Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Severed Connections

Memorial Tribute in Light, New York City, NY
Connections . . . our theme for this month will mean so many things to each of us, several of which have been discussed in earlier posts.  I think it's a theme that will speak to all of us in one way or another.

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. I had my post all ready for today, way ahead of schedule, knowing my post would be on 9/11. I was feeling so smug about it too. Sometimes it's a little more work to think of what I want to write about and sometimes it just comes easily. I had my post for today planned out, drafted and ready to input into Blogger. It was a post about September 11 and what that means to everyone in this country, how that event connects all of us Americans and brings out our patriotism.

However, that smugness was gone in an instant when I turned on my computer a few days ago and found that it was dead.  Deader than a doornail. The tech guy who came out said there was no recovering anything from the hard drive. What? I was sick! My beautiful post for today was gone with no way to recover it and try as I might, I could not rewrite it to come out the way I wanted it to.

Please don't lecture me about the benefits of backing up. I know. I really do. And I'm extremely good about backing up my photos. They are always backed up at least two places before I ever reformat my memory card in my camera, so no photos were lost. Whew!

But with each passing hour, I thought of more and more things that were gone and it got me thinking about how much we rely on this technology and the connection it gives us to so many people, places and things. How could I not have all this stuff that is so important to me backed up? Okay, I told you not to lecture me so I'd better not lecture myself, but I am hoping you learn from my mistake.

I'm sure you've all heard this quote:

"It's not if your computer is going to crash, it's when."

But we never think it's going to happen to us. At least I didn't. I do have a laptop (where I am at the moment) but I use it so seldom, mainly when I'm traveling, and there is little to nothing on it. My connection to everything on my desktop computer, years and years of information, had been severed.

But there's a happy ending to this story. After several phone calls to data recovery places in town, all of them were quite negative. Finally, I decided to take my hard drive in to Best Buy's Geek Squad and within five minutes the tech was telling me that all my data was recoverable! I just had to purchase a large EHD for them to transfer the data onto and then pay them $99 to do it. I almost kissed the guy!

So I was lucky, but I'm not going to count on my luck any more. I knew this was something I never wanted to experience again, so I will be signing up for an off-site back up plan as soon as my computer is up and running again. I hope this little story will convince you to do the same and back up your important files. It's like that sign we see in the dentist office:  "You don't need to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!"   

Please post your comments on this subject. Have you had the same or similar thing happen to you? Do you use a back-up service to make sure it never does?

Be sure to post your "connection" photos in our Fickr group for a possible In Focus selection. There have been so many great ones so far! Sharing your thoughts and photos helps us all stay connected and today I am especially grateful for the connection I feel with all of you.


Dotti said...

Yes, backup, backup and backup again. So hard for us to learn that, isn't it? And so silly, too, when you realize how much we rely on our black (or silver) boxes. After Claudia's recent crash, I tried an online backup service but this particular one didn't work for me. After Terri's crash, I tried another and am happy to report that this one was more successful. I have all my photos and important docs back up on an EHD. I have so much stuff that it was going to take 40 days just to backup so I decided to work backwards, backup the most recent as well as the most important stuff online, then bit by bit, add the rest of the monster files that reside in my black boxes.

Terri - I'm overjoyed that you sought not only a second opinion but a third and fourth until you found someone savvy enough to help you.

YAY - for backing up ... and computer whizzes to help those of us who aren't!


Kim Stevens said...

Oh boy, tail between legs, I am behind on my photo back-up and I have to admit that I haven't backed up the "other" stuff....but I'm on that!! When it comes to my writing, I have most all of that in my journals (aka back to school notebooks), as I prefer to hand write most of my things first. I'm just so glad that they were able to recover all of your stuff!!! And lately because school has started and the merry-go-round hasn't slowed down, I sure do miss my on-line connections when I'm away for a few days....so grateful that Deanna connected me to all of you! : ) (insert heart here)

Leigh said...

My EHD is plugged in as I type! Thanks for the reminder Terri and I'm so sorry you lost your post. I'm sure it was beautiful!

heyjudephotography said...

Mmmm, I do love that photo with the beams of light. Beautiful. I'm also very glad that your computer troubles are fixed! How nerve-wracking to think of all of the things that can be lost. My EHD is attached to my computer at all times. But now I'm wondering if that is truly enough?? So glad for you happy ending! :)

Sam said...

Terri, You are so lucky. About 7 years ago, I was in working in Mexico and got a call from my ex-wife. Her laptop had "dropped" off the couch. I had been telling her to back-up all her files. I had even bought her an external drive to back them up onto. She hadn't and the drive was "toast". She went to Best-Buy and they said they would have to send the drive out for data recovery. Turns out it would cost $1800 to "try" to recover the files...no guarantees. My first thought was.."do you have any photos worth $1800??"...but never said it. I know that we are not ansel Adams but our photos are "priceless" to us. We have family photos, vacation photos, special event photos, etc. These are irreplaceable to us. I paid for the recovery and they were able to save about 75% of her photos. She now backs up on a regular basis. Terri is so right..it is not if but when you will have a computer failure. I have 2 back-ups in the house and 1 off-site just in case. It is well worth the effort. Good advice Terri!!

terriporter said...

Apparently it's not enough. My son reminded me that, in case of a fire, my EHD and computer are sitting two feet from each other. That is where all my photos have been stored and I'm sure that can fail as well. That's why I'm opting for an off-site storage plan that will automatically back up everything daily (or as often as I determine necessary) without me having to think about it. Not having to think about it is a big plus in my world!

terriporter said...

Thanks, Sam. I know it could have been so much worse. The first tech guy who looked at it said $1,500 to $2,000 to "try" to recover the data and the sad thing is I was thinking about it. That told me how important everything on my computer was to me and made me decide to not risk losing it. I hope posting this will spur people to really look into a back-up service so they don't risk losing everything. Thanks for sharing your story. What a nice guy you are!

terriporter said...

Thinking about backing up is something I did quite frequently but actually doing it was another matter! That's why I wanted to remove myself from the equation. A service that automatically backs up all new information on a regular basis (and stores it off site for me) will work best for me, I think. The one I'm looking at (Crashplan.com) is only $50 a year, a small price to pay for the peace of mind I know it will give me. And we're grateful to Deanna for connecting you to us as well!

terriporter said...

Thanks, Dotti! One thing my family knows about me is that I don't give up easily. Not until I'm absolutely forced to! In this case it paid off. Glad you found an online backup service that worked for you and that you found a logical way to go about it by breaking it down into smaller pieces. I will start that process today after the tech guy gets here and puts everything back together -- HP boot discs, new hard drive and EHD are at the ready. Then I will need to spend some time reinstalling my programs, but it is soooo much better than it could have been.

terriporter said...

Good for you, Leigh! Yes, unfortunately my post was geared toward 9-11 and isn't something I can use at a later time once my computer is restored. Oh, well. Lesson learned.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

You know you were right on my heels of my heart failure over my crash. This is great advise and spot on.

"it will never happen to me" are the thoughts that we all have. BUT we all know it will be us sooner or later.

Grand advise. Im glad your outcome was a good one.


Anonymous said...

Technology....you can't live with it and you can't live without it! I know all too well about the crash. Im sure your post was as lovely as the photo with the beautiful lights! You should still post it after the recovery:) Thanks for sharing!

stephmull said...

Great post and reminder to us! I have my EHD with all my photos, and a good portion of my other stuff, but not all of it. The non-photo stuff always takes a backseat to the photos. But I should do it all! Thanks again...and I love that NYC photo...gorgeous!

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