Eric B. Thomasma


Backup, Backup, Backup!

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM

My brother and I have been working hard putting the finishing touches on our latest children’s book, Yeti In The Freezer, and I had hoped to release it on Black Friday. That’s not going to happen now. On Friday, just after uploading the source documents for the print edition, I attempted to delete one of the many sub folders of illustrations from my hard drive, but ended up accidentally deleting the main project folder. Everything I’d prepared for both print and ebook versions...gone! Everything for adverts, my website, the Facebook page...wiped out!


No, it was not in the recycle bin. I did a hard delete. Now, this is not the first time I’ve done something like this and I typically keep backups on a thumb drive that I carry with me. However, in this case I didn’t. You see, there wasn’t enough space left on the thumb drive to hold this project, so I put it off, figuring I’d get a new, larger thumb drive. But, of course, when I’m at the store I’m thinking of other things and keep forgetting to get one. So I had no backups.


Like I said, I’ve done this kind of thing before, so I also have recovery software and as soon as I realized what I’d done, I pulled the battery and power cord from my laptop to keep anything else from being written to the drive. I pulled the hard drive from the laptop and hooked it up as an external drive on one of my other computers and started a recovery scan. I don't know if you've ever run a recovery scan, but it takes a long time, so I let it run overnight. I checked the next morning and it looked like most of my files could be recovered, so I went through the process to do just that. I was able to recover a few things, but much of what the software said was recovered, wasn’t. At least not completely. Most of the documents were corrupted enough to be unusable. Some wouldn’t open at all, some would open, but much of the data was missing. It was really depressing how little data was actually recovered.


So I was left with the process of rebuilding. Fortunately, I was able to re-download the last set of illustrations, and some of the conversion software I’d used left copies of the working documents in other folders on the drive, so I was able to piece together all of the items necessary to recreate what I’d done before, and I’ll be working feverishly to get that done.


But more importantly, I have now installed software that automatically backs up my data to a network drive on a daily basis. No longer will I rely on remembering to manually backup to a thumb drive. (Much less remembering to buy a new thumb drive for it to fit on.) The software I’m using is called SyncBack. It’s a freeware package from 2BrightSparks. I’ve only been using it a couple of days, but I’m quite happy with the results. It was straightforward to set up, and the execution has been flawless. It’s nice, each morning, to be greeted with a status report that assures me that my data has been safely stored away, in case I pull another boneheaded stunt like I did Friday.


And with that process in place, I’d best get back to work getting Yeti In The Freezer out. Watch for it soon.

Categories: My Writing, Ramblings

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The Wizards of the Body Shop was recently announced as a Winner of the 2013 KART Kids Book List Award

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