Monday, March 9, 2015

Back It Up!

In case you hadn't heard, I dropped my laptop a few weeks back and killed it. Killed it dead. No chance of retrieving data. (More on adventures with new laptop later)


Question: When was the last time I backed up to my external hard drive?
Answer: Too long ago.

Reason. Our lives have been even more than the usual chaos lately. Our water slowed to a trickle and for over 2 weeks we were down to the bare minimum of water (no laundry, no dishwasher, 1 minute showers). The crews for fixing stuff like that are awesome here - but it was February & we were one of over 200 homes on the wait list. Too many -40 degree days this year and shutoffs and pipes were breaking everywhere. Also, we still have mounds of snow and frozen soil to deal with. *sigh* Add to that, we had a leak issue in an upstairs room and while fixing it decided to replace the floors too as that was on the plan for summer. Of course, that's where the external hard drive lives (we don't have an office/den). So, it's been virtually inaccessible for a while. I did a back up around Christmas.

BEFORE I started the rewrite of my NaNo novel. The rewrite I'm pretty happy with.


But, I use Mozy. Free online storage. Perfect.

Except Mozy and Scrivener do not appear to get along very well. Each scene & file is restored as a separate file. Each has to be opened separately, then copied and pasted into a brand new Scrivener file.

All 200+ files for this novel. None of which are saved with the name of the file. Nor are they in order.

Thankfully I'd compiled the entire document recently and found this using Mozy as well. MUCH easier to copy and paste each scene from there into the new Scrivener. It may not have every last change I've made, but it's not from too far back either.

I also use DropBox which (apparently) syncs writing automatically. But it appears I didn't add my new NaNo novel to the list, therefore I can't testify to whether or not it works.

Lessons learned.
1. I'm an idiot
2. I need to be more aware of keeping DropBox up to date
3. I need to not be complacent about my back ups!!
4. I'm an idiot

(We still have a bit of snow. 
The blue stake in the front is where the water break was. 
Come on Spring!!)

So, do me a favour, back up your writing Right Now! Go!!!


  1. Oh gosh. Jemi, this made me a little sick to read about. This would be so easy to have happen! And I'm about the clumsiest person around, so I'm dropping stuff all the time.

    I use Google Docs and email (I'll email files to myself) as backups and I'm pretty good about backing up. But after reading this, I checked and I'd last backed up on Friday so I went right ahead and backed up the weekend writing. I know that's got to be so frustrating...but I'm glad you're piecing it all together.

  2. Oh, so sorry Jemi. I use a thumb drive to back up everything for now. Just got Dropbox. Guess I should use that too.

  3. We had two power outages yesterday. One of them happened while I had my WiP open (fortunately, I had saved it before walking away from the computer). After the second one, when I opened Word, the current version of my WiP was not in the "recent" section for reasons I don't understand. 30 seconds of panic later, my WiP was open and A-OK.

    A lot of people around here having water issues. So far, we have been okay (except for ice dams backing some drips into the house, that is; I really need to remember to use my roof rake early and often).

  4. I'm sorry! You're not an idiot. That's just a lot of things that all went wrong at once.
    Hope you thaw soon. And get your water restored.

  5. Oh no! I hope you can sort out those 200 files. I'm sorry you killed your laptop.

  6. I'm like Elizabeth, I send emails to myself with my novel cause I forget to backup all the time. This is an important lesson for all of us. So sorry, Jemi.

  7. I'm a devout Dropbox user! I have all of my writing sync'd between 2 PC's and a laptop, and I can access them from almost anywhere. Saved my bacon numerous times! :)

  8. SO sorry about this, Jemi. It could happen to anyone at any time! I had a scare just last week where I hadn't backed up my files in a while, and my finicky laptop was acting up. Thankfully I rebooted it and it was fine, but I made sure to pull everything onto my flash drive promptly after that! Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Jemi, I'm so sorry to hear about this! Another writer friend of mine just posted a reminder about backing up your work, so I'm taking these two posts as a sign that I NEED to do that TODAY.

    I hope your water situation gets better, too. Also, you are not an idiot -- you're human, like all of us!

  10. I back my up multiple places. I learned my lesson early on about that. Hope you get the water fixed soon. We seeing some melting today, finally.

  11. This is why I use google drive in addition to Word. And, for short manuscripts, my printer. And I sometimes email documents to myself. My manuscripts are always saved in at least two places!

    Sorry for your troubles. Live and learn, right?

  12. I feel your pain. Did a similar thing a few years ago and after I discovered banging my head on the desk hurt and made dents on the desktop, I started using Carbonite. I back up every night as soon as I shut down my computer.

    Sending you a care package with aspirin, Kleenex and a hug.

