Oh, Hi, Afternoon Nap Just Imploded
The Life Less Documented

I Assure You My Personal Tragedy Will Not Interfere With My Ability To Overdramatize My Personal Tragedy On the Internet

In the end, a busted hard drive turned out to be what pushed me completely over the edge.

On Sunday night my laptop stopped powering up with the battery, or charging the battery, or even acknowledging the battery's very existence. According to the nice man at the Mac Genius Bar, the battery was simply old and used up and long past its time to go live in the country with the iRabbits.The fact that the entire computer froze and clicked and crashed and died a mere five minutes after the battery went? A coincidence. A crazy, unheard of, unrelated coincidence.

(I really wish I'd spent those last five precious minutes frantically exporting photo files to our network drive instead of on fucking Facebook.)

"Is all your data on the machine backed up?" he asked me cheerfully, even though I bet he totally knew the answer. I mean, look at me. I'm standing here with my laptop's power cord wrapped around my arm and my wallet in my teeth while I try not to spill my coffee on anything because I forgot to put my computer in a goddamn BAG. Do I look like the sort of person who would accidentally leave two years of photos and movies, including absolutely every photo documenting the existence of her new baby, just sitting around in iPhoto with absolutely no backup of any kind?

Yes. YES I DO.

Blog rantings aside, I feel like I've done a decent job at taking everything in stride. I've saved my crying for stupid things, like YouTube videos with an inspirational swell of music at the exact right moment, or the Where the Wild Things Are trailer. My father is ailing and my mother is struggling and my son is a mysterious little question mark and my health insurance is a dick (seriously -- they just kicked our pediatrician AND my obstetrician out of network. Retroactively. Retroactively to 15 days before Ezra's birth.) and I'm working really hard to meet deadlines and provide a little extra income for us and I'm not sleeping super well but I am OKAY. I am FINE. I am BLESSED and things will get BETTER and things could be so much WORSE and in the meantime I have the most beautiful babies in the world and I'm not perfect but they sure are, but let me tell you: the sight of my computer booting up with a blinking icon of No Operating System found made me cry like a snot-nosed little toddler.

"My whole life is on that stupid box!" I wailed to Jason around 4 in the morning, once my tossing and turning finally woke him up enough to notice that I was a hot wreck of nerves.

"It'll be okay," he assured me, to which I inexplicably responded with a confession that Max was due for a vet appointment last month and I NEVER TOOK HIM TO THE VET. OUR BABY PHOTOS COULD BE LOST FOREVER AND OUR CAT COULD BE DYING AND IT'S ALL MY FAULT.

You what is nice, spouses? Knowing when to just not say anything back. That, and late-night backrubs.

Anyway, I have since calmed down. I'm on an old laptop that works, despite the space bar being kind of a bitch, and hey! I had Snood installed on this machine! God, I've missed Snood. The repair cost for my other laptop is charmingly reasonable, or at least SOUNDS reasonable after you hear the prices for data recovery. But hey, we're hoping maybe we'll get a bulk discount because Jason has an external hard drive that he dropped and broke -- at the hospital, five minutes after transferring all the beautiful maternity photos he took of me, after Ezra was born and there could officially be no more beautiful maternity photos. Can you put a price on such preshus memories? Yes. Apparently you can. And it comes with a goddamn comma.

Anyway. Um. Go backup your files, chickies, and take your pets to the vet. That is all.



Oh! Things can only improve, right?! Something tells me all will be okay.

Sprite's Keeper

Retroactively kicked out of network? Can they DO THAT?


On the insurance thing they still have to pay the bills as long as your dr submitted them prior to his change in status. i cried when our desktop died and I lost my monopoly high scores but yours is SO MUCH Worse!


Hard-drive death on my PC drove me to Mac, now you have me seriously scared.


Wow, it does not even seem legal to be able to kick them out retroactively. That is bullshit.

