Remember, it’s not a matter of “IF” … it’s “WHEN”

Do you remember my last post in which I told you that I did some housecleaning on my hard drive the other day? In lieu of cleaning my actual house?

Remember how I said that my hard drive was now neat and orderly. In lieu of my actual house?

Those were good days, weren’t they?

I miss them.

Too bad they were all for naught.

My computer doesn’t like neat and orderly hard drives. In fact, it hates them. So much so that it yelled at my Windows operating system and made it cry. Then it called it names which made it angry. And then, because my computer had a big, fat bug up its ass, it told Windows that Santa wasn’t real which completely freaked Windows out and made it run away.

It didn’t even leave me a note, letting me know and telling me not to worry. I found out by staring at a blank screen for five minutes, after which not only did I worry, I panicked. But because I live in the State of Denial, which covers pretty much every square mile of Andy’s World, I refused to believe that my computer would betray me. My computer. My livelihood, my lifeblood, my #4 on the list entitled Things to Grab If I Forget I’m Cooking Dinner and Set the House On Fire, outranked by my husband and children but only because I’m morally and ethically obligated to grab them first.

But betray me it did.

I took several deep breaths and turned the computer off and on no less than ten times and then silently screamed every curse known to man and a few I just made up on the spot.

I raced downstairs and between gulps of air, managed to choke out OH MY GOD, PLEASE HELP, MY COMPUTER IS DYING to Nate and then raced back upstairs to turn the computer on and off ten more times and then yelled at the top of my lungs every curse known to man and lots more I invented on the fly.

Then I raced back down stairs and gasped to Nate PLEASE HURRY, THERE’S NOT MUCH TIME and raced back upstairs and kissed my computer and hugged it and told it to not die because I still needed it and it wasn’t time for it to die because it still had so much left on earth to do, not least of which was to print the two page, brightly colored excel spread sheet Christmas list that is my Bible during the holiday season, the very same one I updated six hours beforehand and can’t for the life of me remember anything about because six hours exceeds my short term memory capacity by at least five hours and 47 minutes.

Then I raced back down stairs and screamed WHAT THE HELL, NATE? MAN DOWN, MAN DOWN, WE NEED A MEDIC, STAT and raced back upstairs and couldn’t think of anything else to do so I hyperventilated until I passed out.

When I came to, Nate had the hard drive in his lap with most of its guts strewn about the desk, grumbling something about partitions and reinstallations. I was overwhelmed by the sheer carnage but decided to put on my big girl panties and be brave. I accomplished this by rocking back and forth in a fetal position, drowning in stress sweat and ripping out my eyelashes, waiting for my entire body to succumb into one gigantic stress induced cold sore.

82 GB of data.

Including 5,000+ emails, 10,000+ photos, every single digital layout I’ve ever done in my life, as well as … well … my life.

Nate spent almost ten hours working on my computer and managed to reinstall Windows and bring it back to life but unfortunately, it’s suffering from total amnesia. It doesn’t know who I am and it has no recollection of our life together. It just sits atop my desk, looking forlorn and lost, drooling.

Wait. That’s me.

I am thanking God for equipping me with the Paranoid Freak of Nature gene. The gene that makes me pack the essentials for an ice age and heat stroke and all possible weather combos in between, whenever we leave our house for even one night. The gene that forces me to grab my money from an ATM machine and then immediately reinsert my bank card and press in a dummy PIN number, all while looking about furtively, just in case some James Bond wannabe is hovering nearby, waiting to suck my code out of the ATM and deplete me of all my financial resources. That is, if the blood sucking economy doesn’t gobble them up first.

The same gene that wouldn’t let me rest until I had three hard drive back up systems in place. Because as we all know, it’s not a matter of “if” your hard drive will fail over time, it’s a matter of “when” your hard drive will fail over time. Very reminiscent of the motto I use for my entire urinary tract system.

My first option was my external hard drive. This would be the the little black box sitting on my desk, whose only God given function is to back up my hard drive and relieve me of any desire to question my will to live during scenarios such as this. This would be the same little black box that I will now refer to as USELESS PIECE OF GODDAMN SHIT since it decided to stop backing up my files last February without telling me.

My second option was to burn all my files to DVDs. This only works if you actually burn your files to DVD. It does not work if you simply intend to burn all your files to DVD but instead, place a brand new package of shiny DVDs in the office closet with a fluorescent pink sticky note on them telling you to BURN BABY BURN in big, capital letters, the existence of which you promptly forget the instant you close the closet door, which was eight months ago. You can bet your ass that when I get through with this blog post, I am going to rip half my ass off for being an idiot of the highest order. And then I’m going to sit my half-assed self in a corner so that I can think about what I’ve done and how my actions affect others, MISSY. Somebody else is going to have to make dinner because I can’t cook and flagellate myself at the same time. Multi-tasking is not on the top of my list today.

My third and last option is Carbonite. I’ve  never had to restore files with it so I am holding my breath and hoping with every fiber of my being that it does not disappoint. If it works, I will be forever grateful and sing the praises of Carbonite in every single language I know, which is limited to just English, despite the fact that I spent three years learning French in high school. Three years wasted as evidenced by my visit to France in my junior year when I attempted to order breakfast and instead informed the waiter that there is a rather large groundhog sitting on my head, please send help, thank you. How I managed to actually gain weight during my stay remains a mystery.

If Carbonite doesn’t serve its only intended purpose for which God created it and for which I’ve paid a subscription over the course of three years, I will be calling their office to #1) cancel my subscription; #2) tell them where they can stick said subscription; #3) verbally rip a huge chunk out of their ass; and #4) cry myself into a stupor.

