Home » Creativity » Panic at the Storage Medium

Panic at the Storage Medium

Last night brought about one of those heart rendering moments that everyone who uses a computer falls into now and again.  Let’s go through this, shall we?

Did my write and rewrite on my latest scene.  I know I chucked out maybe fifty, sixty words, which is a nice chunk when you only managed about four hundred.  Then I started into writing, and I swear, this was one of the first times where I got into writing things out of sequence.  I knew I had to say things, but I was really jumping ahead of myself getting it said.  Managed to get out just over a thousand words, however, so in the end it was a good time had by all.  More or less.  I’m sure others will tell you differently.

I saved the story, then I went to save the story again.  I keep everything I write backed up on external drives:  the only thing I have on my laptop is the current work in progress.  I hook up the drive, start the copy–

And I begin getting file errors.  In particular, it told me one file was “in use”.  That’s never a good sign, because if nothing is running and you’re being told something is being used, that usually means it can’t be used.

"No, you can't do this to me!  Damn you, unfeeling hunk of metal!"

“You can’t do this to me! Damn you, unfeeling, soulless, demon machine!”

Being in data processing as long as I have, the first thing you do is look for the “root cause”.  At the moment this meant, “Am I having an issue with the version on my laptop, or is the problem with the one saved on my external drive?”  The nice thing is, Scrivener stores every scene as a separate file within your project, so when you get a message saying a certain file is bad, a few clicks on the Explorer will tell you right away which scene is giving you fits.

Found it, then brought up both versions of the story to double-check.  The problem was with my saved version.  This is not good, because you don’t want your saved version to crap out on you, right?  On the other hand, if you original version is okay, that’s a plus, because you get rid of the bad version and just go from there.

I renamed the project on my external drive and copied over my work in progress.  I couldn’t delete the old project because of the corrupted file, but as it was already eleven-thirty PM, I was ready for bed.

Up before the alarm went off, I fired up the laptop and then copied over my work in progress to my other external drive, aka my failover drive. Yes, I keep things back up on two separate systems, and I’m thinking of adding a third just for the hell of it.  The copy went well, so now I have things backed up and protected.

At the moment I’m running a disk-fix program to see if the file I have is bad, or if there are sectors on my external drive that need fixing.  If the drive is okay, I just need to delete the corrupted files, and there are ways you can slug that sucker out of there.

"Yes, who's a good little system? You are! Just get my disk fixed, 'kay?"

“Yes, who’s a good little system? You are! Just get my disk fixed, ‘kay?”

The moral of the story:  have backups, and have a plan to fix and repair for when things start to go sideways.  These days you can pick up terabyte driver for under one hundred dollars, and it doesn’t make sense not to have a couple of disks worth of your stories safe and sound.

Otherwise . . .

"NO!  NO!  My Lord of the Rings/Star Wars slashfic novel was going to rule, dammit!  RULE!"

“NO! NO! My Lord of the Rings/Star Wars slashfic novel was going to rule, dammit! RULE!”

14 thoughts on “Panic at the Storage Medium

  1. Oh, I feel your pain!

    I have a very elaborate back-up ritual (not really) that only depends on me actually doing it. Save current version. Upload to my external drive. Email to myself. Upload to Google Drive.

    … come to think of it, I haven’t backed it up in days. Er – maybe a week.

    …or two.


    Excuse me while I rush off in a mad fit of… madness.

    • All is well on this end. No errors found on the drive, and I was able to delete the corrupted file with little problem. I’m going to look into using SkyDrive or Goggle Files to store some of my document, because that’s another level of redundancy I can use.

  2. You are blessed to be in the know! I do feel your pain and I have to run to someone else to figure it out for me but I have googled a few things and feel pretty puffed up when I can figure it out for myself with the help of google! If it were me, I’d be breathing deeply in the bag! LOL. Love your writing! Thanks for being a loyal reader of mine! It means a lot! I’d say more than you know but I have a feeling you do know! 😉

  3. I know this nightmare well. I have a flash drive a external memory drive and I email my novel and works in progress. I use to print my work in progress but that proved to be a waste of ink, paper and time. Glad you rectify your proplem I know how hard you work.

  4. The most shocking part of this story for me is that you were able to sleep. When things like this happen to me, I don’t care if it’s bed time, I’m fixing it RIGHT NOW!!! Even if that means staying up until 5 a.m. and spending the next day shambling around like a zombie.

    I’m glad everything worked out for you.

    • I’ve been in IT long enough to know if the drive is dead you’re not going to read anything. When the message said the file was being used, or corrupted, that meant there was something wrong with that file and the disk was probably okay, I just needed to do a check on it.

      That was the nice thing I knew about Scrivener, too: all your scenes are separate files, so if there was something bad, I wouldn’t lose the story, only a couple of thousand words that could be replaced. Really, the risks were minimal, and I am happy that I didn’t need to dig into backups to replace things.

I Want to be Part of the Craziness! Let Me Say This:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.