And yes, I need to back my shit up. I haven't even created the recovery disks yet. It was taking too long and I needed to check my Facebook.


You have just described a personal nightmare. I am forcing myself to take really deep breaths here. But you're okay! And your babies are okay! And one month past a vet visit? Pssht- that's nothing! I bet wine would help. That's what I would do... um, if I wasn't pregnant.


I lost pictures of months 3-6 of baby girlness to a dead iMac hard drive. It was a sad day. Backing up photos again tonight!

You're right, it will get better and your babies are SO preshus.


It's not your fault - it's Apple's fault. Macs don't die, it's impossible. Therefore backing up is a waste of time and non-applicable.

Yours is a lemon. Totally not your fault.


Posting for the first time ever in over three years because my need to say MACBOOK BATTERIES! ARGHH! finally overtook my overwhelming laziness.
Mine died after 1 year and 1 day- about 24 hours after my warranty expired, and while nothing has crashed (yet)- it doesn't function unless plugged into a very petite looking cord that nobody can breathe on, lest they disconnect me in the middle of ONLINE TRAFFIC SCHOOL. Cough cough toddler.
So sorry. I better go back up my files.


Our computer totally died right after Christmas, and it turned out my husband had not backed up pictures since July. July! He had backed up all of his preshus music (which he has CDs for anyway), but he lost the pictures of our son from ages 7-13 months! I kept my mouth shut, because it is the type of thing I would have done too.

We use Mozy now and start a backup EVERYTIME we put pictures on the computer. EVERYTIME. Mozy is cheap and easy and peace of mind.

Also, I hate insurance companies and the crap they get away with that should be illegal. That's all I'm going to say before my blood pressure spikes on your behalf.


I feel like you have been burned by commenters for complaining or venting, so you feel like you can't really let loose here anymore and that really sucks. This is your space to do with as you please. I'm sorry about your 'puter (but I did back up my hard drive after I heard about your blow up yesterday, so thanks?). And I'm sorry you've got so many other outside forces bringing the suckage. I hope the computer problem gets resolved quickly and that nothin else craptacular gets added to your already-full plate. **hugs**

Donna P

I feel for you with your computer problems. But you know that a lot of your life is right here on the internet. I've gone back and reread your old archives. Before Noah, before Ezra. Your life is posted right here on your blog, plus a gazillion photos. You should print out this blog and submit it to a publisher. It's fascinating!


Stopping with the lurking because... YES. Ugh, have so SO been there. My laptop died my junior year of college, and with it went 5,000 music files and absolutely priceless photos of a friend that had passed away only months before.

So, yeah. Singing the "back it up" blues.


It's stories like this that make me grateful for the pathetically little memory still available on my computer. We HAVE to back up. Period. I suggest getting a crappier computer with far less storage space. So sorry to hear about it all!


I am sorry you are having such a crummy time... ((HUGS))

Thanks for the reminder; I am so bad at backing my pictures up. I actually just backed-up three years worth of pictures two weekends ago. I count my lucky stars everyday that nothing ever happened to where I lost them. Now I am going to try and do it on at least a monthly basis. ;)


This post just prompted me to get up , walk out to the office, open the safe and get out our external hard drive and back my shit up (though that sounds horribly inappropriate). Why? Cause I had the same thing happen to me- lost my hard drive full of photos, including the first year of my daughters life. SUCKTASTIC!

Jen L.

Wait wait wait...RETROACTIVELY dropped your doctors!?!? WTF? And they just told you? WWWTTTFFF??????

I friggin' love Snood.


Just a thought about data recovery - but if your hard drive can be inserted in another computer you might try a cheaper option before forking out thousands on data recovery... http://www.getdata.com/ try "recover my files". I think you can preveiw whether its going to work before you pay for the product... not sure if they have a mac version, but it worked great for my pc.

Backpacking Dad

I. Know.

I lost a year and a half of baby videos. First Birthday. First Christmas.

