1. zaneoriginal
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    zaneoriginal Member

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    Computer Died, Lost Almost Everything

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by zaneoriginal, Sep 1, 2014.

    I knew for a while that my old computer was nearing its final demise. I just didn't expect it to happen so quickly. I had been inching towards getting a new one, not wanting to go through the process of deciding what to transfer over and then setting up a new machine. Then, before getting the new machine, my old one had a critical hardware failure. In theory I could try to get some of the old stuff off of it, but in reality it may be a lot more work than I want to go through.

    All the things I wrote with the exception of two stories I emailed out and what I had posted here are pretty much gone.

    To add insult to injury, my new machine has been a pain in the @$$ to set up.

    I swear the system came with preloaded malware. Like, one of the add-ons that was causing trouble had been installed weeks before I ever purchased the machine. Before even making an internet connection it had issues. It doesn't help that Windows 8 is loopy as can be and not familiar to me.

    I probably need to purchase a new MS office too.

    Only have a few days to get it all straightened out before I have to leave home for work on a two week project.

    Anyone else having issues with computer stuff too? In particular the new Windows.
     
  2. JamesBrown
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    JamesBrown Active Member

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    It's worth investing in an external hard drive to back up everything.

    I put all my important stuff on a cloud based server - Microsoft Onedrive. There's plenty of others, like Google Drive.

    Windows 8 kind of just sucks, there's no two ways about it.

    Download Malwarebytes, that'll pick up anything dodgy on your computer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  3. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    here's a question; I've been messing around with Google Drive and DropBox, but I keep forgetting to update my files with the latest work I've done. does anybody know of a way to get saves to automatically also save to a designated external drive? also, Google Docs keeps wanting me to save the work I've done as an entirely new file every time, which clogs it up really quickly. I'm pretty sure I'm doing something wrong--or is that the nature of the Google Docs beast?
     
  4. Canopyvine
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    Canopyvine Member

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    The new windows is really bad, I remember reading somewhere that it's doing even worse than vista.

    I would go with 7 if I were you.

    Yes an external hard drive is essential when you have important work, machines always break up when you don't expect.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Stuff can be recovered. Find a good technician.
     
  6. zaneoriginal
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    zaneoriginal Member

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    Yeah, I know, back-ups, every one keeps mentioning back-ups. I should, and probably will. Thought I would favor an external hard drive over a cloud service since I really don't want all my stuff out there. I just need to bite the bullet and do it.

    I laughed at your post because I actually did get Malwarebytes because even my anti-virus wasn't getting all the nasty stuff on the machine.

    In the past when I used googledocs it seemed to automatically save any changes I made. Drop-box I liked, but really used it for sharing documents with co-workers.

    Yeah, internet searches are showing a lot of complaints about Win8. I needed a new machine quick and actually got one at a physical store, which pretty much had 8 on all the machines. I am not liking 8 at all.

    Almost always stuff can be recovered. In my case I know it was a hardware failure with the hard drive itself. I would probably need to find a really good technician to get stuff off of it. I may try that, but with so little time before I'm back out in the field again, I'm just going to set aside the old machine for now.
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    What you need is disk recovery, and it'll cost you about a grand at Geek Squad. You can probably find a shop around town with a clean room.

    Oh fuck! You live in Denver! Let me make a call and get back to you.
     
  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Okay, the guy who taught me everything I know, and built my first computer, recommends www.Ximatic.com They're out on east Arapahoe, so depending on where you are it's a bit of a drive.

    If you're more in central Denver I recommend taking it to that friend of mine, Tobie Bonahoom at Repair IT Services. If you've only erased your MBR or something He'll recover it for you cheap, and he doesn't have nearly the turnaround you find at Geek Squad or Microcenter. He's just some fucking guy working out of an office, and he hath no bullshit.

    Edited to Add: If you can still take your windows 8 machine back Tobie will build you desktop running windows 7 for around $800

    Super Edited: Your problem with all the programs on your new computer are called "bloatware" and Tobie can get all that off for you too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  9. Swiveltaffy
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    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Regarding MS, you could look into competent open-source options, one such being Libre Office.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I have my old malware infested machine sitting on the floor in the office, and two older ones plus a dead notebook upstairs. They seem to be piling up. Then there's my iMac with the iffy screen that keeps going out while the computer's still running. The Time Machine is hooked up to that so I'm not backing up my whole computer right now since I'm using the MacBook.

    But, all you need for back ups are flash drives. I have three of them. So every time I write more on the novel I copy it to the three flash drives. The most I can lose is about a days worth of work. And the bulk of my novel is now on paper copies since I've been taking in 1500 words at a time to the critique group. I could recover most of it from those.
     
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  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I shouldn't need to say this, but you should always have a copy on a drive other than your system drive. You can also set Scrivener to backup to a specific location.
     
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  12. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't trust anything 'mechanical' for backups (too much stuff lost due to corrupted discs, etc). Mechanical stuff fails. I use Mozy and it's set up to back up everything automatically according to my schedule. When my last computer died, it was only a matter of minutes to upload everything from Mozy to the new computer.
     
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  13. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Windows 8 is the Devil's spawn. I'd go with 7 or some flavor of Linux. Also, please do your wallet a favor and at least try Open Office before giving MS any more of your money.

    I don't know why anyone would back up files to anything but USB drives. The so-called "cloud"? Ask Jennifer Lawrence.
     
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  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    MacFormat magazine here in the UK ran an excellent article a while back about 'backing up.' They advocate a variety of backup methods ...and suggest everybody should use several of them similtaneously! Never rely on just one backup.

    A hard disk backup is fantastic if you're just going to transfer everything you've done to a new and reasonably compatible computer. USB drives are excellent, as long as your computer accepts them (they're getting phased out of some systems already.) They're cheap, and you can have several going at once, preferably in rotation.

    Always keep stepped and dated backups, in case files get corrupted. In other words, don't simply replace yesterday's work with today's. Keep the old copies too. (I learned that lesson the hard way, when I carefully backed up files I'd been working on, only to realise that the files themselves were corrupted. I had erased the good files and replaced them with the bad ones, and didn't know I'd done this till it was too late.)

    I can't speak for Cloud, but lots of people use it. If you have an email programme that isn't stored on your computer, such as hotmail, yahoo, etc, you can send your individual stories to yourself (or to other people) via email.

    And as a very last resort ...print off your stories and any work you couldn't bear to lose. In ink. On paper. Yes, the MacFormat magazine recommended that method as well! Yes, if your computer conks out and all your backup files are corrupted you'll have to key in your story all over again, or scan and use OCR, but at least you've still got it. That saved my bacon when I corrupted my files, so I know this really is important.

    Anybody who doesn't back up adequately and loses all their work will only make that mistake once. As @GingerCoffee and @Jack Asher suggested, you can hire somebody to attempt to retrieve your data this time. If it's important to you, that will be worth a shot. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
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  15. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is no backup system that is 100% foolproof, so having multiple methods is safest. As to security, there's encryption and passwords and all that jazz. I wouldn't put a lot of personal info out 'there', but frankly, not many people would be interested in any of our drafts...
     
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  16. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    Live and learn, right? I've lost things in the past too and now email copies to an account I set up just for that and also save to a jump drive. I hope you find away to recover them.
     
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  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What I usually do is email myself my current project when it's on it's last draft. That way it exists in cyberspace. I also like to print out my manuscripts and keep them in a folder, but that is when I am completely happy with the manuscript and/or it is published.
     

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