Lessons to be learned

So, every 2 weeks I help run a writing group in Midland, Perth. It’s a pretty loose-run group, we do a lot of yapping and about all types of subjects. (We’ve even been known to drag Stu into it at times when he’s down from the mines.)

Yesterday’s group were faced with a dilemma presented by one of the members. How to recover a corrupted file from a drive.

Now, having been in this situation on the desktop, I have finally figured various ways of getting to a version of a doc that has been auto-saved, but not saved generally – you know, what happens if the power goes out suddenly and – oh, btw, let me just pause here to save the work I’m currently in the middle of – okay, done. Back to the subject.

So, the times when the power suddenly goes off and you haven’t saved your work for a whole page or more. Win 11 gives you a few options, including opening the “start” menu and searching for the last doc in there. Now, that works perfectly (most of the time) on a desktop, but what if it’s a flash drive?

So, the story goes that the member wrote up a story on the flash drive on the laptop, but edited it on the desktop. Instead of saving it to the hard drive and then editing it, it was saved directly onto the flash drive.

Now, this is something i’ve done regularly, but in this particular instance, the file got reported as corrupted on the drive and wouldn’t allow the file to be accessed on the laptop. My suggestion ended up being to check it out on the desktop at home. hopefully the file would be on the hard drive. Can’t guarantee it.

In the end, the member accessed some of the changes on the edited file through the cloud. We still don’t know how this was done as I know I didn’t open a hotspot on my phone. I’ll have to ask the member at the next meeting.

Now, fast forward to 8.30 last night and there’s a thunderstorm rolling in from the north. I made the calculated decision to turn off my desktop, deciding that if I get woken up by a storm right on top of us, that I would unplug the machine.

Just to be on the safe side, I emailed my current WIP to myself. Just in case.

Suffice it to say, but we must always be careful when saving our work. If you don’t want to lose it, then save it at least once a day in more than one location – especially if those changes are dramatic and cannot be repeated. Email the work to yourself in a word processing document, save it to the cloud, if you trust the cloud, save it in a different file on your hard drive, save it to a back up drive and, as long as you do those things, save it also to a flash drive. One of those options should work for you.

And remember – save as often as you can. Because unlike writing by hand, such as the classic writers did, electronic files can disappear into the aether never to be seen again!

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