Why You Should Back Up

Close up of gray enter button on computer keyboard uidThe most unsettling thing happened to me last week. In fact, it was a near tragic experience that was only saved by my husband.

I’d been working on the rewrite of a novella for a couple of months. It’d been through my CPs hands and my personal copyeditor (Hubby). I’d made my final tweaks on it using the publisher’s style guide. I made sure it was perfect and ready to go. I even rewrote the synopsis.

Now I usually write on my lunch hour using my HP Mini (which is sorely outdated) and a thumb drive. I keep ALL my current files on my thumb drive. ALL of them. I had just renamed my final files and moved them into the appropriate folder when I decided to do some organizing. There was an old PDF file I wanted to delete because I didn’t need it anymore.

Well instead of deleting that one file I somehow managed to delete the contents of THE ENTIRE FOLDER. It took me a second to realize what I’d done. It was unbelievable to me. I pulled out the thumb drive and plugged it back it but to no avail.

That’s when I panicked.

And sent a frantic text message to my IT husband.

“Can you recover deleted files from a thumb drive???? Just deleted my MFING files. I want to cry.”

“Don’t cry. I’m sure you have a back up, right?”

Here is where I made the “Oh, sh*t” face as I realized the horrible truth. Only, he couldn’t see me since we were texting.


That was the worst part I think. Confessing to my IT husband who BEATS backing up into my head that I hadn’t backed up. And I promised I would because it was the New Year. And I hadn’t. After some text conversation that’s not fit to repeat here (because of all my cursing mostly haha), he texts quite calmly, “Look up ‘Undelete’ freeware.”

Okay. I’ll try that. I’ll trying anything!

I do a quick search and the first thing that pops up is something on CNET. Okay. I know CNET is a good source. I’ll go with that. I don’t care what it is. If it’s free, I’m trying it. I download it, install it, and with some trepidation, I plug in the thumb drive.

The program sees it. Which gave me some hope. And then after a few steps, I managed to recover every single file I deleted in that folder.

Success! Elation! Jubilation!

I recovered them, saved them to the HD of the machine AND to the thumb drive. I backed them up that evening to Dropbox, SugarSync and my external hard drive. In case you’re wondering, the program I used was iCare Undelete Free. Get it from CNET. The only problem with the program, though, was the file I restored is corrupted. Word can’t open it. Neither can WordPad or Notepad. So I restored all those files for nothing. The only saving grace is I happened to email a copy to the husband for his final read-through. So luckily I do have the final version…sort of. I’d edited it a bunch in preparation for submission. Added a few things. Tweaked a few things. Of course I don’t have a print out of that and I don’t remember what I’d changed. *heavy sigh* I’m thoroughly disgusted with myself. Have I mentioned I also lost the blurb and the synopsis? I have an old version of the synopsis I’d actually printed and did hand edits so I may be able to salvage that. I don’t know about the blurb.

This weekend I spent a good portion of time backing up all my files. EVERYTHING. I feel better now. Except now I have to start over on final edits of that novella. Such is life I guess.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.