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The Continuing Saga of Hard Drives and Lost Files

This past weekend was craaaaaazy busy, mainly because the artwork for my 78Tarot Carnival card was due on Monday… and as usual, Ms. Procrastisaurus had been taking her time getting it finished.

I did finish, however, with TWO HOURS to spare ~ which was just enough time to wrangle the 16″x20″ canvas onto my scanner to get a workable file.

78Tarot Carnival Six of Cups

My struggles were compounded because I was using a brand new computer, and needed to set-up Photoshop CC and install my printer/scanner drivers again.

Over the weekend, our old hard-drive crashed. It had started making odd popping and grinding sounds, and was taking longer than usual to start-up.

Fortunately, I have been backing up all my art and business data to two separate external drives, on a regular basis, after learning a very costly lesson four years ago, when a freak power surge destroyed our last hard drive.

I very likely had a million images on that machine. One of my external drives had 320 GB of data and images on it, and the second held 369 GB of mostly images. Those two drives were only a fraction of what was stored on the main computer.

You know those people who live minimalist, clutter-free lives? I am NOT one of those people. My habit of taking 30 photographs of the same pile of snow, and KEEPING THEM ALL, attests to my digital hoarding problem. :P

Wishing well in the snow

When the hard drive began its death-throes, I should have rushed to its side and held its hand, while ensuring all my files were safe. However, I was knee deep in business deadlines, plus cramming the kids’ brains with review material for their Board of Ed home-school evaluation, helping them to finish their book reports (for the monthly Book Club I signed them up for), juggling doctors’ appointments, a Farmer’s Market board meeting (don’t laugh), and activities for Girl Scouts.

Every time I sat down at the computer, intending to move files, something else would come up… or I would lose patience at how long it takes to move a file with 4,500 images in it, and quit.

But I saved the family photos, right???

Yes! Well, um, most of them.

Images of my family and pets are high on my back-up priority list (after the panic of nearly losing EVERYTHING in 2012!)… but my last back-up was in mid-January, so any recent photos of the blizzard, and the kids playing in the snow, are gone. I did post a few blizzard pics on my blog, and on Facebook, so at least the storm itself was memorialized. :P

What about my gardening pics ~ all the flowers, birds, and butterflies??

Alas.

They are gone.

hummingbird and zinnia flowers

In truth, I had started to move them over. I was able to save all of my garden photos from 2014 and prior, which chronicled the beginnings of my cottage garden. I also rescued February, March, and April of 2015. Yes, I had my images organized by month/year, because there were soooo many of them.  I saved over 3,500 garden images before The Crash.

Thankfully, I also have access to images that I shared to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Flickr.

Still, I lost the entire summer and fall of last year, except for those I shared on social media. Well over a thousand images are no more.

I apologized countless times for using my art/business blog to discuss my my appreciation of sunflowers, and my addiction to purple coneflowers, but now these occasional musings are all that remains from last summer’s beautiful garden. :(

I also lost a few hundred photos of the local park that I had taken, in various seasons, during my nature walks with Harley. I did post a few images of Queen Anne’s Lace here on my blog, but I also had photographs of dragonflies, wildflowers, and a stream snaking through the woods. They weren’t a priority to back-up, and now they are gone.

For a couple of days, I kicked myself for not taking extra precautions and for being too lazy in my efforts to back-up files. Then I realized that some things cannot be prevented, no matter how careful you try to be.

I recall one crazy incident where my bathroom water pipe burst and flooded my ground-floor apartment while I was at work. A neighbor had noticed water running down the sidewalk at lunchtime, but he assumed “somebody was washing their car” and didn’t say anything. I returned home around 5:30PM to a wading pool in my living room.

The firefighters who arrived, after I frantically dialed 911, put it into perspective for me….

Nobody died. This was an “easy” call for them.

They were laughing and joking with each other, as they methodically squeegeed the water from every room in my apartment. One of them was even nice enough to leave a message on my landlord’s answering machine.

I’ve lost many, many irreplaceable things over my lifetime; in house fires, during hectic moves, and through the destructive habits of children and pets.  I mourn the things, and then I move forward and create new things.

Nature is perennial.  My garden will bloom again this year, and I will take a thousand pictures… and try to remember to save them all.

Pink Purple Poppy

My elusive purple poppies only bloomed for a couple of days, and fortunately I still have a few images of them! :)

Tara Fly

About Tara Fly

A Crazy Cat Lady ... who divides her time between painting portraits of cats dressed in period costumes, watching BBC mini-series, growing weeds and wildflowers, and baking pumpkin pies seasoned with cat hair. Would you like some fur-flavoured coffee?

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