And not because I didn't have cool little external hard drive that I'd been using to back files up, but because I was certain I had ALREADY backed those videos up so when I was doing a backup before wiping my hard drive I DELIBERATELY chose not to do those files: because they were videos and it would take too long and I was in a hurry to wipe my hard drive and get back to the fucking Internet.

Not backed up. Hard drive wiped. Broken hearts everywhere.

courtney in FL

My MAC hard drive died a few months ago and I still get teary eyed thinking about it. I lost every photo of my son's first 21 months. It stinks, I kick myself everyday for not backing up. Sorry, for your loss.


All I have to say in response to any of that is:


As if you didn't hate them enough already. Also, pardon me while I go quadruple-backup everything in existence.


This will make you feel better. My dog was so late for his check up the vet had to right me a letter like hey, neglectful dog owner, bring your dog in, he needs shots. We can call animal welfare or something. But my excuse is he was due the same time my son had his preschool accident and I was dealing with that nonsense.

And I'm the same way. I'm great in a real crises. But yesterday, my check engine light came on in my car and I burst into tears. My son rushed from pre school in an ambulance, totally fine.


hey amy -- just wanted to put a possibility out there. you might not need to send your laptop out for data recovery at all, instead, here's a do it yourself version that might cost a grand total of $10. just enlist the help of a techie friend. this should work, unless the hard drive is making clicky noises.

figure out what type of hard drive you have, meaning what width. if i remember right, laptop harddrives are 2.5", and i'm sure macs are the same. Get an external hard drive enclosure that is of that size. online, this can cost about $10. take your hard drive out of the mac, put in a replacement hard drive put the old one in the hard drive enclosure, and plug it into your computer as if it were an external hard drive. voila! access to all your files!

i did this with 100% success on my dell this summer. it took approximately ten seconds. the longest part was getting the enclosure shipped to my house. if you can do this, hope it works!


One, I wasn't aware your insurance company could do such a thing. Is that even legal?

And, having owned nothing but Apple computers as a home computer since the first one's were available lo these many years ago, I can say this with authority. When they die, they die spectacularly. No I must go back up everything. Since my entire life is on this computer. I don't even want to think about it dying.


Well that just blows. We have Time Machine and an external hard drive for our iMac but I haven't even thought about backing anything up on my Macbook, which is only two weeks old and already home to a frajillion pictures. I'm so sorry this happened.
Now I have to go watch Steel Magnolia's.


Omg SNOOD!!! I totally forgot about that game...well, if nothing else you have that back. And that made me smile! Sorry about all that other shit...I have no advice as I too have been a "hard drive crash victim", but I hope it all works out.


Two words. Time Machine. Handy little Apple device that automatically and wirelessly backs up all your files at least once a day. You just set it up and then forget about it. It's a little pricey, but totally worth the peace of mind.

Good luck with the data recovery!


UGH. Insurance companies can be such a pain in the ass... we wrote at least 4 letters when we found out (via a bill) that the NICU docs on call at delivery were out of network even though they were at an in-network hospital. That's some bullshit.

Crystal D

OK. Backing up pictures and other things I cannot live without tonight. I can't deal with the 4am tossing and turning, crying and kicking myself if I ignored your warning.


fight the man. FIGHT HIM.


I feel for you. I've been there myself. Lost all my pictures for about 2 years of my first precious baby's life, vacation pics, bithdays, holidays, everything. My tech guy husband tried everything he could think of to save it. Nothing worked. Short of that number with the commas-which we're totally not capable of right now, at least for that purpose at the moment, we're having to make due with the old fashioned, and I mean REALLY old fashioned kind of memories... the ones in our brains.


