Welcome to Writers Talkback. If you are a new user, your account will have to be approved manually to prevent spam. Please bear with us in the meantime

The Mystery of the Missing Chunk

edited November 2016 in Writing
Please, please, please BACK UP your work! I've lost a relatively large chunk of a story due in TWO days...AGGGHHH!! Read on, and may my horror and frustrations potentially save some of your future work:


SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! Duplicate files, save 'em of different computers, email drafts to yourself...do NOT lose all that hard work you put into your stories...especially if someone else is waiting on said story :S


  • edited November 2016

    I feel your pain and despair, after my memory stick disaster.
  • It's crap, isn't it?!
  • Devastating. :(
  • Did you ever sort that, or managed to rewrite/recreate what you lost?
  • Fortunately I had a printed out the first draft, and the first three chapters of the second draft, but it does mean I'm having to retype and edit as I go, and I can't touch type, so it's a slow process.
  • Horrible, but at least you have some kind of back up. I tend to find when I type up longhand I make the story a hell of a lot better. Here's hoping that happens for you!
  • Oh how bloody maddening, BR. It's so easy to think 'I'll back this up when I have a clean draft' - I do that all the time even though I know better. (Will back up my latest work as soon as I've finished browsing talkback!)
    I temporarily lost everything when my last laptop crashed. Months later I switched it on, on a whim, and it miraculously booted up. The first thing I did was copy everything to an external hard drive!
    Wish I could say the same for the photos I seem to have permanently lost due to crap CD's.
  • I've still got to move everything from my old laptop hard drive. It has pretty much the only copies of SO many novels and shorts...I R idiot.
  • Poor you, br - and thanks for the reminder.
  • One of us takes the bullet every now and again so that other's don't have to - this was just my turn :P
  • So don't PCs automatically back up? I have my mac set to back up every 2 minutes. i've only ever lost a line once when there was a power cut.
  • Thanks Mr Robots. Well, first, sorry for your trauma. I've been going to back up onto flash drive for the past week; now doing it right this minute.
  • B-r, how maddening. But what an understanding editor-person you have. Shows he values you highly, of course.
    I have numerous copies of my novel in odd places, but I should keep them all up to date.
    Thanks for the reminder. I haven't saved the Windows version at all, except to documents - will do it now to the flash drive.
  • Oh, gawd, br.

    I feel your pain.

    Good job you're a darn creative so and so, and will be able to produce another marvellous marvel in two (or more) shakes of a lamb's tail.
  • We shall see...
  • So don't PCs automatically back up?
    I think this may be human error more than computer failure, Liz :(
  • BUT, but, but, I use Office Word and it backs up, why won't yours, it makes no sense! I don't have to do anything, if I did, i'd be DOOMED!
  • Where does your mac back up to Liz? What would happen if your machine failed?
  • I've saved most of my stuff as attachments to e mails - whatever happens, wherever you are, you can access your emails. Also on spare hard drive, and on another computer, also on BT Cloud. The only thing is to remember to add current work - but not doing much anyway :( . Also I have printed about ten chapters plus draft and notes of unfinished [abandoned?] novel. I think it is a goodidea to print all of your work as you go, including drafts and notes.
  • Same here Bill - I back on email, usb and paper, plus I'll always have the original draft in notebook form if things go massively pear-shaped.
  • Yarp, I've got a billion back ups of everything else :P
  • Where does your mac back up to Liz? What would happen if your machine failed?
    As I type, the Word document is saved onto the last time i opened it, so everything up until 2 minutes ago is there on the document if there was a power cut or the computer failed, it would still be there when I re-opened the document from the hard drive.

    My hard drive actually did fail a little while ago, on my 8 year old computer, but using a special technique you can do on a mac, you can connect a 'good' mac to the failed one, and even if you can't open the HD of the mac at all on the failed one, the hard drive opens on the new computer and you can 'see' everything in it using something called Target. I just dragged everything onto the new computer. Even the applications came, so things like photoshop etc i still have and no need to re-download them or anything. Very convenient, What I was working on at the time of the fail was all there. I didn't have that computer backed up to an external hard drive.

    But apart from that, now, have my mac backed up to an external hard drive and everything including the operating system and applications are all on that so if it happens again, all i need to do is plug the HD into another computer and carry on until the computer I'm using has been mended.

    But as I say, I have set Word to back up every 2 minutes and it backs up.
  • The thought of only having my backup on the machine I'm using fills me with dread. I'm not sure how a Mac works, but presumably it can die like any other laptop?.
    I have multiple flash drives which I update when I create or edit or add to a Word document. Also one for photos.
    I also have hard copies of my novels and of some short stories, though not all.

    Bill - when you email attachments to yourself of an updated work, so you then delete the previous version? If I'm working on a novel I change something every day and would end up with dozens of versions - most confusing!
  • Lizy, flash drives can fail or get corrupted- not sure which happened to my first draft one, but it can happen, so make sure you create a print copy of the ones you haven't done yet.
  • It's not only on the machine now, Lizy, it is also on an external HD. But on the previous macs - a 24 inch, 22 inch, white one, purple one etc when they have failed in any way the hard drive has been removed and the info just put onto any other mac. the same thing happened with my son's laptop - completely failed, dead as a doornail, but the apple guy in the shop removed the HD, we brought it home in a little box, when we bought him a new laptop the info was just taken off of it onto his new mac - took 2 hours and it was up and running. Not sure why it's so easy on a mac. I've never lost anything.
  • Damn. That sucks br. I feel your pain.

    This is why all my solo and the masshoosiveness that is all the Towton writing is backed up on an external drive and on google drive and a few really important ones on memory stick, hard copy and email attachments.

    As for harddrives, we've had many fail for various reason before but my brother has managed to retrieve everything via some (odd) techniques picked up from his job.
    One harddrive spent time in the freezer due to this.
  • Shame my freezer's to small for my laptop. I could have tried that!! :\">
  • How small/big is your freezer/laptop?!
  • I could get the Star Trek computer into my chest freezer.

    Or a few bodies.
  • My freezer's half of a fridge freezer taller than I am. Not that I could get a laptop in there. It's full of food, and a bottle of vodka that's in the process of absorbing the flavour of a few chillies. There are also a couple of choc ices and a lemon cheesecake for emergencies.
  • edited December 2016
    Could fit about 5 laptops into our freezer ... if really packed them down.

    But you should only put the harddrive in there (if it's failed and needs to be cooled down to hook up to a new machine so you can get data off in batches that is)... I'm not sure what would happen to the whole machine if you put it in. Give it frostbyte?

    *gets coat*
  • I have a bit of an idea what might happen.

    It will turn into i screen!!
  • *groans*
  • Come on Lizy; allow me a bit of rope. :(
  • *refrains with difficulty from making an obvious comment*

  • Zeroth draft of story DONE - the case of the Missing Chunk is CLOSED!

  • Someone needs to write the case of the Missing Chunk...
  • What is the chunk of? Chocolate? Because if so, there is no mystery involved.
  • I could write one about Mr Robots: The Case of the Missing Hunk
  • Stick with the original title...I think Chunk would be more accurate.
Sign In or Register to comment.