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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was copying and pasting my stories and saving them on Google docs, but I had let about a week go by without doing that for my latest story - when I woke up one day, went on my computer, and got the Blue Screen of Death. Computer was an Asus from Best Buy, 14 months old - 2 months out of warranty.  I lost about a week's worth of work, and it was a total PITA to rewrite because I had gone through my entire story during that week, editing and adding things - so it wasn't like adding a few chapters at the end.

On advice from writers on another forum I'm on, I am now using Dropbox to back up my files.  Sugarsync was another recommendation that I got.

Also - even though I bought Kaspersky antivirus from Best Buy, the Geek Squad told me that my dead computer had a bunch of viruses on it. (As well as a dead hard drive.)  Apparently Kaspersky isn't all that.  I use Firefox 90 percent of the time - supposed to be less prone to viruses - so, now that I have this new laptop, I am only using Firefox, never Internet Explorer.

Also, I had to reinstall Photoshop ELements, buiy a new copy of Office, put all my pictures on this computer - thankfully I saved them on a USB drive - so take a lesson from me! Imagine what would happen if your computer crashed and everything on it was gone - and then back up whatever you don't want to lose!

There are also external hard drives, but those are vulnerable to theft or physical damage.
 

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I've used Dropbox since 2011 for storing my work. We use it for text, covers, website backups, etc. We have two computers hooked in constantly, so there is never a time when we don't have two local backups, plus the cloud.

In addition I use scrivener (directed to the dropbox), which makes backups of my work at intervals of my choosing (snapshots) and every time I close it. It also saves every two seconds of inactivity.

I may lose time restoring a damaged system, but I'll never lose my work.
 

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Ouch!
 :-\

Sorry you had to go through that.  It's such a horrible feeling.

I use Dropbox and Google Drive.  Scrivener syncs nicely to Google Drive, and because I'm paranoid I backup all the time to Dropbox and an external drive as well, with a program called "cobian backup" that automates that kind of backup.   :-X

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Scrivener - interesting. Is it complicated to set up if I'm a fairly tech-impaired luddite?

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my antivirus protection as well. On the other forum, I was told Kaspersky - which I have installed currently on my brand spankin new laptop - isn't that effective, and they suggested a free antivirus program called AVG, and also something called Malware Bytes.

It is REALLY annoying that I paid Best Buy for Kaspersky antivirus and they're still telling me that my now dead laptop had numerous viruses on it. 
 

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Isabelking said:
Scrivener - interesting. Is it complicated to set up if I'm a fairly tech-impaired luddite?
It's more or less simple to use. Follow the tutorials and you can get it down in a day.

To make it do all sorts of fancy things take more effort, but there are classes, and the manual is very detailed.
 

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...I would add that while Scrivener is easy to use, the way it saves documents is not QUITE as straight forward as most people are used to.  (It's not just a single document, but a collection of files) So when things go wrong and you are not that confident technically, it can be confusing.
 

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Isabelking said:
Computer was an Asus from Best Buy, 14 months old - 2 months out of warranty.
It's probably just one of those little coincidences, but I'm having problems with an ASUS that I've only had for about 6 months. Their Customer Service Department is less than enthusiastic. Their philosophy is just a hair's breath away from "you bought it - your problem". Just thought I'd mention that in case someone is looking for a new computer.
 

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NatashaHolme said:
If you have a legit copy of Windows, Microsoft Security Essentials is both great and free anti-virus software.
MSE is your best bet if you are using Windows. Forget the rest and use Firefox.

I switched to Linux in 2005 after two Blue Screen events and haven't looked back (lubuntu.org currently, a lot of debian though).
I use Libreoffice.org, gimp.org, and xmind.net for writing/covers/outlining.
ubuntustudio.org is also a good choice as everything is there to make book trailers (music and video tools). See "how to use" section to run from a LiveDVD as another option.

For local backup I use/have used these two systems:
http://www.openmediavault.org/
http://www.freenas.org/
You can use that old desktop pc you've been wondering what to do with ... put in a pair of big drives (500GB-1TB) and back up to that with RAID redundancy. I still do a little backup to DVDs every quarter or so.

All that software linked to is free and legal to use, make copies, etc.

[as for ASUS hardware, they are probably at or near the top for build and longevity (I used to do pc repair/refurbishment), is the second problem software/OS? You'll want to split the issue, one option is download a liveCD and boot from that (without installing) and see what works. Check out ubuntu.com to see an easy description on how to do it]. Good luck! :)
 

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jvin248 said:
[as for ASUS hardware, they are probably at or near the top for build and longevity (I used to do pc repair/refurbishment), is the second problem software/OS? You'll want to split the issue, one option is download a liveCD and boot from that (without installing) and see what works. Check out ubuntu.com to see an easy description on how to do it]. Good luck! :)
No, my problem is hardware. There are 2 USB ports that work, don't work, work, don't work, and are about to drive me batty. I like a manual mouse, so I use the USB port all the time. It's almost like there's a short in it or something. The only thing that seems to work when my mouse stops working is to let the computer sit idle long enough for it to go back to the Welcome screen and log back in. Then the mouse will work again - for a while. Really irritating.
 