Assvice you may not want, but: Data recovery is ridiculously expensive (as you obv know). Do you have a university near you? A lot of university IT people outsource their skillz. I work at a university, so it was my first stop, but I paid the Mac guy $100 and bought a new hard-drive for $75, and he somehow found my data and replaced the hard-drive (the exact same thing that happened to yours happened to mine, except the battery died AFTER it crashed.)
However, if you do pay the pros, most likely you WILL get your data back. They have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves, and you'll sure as hell be paying for them. Good luck!
Also, I think you're hanging in there pretty well considering all you're dealing with in your life right now. My friends and I always say "the moon must be in retrograde" when we just can't seem to break a run of bad luck. Here's hoping your moon's OUT of retrograde really soon.


Assvice you may not want, but: Data recovery is ridiculously expensive (as you obv know). Do you have a university near you? A lot of university IT people outsource their skillz. I work at a university, so it was my first stop, but I paid the Mac guy $100 and bought a new hard-drive for $75, and he somehow found my data and replaced the hard-drive (the exact same thing that happened to yours happened to mine, except the battery died AFTER it crashed.)
However, if you do pay the pros, most likely you WILL get your data back. They have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves, and you'll sure as hell be paying for them. Good luck!
Also, I think you're hanging in there pretty well considering all you're dealing with in your life right now. My friends and I always say "the moon must be in retrograde" when we just can't seem to break a run of bad luck. Here's hoping your moon's OUT of retrograde really soon.


Well, smug little me backed up all my files because my operating system was being upgraded which went swimmingly and all of my pictures and videos of my preshus preshus child were safely stored on thumb drives WHICH I CANNOT FIND AND DAMMIT I CAN'T BELIEVE I CAN'T FIND THE STOOPID BACKUP DRIVES I HOPE THEY DIDN'T GET LEFT ANYWHERE...

I feel better now...

...or not.


My external hard drive, with ALL of my pictures, and my Microsoft Money data files, died. And I hadn't thought to back up it up. Duh. Anyway, my brother is a tech support guy, and he pronounced it dead. Pictures...all gone. Then he said he was going to try one more thing. He put the drive (which was out of the case) into a ziploc bag and put it into the freezer. It worked. Honest to God. All of my pictures are back. Made we wonder if that's what the data backup guys do...charge hundreds of dollars and put the sucker in the freezer. Now I'm going to get an external hard drive to back up my new external hard drive.


Oh, I am so sorry. I am such a novice with technology that we just changed to a digital camera a couple of years ago. And I just realized that all our pictures are on the computer's hard drive. It never occured to me that you ought to have an external hard drive; now I have been sufficiently warned. I am backing up all pictures somewhere right away.

I'm so sorry for all the other shit too. I think I'm normally a pretty easygoing person, but the other night, my 5-year-old dropped a bath towel into the open, non-flushed toilet. I didn't realize it had fallen in and scooped it up, spraying its urine-soaked goodness all over the bathroom, myself, and all three kids. I completely lost it and started yelling "I AM COVERED IN YOUR PEE!" Not my finest hour (though he's been a better flusher since then). So I understand things piling up. That was just the last thing I could take that day.

I can't believe all the shit you've been putting up with. I hope things improve soon.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com

I am so sorry about the pictures. I hope they're able to save them!

And, can you fight that insurance thing? You must be able to; changing things retroactively is RIDICULOUS.


Oh, Amers (that's what they call me, do they call you that?). That sucks, but if you can't get them back the story will eventually suffice. Sending virtual wine and cheese. Expensive wine...why hot? Not that I think you're whining, I sure as hell would!


Ugh. That's why NOT, on the expensive virtual wine. I wish I was one of those that could not go back and read it, just trust that the people will understand. Duh! ;-).

Emily M

Exact same thing happened to my Mac last year, and it totally, completely sucked. I feel for you, and I'm glad Jason has figured out the silent, reassuring back rub thing.

coffeejitters (Judy Haley)

oh crap - thanks for the reminder. every photo of my little one is unbackedup on my laptop too.

here's hoping your able to retrieve all those precious photos and that the the littlest numbers are in front of the comma.

ccr in MA

I'm so sorry to hear of your problems! It's probably no consolation, but you did inspire me to finally start backing up my own photos, something I've been meaning to get around to, well, forever.


