Technology, How I Hate Thee . . . Today

If you check in with me regularly, you know I travel, quite a bit.  For work, for fun, for work. 

For work, I rotate between my office, office in Seattle, my office at home, my laptop, my company’s office in Orange County, Cali and my company’s office in Northern Cali.  For reasons unknown to me, our offices do not have a community server.  What this means is that documents are emailed between people and offices.  It also means, that as a girl on the go, I put a lot on flash drives.  And I am very lazy about backing up les flash drives. 

Indeed, the last time I copied the documents from my current flash drive to my hard drive was about 30 days ago.  I planned to back up my flash drive last night but ran out of time before my tennis lesson.  This morning, I pulled my trusty flash drive out of my purse, plugged it into my computer and read “One of the USB devices is malfunctioning and cannot be read.  Please reinsert and try again.”  My heart stopped.  I took it out and tried again.  Nothing.  I took it and tried it in a colleague’s computer.  Same message.  Fighting back tears, I called the flash drive manufacturer’s customer support.  They told me to go to Office Depot and have them check it out.  I walked to my nearest Office Depot and watched while they put the drive in 7 different computers with the same message appearing on each one.  They said they couldn’t help me.     

Seriously fighting back the tears, I headed to Jim’s office to see if his tech people might be able to save me.  No luck.  I walked the 1/2 mile back to my office, tears welling up the entire time – thank goodness for sunglasses and a sunny day in Seattle that allowed me to wear them without looking like Corey Hart of “I wear my sunglasses at night  . . ” fame.

When I got back into my office, I pulled myself together and Googled “data recovery Seattle.”  I found a place in Capitol Hill, not far from downtown.  I called.  Me:  “Hi, I have a broken flash drive with documents I need recovered (because I was too dumb to back them up), can you do that?”  Them:  “Maybe.” 

I went to my car, drove to Capitol Hill and handed them my sad broken flash drive.  The good news is they thing they can probably recover the data.  The bad news is they won’t be able to complete the $49 diagnostic and know for sure until Monday or Tuesday.  Did I mention that two of the lost documents need to be finished by Thursday?  I went back to my office and finally broke down and cried.

The good news?  I had finished one of the projects that is only on the flash drive yesterday and emailed the document off yesterday.  Many of the documents have been emailed to my assistant or others and are in my “sent” email folder.   

The bad news?  There is a lot on the drive that will have to be recreated if it is not recovered quickly and recovery if possible is not cheap.

Please, please, please learn from my mistakes and back up your flash drives, your hard drives and everything else you can’t bear to lose ASAP and continuously. 

What’s your worst technology war story?  Please share and make me feel better 😉

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3 Responses

  1. If they say they can’t get you data, call FlashDrivePros.com in Seattle. 888.806.6567. 24 hour rush service is $299 and diagnostic is free.

  2. I feel for you, I was the GM of a Fed Contract in Seattle and did a lot of contractual writing for my company. I had just finished writing the complete bid for another contract and it was 30 or so pages full of everything this contract would need and the total costs (this contract was in the millions and due in two days!) I do not know why but I shut off my laptop without saving! The whole time I was writing this contract proposal I knew I should click and save and did I, “No!,” I did not have a good excuse for why not….the short and long of it I had to take the computer to the tech guys at the federal office and have them retrieve my work, it took them several hours and they were able to get me all of my work…I took them to lunch for doing such a good job of it, save as you go, do backups regularly….RaeDi PS…I love my early retirement!

  3. yipes girl…feel so bad for u.
    i am so bad for not backing things up…dont think i have lost anything (yet)…but i am playing with fire really.

    and boy, u do travel a lot!

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