  13. Elizabeth - thanks! I was terrified for a bit there, but I'm better now :) I'll have to check into Google Docs

    Natalie - I've had SO MANY thumb drives fritz out over the years, I don't trust them at all. Should add it to my list though!

    Jeff - power outages are scary! Glad it turned out okay. My hubby has raked the roof 4 or 5 times this year - lots of snow!

    Alex - thanks! Life is slowly getting back to normal :)

    Diane - thanks. The poor laptop was a good one - I feel bad!!

    Thanks Karen - I used to email myself. Will have to remember to do that again!

    DL - good to know it works! I've added the new story to it, but hoping I don't have to use it!

    Julie - glad your stuff was okay! I've had such bad luck with flash drives, I never rely on them. Might add it to the list again though :)

    Shelley - thanks! Glad your stuff is safe :)

    Susan - we hit above freezing today - great news!!!

    Rebecca - exactly! I'm usually pretty good, but life conspired against me :)

    Lee - package arrived & appreciated! At least I didn't really lose anything but time ... and a little place of patience :)

  14. Oh, no! So sorry to hear your laptop died. What a sad, frustrating thing to happen. My daughter put an auto reminder on my laptop that pings me every Sunday to backup to hard drive. It changed my habit of letting it go.
    Good luck reconstructing your work. Hugs.

  15. I'm the same. Feel no shame!! I email stuff to myself. Lol

  16. Kelly - it's been a bizarre few weeks :)

    Tricia - Love your daughter's idea - I'll have to get mine to help me figure that out!! :)

    Tammy - I got cocky and decided I didn't need to email anymore. Silly me :)

  17. You're not an idiot. We've all been there.
    On my way to back up my ms. Right Now.

  18. Me again. I just backed up. (I email stuff too, like Tammy.)

    What a winter you've had. It's been bad here, too, and I've heard of more frozen pipes than ever before. At least it's warming up now. Fingers crossed that spring is close for both of us!

  19. Oh Jemi. I'm feeling sick just reading...I'm off to back up...

  20. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I backup once a week. The last time my computer died, I used Puppy Linux to get in there and retrieve other files. I've lost plenty of work through incompatibility of old floppy disks, files disappearing, computers dying, etc.

  21. Beth - we got above freezing for the 1st time yesterday and today it hit 9!!!! We could finally smell spring!!

    NRB - thanks! Do that back up fast!! :)

    Medeia - there are so many ways to lose things!!! It can be so frustrating. I generally do weekly backups, but not recently of course :)

  22. That is a ton of snow! And so little water for two weeks?!

    I'm glad you had your novel backed up, even if you have to copy and paste back into Scrivener. I started using Dropbox as my main storage earlier this year - my laptop has started to play all sorts of little games with me so I thought I'd better be cautious. So now all my stuff resides directly on Dropbox and when I save a backup, I backup to the laptop instead!

  23. Oh Jemi! I am so sorry to hear this. My computer went on the fritz in January and I hadn't backed up anything. Then I saved a few very important files telling myself to get an external drive to back up the rest of my millions of files. Then my computer started working better, this week- it seems on the fritz again. Did I back everything up? No! I grew complacent. Thanks for the reminder that I need to back everything up this weekend. Who knows how long the computer is going to last.

    I am SO sorry you had this problem. It sounds like you had some good things in place, but not everything worked out as planned. I hope you are able to get most of your changes back through the cloudMozy- which sounds tricky.


  24. A quicker way to ensure your latest writing is picked up by Dropbox - keep all your writing folders inside a larger folder which designated to sync with Dropbox. When you start a new project, just create a new folder inside your Dropbox folder and it will be covered.

    And, no, you're not an idiot. We've all done it.

  25. Backing up is absolutely necessary.

  26. Belle - really good plan. I thought I was good with what I was doing, but I really need to tweak my saving!

    Jess - back up now!!!! Hope you don't lose anything. And the piece-patching is working so I'm good. Annoyed, but good :)

    Linda - good plan! I thought I'd done something like that, but apparently not!!

    Eds - so very, very true! :)

  27. That reminds me to back up my hard drive although I use DropBox for important stuff. Live and learn and use cloudMozy I guess.

  28. Dropped your laptop?!? Nooooooo!
    I'm so sorry.
    Confession time - I don't really back up my stuff. I print out everything and file paper copies. It does become quite a headache to do so. I don't know any modern methods of backing up. I've heard of Dropbox but never used it. I wouldn't know what to do with it. LOL
    Never heard of Mozy...
    I feel like an idiot.

  29. Maurice - exactly - I thought I had enough backups, but now I know there are never enough! :)

    Michelle - thanks! I was so frustrated with myself! And don't feel like an idiot - that's my realm :)
    Dropbox and Mozy are online storage places - both have free sections if you don't have too many files - which is what I use. They're not difficult - after all, I figured them out! :)