I am so sorry about your computer. Also, your babies are prettier than mine. I have been meaning to tell you this for some time and now seems like the moment.


That sucks. Glad it is salvageable, though.


Oh Amy! The Universe really needs to give you a break.

My husband the PC Support guy says the putting the hard drive in a ziploc bag in the freezer could work, it's worth a try.

That insurance thing? If they can really get away with it, that sucks more than just about anything has ever sucked ever before.

Should I SuperPoke you with a virtual cocktail on Facebook? :)


You've scared me into backing things up. I was using Kodak Gallery for this purpose, but they're being all cheap now and have started to charge for large-sized accounts if you don't buy anything. I knew they'd find me out. . .

Also, late-night back-rubs? You are lucky!!


Wow. That really, really sucks.

I am now going to backup all my files. Thank you for the kick in the ass reminder!


I had the same thing happen to me. I hope you have good luck with the data recovery.


This was me, last fall. This is me, now, with carbonite.com backing up all the things that I nearly lost last year. It's pretty cheap, and just runs in the background. And it works - we found out in January.

Carbonite.com. Or some other on-line based storage. Worth every dime.


That would have sent me into a melt down too. {{{Hugs}}}


I'm so sorry! That is my nightmare, but I don't seemed scared enough to back up anything. Would you like me to click on some ads?


Retroactively? That seems like state attorney-level stuff to me....


Oh hon....we have ALL been there.

Not only have I had the deer in headlights look when asked if I had everything backed up, but I also had my college computer stolen from the trunk of my car with old scripts, papers, photos and the journal from my first year in Los Angeles (a very important year in my life) on it with zero....zero backup.

I can totally empathize.


I have also cried at the Genius Bar. I think they are used to it. However, they did get ALL my stuff back-YAY! Definitely worth the big dollars and public tears!


I just wanted to show my love for your penchant for Steel Magnolias references.

Shelby, your hair is so short.


Randomly enough, I just backed up 6 months worth of photos this afternoon. But my dog is still a month overdue for a vet visit...

Hoping you get everything back as painlessly (and inexpensively) as possible! Hang in there!

eleventy frillionth amy

god, stop being so fuckin dramatic. ( LOL!! im joshin ya) i missed reading you girlie, havent missed a post in years and now i have to catch up. the post the other day, about noah echoing the other kid? not sad, not at all. i think it shows tremendous self-confidence! that he heard something derogatory, thought it out, processed it, and corrected himself? without a breakdown or aggression? FANTASTIC! im so proud of that kid! back to lurking now :o)



My insurance always "conveniently" kicks out whatever doctor I've finally gotten comfortable with, then "misplaces" my charts. I love it. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT.

Also, Snood?
Greatest. Game. Ever.
I found a place to get it on my Mac, and I play it almost nonstop.

Grace Guinevere

Ouch. My laptop is being fixed right now too. The screen broke, and I cried. I gave my fiance angry, jealous glances when he was typing away at his laptop and I was looking at my poor, pretty disassembled one. It broke just in time though, my warranty had three (THREE!) days left on it.


it is my theory that a computer crashes only once... thats it. we all get one turn each.... after that you are home free! (but still continue to back up of course :) )



Amy- with the insurance thing- look up your state department of insurance online- I'm sure they have some way of threatening your ins. company into behaving themselves. We had a hard drive that died when we moved into a new apartment. We burn those pics to cd or dvd every month.


I HATE computer crashings. The worst one I ever had (and I didn't lose anything longterm) was my Honours year at University. I studied violin, and I'd had my last violin lesson the day before my final violin recital. As part of the exam, you had to have program notes on each piece as part of your program.

