Backups and other boring, technical stuff…

As in, computer backups.  I have been working on The Elfling lately, and plugging along as well as can be expected.  Sunday afternoon I completed chapter 3, saved it to my computer, and went out to enjoy the day.

I came back later and discovered that the entire manuscript of The Elfling had been erased from my machine.  When I write, I save my stories with a separate file for each chapter.  All three chapters were gone.

Boring techie reason:  I have been experimenting with dual-booting my laptop between Ubuntu 10.10 and Windows 7.  I was saving my data files to the NTFS partition so they would be accessible to both operating systems.  Apparently if you hibernate the Linux OS without unmounting the NTFS drive, it may or may not properly flush the write buffers.  If you then access the NTFS partition from Windows, Windows will think it is a corrupt file and helpfully delete it for you.  This is the best explanation I have been able to put together based on the minimal research I have done.


Wake up again, now.

So, here is my question:  What backup regimen do you all use?  I have looked at Dropbox, but they scared the crap out of me a couple months back when they deleted my entire 80K word manuscript.  I was able to recover it, but it made me touchy about using them again.  I am hesitant to pay for Carbonite or any of the other backup services, plus I don’t know if they work with Linux or not.  My current plan of backing up to a memory stick and another computer “when I remember” is obviously sub-optimal.

Any brilliant plans?  Has anyone found the silver bullet for backing up their information?

The good news is that although I ended up having to rewrite chapter 3 (it was gone forever), I did manage to recover Chapters 1 & 2 because they had already been posted to CritiqueCircle for review.  I guess I am glad now that I sometimes submit before I should…



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6 responses to “Backups and other boring, technical stuff…

  1. Wow, a bummer that happened. I had problems with Word not saving my stuff before and I ended up rewriting.
    The backup… eh, I do none. My stuff is on my hard drive, and I sometimes save copies on memory sticks for safe keeping. Fingers crossed and hopes for the best :p

  2. That sucks, Joe! I save mine to a memory stick and also my hard drive. That’s it. I get all icky-feeling just thinking about losing everything. I’m so sorry that happened!

    • I have a couple memory sticks. I have thought about using those, but I have had sticks go bad on my without warning as well. I think I am going to have to find some sort of online backup system. I have a couple of servers. I guess I just need to figure out how to make it all work.

  3. I don’t use anything uber-technical. I do most of my writing at work and then email it to myself, so I always have the most current version on my email. You can easily back things up that way, as a free account like gmail allows you to host a lot of material.

    • That’s not a bad idea. I considered Google Documents as well. In fact, most of my early stuff is still in google docs, including the scene I wrote about in my “About” tab up at the top.

      I just feel uncomfortable with someone else have control over / access to my data.

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