Back up, back up, back up! Oh, and yeah, back up.

Today may have very well been a disastrous start to this weekend. I returned home from an exhausting day at work, freshened up and had my lunch and everything, then I turned on my laptop. Or at least tried to turn it on.

Windows was starting to load, then suddenly the screen turns black and I get a message telling me that Windows has failed to start-up and I should let Windows try to fix the damage. My first thought was, “Well, laptop, we’ve had a good run. But please try to fix yourself, okay?”

I watch it expectantly, the panic has yet to settle. Then a thought occurs to me: “Did… did I back up?”

Did I back up my final typed version of Puppet Parade? Did I back up the final draft of The Muse Bunny, the novel I’ve been slaving over for more than four years? Did I back up all my other WIPs? My ebooks? My pictures? My videos? My chat logs? Anything?!

(Photo Credit: Unknown)

I realised that I, in fact, did not. I failed to do the thing I always advise other writers to do. I started to panic. I looked pitifully at the progress bar, begging it to fill up quickly, pleading with my laptop not to fail me. Then the screen goes blank again.

Oh god my laptop died.

Then I saw the battery blinking, and I breathed in relief. I plugged in the battery and the progress bar started up again. Phew. I waited for like an hour for the progress bar to fill up, then I was told to restart the laptop. I waited with bated breath to see if Windows could load properly… and it did! I was ecstatic!

Then I dutifully started backing up everything I could see on my trusty Dropbox. The moral of this little story? Always,alwaysback-up, or you’ll end up like me, begging a piece of machinery to work.

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33 thoughts on “Back up, back up, back up! Oh, and yeah, back up.

  1. myserenity2 says:

    I’ve got a laptop that I use everyday. The status window pops up that it’s been so many days since my last back up. I think the longest I waited was nearly three months. I’m up to 30 days now. I should back up my work before it’s too late. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Artemis says:

    I actually recently spent an entire night organizing my hard drives and backing them all up. It’s been like six months or more since I last did that, so I was waaaay behind. I’ve at least got my books and such on the cloud, but everything else… I’d be so far behind I’d be too disheartened to catch up again. It happened once a while ago and I lost everything, I spent years finding everything again. Spending a little bit of time backing up is beyond worth it. (Though with my luck my external hard drive, laptop and PC will all crash simultaneously while Dropbox goes out of business. =|)

    • It has happened to me a couple of times before, but I have yet to learn. >.>; I keep telling myself that I’ll back up, but I forget. I’m way more behind than you… I don’t think I’ve backed up anything on this computer for at least two years. (and that would be terrible. Now you’ve made me all paranoid)

    • And thanks for checking mine!
      Haha, I would have curled up and hidden away from the computer for days. It’s the first thing I backed up!

    • I’m glad I didn’t lose anything either! And it’s good that you’re very cautious; nothing is worth losing all your files.

  3. I had a laptop die on me…without backing things up. I got everything back after I took the hard drive out and transferred everything over to a new PC. I back my files up in two separate places now. One can never be too cautious when it comes to our writing! A great reminder that every writer should heed.

    • At least you got everything back! The same thing happened to me before and I was devastated. Absolutely devastated.
      Thank you for your comment! =]

    • Do it! I lucked out. My laptop has crashed last night, but thankfully I had already backed up all the important things. I’m going to still attempt to recover everything else though… somehow. xD

    • Keeping multiple copies is a good idea! I’ve done a similar mistake before… hit “Cancel” instead of “Save” when closing the document and lost 10 A4 pages in the process. I was traumatized.

        • Yes, exactly! I ended up brooding for days. If there’s anything I hate, it’s rewriting something I had already wrote. It feels like the new stuff can never measure up!

        • Well, I know. xD I just mean, if there’s a particular scene that got deleted, it’d be difficult to write it the same way again, no?

  4. I just started using Carbonite in the past year. I sleep much better at night knowing that all my data files are backed up basically in real time without my having to do anything. For about $50/year, it is well worth it.

    • I’ve never used Carbonite, but it rather reminds me of Dropbox, which also saves files in real time. But I think that’s money well-spent!

      • I use Dropbox too–mostly when I need to share files with clients. I think the difference is Carbonite runs in the background backing up the hard drive, whereas I have to consciously move something to Dropbox–but maybe I don’t know all the functionality. (BTW I’m not pushing Carbonite specifically–there are probably other similar backup tools out there.) Regardless, be safe!!! πŸ™‚

        • Ohhh. I see how Carbonite can be more useful! You can do the same with Dropbox (i.e. save the file in your folder and just update it there), but I don’t think it backs up everything. And yep, better safe than sorry!

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