Thursday, July 24, 2008


Recovery Syndrome, originally uploaded by Diana Pinto.

I'm in recovery mode. Data recovery to be precise. As far as the flu/cold/nose - time, rest and water will take care of that, I'm certain. But what awaits me in the next few days is tedious data recovery action. It was only two nights ago that I realized the magnitude of my loss. And how ineffective backups could be if they go wrong. I don't like complaining and definitely not in my public blog - unless I think there might be some benefit to it for my readers. I figured sharing the experience on this blog might prevent major data loss from happening to 300 other people reading this blog today and a handful of others in the future.

Here's what happened, and what you should avoid from happening to you:
1) My hard drive crashed. It's killed and after about 5 different attempts of 2 or 3 methods of data recovery, my only hope is that the geeks at the Mac Store will be able to recover it. Is that about 0.001% or am I wrong?

2) My backup drive, operated by TimeMachine software, apparently only backed up what's under "documents". This means that everything that is under the "My Photose" or "All Images" folder (if you're using an Apple computer they are locatedbelow your "Applications" and "Documents" folders in your Finder) is GONE.
In other words, there is about 99.999% chance that all of my photos - except for ones that got published on Flickr and SmellyBlog or were saved under "Documents" folders are gone.
Thankfully, most of the photos I've shot recently for print materials (high resolution botanicals) are already in the safe hands of my graphic designer. But there are a few that aren't.
As far as sentimental stuff - well, It looks like I probably (99.999%) lost all family photos (for obvious reasons, I don't usually post those on Flickr) from the past 6 years, all shot in those virtual cameras that have no archival substance unless you print the photos or have lots of backup.

Everything else I've written recently can be easily recovered (after about a week's work) by copying my published writings on SmelllyBlog and sorting through hundreds of emails to recover customer and sales data. It's a necessary pain and I'll get over it with hard work (as far I know myself, I won't leave the seat until the job is finished). So if I vanish into oblivion for another week you know where I am: going through your emails and digging out info so that I can serve you better in the future etc. (i.e.: be able to send your orders and know which free samples to add in - preferably something you haven't already tried!).

Of course the other necessary pain is me working from a desktop computer now, something that in my mind is counterintuitive to creative writing. I much prefer to be elsewhere (the back garden, balcony or the nearby teahouse) when I'm putting my thoughts together in writing than confined to this uncomfortable desk. But that will teach me boundaries (while messing up with my spine of course...).

I'm noticing this post is getting long. So to the point, here are the conclusions from my cautionary tale:
1) Make sure you back up your date on a daily basis (at least)
2) Make sure your back up drive actually takes in all the date you want to back up (family photos included)

Lastly, and this brings us to some blogging record keeping tips - in the case you lost all your blog posts or your blog got accidentally erased (this can happen quite easily by the way):
Keep and maintain a good archive of your blog. And mine isn't nearly as good as it should be. The following is my (new) good practice:
a) Save each month of your blogging archives as webfiles - htm files. All you need to do to get this done is click on the archive portion (i.e.: month, year, or whichever way your blog is organized) and save it as an html file.
b) Save each blog post with its entire html coding.
c) Organize your posts either by date or by category (or both). for examples: all the perfume reviews are grouped together. To have your posts sorted by dates within your blog older, title each post with the date first and than the title. This way you have them sorted chronologically but also you can have a clue of what the topic is by the title. I date mine in the yy-mm-dd format and this way they are sorted better in my opinion (by year first and than the month and the day). I also keep a record now of which labels or tags I gave to each post. So essentially I could re-create my entire blog at any time.

P.s. Many thanks to Diana Pinto, who kindly and generously agreed to use her photo for this blog entry. Diana's work can be also viewed on the following websites:
Hello, my puppets
Diana's Flickr Photostream
Absence is Steel

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At July 24, 2008 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, what a nightmare. It's a good reminder for everyone to back up docs and photos.I'm crossing my fingers that the MacGeniuses can get it back.

At July 26, 2008 12:00 PM, Blogger Perfumeshrine said...

Oh, gosh, had no idea. So sorry! Good advice.
I had a case of malware last year (someone had probably sent something inflicted which I hadn't noticed) and had to delete the entire blog and re-create it from scratch. Royal pain....

At July 29, 2008 9:11 PM, Blogger Flora said...

Oh, you poor dear - this has happened to me before but I don't have a blog or a business to run! I do backups to an exterior drive now and the one time I had to activate the Recover mode it worked, but still it was so stressful to rebuild everything else - the installed programs and plug-ins, etc. I am so sorry and i hope you can get your data back!

At August 03, 2008 11:24 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Thank you so much my friends for your sympathy and recovery wishes... My cold is pretty much gone and I can smell again. I also have my laptop back with a new hard drive, so hopefully I will resort to posting as usual to make this space a little less dull than it has been recently...

At August 03, 2008 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I compassionate with you.
And laugh a little in my head, because I did worse.
About 3 years ago, I did have a problem with my hard disk, I put my windows-CD. I was thinking healing my harddisk, instead I was actually erasing it xo

Since, I always have a external disk.

Wish you a good recovery :)


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