The Long Day of Reconstruction

Jennifer--Watch out for that little stick. My once fabulously reliable fujifilm stick somehow got corrupted. I spent hours trying to work with it and it's really fried says the tech dudes.

Yeah, the hard disk isn't wiped, it's corrupted. I called a data recovery place and they said they'd do it for about $1000 a gigabyte, and just recovering one story would be about 400. They explained it's like reconstructing a shattered mirror, and they have to hunt around for the bits of things. The place I talked to does a lot of reconstruction for blue collar crime--cool junk.

Anyway, I sob in gratitude to the editors, my agent and crit partners who've emailed back copies I sent out to them. I'm reconstructing that way. I'm going to put everything in gmail again and I'm going to just have to corrupt--hmm, smash into pieces?--my poor boys by putting my stuff on this computer again. (I found one of them reading one of my stories on this computer and stopped sending things over here) . And after I stomp the stuffing out of that damn stick and run over it with the car and spit on it, I'll get another one.

Okay. Back to work trying to regroup, reorganize, reconstruct. Did I mention this is the FOURTH time I've had a laptop fail in two years? The other times I had backed up pretty well and only lost a few days of work. This time even a lot of my old back-ups are gone. They were on that godddamn stick.

click, click, click, whine, whine, whine.

Time to get the hard-drive out of the freezer and try one more time. Thanks for all the pats on the back! I need a day or so of awwwwww, poor baby before I stop slouching around the place looking piteous.

update: Freezing the hard-drive didn't work. Maybe I should try the oven next?


  1. They could probably recover everything that's on the drive -- but $1,000 a gig sounds a bit excessive. Hell, you could probably buy the software that does the recovery for about $500. I think that's what the software I used when I had to do a recovery cost. I was lucky; our netowrk consultant lent me the software and I was able to do it myself, though it was a painful process.

    Here's a suggestion -- do you have a vocational school in the area that offers courses in computer repair, etc.? If you do, contact them and find out if there's a possibility they might be interested in letting their students take a crack at it at a severely reduced rate.

  2. Forget the oven. Way too Dachau for my tastes.

    Hmm. From the way that hard drive tormented you, I think strappado and squassation are in order. Make that hard drive beg for mercy.

  3. Oh, Kate! That sucks. I'm so sorry.

  4. Hi Kate--
    Now that Hotmail and Yahoo Mail have so much memory, I just mail my books to myself once in a while. Keeps me from worrying too much. I'm not very good at backup.


  5. I'm so sorry, Kate. I lost eight years of data in one day when a virus took out all three of my computers -- I can never do anything in a small way -- but I was able to recover most of it via a drive recovery service like the one you described. Mine cost $1500.00 a couple of years ago and I used Drive Savers (

    Like Rob, I also e-mail my books to myself, plus I backup every day on CD before I shut down everything.

  6. Oh, Kate. How awful. I feel for you.

    Add me to the people who email manuscripts to themselves as an extra backup!

  7. Commiserations, Kate. Hope you manage to reconstruct most things. I don't trust the thumb drives for anything important - they're too fragile, and it always worries me when I hear/read about people carrying them around in their purses or whatever.

    I back up on CDs, which I store off-site in my office at work - and I've started copying them to my work computer, too since it has plenty of space. Plus I email my wips to gmail each evening. Since my craptop is now 4 years old, and since we probably have a bad bushfire season ahead, my chances of disaster are no longer in the negligible range.

  8. Okay, this is really scary. I'm working on a laptop now since my desktop drowned in storm surge (thank God I saved a few of my most important documents,) and now I'm paranoid that my laptop will die.

    First thing in the morning, I'm backing up EVERYTHING!

    Hugs on everything!!!

  9. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Apparently gremlins didn't disappear in the 80's. They're alive and well. Better not leave any food out during the night for a couple of weeks. Starve the buggers.


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