Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Elizabeth Goddard here.

On the blog post title, no, I'm not referring to the series by Lemon Snicket. (Is that even a real name?)

“Back up your files!” We’ve all heard this before.

I’m considering taking a poll to ask how many of us actually do. I’m sure more now than maybe a decade ago. And how many of those who now back up their files had to learn the hard way?

For years I have at least emailed myself the manuscript I was working on. That way I could easily access my work no matter what. Emailing the file reassured me that it was floating out there in cyberspace. I also had access to some files on OneDrive (Microsoft’s cloud file storage).All the various ways to store documents on the cloud confused me, nor had I taken the time to look into the best options. There are pros and cons to storing files in the cloud as opposed to an external drive/physical storage device (so the Geek Squad tells me).

Add that research to my to do list.

Last week, the worst case scenario happened. But let me back up. Before that, my computer was struggling with memory issues so I deactivated or uninstalled various applications that I wasn’t using, including OneDrive. I honestly wasn’t sure what that one did, but now I know. Then for reasons unknown to me, I stopped emailing my manuscript—this, after YEARS of doing just that.

Add to this, one cup of coffee left on a side table, a rambunctious Schnauzer
named Dekker (as in Ted) and a slow-response teenager (every second counts in a coffee spill). If only one of these had been removed from the equation, disaster would not have happened. But put them all together and you get one very dead computer!

I’m happy to report that though my defunct laptop isn’t worth the cost to fix it, the Geek Squad at Best Buy was able to retrieve my data—an iffy thing after moisture damage, they told me.

Now I have that external storage device whether I wanted one or not, and once I replace my laptop (I’m currently working on the old clunker desktop in the office) I’ll also look into options for the cloud.

Carbonite has been strongly suggested. How about you? Do you backup on an external drive or use the cloud and if so, which one?


  1. Beth, sorry for your mishap, glad the info was recovered. As often happens, something bad helped you turn things around for good--in this case, back-ups. I use a Mac, and employ the Time Machine app that comes with it to back up all my data regularly to an external hard drive. I also (belt and suspenders) use DropBox to specifically back up certain things. Kay uses a PC, and likes Carbonite. I don't think it matters so much what we use as that we use it. Glad it all worked out for you.

  2. You're so right--it often takes something bad to happen before we act. Think of all those traffic accidents that must happen in one spot before a turn lane or traffic light is added!

  3. My only computer access is at the library. I use the Internet and therefore don't have a need to backup.