Friday, October 24, 2008

Computer Crash

“To go forward, you must backup.” — Cardinal rule of computing.

Monday morning I turned on my computer only to be greeted with a black screen and a message saying “cannot find hard drive.” Not the most auspicious way to start the week

Initially, I didn’t realize I should panic. I simply spoke to the screen in a calm voice and said, “I’m sure it’s in there somewhere, please look again.” When that produced no results, I pressed the power button, counted to ten and tried again. The same message appeared. I walked out of the room and asked my husband, Kim, what the message meant.

His response was, “Uh-oh.”

Now that sort of response from someone who normally loves a computer challenge worried me a bit. Still I believed all would be okay.

He put down the newspaper Sudoku puzzle and went to take a look. A few minutes later, he returned. “It’s dead,” he said sadly.

“But you can fix it, right?”

He shook his head.

“What am I supposed to do now?” I gasped, feeling as though I suddenly lost the use of a vital organ. “And what about the work I’ve done on my second novel?”

“We have two choices, take it somewhere to be repaired or buy a new one. You can use the memory stick you back up your work on with my laptop, so that’s not a problem.”

“Yeah, that is a problem. I’ve been meaning to back up my writing stuff but I keep forgetting. Should I just shoot myself now and be done with it?”

He assured me, that drastic measures were not needed because we have Carbonite as an off-site backup.

I resumed breathing.

We decided a six to seven-year-old computer wasn’t worth repairing. By Monday afternoon, our files were being down loaded via Carbonite onto my new laptop, including all our music and photos, which otherwise would have been lost. Because we have so many files and because Carbonite does them in alphabetical order, my writing file has still not been reloaded on the new computer. But I can rest easy knowing it will happen.

I brought up the services of companies like Carbonite in my blog about the Lightning Capital of the World. But now that I have experienced the trauma of a dead computer for myself, I think it’s important to mention again. If you have files you can’t live with out, you may want to act now to safeguard them.

If you would like to recommend other off-site computer companies, tell computer horror stories of your own, or simply comment on this blog, feel free to leave your remarks in the comment section.

For those of you who have read The Ride, I’d love to hear what you thought—good or bad. My email is For those that haven’t read the book yet, you can order it now from Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.

Tags: The Ride, Sudoku, carbonite, lightning capital of the world, hard drive, laptop, Amazon, memory stick

1 comment:

LenPal said...


Wow, sorry to hear about your computer. In my business I hear horror stories like yours quite often, but it's always good to hear the happy ending - I'm glad that you were able to get your files back. Thanks for mentioning Carbonite!


Len Pallazola
Manager, Customer Service Systems
Carbonite, Inc.

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world