Sunday, June 14, 2009

Love, Death, & Data Loss

So a normal, run of the mill Sunday, has become a wee bit o hell.

I should say, so as to help people understand, that we are the last house on our particular power line. There is no one after us, the poles come to an end at our driveway. As such a wet sponge thrown anywhere in a 2 mile radius can cause a sudden and most displeasureable outage of our power for anywhere from five seconds to five hours. AND... we have a tendency to have massive power spikes at any and all times, to the point that we blow light bulbs at least once a week.

So yes, we have back up drives, we have surge protectors, battery back ups and a generator. Even with all of these things bad things still happen.

A transformer down the street from us caught fire, and we lost power. Of course our battery back up for our main computer did NOT kick in, and it's lovely little screen faded to black. Power came back up within a minute or so and after waiting our customary wait time to restart everything, we kicked everything back on to fill the house with our delightful little bit of white noise....and power promptly clicked off once again. You guessed it the battery back up once again shirked it's duties and the screen immediately blinked out.

We doubled our wait time after power decided to return, just in case it was once again trying to play us for fools. Everything slowly started to come back up. Oh but it didn't, the main computer, the computer with all our information, all of our programs, that one did not. It tried , have to give the little critter credit it did try so very hard, but when the primary hard drive is fried there is little that even the most loyal of computers can do to heed your commands.

So here we are, all of our data lost, for at least the past week, possible longer, as we have yet to get into the computer via reformatting, to see just how much of the previous data our external has truly been saving every Monday morning. I guess we will find out soon enough, if it is as much as we are hoping, but who knows how much an auto save setting really covers on one of these things.

All my fears realized, everyone said I was being paranoid to save my most current work in two separate locations, to have another saved location that was no more then 24 hours old. Three locations, it's silly some said. Oh but I've lost work before, I know how unspeakable a thing it can be to see weeks or months of work vanish in the blink of an eye when a hard drive crashes.

So here I sit, yes I've lost some email with some suggestions, but I can get those resent to me, I have lost some time,as I will have to reinstall many a program, some data which while unfortunate is hardly the end of the world. What haven't I lost, I haven't lost seven chapters, countless hours of painstaking work. They remain safe, secure, on both this computer (the spare computer) and on my shiny new flash drive purchased only a few hours ago, and my old faithful flash drive (which is being retired for day to day use).

So let this be a lesson to all those who say saving in multiple spots is silly, and to all those who might allow themselves to be swayed by the naysayers. Save. Save often. Save in as many different places and forms as you can. It is nothing to take a few extra minutes to save your work in an extra place or two, but it is everything if you loose weeks, or months of work simply because you thought you would be safe. You are never safe if you put all your proverbial eggs in one basket.

I say again.


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