Friday, April 13, 2012

More Than One Back-up

Recently, I was once again reminded of the importance of backing up all our work in not one but several places. As I saved the latest editing on my manuscript, some strange messages began scrolling across the screen. All had to do with error messages about files. I tried to delete them, but more kept coming in bunches. Then an ad popped up saying I needed to purchase S.M.A.R.T. anti-virus protection for my computer.

I closed it and shut down my computer. When it rebooted, I got a black screen with only a few icons. The Documents files were empty as were my pictures. The only thing intact was ADOBE.
Then I went to HP helps and clicked on “Restore” which brought everything back like it was before including the wallpaper. However, when I went to find my documents, the folders were there, but they were all empty and the pictures folder was also empty.
I have everything backed up to an external hard drive, so I wasn’t worried, just frustrated. That is until I found the external drive had been wiped clean as well. Now I became quite angry, but still had my flash drives. One little thing I’d forgotten, I hadn’t backed up my present manuscript for several days and instead of close to 70K words, it was back down to 65K. That may not seem like much, but several chapters had to be recreated.
Then I remembered I had emailed my manuscript to myself and had saved it on my Notebook, but it didn’t have the edits I’d worked on all of Thursday and Friday as that is what I was trying to save when everything went haywire.
We took it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy where we bought the computer and he found two viruses had attacked the computer and external drive. He said it would take at least a week to clean out the drive and try to restore everything. I decided to take the week off and not worry about it as we had family coming for Easter week-end.
My experience ends well as he was able to take care of the problem. The best part was finding that all my editing had been saved before the attack, so I had those 5K words back. God is good and protected me, but it again reminded me that having more than one or two back-up systems is most important. I thought the external drive and the flash drives would be enough, but not always. If my computer had actually crashed and the information not retrieved, it would have been a major disaster. Now we have an automatic back-up program, so an episode like this will not happen again.
Our work is too important not to have copies backed up. Flash-drives and even external drives can fail, so we must have more than one or two places to store them. Find what works best for you and then use it. If it’s an automatic back-up, that’s even better.
Lesson learned.

3 comments:

Greg Mitchell said...

That's terrifying! I'm glad it all worked out for you. I would have been beside myself with hysteria.

Beth Shriver said...

My worst nightmare! So sorry you went through that:( It was a good reminder for all of us to send it, copy it and 'back it up'!!

Tina said...

My biggest fear! I save a copy to 4 different flash drives and an external hard drive that isn't connected to my computer until I am "READY" to save it on the hard drive. My computers have crashed so many times. It never fails, and I am sure it will happen again. I do advise signing up for Carbonite. It backs up instantly and when everything has been wiped clean, you can download EVERYTHING back on to it. I love it.