¿Que coño pasó?
Those were the last words I uttered before my world almost disappeared before my very eyes. One minute, I was getting ready to give Red Heart Yarns a piece of my mind over one of their tweets(I’m an avid crocheter, if you didn’t already know), next thing I know, my computer froze and I was standing on what could very well have been the gates of hell.
Dios me esta castigando. God is punishing me.
I reboot my computer, and something was telling me to skip the CHKDSK process. I know that’s Chinese to the average person but after a failure that forces you to reboot by hitting the power button, chkdsk is a process that will scan your hard drive for errors and try to correct them. This time, I didn’t skip it – I let it run. What a HUGE mistake. My computer entered this booting loop of hell where the system is trying to load Windows(yes, Windows 10 – never again!), but it can’t, so it tries again. And again. And again. You are eventually given several choices to either Restore or Reset your computer. This time, and this is a first in almost 25 years being an IT person, nothing was working. Restoring, booting off a recovery disc…nothing! I was 99% sure that I was going to have to Reset, which meant erasing EVERYTHING on my computer. This is not supposed to happen to me! I take care of my tech!
There are few things as terrifying as being on the brink of losing all of your hard work, your memories, and documents in the blink of an eye. I tend to backup my computer every few months and I keep most documents in the cloud. Unfortunately, I’d been negligent and hadn’t backed up since winter. Fortunately, in the end, I had access to my files via the command prompt and over the course of a few days, my husband (a former IT guy, too) and I painstakingly transferred out 1TB of important papers, files, programs, downloads, fonts, and most important of all my websites, my clients’ websites and thousands of photographs.
This could have, and does, happen to everyone, even computer professionals like me. What I’ve learned from this experience is this:
Back up your files often and regularly.
We have two Western Digital My Book external hard drives. For the insanely low price of $125, you can get 4TB of storage which is more than enough space to back up every cd, dvd, and photo you have. Worth every penny. We also used a Western Digital My Passport portable hard drive to transfer the files off the computer since I was not able to connect to the network to transfer them to the external drives. This also ensured that my files were now in TWO locations for extra security in case one of the drives happens to fail. While it can happen, I have had all three WD products for a few years now and had no issues. There are other brands, but from a consumer point of view, these are very affordable, very user-friendly, and I highly recommend them. Bonus: if I am ever out and about with family and I want to access my files or a movie or music, I can do so with the WD2Go app.
Print. Your. Photos.
As a photographer, I cannot stress this enough. In this digital age, it’s quite easy to take photos for granted. You take them and share them and everyone can see them. However, just like holding a good book, nothing beats having a physical photograph to display in your home, or keep in an album. There was one particular photo of my two daughters from last Christmas that I hadn’t come around to printing yet and sure enough it was among the photos I had not yet backed up. Needless to say, once I located it, I had it printed at the biggest size possible.
Bueno, ya pasó. Now that all that is behind me and I am back up and running again, back to the recipes. I’m thinking I need to post a dessert. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my abuela, Kayo. I miss her voice, I miss her hugs, I miss her love. She absolutely LOVED rice pudding and even in her final years when she decided she was sick and tired of cooking, you could always find a fresh batch in her refrigerator. I didn’t particularly care for it, but whenever I was craving something sweet, I could always count on there being Arroz con leche.