Considering that Carbonite’s status has been stuck below 20% for almost 24 hours now, with close to 65,000 files left to restore, things are looking mighty bleak in Andy’s World.

It’s going to be a very hard for me to accept that I can still lose five years of my life with three back up systems in place, albeit with one failure completely due to my  own colossal stupidity. Next time I will surgically implant BURN BABY BURN stickies onto my eyeballs.

I am now a member of that exclusive of all clubs, the MY GODDAMN FREAKING HARD DRIVE FAILED AND I WANT TO KILL SOMEONE club. I’m just waiting for my laminated membership card and t-shirt. When’s our next meeting? I’ll bring the cookies.

So here I sit, praying to the Carbonite God and typing on my kids’ computer while they stand in the background asking me when am I going to be finished, when am I going to be finished, WHEN AM I GOING TO BE FINISHED ALREADY?

Kids, believe me, I am finished. I am wiped out, mentally exhausted and emotionally drained.

I know that in the whole scheme of things, specifically a tanking economy and two wars, my computer problems rank pretty damn low on the THIS BLOWS scale.

But right now, in my little corner of cyber space, my predicament sucks rocks. Big, fat ones.

I think I might just go down the road to the local gas station and stare at the $1.90/gallon sign for a bit.  Sometimes, miracles can happen.

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22 thoughts on “Remember, it’s not a matter of “IF” … it’s “WHEN””

  1. Avatar

    I’ll send a prayer to the Carbonite Gods for you. This is one fraternity I don’t want to be a part of any time soon. Thanks for the reminder to back up my stuff.

  2. Avatar

    Andy this is so funny but yet so sad at the same time. I can completely relate. Now to find my bloody thumb drive dh borrowed yesterday with a year’s worth of layouts, kits etc. If he looses it…well let’s say Santa wont be kind to him. As it holds the last part of a christmas present for his family…that took me 6 months of digital scrapbooking to make for a surprise… prayers are that it restores all your files. That you get your excell bible christmas shopping list back. Your family decides to out work santa and gets you a couple of extra back systems so this won’t happen again…though it probably will.

    My dh is a computer geek..not to be confused with geek squad at best buy but a computer geek. He’s cheaper more honest and better at making me smile than geek squad. . .
    So, I know from countless widow hours that it will happen again and again and again…

    Lesson to all back up back up back up back up back up back up back up back up back up your files…

    Andy do I need to yell this from the mountain tops for others to hear over seas…

    {{{hugs}}} more {{hugs}}} ooops here is your box of kleenex.

  3. Avatar

    I’m a part of that club too – totally sucks! I now use Mozy, but it’s scary to think that with 3 backup plans you are still not totally safe. Goodluck and I hope you are able to restore your files!!!

  4. Avatar

    Oh man!!!! This totally sucks!! I really hope the Carbonite program works for you!! I had the same thing happen to me right after Garrett and Landon were born (had the intention of backing everything up but never did) and my computer crashed and I lost everything, including all the pics from the first 6 months of Garrett and Landon’s lives, including birth pics. I was heartbroken for awhile over it. So I totally can relate to how sick you’re feeling over this!!!

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  5. Avatar

    I am so so sorry! I really, really hope the carbonite thing works for you.
    I did laugh REALLY hard at the part about the DVDs. That is SO me and really I’m going to be in the same boat as you if my harddrive crashes- maybe I should get MY butt in gear with burning stuff!! Like NOW, huh?

  6. Avatar

    Doesn’t Carbonite offer to send you your data on cd? I use Mozy and I know they do. So much better then trying to download that much information. I think it would only cost my $60 to get all my info on DVDs from them, a very small price to pay. If carbonite doesn’t do this, then I am glad I picked Mozy! 🙁 Sorry … I hope Carbonite works for you! Oh and you might also want to try some programs out there that can scan and restore files right from your hard drive. Ask over at DST, I know a lot of people have used this with great success.

    Good Luck!

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    Welcome to the club, Andy! Personally, I am looking forward to your cookies. Please tell me they are laced with something illegal. It’s the only way to get through a crisis like this 🙂

  8. Avatar

    You’re a member of a club I hope never to qualify for, but your story certainly makes me nervous! I just backed everything up to my EHD and caught up with my photo-to-DVD burning, so for now I’m okay. But I know it won’t take long until I’m way behind on backing up. It’s almost inevitable, because I’m kind of lazy about it. Sounds like I’d better check out Mozy and Carbonite!

    Hope you get your files back. Tell Santa you need a huge supply of DVDs for Christmas so you can burn, baby, burn!

  9. Avatar

    oh man that certainly does blow!

    I hope Carbonite works for you. I wish I could use it but my upload & download limits prohibit it, so I am stuck with reminding myself to back things up. And I do every time I read about someone’s HD crashing. I’m burning my newest digi supplies as I type.

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    After accidentally stumbling upon your blog this morning…and having a good laugh, I suddenly feel much better about my own computer’s betrayal this week, and I am extra thankful for my own DH who somehow managed to retrieve everything I thought was lost in a black hole, except my address book apparently. Thanks again for the laugh!


  11. Avatar

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to check in to see how your restore is going. Are you still stuck at 20%? Sometimes it may -seem- stuck while Carbonite is restoring a particularly large file, so you may be making progress now. If not, please let me know so that I can have someone contact you to assist. (You may contact me at len.pal @


    Len Pallazola
    Manager, Customer Service Systems
    Carbonite, Inc.

  12. Avatar

    Oh gosh Andy… that really sucks! I hope carbonite is able to get your things back. I really need to get some kind of backup plan working… I don’t know what I would do…

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