Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday's Tumbles and Stumbles: Computer Woes

As the title suggests this week's major stumble was my computer. My hard drive crashed. ARGH!!! Now I have other computers in my house. Four to be exact, but the one that crashed had most of my novels in progress on it.

Now normally, I'll back up my hard drive religiously, but of late, "normally" doesn't belong in my vocabulary. Unfortunately my pictures, book covers, most of my knitting patterns (40 patterns), Kindle for the PC with all the downloads (52 e-books), and works in progress (12 books and stories) were not on my back up. It has sickened me for the past three days. This included 45K words of my Don't Get Your Panties in a Wad and my Illusion of Tranquility novelette that I was using for example in Compuserve's Books and Writers Forum. I have a printed version of all my other books just not that one. Why they weren't backed up, I have no idea. Double ARGH!

I did manage to get my computer up and running again, but my keyboard suddenly developed a "Nah, I don't wanna type that letter anymore" syndrome for ten keys. So I undid the screws intent on taking it apart to clean the inside. Have you ever tried prying two pieces of plastic apart with only one working hand? I gave up after fighting with it for three hours and grabbed my antiquated keyboard from the turn of the century. This sucker is ancient by computer  keyboard standards and it's three and a half of my hand widths across, but it does have a USB connector.

I have misplaced my Microsoft Word program disks. It had all the bells and whistles to it including Publisher. I've only switched desks four times and computers once since I've seen it last four years ago. I'll find that eventually. But I'm really not writing anymore these days so there is no hurry. There's probably five programs I have to find the CD/DVDs for. I had a blast just trying to remember all my bookmarked internet sites. I still haven't visited half the sites to rebookmark them.

My computer had been sluggish for days. Probably a virus or other nasty that Norton didn't catch. I even used the power eraser to find it to no avail, but it did behave better. I finished streaming a movie and hit the back button to reload the previous page and my screen went nuts. It powered itself down. After dinner, I tried to reboot my computer and got the ominous blue screen telling me the hard drive had crashed. I've spent days recovering what I have so far. This is as bad as moving to me AND I HATE MOVING!

The good news is that I haven't been sitting much. But then again, it hasn't been by choice. The computer tells me it needs this or that and I'm off to fetch it. And, I thought the demands of a dying husband had me running. Stroke recovery is a breeze right now in comparison of recovering three years of lost data.

Until next Thursday when you get a new dose of my Tumbles and stumbles...CYA later! Bet you'll make sure your computer is backed up right after this, won't ya.


  1. I really feel for you. Years ago I lost a chapter of a book that the publisher was waiting for. Since then I ALWAYS back up every file after I close the original. I truly hope you find a way to retrieve your writing.

  2. Mac or PC? if Mac, you can use Time Machine to revert to a previous date. I looked online to see if there's an equivalent for PC, but all I found was a Mac vs. PC argument. Do you know a computer geek who can help you?

  3. First: I have 5 GB (for free) from Google; they will backup religiously in (I think) Michigan. Mostly very important data for me -- (3)gmail, .txt, .docx, .ppt, .xlsx, .pdf and Google .docs, .sheets, .slides. If my house burns and burns my computer+disk+stick it does not matter because the data of the backup is in Michigan. Zero effort for myself.

    Second: I use the iMac with Time Machine @ 256GB portable disk and zero effort for myself:
    * Hourly backups for the past 24 hours,
    * Daily backups for the past month,
    * Weekly backups for all previous month.

    I use it to get a few files that were backup but other than that they whir silently to backup hourly, daily, and weekly. I'm sure you'll have to invest to the cheap backup type like First above at least and they will fit iMac or PC or Linux. Second above, lots of solution for local backup, iMac free and it will work, PC free but lots of warts + options, Linux I will tell you but a lots of details...

    Very sorry but hardware is hardware / John A.


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