A horrible scare for a writer

Okay, sorry, I should have given you guys a Gold Mine Manuscript tip tonight, but I had a HUGE scare today.  I turned on my computer to work on my novel, and it fizzled.  It would not come on.  Nothing.  Not even in safe mode.  There was no way this sucker was coming on.

The computer wasn’t my worry… it was what was inside it… the current complete version of HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT and the next five books in first draft form.

What a stressful day.  The only thing the internet said could be done would be a system restore that would wipe the computer… I don’t think so.

I came across this crazy guy on YouTube who showed video of the same problem and putting his laptop in the freezer.  Okay, I had nothing to lose.  I froze my little baby.

It did start up, I got my mouse on Novel One, copied it, but as I was waiting for the computer to recognize the  flash drive, it died again.  I screamed so loud my husband got out of bed to check on me.

Well… one of my favorite sayings… I WILL NOT BE DAUNTED.  You wanna be cold?  I’ll give you cold!  I opened up the freezer, pulled out a pound of chicken breasts, placed my laptop on it, and turned my laptop on holding it IN THE FREEZER.

I am now the elated owner of all my novels on a flash drive.

Whew!  God is good…  and I am cold.

If you’re wondering if this will work on your computer, I cannot say.  I have an Acer Aspire One Z5G AOA110.

I’ll get you that Red-line post tomorrow.  Right now, I am double back-upping this flash drive.

Jennifer Eaton

21 responses to “A horrible scare for a writer

  1. A horrible feeling I am sure. I back up my computer daily to an external hard drive for peace of mind. Now don’t lose your flash drive… ; )

  2. That is a horrible experiance for any writer. I usually leave my stuff in the cloud (Sunny days make me worry.) which I havent had any problems with.

  3. Thanks, everyone for your coments. Actually, I am a mad-demon backer-upper most of the time. I write on my laptop, and I save a copy on a flashdrive, on my home computer, and on two external hard drives. I’ve just been incredibly busy lately, and I hadn’t done it in a month (and you all know how crazy the last editing month has been)

    I think that was the “Big Cheeze” saying “hey! be careful with that thing”

    Thanks for all the love though, guys. I appreciate it!

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  5. Ohmygosh! You’re right! That’s like a fate worse than death! Where would I begin! And I REALLY didn’t like hearing that you have (had) an Acer Aspire (as I check the numbers on my own Acer Aspire)! Downloading my file drawers NOW!

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  7. phew, I had a scare like that, though my dear hubs is handy with computer-y things so he was able to work his magical powers to revive it. But, I was a little less stressed, since I save regularly to dropbox, and now have my own personal flash drive, versus sharing my hubs’s.
    I’m happy that you were able to restore your work!

  8. Was going to say YIKES, Jennifer. But I like Beatbox32’s “YOINKS” better. Woot! A new word.

    You DO realize this story is going to be funny in the retelling a month from now–when you have your adrenaline and blood pressure and sanity back under control. I can’t get past the visual of you with your laptop resting on frozen chicken as you copied files. Going away now…

    Haven’t backed up for a while.

  9. Scary, Jennifer. I’m so glad you were able to recover all of your hard work. I just backed mine up today — before I read your post, I might add — so perhaps I heard your scream all the way up here to Canada. 🙂

  10. Good tip on the freezer. I never would have thought.

    Another backup option is Mozy. For a small yearly fee, you can set it up to automatically back up whatever you want, and it’s easy to retrieve stuff from it. You just have to remember your password, or remember to keep it somewhere other than on the computer …

  11. This is a nightmare scenario for everyone. I’m suitably paranoid so back up everything more than once, just to be sure :o)

    Glad you’ve managed to rescue your work. Like Marie says more head in oven than laptop in freezer

  12. Thank goodness you saw that on youtube! Do I live under a rock? What’s Dropbox — nevermind — I’ll look it up. I email everything to myself and use a flashdrive — but the other day I plugged in my flashdrive and the screen started to shimmy — yikes! Iswitched portals and it’s okay now…all I can think of is when Carrie lost all her writing on Sex in the City, and everyone keeps asking her, “Didn’t you back-up your stuff?”

  13. Wow! I’m glad you managed to save your stuff. It really is a scary thing when you think you’re going to lose something you’ve worked so hard on!

  14. I’m so glad you have it all back. *celebrating with you* . One word for you: Dropbox. I love it. I did save things on flash drives for a while, but they are so small and easy to misplace.

  15. Good Lord! This would kill me. Oh wait… this has happened to me. I recommend saving to the “cloud.” I use dropbox, which automatically syncs with your laptop/desktop and your space on the dropbox. And you’ll be able to save it in the format you work in.

    If you have an Amazon account, you can also save to their cloud service. They have up to 5 GB available to you, but you have manually update that. This would a good option for a periodic back-up.

  16. Jennifer, I just completed NaNoWriMo and from the start I put it on a flash drive. It worked really well. I really enjoy your posts. Hope your laptop is well for good!

  17. Oh God yeah, that is a nightmare. Happened to me once after a long day of writing and I lost several chapters….and you’ve seen how long my original chapters were. I use dropbox now, and back-up periodically on flashdrive if I’m going somewhere where I wont have internet access. That way it’s not on any one harddrive or disk. Dropbox has the added advantage that I can access it from any computer I have the program installed on so I can currently access my files on any of 3 computers with no risk of loss…unless of course teh computer craps out on me before I’ve saved.

  18. OMG Jennifer – what a SCARE!! It’s my greatest fear quite honestly. I have all my blog stuff and photos from the last 6 years ALL on an external flash drive. Then I back THAT up on a huge other external drive…and then…I secretly back THAT up on another external drive…
    Yes…you read that correct. I am insane and I back up my back ups 3 times for THAT very reason entirely. I am terrified of something, anything crashing and leaving me with nada.
    I am even considering backing everything on a cloud as another possible back up…
    I just can’t seem to rely on “one” source cause God only knows?!?!? I mean…it is computer-related and I have that nifty little magnetic force field around me that sets off anything computer…
    THANK GOD you were able to get everything off – THANK GOD!!!
    I chuckled at the image of you, holding the laptop in the freezer, on the chicken breast, praying to the computer Gods. Soooo not funny but at the same time, I couldn’t help it!
    I am sooo happy for you…phew…now go back up your back up! LOL!

  19. Is everything okay with your computer now? I must say sticking a laptop in the freezer would not be the first thing I would think of doing, maybe sticking my head in the oven, if I had lost my writing, but glad the freezer helped. Will you be at the Jersey Java on Wednesday?

  20. Yoinks! We’ve all been there at one time or another. Another good alternative is to back up your stuff online. Check out Google Docs… I’ve found it to be a good place to save copies of documents.