Backing Up is Hard to Do

My apologies to Neil Sedaka.

Backing up a hard drive shouldn’t be so hard to do. But for some reason I did it haphazardly.  Like when I remembered, every few months.

I suppose this wouldn’t be so bad if I never had a need to save anything.  But, I’m a writer. And, I write. A lot. Plus, I’m treasurer of the local writers club and need to back up the reports, not to mention all of my college essays and related information.

I’ve never believed my laptop would last forever, but I assumed it would give me some clear signs of a future demise. Fortunately I backed my files up as recently as this past December.  And every time I made any edits to my novel-in-progress I sent myself an updated version to my email.

Broken computerThe last month or so my laptop became a harder to start, taking a little longer and sometimes needed a second attempt just to power on. Unfortunately (you knew that was coming) I didn’t read the clear signs it was giving me. Last week, when I attempted to restart it, it didn’t respond.  My laptop of three and a half years tried with all its internal strength but only the multi-colored Windows logo appeared.  It seemed to pulse like it was breathing in and out, using its last bits and bytes to say goodbye.   And then the screen went black.

I didn’t panic too much.  At first.  Then I thought of all of the recent files I’d been working on.  Diligently saving, but not backing up to my external drive. Crap.

After consulting with my oldest son, the laptop expert, he told me he was fairly confident my hard drive was safe and all the information would be retrievable with a simple device.  I preferred 100% confident, but I had to take what reassurance I could get.

Over the past week, I’ve gotten used to computer hopping – using whoever’s laptop was handy in times of need.  I’ve dealt with the temporary missing documents and even gotten used to a handful of different mice and keyboards.

But my biggest challenge has been remembering my frequently visited websites.  Who remembers every website address?  On my old machine Google remembered my recently visited. And ‘Favorites’ made up for the rest.  It was like using a phone’s speed dial.  No need to remember anything, just click and you’re transported to the comfort of familiar sites.  Not so when new machines have no idea where you’be been or want to go.

After this week, I’ve learned to adapt. And back up. Everything.  Nightly.  (Maybe that’s overkill, but at least it’s the start of a better habit.)

The good news is soon I’ll have my own computer again. The orders were places for a new tower, monitor, hard drive and all the other goodies to get me up and running again. I decided to go with a home-built desk top which allowed me to get some pretty good bargains on the internal workings and all-in-all I’ll have a better machine when all the dust settles.calendar

This time I’ve promised myself I’ll continue to back things up. At least once a week.  After this past week’s frustrations it shouldn’t be hard to do.

2 thoughts on “Backing Up is Hard to Do

  1. Bless your heart, Joan. It IS hard. Sometimes I go online purposely to email someone. I mess around visiting important sites and checking on things. Then I shut down my computer, and as soon as I see the black screen, I remember that I did NOT send the email that I’d meant to send! What’s up with that brain of mine. Backing up is kind of like that. I mean to do it, but often I’ve shut down before the realization hits me that I’ve forgotten to perform that simple and life-altering maneuver.


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