So that day I checked with my teacher that my handwritten program notes were appropriate, and I got home and went to typing them out, formatting the stupid Works document that kept screwing up, and it ended up taking me about 3 hours, using my Mum's new laptop. They were all saved and everything, and I printed out one test version, and suddenly = death. The laptop would NOT turn back on.

It turned out that it was some random fault with the computer, it had been faulty when we bought it and just waited until that very moment to die. I spent the rest of the night (until 5am, my exam was at 11, I had to get up at 8) borrowing laptops, trying to run borrowed laptops with printers, figuring I didn't have another 3 hours to figure out how to format the document again so attempting to scan the ONE version I had printed, however because it was double sided the ink would show through from the other side when I tried to scan it...it took me ALL night, at which point the printer promptly ran out of ink after about 5 programs (and all the original tests) so I had to get up at 8am to buy ink and print the rest of the programs.

30 minutes before I left for my exam, just before I was about to do my last bit of practise, I ran through the bathroom and split open my elbow on my metal makeup case, so I spent the next half hour holding frozen peas to it.

I did kinda shittily on my exam (not all my fault, my piano accompanist MISSED A BEAT in a difficult passage of a difficult song, therefore making me lose MY part, AHHHHH) and I didn't get high enough marks to get into Masters. (although I probably wouldn't have anyway, even if everything had gone right)

Yeah that sucked. I never even ended up telling my teacher about it!

Amy J

Ugh. I will go home tonight and backup my computer. Thanks for the reminder! Good luck with the insurance.


As a film editor, I was taught early on how important backups are. You always have three copies of everything - one on your main computer, one on an external hard drive you keep wrapped in a blanket and styrofoam in your closet, and one you keep in a storage locker 2,000 miles away in case a natural disaster happens where you live and wipes out your computer AND your other external drive.


I would be devastated too if my computer died. Definitely something that makes you feel silly for getting worked up about, but how could you not?! I would probably cry too. I hope it gets sorted.


Amy you should really consult an attorney about your insurnace company retroactively kicking your doctors out of network. Generally speaking, this is not legal, but sometimes you have little options other than filing a lawsuit. Insurance compnaies should not be allowed to get away with that crap!


Have you already taken your hard drives to someone? My husband has his own business and one of his specialties is Data Recovery... let us know if you need some help.

Amy in MO

My pc laptop died last fall w/all my pics and I paid a mere $85 for it to be fixed which gave me about a days worth of time to copy all my stuff & transfer to our new mac--then it died again. I heart technology.

Mrs C

Suddenly, I'm not sure I ever want to buy a Macbook.

But that insurance thing: holy fuck. Would that mean that you have to pay for the delivery out of pocket? (Canadian in France, I'm not sure how the US Health insurance works)

Kaley Taylor

Sorry, that totally sucks.

The good news is that I found your blog and love it. You seriously crack my shit up. Keep 'em coming!



Sweet fancy moses, that makes ME want to cry! That sucks. All of it. Good luck with everything, let us know how things turn out...


If you want someone to fight the insurance company, I think my sister would do it for you. She got done with beating up our company's insurance about some bills from her surgery back in September, and she feels like she's the insurance bully expert.

I managed to handle having my son in an inpatient psychiatric facility while my husband was out of town a couple weeks ago, and I'm rolling with the initial stages of treating him for bipolar disorder, but I cried in the bathroom until I almost got sick yesterday when my boss found a mistake in an email I had sent to one of my committees. So, I hear ya.


Can you retroactively push doctors out of a network???? OMG I think my head would explode. Will keep all fingers and toes crossed for the a speedy recovery (literally) of the laptop! Those boys are too fabulous to not have a FULL Documentation of their luscious selves!


You deserve a tantrum and my God, retroactively kicking out an OB 15 days before delivery? I think I would kill someone.


Backing up every picture on my hard drive now thanks to you. I hope all turns out well at the computer hospital. I'm sure you are saving someone else the pain you feel. What is the saying? You can either be a good example or a horrible warning!


