A couple of years ago, about a month before our annual company tradeshow with over 350 exhibitors, and about 15,000 customers attending, I had what can be referred to as a “Major Computer Hardware Failure” and I literally lost every single thing. It wasn’t the first time a catastrophic computer-related blunder had run my way, but in previous incidences, a backup had been done and all was not lost. The time I’m referring to in which I lost everything, a back up had been set up (not by me) and so when I received the Blue Screen of Death, I wasn’t totally freaking out. At that point, I calmly asked our in house IT dude to help me fix the computer issue and restore from the backup. Except there wasn’t a backup. That is about the time I proceeded to freak the hell out.
I managed to recover most of my documents by either memory (thank goodness my memory is excellent) or by asking people I had sent it to via email to send it back. This incident taught me a lot about not trusting backups, about not trusting computers, and about not saving something that was so absolutely crucial in only one place. It’s also about the time I started carrying a 4GB USB key and every day as I headed off for lunch, copying all of my documents onto it.
And then I went off on maternity leave and spent most of my computing time here at home, not overly concerned with backing up – I mean, who cares if my invitation for a pedicure party got deleted? Then I got the job at the market and while somewhere in the back of my mind a lightbulb flickered and said “you should seriously start copying onto your fancy new external harddrive or at least that 4GB USB key that you carry around” I again just sort of breezed through it, feeling secure that our computer was a good high quality machine, that we performed scans on with regularly. Another excuse is that with us moving the computer into the bedroom when we set up Kale’s bedroom, the fans and other assorted computer noise prevented us from keeping the computer running – and thus performing a backup during the middle of the night.
So, as I’m sure you’re all thinking, it’s not a huge shock that on Monday after I got Mr. Pants down for his nap, and dutifully logged on to my computer so that I could work on my market tasks I perform on Mondays (email the reminder guy to send out a reminder to the mailing list, email the newspaper to start the weekly ad, etc) and I received the following message:
“Windows is unable to start up, hardware initate TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY SCREWED OH SNAP!”
Yeah. It’s my own big, bad stupuid fault. I mean, we buy computers with the expectation that they are going to do as we ask of them. But this is a five year old computer and other than mainitaining an active anti virus subscription, updating software and adding new add-on gadgetry like the external hard drive, we’ve never done anything really, to ensure it’s longevity. And I got lazy about my backups, and seriously, I can’t blame it on anyone except me. Sure, it’s not like I was expecting hardware failure, but still, I should have known better than to expect it NOT to fail. I mean, look at my track record?
So there’s me, the biped, walking furiously to the only computer joint in walking distance – London Drugs – and then there’s me, the cheapie refusing to pay $150 for a 500GB hard drive because I know what can be gotten for $100 elsewhere. And then there’s me, furiously walking to the weird little computer store above the sex shop and buying a harddrive and there’s me, walking home and installing it and STILL HAVING THE BAD MESSAGE.
So my computer is in my friend Jim’s hands – he’s a tech and if anyone can recover my documents, he can. It appears to be a motherboard issue. A big ugly motherboard issue. Not a hard drive issue. So I said to him “Just get me the market data and the rest we can sort out this weekend.”
There are three file folders that I need desperately off that hard drive – one is for the market, one is for my Usborne Books, and one is Chai By Night. Everything else is not required and if there is any sort of a trade off deal to be made with fate, then here’s my plea: take everything but leave the Market. It’s innocent, and it’s not its fault that I am a MORON and should have learned my lesson.
Well, I’m off to stuff my face with candy and be stressed out until I get the phone call.