PSA: Back it Up!

Three Monday’s ago I woke up and began my day like every other week day morning. I sat down at my 2009 Macbook Pro with a strong cup of coffee and was ready to start posting updates on social media for my job. My laptop was turned off, which is odd, I usually always just leave it on. I thought perhaps it had done an automatic software update in the middle of the night. I turned it on and waited. As my computer was approaching the end of it’s dear life (7 years is ancient in Apple terms) I stepped away while it did its slow start up. 

When I came back I was met with this on my screen:

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Panic set in. 

I stupidly restarted my computer and messed around with it, googling home fixes on my phone, for a good 3 hours. I was in denial. I didn’t want to go to the Apple store. I thought I could just fix it up myself. Now I know, if you are met with the screen of confused doom, pack up your computer and go straight to the Apple store. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just go. The more you mess around with your computer, the worse the damage gets. 

And like a totally basic 30 something woman I compared my life crisis to a Sex and the City episode – the one where Carrie’s computer crashes and she has nothing backed up and it’s told in parallel to the death of Miranda’s mother.

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I finally made an appointment and dragged myself to the mall. Ryan was off work, so he and Wyatt joined me. I still was hopeful that the geniuses at Apple would fix me right up. We sat up at the bar, anxiously waiting to hear my computer’s fate. They guy next to me had a similar issue. When his genius came back out with his fully fixed computer and chided him to back up his work everyday, I sighed with relief. Everything was going to be okay.

When my “genius” came out I was ready with my whole sob story of what happened and what I already tried to do to fix it, trying to sound like I knew what was going on. The young and confident boy (he was really young!) said, “Okay, let’s just open it with our diagnostics tools”. Two minutes later he matter-of-factly said “Yep, it’s your hard dive. It’s corrupted. And since your computer is more than five years old, we don’t service it anymore.” I stared at him blankly. He stared back. “That’s it?” I whispered. He proceeded to talk to me about the importance of backing up while I held back tears. It’s a little too late for a back up reminder buddy. You’re called a genius, why can’t you fix it?!!?!

He handed me a business card for a company in California that retrieves files from corrupted hard drives cleverly named, Drive Savers. I started to cry despite Ryan whispering to me , “Don’t cry in here, babe.” 

“But…but…all my baby’s photos are on there! I’m self-employed, all my work files are on there!” I was very upset that the kid didn’t respond with any sympathy. To him I was the idiot 30 something who didn’t back up her computer for 7 years. I could see him internally rolling his eyes at me. 

I packed up my sad little laptop and exited the store like a sad puppy with her tail between her legs. Out in the car I called Drive Savers to learn about how they could help me. When they quoted me anywhere between $1,200 to $3,200 I wanted to vomit.

Instead, I bawled. I felt like I was mourning. Everything was on that computer. There was no way I couldn’t try to get it back. Mourning the potential loss of every single photo I took.

I love taking photos in take pride in editing them and saving them and documenting everything. How could I let this happen? I emailed my boss and told him I wouldn’t be able to get much work done this week because one I didn’t have a computer and two I didn’t have any of my files. Luckily he was extremely understanding. 

Drive Savers overnighted me a fed ex box to ship my computer away in and I purchased an external hard drive so they could back up my hopefully restorable files on it. When the shipping box arrived the next day, I packed my dear little Macbook Pro into it like a coffin and shipped it away wishing for the best. 

A week later I got the call. Most files were redeemable! And my credit card had a profound balance on it. 

I’m not working on a brand new I mac and lovingly staring at all of Wyatt’s newborn photos comforted by the fact that I now have three back ups of everything. 

Backing up my hard drive was always something I said I’d “do tomorrow” about. Stupid. Do it. By an external hard drive. By some online cloud storage and do it today. 

  • Nadine

    Oh friend, I am so sorry!! I wish I would have known, my husband probably could have retrieved your files for you for a lot less money!! But yes, he preaches backups to me all the time. I am still bad about it and he constantly says well we have all these systems in place for a reason Nadine! I know I know. He just backed up my files last week actually and switched me to a new lap top. I am glad you were able to get most of the files back because I know they are priceless.

  • I lost a bunch of important stuff on my computer a few years back when I launched it across the room out of frustration. Turns out that’s not good for your computer :0
    This is a good reminder! I am going to bust out the external hard drive when I get home tonight!

  • This makes my stomach hurt for you! I’m so glad you got most things back!