Fuck. I'm really sorry. I've been through this and FUCK.

You probably already know about the Time Capsule (and I'm sure they pushed it on you at the Apple Store), but just in case..

Our giant Time Capsule, which we use with Time Machine, was seriously money well spent. Since I clearly can't be trusted to back up my data, now it gets done automatically. DUDE. Now I don't have to call my best friend at 1:00 am sobbing so hard she's convinced someone died. Priceless.

Anyway, I really hope you get everything back and it doesn't cost you commas.


Seriously, call MacMedics in Lanham. They'll be able to restore all of your photos and videos, and if not, they will refer you to a fabulous place (that will charge you a ridiculous amount of money) that will definitely be able to restore the data. I had a external HD go bad with 5 years of client projects and these guys saved my life (and my reputation!)


ohh totally need to put all my pics on cd! I just printed them all and got them all into albums, I am nesting over here not just some amazing keener. but cds is a good plan!

sorry about the high cost, but I am glad they can recover your stuff!

i just took Tissue to the vet, he was having weird ass cat asthma attacks though, so it was more of an urgent thing!


Are they sure your hard drive is corrupt? Just because the machine dies, it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the hard drive. When my pc (is was a pc, not a mac) went dark, we are able to extract the hard drive and install it in a little external drive casing which i could then see via the usb port.

I pass this along because it worked in my case. Its completely worth asking about.



Dude, that is some serious suckage. You've held up remarkably well and yes, you're allowed to crack over the stupid damn operating system.


Am I the only one who got the reference to Steel Magnolias in the title?


RETROACTIVE doctor-droppage should be OUTLAWED. What the FOCK?!?!?

Also: I am so shitty about doing all those maintenance things... oil-changing, filter-changing, up-backing... When I got a MacBook Pro last year, I bought a portable drive. It's now my backup drive and it's plugged in ALL THE TIME and there's something called Time Machine that does some backy-uppy thing and sometimes I click it by accident and it shows me all the days I could retrieve IF I NEEDED TO. It's very reassuring and REQUIRES NO ACTION ON MY PART, which is the only way anything gets done around here. Gahhhhh!


crap, my dog is reeeeeally overdue for a vet apt.

and i haven't backed up my shitz in a loooooong time.

glad you posted this. :)

erin delanty

Backing up as we speak since I, too, am that person* carrying the laptop with no bag and a cup of coffee and an infant carrier yelling after my toddler to get back here...so, thank you for that reminder I don't even know the last time I backed up files and photos!

*That person who also designs websites and is responsible for ALL OF HER CLIENT FILES.

ps - I'm going to send your boys some t-shirts since that's what I do, I make t-shirts and I firmly believe t-shirts make everything better! :)

Parsing Nonsense

Gosh, backing up data is one of those things, like flossing, that you know is important but never do until it's too late (e.g. your computer crashes or your teeth rot). It sucks when life hits you with a whole bunch of crap to deal with all at once. I hope things get better soon!


two things:

1) dude that sucks and I'm sorry you're in the middle of a total shit-fest. sending virtual hug.

2) OMG I FORGOT ABOUT SNOOD and I am so going to download it right now. my productivity factor shakes its fist at you, amalah.


If I lived nearby, I'd come over and take your cat to the vet, even though I don't like cats. Then I'd make you cookies and babysit for free.


So hopefully this will help (as in, oooh that's almost worse than my situation). A certain package delivery carrier with a distinct affection for BROWN (you know, the color of poop) lost the only copies of my wedding photos (prior to universal digital photography a whole freaking 10 years ago, as in -the dark ages). This package was sent by my professional wedding photographer cross-country for developing (don't ask me, it makes no sense) and the negatives were lost along the way. So much for tracking numbers, they are bull##$@! and mean nothing whatsoever.
The real point is...you can recover from this loss, look around and ask family for copies of their photos. You'd be amazed at what turns up and how you can cobble it together. Plus, you really don't need 2 million bazillion photos, a few of the really good ones bring back all the memories as if you were in the moment :)


1. Get them to remove old hard drive.
2. Buy small external case for hard drive at Best Buy, TigerDirect.com etc
3. Plug in old hard drive to new computer
4. Lavish in all of your old data.

