Woah… there. Back Up a damn minute….

I missed my post last week, but I do have a fairly good reason. Because of that reason, this post is more a cautionary tale and a reminder to everyone to make sure you back-up your valuable documents, rather than my latest thoughts on writing.

Last weekend I was in the process of buying a new Hard Drive and Battery for my Laptop. It’s a few years old and the battery has pretty much given up the ghost. Astrophotography also tends to take up a lot of space on your HDD. By the time I had processed the 7 photos in last week’s post about the Moon, I was 40GB down on space, hence the plan to get a new HDD. While I was at it, I also realised I could squeeze an additional 2GB RAM into the Laptop as well, so I thought I would go for an overhaul to refresh the old kit.

Which is when I started playing around with the Hard Drive partitions to make sure I had enough disk space to get out on Thursday night for more photography.

Well, playing around with partitions is okay… so long as you don’t delete the ones that, you know, help the PC to actually boot up after you turn them off.


BAM! One dead Laptop.

Luckily, I did have a restore Disk and bootable USB, so was able to reload the disk image and rescue the laptop. Mind you it didn’t really play ball and it took me all week to get the thing to work properly, only really getting back to where I wanted yesterday. I spent most of the day re-downloading all the software I use for photography and writing and removing all the bloatware that ACER seems to think everyone wants.

But, finally, with new HDD, RAM and Battery in place, it seems to be working very nicely thanks.

The main reason I didn’t throw it out of the window was my mild paranoia about these machines that means I have my most important documents backed up… more than once. All our family photos are backed up on another laptop, and two other external drives. My screenplays and writing material are also backed up on two external drives, a USB flash drive and the Cloud. So, despite my frustration with the technicalities of getting the laptop to run again, I knew all my screenplays and photos were safely waiting for me to copy them back onto the laptop.


I’ve not always been so smart though and did once lose several thousand words of my Thesis when I was at college.

It was about then I started to back everything up.

So my week long wrestle with a non-cooperative Laptop is really just a timely reminder of how important it is to Back-Up your files… all of them… regularly. I really think I might have given up writing if I had lost the last 5-years’ worth of screenplays.

Anyway, now I’m also thinking about some Network Attached Storage to make backing this stuff even easier…

…and keeping well away from Partitioning Software for the near future.

So, go on… go back up your data – you can thank me later!


Posted on February 28, 2016, in Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Well done Mark…yes, its very much a case of ‘back up, or knack up’ with these new fangled machines…as I found out to my cost at Christmas when I lost my entire music library due to a sudden (and unexpected) PC death. Fortunately photos etc were saved elswhere, but a lot of the music is gone..and as some was obtained through unrepeatable sources, not easy to replace. Technology clearly is great – until it breaks. If my record player broke, I’d just replace it..no need to replace all of my records..not the case with the digital world, eh?


  2. I dunno, Geoff, i bet some of your collection could do with “replacing”…..


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