Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Blue Screen of Death

Do I need to say more?

My not-very-old laptop quit on me Thursday. I'd been working on the first chapter of The Naked Baron, trying to get into the characters. I was on my umpty-umpth (yes, that word is in the dictionary) revision and had gotten something to work. It was brilliant! I went off on a reward break to check email on another computer. When I came back....

The Blue Screen of Death.

I had to go out to buy a new dishwasher--obviously, this is a bad time for MacKenzie machines--so I turned the laptop off, said a prayer over it, and hoped it would be all better by the time I got back.

It wasn't. I didn't even get the Blue Screen of Death. Just this ominous message: "Read failure on internal hard drive. No bootable devices...."

The Geek Squad guessed that it was a bad hard drive and the chances of recovering my brilliant prose were only 50-50. About the chances of recovering it from my onboard computer, my poor head.

It could have been a lot worse. I think everything on that computer was backed up. (I always back up now before I turn the machine off for the day and often email the work to myself so I can get it if something bad happens to my backup disk.) So I only lost the day's work which wasn't that extensive. Brilliant, yes (at least it seems brilliant, probably because I can't recall it) but not really that much of a disaster.

I did have a moment of nostalgia for my old electric typewriter--no blue screen of death there. It was only a moment. Well, more a nanosecond. I never want to go back to the land of liquid paper fumes, where "cut and paste" meant getting out the scissors.

So I'll continue to back up at the end of the day and hope the new laptop has a long life and doesn't go belly up at a really bad time. But first I have to register all the darn software, hope I can manage to get my OED to load on, and figure out Vista.


Anyone want to share a computer disaster story? Misery loves company!


Lois said...

Ouch. . . ah, nope, no disaster stories here. . . knocking on a heck of a lot of wood, throwing that salt over the shoulder, yadda, yadda, yadda. :)


Sally MacKenzie said...

This is actually my first real computer disaster, Lois--yes knock on wood, etc., etc.--and it could have been a lot worse. I have a friend who had her storage key corrupted and her computer crash--she lost a few books/stories completely.

I haven't fixed the scene I was working on when the computer died yet, but I'm adjusting to the new computer and meditating on where the story should go next, so things are pretty good. Just wish I could remember what I wrote.

Eve Silver said...

Sally, I feel your pain. Recently, I had trouble with both my computers at the same time. Then while one was in for service, the other one crashed and I lost everything (my own fault... That computer was so old I couldn't even use a thumb-drive for back-up).

I ended up rewriting most of my manuscript from memory on a very tight deadline. Not something I ever want to do again.

Sally MacKenzie said...

Eve! I'm in awe. I have no memory...I would have been lost.