Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Computer failure, panic, and relief.

So this past weekend--well, Friday, to be exact--my computer had a bit of a meltdown. It needed to be restarted after it auto-installed a windows update, which is something that happens every now and then. Except this time, it wouldn't restart.

Cue panic.

With the help of my very patient boyfriend, I tried about everything you can try to get the thing going, but it was having an actual, serious error. So eventually came the inevitable, terrifying conclusion: we were going to have to find the disk that came with the computer and reinstall the whole thing. From scratch.


First things first, I had to think about whether or not all my important writing was saved elsewhere. Which it was. Thankfully. I'm not sure what we would've done otherwise. So I braved it and gnawed at my fingernails, watching intently from the couch, while my boyfriend--who had no qualms about this reinstallation at all--wiped my poor hard drive clean and started it over.

I then had repeated small moments of panic as I installed my graphics, sound, and monitor drivers, Microsoft Office, trillian (because instant messaging is oh-so-important), Google Chrome, adobe, direct x, and all the other little necessities.

My computer was in working order again, but this is when the really terrifying part came. Actually seeing, for sure, whether or not I had all my necessary documents. I started with photobucket, since I'm a chicken, and I knew there was no way photobucket would randomly decide to delete all my pictures of the baby. I was right. They were there.

So then I went into my email, and downloaded Unthawed from an attachment I'd sent. When I opened it in word and it was all there and pretty and final, I literally cried. I didn't cry upon opening any of my other documents, but there was a little burst of relief every time.

Thank God I am a regular user of jump drives, email, and other methods to back up the important stuff on my computer.

Because of that, I can say it all worked out, and my computer is probably better for it.

But it was definitely a lesson for me in yes, your computer CAN have terrible incidents, even when you least expect it.

I'm glad I survived my lesson!


Jen said...

Way to survive your lesson!!! Goodness I would have panicked and I'm glad it worked out! I would have been a chicken much like yourself!

Love your blog! Look forward to future posts!

Tere Kirkland said...

Glad you survived without having a huge meltdown, like I would have. I do back things up to my work computer, since word files are so minuscule.

Hope your nerves are calming down by now. ;)

Phoebe said...

I had something similarly terrifying happen this year when my USB stick that I kept my writing on was suddenly bricked (over the course of walking from my work computer, to my car, directly to home! Seriously, the thing went from fine to dead in about 20 minutes). In all, I lost 17 pages of a novel draft. Not a disaster, but it felt pretty close.

Since then I've been using dropbox (getdropbox.com), instead of USB sticks, on all of the computers I use. I know I sound like a total advertisement, but I'd really, really recommend it. It backs things up automatically (no need to manually do so), is cross platform (no problems going from my windows work computer to my linux home computer) and makes everything automatically accessible through your web browser too, so you never have to email stuff to yourself and can always get to it, as long as you have an internet connection. And it's free. Really, anyone who's writing should be using it.

Amna said...

DROPBOX. I recommend it to everyone :D

And yay! I'm glad everything was saved.

Raven said...

Yay! I'm so glad you were able to save everything. My computer had a meltdown a while ago and I really didn't know what to do, so I do what you do. I save my writing and other important stuff on my iPod or on a disk, just in case my computer decides to shut down for good.

Kathy Bradey said...

I'm glad everything worked out. Computers can be horrible beasts.

John Rea-Hedrick said...

I second the Dropbox recommendation!

I use a combination of Dropbox (for my day-to-day stuff) and iDrive (for the important, but don't touch very often stuff).

Another REALLY geeky option I once employed years ago was to purchase a new hard drive, install it with the operating system, then connect the original drive as a secondary drive so you can read from it. That way you can restore anything still on it, even if you can't reboot from it.

The plus side is you have more local storage for even more stuff you might want to back up!