them so I went back to my frenzied copying. After a few folders it started eating files again so I unplugged it, left it and then plugged it in again. The cycle continued. Sometimes it wouldn’t work, sometimes it would. I am pretty certain that the technological god’s were playing with me, teasing my fragile nerves and enjoying it. I am at the point now, where I have all of my files on the new drive. Well, perhaps not all but everything that leapt out at me as important was able to be rescued. I’ve yet to check if the files are corrupt yet. I know that some of them aren’t, they opened fine on my laptop earlier, but the fear is still there. Slowly being beaten down by optimism. Tired optimism.

So, here I am. Sat here. Tired from a night of no sleep whatsoever and a lot of unwanted stress but completely and utterly sure that there is nothing more important than back ups. Well played, Universe. Well played. 

backups computers click of death stress frustration and the moral of the story is... lesson files