What Every Writer and Artist Should Know
So, I’ve been hard at work on my manuscript for Arcadia and finally, I’m down to writing the last of the captions and BOOM, my external hard drive – where I have been saving all my personal documents, photos and my Arcadia manuscript and photos – is no longer recognized on any of my three computers. What do I do now, besides panic? The deadline is midnight Wednesday, February 27 ; the drive issue happens at 10 p.m.; night of deadline
I called the Seagate, the external hard drive manufacturer, they are closed and won’t be open until 8 a.m. central time the next day, I’m on eastern standard time – what do I do next? Grasping at straws I live chat with HP, my computer manufacturer, nope, they can’t help, I live chat Norton, my computer protector, nope, they can’t help, sooo, what do I do next? I locate the first draft of my manuscript and start using it while trying not to cry from all the hard work I’ve already put into the revised manuscript. As most writers know, trying to recapture the words originally used in a lost manuscript doesn’t happen or comes little close to being as good. All I can do is grit my teeth, shake my head and try to write.
At the risk of sounding like “woe is me” I have spent so many sleepless hours working on the final draft of the manuscript and by the time the drive went MIA I was totally sleep deprived. Once I realized the drive was missing; fear kicked into action, and I did my best to resolve the issue, but to no avail, it came down to two things I didn’t want to do or wait to do – 1. Email my editor to let her know what happened and hoped she wouldn’t tell me the publication for the book will be delayed and 2. Contact Seagate in the morning to see what they can do to help me. Fortunately, the drive is still under warranty. And the other good thing is that I had previously sent all the photos for my book to my editor prior to the drive gone missing. There is a positive to the negative situation.
Issues with Word 2010
While working on the old manuscript, I began having trouble with Word shutting down. Ugh. I already thought my computer might have a virus, now I was really thinking it, so, I started my Norton scan. Meanwhile, I continue to work on the writing and Word continues automatically to shut down, recover the document, and I resaved it. This keeps happening over and over again. I finally say to myself, “okay, okay, I will contact Microsoft.” By now I am so frustrated, tired, and I have no patience. I had previously read that the shutting down issue with Word may be resolved by starting it in safe mode, well, I had no idea how to do that. With Live Chat the customer service person told me they could access my computer remotely and try to fix the problem but it will cost me. I replied back to them by asking if putting Word in safe mode would help, they said it could. I ask them how to do it; they told me and yay; it worked, and I didn’t have to pay Microsoft anything!!
Calling Seagate for Assistance
It finally became time to call Seagate!! I explained to them the problem. I downloaded the Seagate Tools from their website, ran three scans. Two of the scans passed, and one didn’t. The customer service person told running the scans were good because the tools can locate the drive. They said; it sounds like a partition issue, which means the drive hasn’t crashed and that it’s possible my files can be retrieved. They gave me two options – 1. I do the scan myself that can take up to 48 hours depending on how much I have saved on the drive and see if the files are retrievable, then pay $99 for the software to retrieve them. 2. Have Seagate do the scan, pay $199 for them to retrieve the files if they are retrievable, but first I would have to pay a $49 non-refundable fee for them to scan the drive, and it would take the same amount of time as it would me to scan it. The non-refundable fee of $49 would go toward the $199. Seagate’s customer service was great, mainly I could understand what he was explaining, very and most important to me, and he recommended that most probable the $99 option if I’m comfortable with doing it myself. Nice, because he didn’t try to push the higher fee. I opted for the lesser fee, and now I’m down to seven hours and four minutes till it is done. I am hoping so badly the files are retrievable and boy, have I learned a lesson.
And, as far as my editor, she was great – emailed me back words of encouragement and told me no matter what the book will get done. I was so relieved.
It Is Worth Taking the Time to Back Up the Backup
Part of my reason for not backing up the backup is the extra time it takes to do it. What I have realized after this experience is that backing up the backup is worth EVERY minute taken to do it. When I think about the amount of time it has taken me to resolve the problem, in all it will have taken me three days, backing up the backup would have only taken maybe an hour or so, and I would have avoided all the stress, frustration, and sleepless night. I have learned a great lesson here and hope those reading this post, heeds the warning and back up their files to different places and, therefore, if one backup drive fails you will at least another place or places to get the files. I am more than likely to become an obsessive backerupper (new word), but I say “rather safe than sorry. “