Seriously, it's that easy. Computer stores WILL NOT TELL YOU THAT. :)


Oh, Amy. I wish I knew of a super special magic pill that would make it all go away. But, this too shall pass. You are going to be FINE. Just take things one glass of wine at a time. Or several. Whatever you do, hug your boys. It makes everything better.


I'm very sorry to hear about your computer troubles. I hope they they are able to get your data back at a low cost. I am a computer tech going on 20 years (go girl geek power!). I also used to work at a hard drive manufacturer. I just wanted to mention to your awesome readers...


All hard drives will eventually fail. They are mechanical devices that have dozens of tiny moving parts that will wear out. I recommend that in addition to any secondary hard drive, consider backing up your important files and pics every few months to DVDs. I make two DVD backups. I keep one at home and ther other I store at my mother-in-law's house. DVDs are cheap and easy to browse. You also don't have to worry about accidental erasure. It's the advice I've been giving to family, friends and clients. :-)

Alias Mother

This sounds like my life last fall, when one shitastic thing happened after another until I was begging the universe for mercy. Things finally leveled out and they will for you, too. Just dig those fingernails in and hang on.

just beth

holy craptastic turn of events, batman.

Here's to things going the other way for you.




Ok, First of all....love the "Steel Magnolia's" reference.

Second...I am freaking about my macbook now! I have all my pictures from my newest baby on here, too! No lovely 35mm for her.

Must back up now~!


OMG, you have my sympathy. I've lost not ONE, but TWO macbooks in the last year and a half to harddrive issues. The dual processors can kiss my ass. I lost 4000 photos, hundreds of dollars worth of iTunes, hours of movies... and oh yeah, the beginnings of a new novel. all gone gone gone.

The first time, the Apple people gave me a new harddrive. We bought a Time Machine, but my "fixed" laptop still would not hold a steady connection and therefore could not back up. Six months later, Apple was giving me an entirely new laptop, free of charge.

New laptop is so far working well, and backs itself up on Time Machine daily. DAILY. By itself, even.

So, I have two snippets of assvice to Mac people: 1) EXTENDED WARRANTY, and 2) TIME MACHINE. Best money you'll ever spend, I promise.


Here's the link for the Time Capsule (which works seamlessly with Time Machine, as long as your computer can connect to it, haha):


This is the one my husband and I own, and it works great.


Amy I read this and freaked out because most of my life is on my work computer! But! I went to a vendor fair last week and won a door prize of a USB drive and it came today and now all my files are safely backed up. Most important of those files? All the LoL cats i've saved over the years! :) But in between reading this and getting the thing in Campus mail I was very afraid of my computer crashing! So sorry to hear about yours. Try the hard drive in the freezer thing. It's crazy enough to work. Hugs!


Toward the end of my last semester in college, the hard drive on my iBook bit the dust. "No problem," I thought. I've backed most stuff up on my iPod. The iPod hard drive died 15 minutes later. "Coincidence!" The Evil Geniuses swore. I have my doubts.

If it turns out that the insurance company can really get away with doing that, you should send them anonymous poo in the mail. Because eff that.


Have you heard of Carbonite? You can back up whatever files you want (automatically it does this for you), and then if your computer crashes, you can restore the drive to a new one!! All your stuff in all the same folders and everything. It's only $50/year for unlimited storage.

Gives me peace of mind anyway.

Unless the whole internet explodes.


Thanks you! I just backed up all my photos, which needed doing. We recently lost a camera with all our photos from a family vacation and I would dream about finding the camera for months and months and months after.

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