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July 24th, 2003, 03:23 PM
I got a new 100gig hard drive about 8 months ago and was using it as a secondary drive for storage of all manner of files etc.
The bugger died on me last week and all data (80 gigs of music, video, games etc) was unretrievable, including all my latest writing work along with a full novel length manuscript of 150,000+ words that took me a year of unrelenting writing (sometimes up to 10 hours a day) to complete.

Major bummer.

Luckily I have an older version of the full MS on a floppy, which is better than nowt, but does mean all the months of editing and polishing the story etc have to be done again and I'm sure (like me), most writers hate editing above everything else.

I know it's common sense, but back up all your writing onto a floppy regularly, as you never know when your b*stard computer will do something horrible to you.

July 24th, 2003, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by kahnovitch
. . . and I'm sure (like me), most writers hate editing above everything else.

Actually I did until someone (so long ago I don't recall who) pointed out to me that the editing process is where a writer gets to be the most creative. And after due consideration, I agreed. Editing is now almost my favorite part of writing. The first draft gets the basic plot down, but the editing is where I can flesh out the story and make the characters come alive.

But I digress from you main point. I too recently had a computer die on me. Luckily I had not done any writing since my recent backup. Unfortunately I only backed up my actual writing. So I did loose some maps I'd scanned in (which I can rescan so no real lose there) and I lost all my non-writing documents.

So, don't forget to backup everything.

a/k/a KATS

July 24th, 2003, 05:10 PM
This happened to me too, not so long ago.

Fortunately, I had a fairly recent backup of my writing and my programming projects. So not much was lost in that category. I did, however, lose a lot of other stuff, stuff that I never thought to backup before it was too late:

I lost all my emails, recent as well as old saved ones, my address book and my calendar. I lost my long-hoarded cache of links to websites containing writing and programing tips. I lost an equally large hoard of favorite qoutes and jokes and so on and so forth....:(

So, I'll second KATS: Remember to backup *Everything!*


July 24th, 2003, 07:28 PM
I feel your pain brother. :(

The same thing happened to me back a few months ago. I downloaded a new defrag program which somehow locked up every single file on my harddrive, so I had to get it reformatted and lost everything (3 years of games, videos, music, pictures...). Fortunately, perhaps in a bizarre fit of psychic ability, I did a backup floppy of my writing projects that morning. Boy, was I glad I did that...ALWAYS have a back up copy--it's inevitable that any computer will crash eventually. It's only a matter of time.

Since then I've got a CD burner and I make CDs of all the stuff that I download so I won't have to lose it all again.

It usually pays to be cautious. :)

July 24th, 2003, 07:38 PM
There are companies that can do retrievals on even physically damaged discs. The odds are real good they can help you get all your files back. And I think there is software on the market that can do the same thing.....

July 24th, 2003, 07:40 PM
Best thing I ever did, when I put together my current PC, was to put in two, identical, removable hard drives. Only one is active and "locked-in" during normal use. Every other week or so I lock in the second drive, boot up with a DOS program from the floppy drive, and copy the entire contents of the primary drive to the secondary drive. It's about 25GB of data and takes about 4 hours (I go off and do something for the day, usually).

When I come back I unlock the second drive and re-boot into Windows and proceed as always. But I now have a complete mirror image of everything on my drive, including Windows.

When my primary drive got barfed up from some rogue install of a new program two months ago, and would not boot up, all I had to do was swap the drives and poof! I was back in business except for whatever files I had added or updated in the prior week. Hardly missed a beat. Add a daily backup of new stuff to floppies between the big backup and I wouldn't have lost a thing.

Definitely worth the extra cost for the second drive and the slide-out trays, believe me!

July 24th, 2003, 08:56 PM
Try googling the hard drive in freezer method to see if you can get your drive working long enough to recover your data. I know it sounds weird, but I've heard of quite a few people that said it worked for them.

July 24th, 2003, 09:21 PM
And a harddrive going south after 8 MONTHS? I'd also be taking the piece of crap back for a refund....

July 24th, 2003, 09:33 PM
I feel your pain, Kahnovich. Something similar happened to me--though I lost 8 short stories rather than an entire novel. But I did not have them backed-up on floppies or even printed, so they were simply lost.

But with editing, I've learned to really enjoy it. Rewriting is when we make things sound good, add cool analogies, etc. and as Kat said, it's where you can get really creative. The skeleton is already laid out for you, now you can add the flesh and make it pretty.

July 24th, 2003, 10:53 PM
Thanks for the support guys 'n' gals, BTW I have tried the freezer method of resusitation and the "whack", "spin" "twist" and "drop" methods but all to no avail.

I did check out some data recovery firms but they want 65 just to look at the sucker and I've seen prices starting from 200 upwards for minimal data recovery. The drive cost just over 100 and everything that was on it can be replaced (eventually)

A mate who owns a computer company has offered to do it for nowt, but he'll most likely have to partly dismantle the drive to retrieve anything off it, which would invalidate the warranty, so I'm just going to return the damned thing for a replacement or refund.

As for the editing, I agree it is the part where you get to add the meat to the bones of the story. My griping was mainly because the version I have on floppy is completely un-edited and is the very first draft of the MS, which was completed over two years ago, but at least I have it in some form.

Also my CD writer conked out about a month ago (although it was an old 6x and about 3 years old) so I'll be getting a new one ASAP.

The drive in question was an IBM Deskstar 120GXP 102.93 gig 7200rpm, which are also manufactured by Hitachi for them.
So take that IBM, no bugger here will buy any of your drives in the future!