Friday, July 22, 2011

The Most Interesting Thing: Are Your Ready For a Crash?

"Back up my hard drive? How do I put it in reverse?"
~Author Unknown

Up until four months ago, I wrote from a vintage Mac G4 Clamshell who I affectionately called Bertie. Expecting a crash at any given moment, DH reminded me to back her up daily. Death came to Bertie by way of a black screen whilst I was on vacation working on a revision deadline. 
When I finally stopped crying, we dashed down to the nearest Best Buy, plopped down the credit card, and within a few hours my shiny white MacBook, Bertie the Second, had me back in action.
Lured into a  false sense of security, I lowered my back up vigilance.
Never, never, never forget to back up.
The good news? DH had set my books folder up with Dropbox, so I didn't lose one word. But the hard drive hadn't been backed up since May 28th. Oops.
This means I lost everything on my desktop, which is where I kept all my projects in folders. 
And I lost three months of stuff in my mailboxes.
Which is another lesson learned--not all mail servers are created equal.
Comcast stores mail on server for one week.
Gmail stores everything forever. 
So what's my point?
Are you ready
For the crash?
I hope so.
Any thoughts? Tips? Suggestions? Horror stories?
Please share.


  1. Hurray for Dropbox! That's how I roll, too. I had an iOmega external hard drive, but somewhere along the line, it got toasted and I lost everything I had backed up on that. OY! I still had the originals, but I tend to burn a CD every now and then just for added protection.

    Glad the book was safe!

  2. We have Dropbox, too! I was a little wary when my hubby installed it, but now I am a believer. That little icon helps me to sleep well at night. :P

  3. Okay, that's three votes for Dropbox. We must protect our precious words!

  4. A timely reminder! I'm anticipating my Toshiba to crash at any time so I back up daily now. I've heard alot of good things about Dropbox, though. Thinking I need to check it out.

  5. I e-mail myself daily with my WIP to two different web-based e-mail services. But I need to buy an external hard drive for sure.

  6. Dropbox and Gmail - my two faves! I also make extensive use of Google docs, Evernote (for research), and have started dabbling with Scrivener for Windows. Why Scrivener? Well, it lets me keep, organize, and link all my research (including pictures, video, websites, etc.) for a writing project in folders with the actual project. Then I can save the entire project file to Dropbox. I will never lose my related research files. Thank you for a timely reminder!

  7. Yeah, the best part about losing a hard drive is discovering how to prepare for the next time you lose a hard drive! Glad it wasn't TOO painful!

  8. I use Windows SkyDrive to back up files--and I'm not going to say I don't expect the computer to crash. Because then it will. :P

  9. HORRORS!!! What happened to Bertie II? I was just reminded two days ago about this as I have many spreadsheets, as well as my WIP, on my laptop. Dropbox tonight!!!

  10. Oh, and there's the legend of the stolen laptop. Bye-bye dating pictures, first anniversary pictures, New Orleans pictures... you get the idea.

  11. I've never heard of Dropbox. Gonna have to ask the hubby about it. I have an external drive blinking away and I email myself zip files when I make notable progress on my WIP. We've had to salvage before. That isn't fun. My mac is used (Bumpy is its name, and it deserves it) and the harddrive died in the middle of my 2nd novel. Hubby is MacCertified, so he got it all back, but I learned a very nerve-wracking lesson. Bumpy is acting up again, so I am backing up and emailing lots lately. Not ready to put out the cash for a new Mac!

  12. Do I have a comment? Do... I... Have... A... COMMENT! You already responded to my tweeted comment about the fist 5 chapters of my new novel evaporating with my crashed harddrive! I was sick once I realized all that I had left on my desktop, nicely organized in folders. Tomorrow a computer whiz will try to see if anything can be plucked out of cyber-pergatory and dragged back into my computer. Pray for intercession!

  13. Oh yeah, I've definitely experienced the crash not once, but twice. Now I stick everything on my back up harddrive or else online. It's tiring having to worry about this though!

  14. How scary! I'd have cried too! I'm sooo glad you didn't lose your manuscript!

    A friend of mine told me to print out e-mails from agents and editors, just in case. I didn't realize gmail is forever and Comcast is not. Interesting.

    Thanks for the reminder!


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