A minor catastrophe!

I’ve been keeping records of my daily word count for the last couple of years. I use them to watch how I’ve grown, push myself to write more each day, and try to see what slows me down. I keep track of how much I write on which projects, which also chronocolizes when I started each project, and when I finished them. It’s very useful data, and I’ve shown my charts here on my blog a few times.

Then last night I went to add my numbers for the day and looked down. For some reason it was saying march, not September. What? That’s not right.

I checked a few other pages. Blank. Blank. Blank. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?!?

Wait, I just copied this file to DropBox, it’s okay, right? Open that one, and it’s the same. Blank months. No data.

Sinking heart as I realize what happened. I didn’t copy the file TO DropBox. I copied the file FROM DropBox. The old file, the one I hadn’t updated since March. The one that didn’t have anything filled out. Copied it right over the newer version with all the updates. And now it’s just gone.

Six months of data. Gone.

It wasn’t an entire lose. I did have one small backup. A spreadsheet for the Million Words club with daily totals. But the daily totals are just numbers. They don’t tell me what I wrote that day, how much I wrote on each project, what I started that day, and what I finished. So, at best it’s an incomplete vision.

grumbleThe new spreadsheet. On the left is what it should look like. This is an old month, one with all the little data points I track. On the right is what I was able to salvage.

Now, I can go back through my blog and pull out those numbers so that I can at least get a view of what I actually wrote for publishing sake, and what I wrote to share in my blog. But other then that… I’m stuck.

Just goes to show that yes, you should backup your files. You should have them in several locations all of the time. And you should also make darn sure that when you copy something from one place to another you aren’t saving the old version over the new one.

What if I’d done this to my novel? 91,000 words GONE. It makes me cringe just thinking about it, more so because my first novel actually did die in a tragic computer crash, and that novel was over 100k.

Back up your stuff people. Make sure it’s safe!

Computers make our lives easy, right?

Computers have given us the ability to automate so many things. They allow us to type, edit, and retype at the touch of a few buttons. We can edit entire novels in days instead of painstakingly copying them letter by letter for months or years at a time.

So when your computer decides it doesn’t want to work anymore…. ARG!

My computer has been having issues for a while. The USB plug has been acting up, deciding not to work now and then for no reason that I can tell. Usually I can trouble shoot through it, repair, clean the dust out, and get the thing limping along again for a while.

What’s worse is I am not sure what is failing. Is it a software or a hardware issue? Do i have a virus that is eating away at some components? Do I just need to reformat and boot again? Or do I need to start replacing parts. USB’s are attached to the mother board so that would be a lot of parts.

I’ve known for a while that my computer needed to be upgraded, at least, and that it probably needed a good cleaning. I even bought a new terabyte hard drive so I could save all my data. I just hadn’t gotten around to installing it. So… I have a blank terabyte drive, and a half full 300 gig drive, neither of which I can easily access at the moment. I mean they turn on, but my mouse is USB, so moving files around without a mouse is difficult at best since I don’t know all the short cuts.

On the plus side, I have a drop pox with all my writing on it. I can access that through my lap top (and old lap top that has a little touch screen mouse, and shouldn’t be used for games, so it’s less distracting when I write.) but all my family photos, video, and art work is still trapped on the old drive till I get it out.

At least I know that the hard drive isn’t corrupted. The data is still there, just hard to get to.

Lessons… Back up your files, and not just one a computer. Burn them on a disk, drop them in your email, use DROPBOX! Seriously, Dropbox is invaluable. In fact, if you don’t yet have a Dropbox, go here and set one up. they give you free space. It’s not a lot, but it is enough to save the most important data in case something happens.

As for me… I’m off to work on my novel some more with the little lap top. So glad I have that otherwise I’d be scrambling to get the PC fixed right now.