Viruses and the importance of backing up

No new word count for me today. When I sat down at my computer early this morning, I discovered that my automatic scan had picked up a virus, a trojan horse, to be exact. Yay! (read that with dripping sarcasm)

So, my story had to wait while I banished the damn virus from my harddrive, and as I’m kind of ignorant about these things, that took a good few hours.

The good thing is, it reminded me to backup my work. I hadn’t backed up the manuscript for my first book since I had finished it. It would have been terrible to lose everything. I shudder just thinking about it.

I also hadn’t ever done a backup of my new book, and that’s 7,000+ words I don’t want to lose.

So, when I saw that trojan horse in my scan list, the first thing I did was get a thumb drive and transfer the most recent files. I got a virus on my computer a few years ago and had to wipe the whole computer. I did manage to save some of my files that time, but it’s something you don’t want to take a chance on.

I don’t backup my work nearly as often as I should, so this should be a good reminder. And, a precaution, don’t backup work to another folder or drive on the same computer. Get a good thumb drive or a few, and/or an external harddrive and backup to that to make sure it’s safe if anything happens to your computer. Backup to all of them, and date your backups, just in case one something goes wrong with one of your backups too.

When I was in college, I started writing my first novel. I got to about 10 chapters or so, then my really old computer had a fatal error and died. The last time I had backed up my novel was around chapter 6 or 7. I never had the heart to re-write what I had lost and didn’t finish the novel. (It wasn’t very good, but that’s another story.)

What’s your worst computer breakdown story?

Write On and Backup!

8 Responses

  1. beth says:

    My worst computer story? Just happened! I blogged about it Monday…my entire harddrive just died without warning, and I lost five years of work!!!

  2. Iapetus999 says:

    There are some free upload services out there too. You can upload work to Google Docs (or Gmail for that matter) or Office live.
    This has the added advantage of being able to download to any machine or share work with other people.

  3. Karen says:

    Oh so sorry! My horrible story happened years ago when my laptop was stolen during a robbery of my house! Fortunately, I had just printed out a copy of the novel I was working on so I was lucky! I use to email myself docs, but now I use two thumb drives (one I carry in my purse, the other I keep at work) plus I use an external hard drive.

  4. imatk says:

    So so true and a great reminder to everyone.

    Beth, you may still be able to recover your files from your drive, there are services that will do it for you but they can be expensive.

    I personally have used a software called R-Studio from here:

    And it works very well IF you can get the hard drive to power up.

    Otherwise you’ll need to contact someone that can recover the files from the actual platter of your hard drive… better than losing five years of work 😉

  5. Wow, Beth, that’s awful. I hope Imatk’s solution can help you. Thanks, Imatk. Five years of work! Terrible. I’m praying you can get that data back.

    And thanks for the tips on the upload services, Iapetus999. I’ve always been wary of privacy on those services as they’re on someone else’s server, but they are convenient.

    I’m like you, Karen, thumbdrives and an external harddrive. My husband got me hooked up with the external harddrive, and it’s great. I just have to back up more often.

    Good luck with your recovery, Beth. I hope you get everything back.

  6. beth says:

    Thanks for the ideas, everyone! We’re still looking at options, but it looks as if a piece of the actual hard drive broke off…might be more expensive to salvage data from it than buy a whole new computer! 🙁

  7. Kristopher says:

    I lost my hard drive a few months ago, along with 3 years of artwork that had been sent to the clients and somehow I managed to only backup my low rez files. Since then, I backup to two external drives, a thumb drive and email myself pages or art regularly so that I have a hope of recovery.

  8. Ouch! Hope not, Beth.

    Kristopher, sorry to hear about your loss too. Something like that will definitely inspire you to regularly backup your work. Sounds like you’ve got it covered now. That’s great.

    I think I might set up a weekly reminder on my calendar to backup my files. I should be backing up my book every day, though. You know, the important stuff.

What do you think?