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  1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Damn it

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Hubardo, May 13, 2015.

    Was formatting the drive of an old laptop to put on ebay and forgot to move everything into my external hard drive. At first I figured, no biggy, not much on there I'd want to save. Then just now, I realized there was a short story I wrote that I wanted to post on here for critique. And it's gone. And now I'm bummed.
     
  2. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    damnitdamnitdamnitdamnit!!
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    *hands you some Guinness*

    Here, this will ease the sorrow. Sorry that happened. :(
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Consider it a lesson in backing up one's work.
     
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  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My husband who works in IT tells me you can retrieve most of the data on a formatted hard drive, as long as you don't use the hard drive - eg. not write any new stuff into it. I'd do a google search on this if I were you.
     
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  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, if you still have the hard drive you can still get the data, as @Mckk says. You can look online for various tools that will do this.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Look at it this way, @Hubardo: This is a perfect opportunity for you to rewrite your story! It'll be better the second time around. I read somewhere that D.H. Lawrence used to write a first draft of a novel, then just put it on the shelf and write a second draft from scratch without ever looking at the first. :)
     
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  8. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    yes!!!!
     
  9. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    uggghghghghgh
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    That's how the cops get ya! Deleted and formatted files are never gone till those drive particles are used for something else.
     
  11. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    No matter h0w careful you are with backup, there is always that moment when you take your eyes off the ball, and can delete stuff without meaning to.

    Best practice is to use cheap USB flash drives, and make SEVERAL copies. And this is really important : don't update or delete anything from at least one of them. That way, if you discover you've inadvertently deleted something, or changed everything on the other backups, at least you'll have one of them intact. AND ...when all else fails ...print out your work and store it in a folder. It's soul-destroying to lose your work.

    Here's hoping you can retrieve your story, via @Mckk's suggestion.
     
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  12. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or just keep everything in Google Drive.
     
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  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, @daemon, I keep forgetting 'the cloud.' That's another option, and a good one ...as long as you don't rely upon it as your only backup. Remember Sod's Law ...if something can go wrong, it will. And it's just as easy to inadvertently delete something from the cloud as from anywhere else. People who think 'oh, I don't need that file any more,' and delete it ...then realise that something inside that file was something they wanted to keep? Or people who 'replace' one version with another, and inadvertently change the one they intended to keep? These are all human errors, and can certainly happen. This is where having a backup device, such as a Flash Drive that is never updated, or a folder with printout, can be invaluable. I've had both of these methods save my bacon on a couple of occasions.
     
  14. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is a justification for a revision control system. Google Drive has that built in. You can restore previous versions of a file. Even after deleting it.
     
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  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm with @jannert re: keeping printouts. It's not that hard, nor is it expensive. I managed to get a real HP Laserjet printer pretty darn cheap, and other brands are much cheaper. I have a habit of proofreading everything on paper, so I can go over it with red pen. I usually wind up with maybe six or seven printed versions of my stories in my filing cabinet in various stages of revision and/or completeness. I have the "live" version on my hard drive, a backup on my external hard drive, a backup on a flash drive, a backup in Dropbox, and printouts in my filing cabinet. I'm pretty confident that if anything happens, I'll be able to recover my work from somewhere. ;)
     
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  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That's the Flash Drive you carry with you at all times, in case your house burns down? Yep. I do that, too. :)

    I think the biggest threat, at least for me, is not so much losing the stuff via computer glitch as inadvertently deleting it. Or copying over it without thinking. In other words ...a brain blip. That's fine if I realise I've made a mistake immediately, and can rely on one of my other backups. But if I've gone through ALL the backups doing this picky housekeeping, and realise too late that ALL versions have been deleted—or the most recent ones have, then ...urgh. That's when the printout and/or the 'never touch this one' backup stick comes into play.

    I found it interesting that it was the editor of the UK's prime Mac magazine, MacFormat, who recommended always keeping a hard copy backup of anything you can't stand losing. He led us through all the different kinds of backup methods and devices, and ended with the idea that, if all else fails, you should have a hard copy somewhere as well. So much for having 100% faith in technology, eh?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
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  17. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Always interesting to see how people perceive risk and evaluate the ability to control it. Sometimes, knowing that flying is safer than driving is not enough to assuage the fear of flying.
     
  18. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That's a great feature.

    I still wouldn't rely on it totally, though. The most obvious problem is that it requires internet access. If that goes down (as mine did, for more than 3 months at the start of this year) you're kind of buggered. I was able to work on my novel and do backups on hard media during that time, while if I had relied entirely on Google Drive, I'd have been taking a chance doing revisions without the ability to back up.

    The old adage about money applies to backing up your work. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    With all the different ways there are to back up work, we still get frequent stories like the OPs, where either the person failed to back up, or failed to back up more than once, or destroyed their backups via some glitch or brain blip. It's not as if all the technological advances have made the problem obsolete. There was a letter in a recent MacFormat magazine from a fellow who used the cloud for storage, then discovered that some of what he'd stored there mysteriously went missing—through no fault of his own. He was another advocate of having several strings to the bow.

    After all, while plane travel is statistically safer than travel by car, plane crashes DO happen. Better take a parachute, just in case! :)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  19. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I do that too! I thought I was being overly paranoid. I also email the text.
     
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  20. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I also email the text ...not only to myself, but to a couple of trusted friends (two of whom are forum members - thanks, guys!).

    The problem with being overly paranoid, like me, is that you can lose track of where your stuff is, unless you routinely update. And of course if you routinely update, you run the risk of copying an error and erasing the 'good' stuff. Aargh. I'm chasing my tail, chasing my tail....
     
  21. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hubardo, can you let us know if this worked?

    Perhaps, if it does, one of the mods could sticky the solution?
     

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