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You BOUGHT a computer from Best Buy?
That's kind of when you loaded the bullet into the gun and spun the chamber for the first session of Russian roulette...

Also, there are many many apps designed to retrieve files from damaged or partially-deleted hard drives, many of them freeware - you could have manually taken out your hard drive, slapped it in an external enclosure, gone to a friend's place, plugged it in, run the app, and searched your hard drive for .doc (or whatever you were working in) and copied off all the work you supposedly lost.
 

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I've been using Linux exclusively for the last eight years or so. Never had a crash, never had a virus. Regular automatic updates of all software. Easy to use.
A HD that recent shouldn't crash… but it always pays to make backups.
Like many people here I use Dropbox for my most important files.
I backup to an external disk. (I use rsync, a program that comes free with most Linux distributions. I put it under a shortcut key-combination. I just have to hit AltGr+B and my entire home directory is synchronized on my external disk).
I synchronize my external disk with a third disk on a weekly basis.
I make regular backups on gmail docs.
I regularly send my work, rar'ed, by email to another gmail account.
 

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I back up to my hard drive and also email each chapter I'm working on to my web account. The edited chapters and versions sit there till the book is done! I do this because being a roofer, I'm always writing in coffee shops and on roofs during break and the only way to double save is to send an email to my web account (make one that doesn't download to your PC through Thunderbird or the Microsoft email program).
 

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I had this happen once and luckily only lost a few customer-data (and parts of my music). Since then I have a redundant system which means all data is automatically written on two harddrives. I also save everything I'm currently working on to an USB-stick and do a weekly backup on a external drive (very old habit from a time when internet was slow and expensive, of course back then I used floppy disks, later then CD-Roms and DVDs before moving on to USB and external drives).

I prefer to store sensitive customer-data offline.
 

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My oversimplified backup system is this:  At the end of each session, I email a copy from address A to address B (different providers).

There is always a copy saved in both the outgoing pile from address A and in the incoming box for address B.  So if one provider has a massive problem, I would lose one or the other, but not both.

I suppose in the event of the apocalypse this might fail me, but short of that-- what else could go wrong?  Am I missing some likely scenario?
 

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Quinn Richardson said:
My oversimplified backup system is this: At the end of each session, I email a copy from address A to address B (different providers).

There is always a copy saved in both the outgoing pile from address A and in the incoming box for address B. So if one provider has a massive problem, I would lose one or the other, but not both.

I suppose in the event of the apocalypse this might fail me, but short of that-- what else could go wrong? Am I missing some likely scenario?
This is what I do, too. Both are web email providers that save in the cloud and not on my hard drive.
 

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Ian Fraser said:
You BOUGHT a computer from Best Buy?
That's kind of when you loaded the bullet into the gun and spun the chamber for the first session of Russian roulette...

Also, there are many many apps designed to retrieve files from damaged or partially-deleted hard drives, many of them freeware - you could have manually taken out your hard drive, slapped it in an external enclosure, gone to a friend's place, plugged it in, run the app, and searched your hard drive for .doc (or whatever you were working in) and copied off all the work you supposedly lost.
I dont do much IT work anymore, but i've done this a thousand times. Taken out the drive, cabled it to another PC, copied the files over, Returned drive to initial PC/Laptop and re-installed Windows back, tehn copied filed back. Done in 4 hours.
 

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Isabelking said:
I was copying and pasting my stories and saving them on Google docs, but I had let about a week go by without doing that for my latest story - when I woke up one day, went on my computer, and got the Blue Screen of Death. Computer was an Asus from Best Buy, 14 months old - 2 months out of warranty. I lost about a week's worth of work, and it was a total PITA to rewrite because I had gone through my entire story during that week, editing and adding things - so it wasn't like adding a few chapters at the end.

On advice from writers on another forum I'm on, I am now using Dropbox to back up my files. Sugarsync was another recommendation that I got.

Also - even though I bought Kaspersky antivirus from Best Buy, the Geek Squad told me that my dead computer had a bunch of viruses on it. (As well as a dead hard drive.) Apparently Kaspersky isn't all that. I use Firefox 90 percent of the time - supposed to be less prone to viruses - so, now that I have this new laptop, I am only using Firefox, never Internet Explorer.

Also, I had to reinstall Photoshop ELements, buiy a new copy of Office, put all my pictures on this computer - thankfully I saved them on a USB drive - so take a lesson from me! Imagine what would happen if your computer crashed and everything on it was gone - and then back up whatever you don't want to lose!

There are also external hard drives, but those are vulnerable to theft or physical damage.
AVAST is a very good, free anti-virus program.

If you need it, i can remote control your PC while you look at it, and help you install it. also i can find and copy your text files if you have your old drive manually taken out from the crashed PC.
 
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