1. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Crash! Caboom! It's... LOST!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by writewizard, Jan 21, 2010.

    Hey everyone,
    Today, we should hold a memorial for my laptop computer. It... died. Sadly, this is all to common for writers, and I know, I know, the best way to prevent it is to back it all up, but should you happen to slip and not back it up, what's the best way to reproduce story ideas? I think we lost about a chapter.

    Edit: And has anyone else ever lost work & care to share their story about it?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A good computer geek may be able to retrieve quite a bit of your data from your hard drive, depending on how much actual damage to the drive itself has occurred.
     
  3. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Not a bad idea. Unfortunetly, it's a Windows' 98, so it's not really worth putting that much into. However, it's def. worth looking into...
     
  4. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    I’m obsessive about saving my stuff. I hit the save button every couple of minutes, and I save it on a flash stick and a portable hard drive.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not talking about reviving the computer, just recovering your lost documents.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Sometimes you can even save the hard drive itself, if it was something else that croaked on the laptop and turn the hard-drive into an external drive. My dad did that with the hard drive on his Mac when it croaked.
     
  7. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    The problem is that when I am at school, I do that, but then; times like now, when I use my old laptop, I forget the flash drive part of everything. *Grimance*
     
  8. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    That makes since. It'd be well worth it too. Thanks! :)
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I always use a USB stick to save my work so that something like this never happens. I think a lot of writers would agree that a USB stick is extremely useful.
     
  10. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    A lot of the information may still be on there. Think of it as an imprint left by the data, only a magnetic imprint of 1's and 0's. There are programs available--try searching in google--that will go through your hard drive and recover any information. This is why they suggest that any hard drive you have previously had sensitive data on, such as credit card information, you BURN once you are done with it.
     
  11. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    Also a good way to combat the loss of data is to post your work to an online blog such as blogger or wordpress.
     
  12. Ecksvie
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    Ecksvie Member

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    Or at least email it to yourself. Blogging it usually makes it public, but you can easily email yourself documents.

    My antivirus has a function where I can set automatic backups and so all my writing stuff gets automatically backed up once a week (and with the amount of work I do in a week, a week is sufficient, but I could make it daily or every few days if necessary). There are programs you can download for free to do this for you, although you'll need some kind of external drive to backup to since you dont get backups to a server without paying for it.

    The beauty of having a program do it for you is that you can schedule it so you dont forget, and it makes it much quicker too - it'll only backup files which are new or have changed since the last backup.

    I lost a good chunk of work a few years ago, but thankfully it was just me typing up my handwritten book, so the content hadnt gone, I just had to type it up again. It was still annoying though, took me about a month to get back to where I was.

    I'm quite paranoid about it now though, I dont let there ever be only one copy of any of my electronic files.
     
  13. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I have three back ups of my writing, and lecture notes. An external hard drive, an SD card, and a USB flash drive.


    Just because I'm paranoid...
     
  14. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    It's probably not the hard drive that's died, but some other part of the laptop...

    ... in which case, you should be able to get the hard drive out, slap it in a 2.5" USB drive case and attach it to any computer with a USB port to be able to access your old files.
     
  15. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like Banzai, I'm anal retentive about back up. I have 1) an external hard drive with a daily automatic backup schedule, 2) I email copies of my works in progress to my work computer and store them there, and I have an off-site automated backup through my Norton account. If I lose all three, then there's been a nuclear attack and I'll be more worried about fallout, then getting published.
     
  16. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'd still be worried about my backups...
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i print out a hard copy of all my work, so even if all the electronic versions are lost, i can still scan it back in... i strongly recommend everyone do that...

    however, when still at work on something, it is easy to lose a chapter, if you don't have an auto-save feature...

    and even with that, i've still lost pages of notes, when it didn't save at the right time... does anyone know how i can change the timing settings for that?
     
  18. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    In MS Word, it's under tools -> options -> save tab. You can then specify how often Word should save a document (in minutes).
     
  19. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I back my work up on a number of available methods including online and at home. I copy them to flash drives and optical discs, and I also send them to my own mail and even Office Live Workspace.

    I try to save some trees and not print my work. XD
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks, tw!

    nil...
    i always use both sides of my paper [recycled, whenever i can get it], except when printing work to be 'used' [such as letters to be sent, etc.], so i'm not just wasting paper/trees... electronics can fail... work printed on paper can be the only remaining form of your work, plus it's always a good idea to do a proofread/edit on a hard copy, as it's too easy to keep missing the same goofs on the screen...
     
  21. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I just mean there would be alot I would have to print, even front and back. :p
     

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