Monday, 1 March 2010


I have been told many times to clean up my desktop and put all my photographs on to discs.  Yes, I did move some but tended to move them back to use them for maybe a blog or site I am working on and then they would remain on the desktop again.  The truth be told my desktop resembeled a church floor after a wedding, confetti strewn all over.

And then on Thursday my laziness was punished.  Very painfully punished.

My laptop went wallop.  I had had a broken laptop before and took it to a computer shop here who managed to retrieve all the work and photographs on my hard drive.  And this in itself lulled me into a false sense of security.  This time the same computer shop could not retrieve from my hard drive.  I nearly burst into tears, felt sick, upset and angry.  Angry with my own stupidity.  Why oh why oh why did I not learn a lesson with the shock I got the first time I thought I had lost all my work and photographs!

The computer shop guy gave us a name of a local computer whiz who can often retrieve hard drive stuff they themselves could not.  And so today my little laptop is going to that man.  And all day today, and possibly all day tomorrow, I must wait on tenterhooks to see if he can retrieve all the work I have done.  Giving me a lot of time to consider the pain meted out to the tardy.

And to compound the agony, my external hardrive which holds thousands of photographs has also chosen to give up the ghost.  I don't know if they can ever be retrieved.

I vow, I will NEVER store anything on my laptop again, and if I am lucky enough to get the lost work back, it will all be moved straight away not only to an extenal hard drive, but also to discs, and even keys.  I never want to go through the upset of the possibility of losing so much!

Be warned ~ it could happen to you.  Back up NOW!


Jim said...


Discovered you on Flickr - I very much enjoyed your photographs.

My family ancestry takes me to your part of Donegal as much as I can determine at this time. The family (Vance now, Vans then but with all sorts of spelling variations such as Vause, etc.) - took part in the Plantation of Ulster in the early 1600s. They were lowland Scots Presbyterians and the original grantee was Patrick Vans of Lybrack (near Wigtown, Galloway, Scotland).

Records in the 16 and 17th century indicate the family name was present in some numbers in your immediate area. My main source is Perceval-Maxwell's "The Scottish Migration to Ulster in the Reign of James I."

I have done some DNA testing and the conclusion is that I share a common descent with four other males of our name to one individual about the year 1700 and most likely to Donegal since all five trace their ancestry to the north of Ireland.

I know the name lingered in Donegal for some time but I don't think there are Vances there now. Locations I have seen mentioned are Drumgorman, Gortaward, Raneely, Mountcharles, Inver Glebe, and Dunkineely if memory serves me well. My great (X6) grandparents immigrated in Nova Scotia, Canada in the 1760s with a number of others all from "northern Ireland" - the parishes identified are mostly in Donegal with a few from Derry. The new township in Nova Scotia was named Londonderry.

I plan to visit some time in the not-too-distant future and have bookmarked Daisy Cottage.

The reason I am commenting now is that I too recently experienced a crash (on an HP laptop). However, I was fully backed up on an external hard drive. My problem is that I converted to a MAC and haven't been able to restore my files. Fortunately my photos were stored separately. A professional photographer I know told me that he stores his material on an external hard drive as well as on DVDs. As it is his livelihood he said he backs up almost daily when he is on a shoot. He also uses a GPS to locate all his work so he doesn't have to take field notes.

In any event, my sympathies go out to you - perhaps we'll meet some day.


Anonymous said...

Ouch - painful way to learn! I would add Mozy online backup to your list - you can get it to backup your files daily at a fixed time, so you don't even have to remember to do it. I use a free Mozy account for all our business files (but no good if you have a lot of heavy image files).

If using Windows OS, use a "briefcase" to backup files to your external drive or keys - it searches for changes to files and updates only those that have changed or been added.

Catherine McGlynn said...

Thanks for those ideas and the link. Will check them out. Laptop still with the computer guy so don't know yet if he has managed to retrieve everything.

So frustrating and upsetting these things.


Catherine McGlynn said...

Hi Jim

Gosh, you've done a lot of work tracing your roots.

There are actually still some Vances in Donegal (and I see from the telephone directory, in other parts of Ireland too).

About my laptop disaster ~ I will ALWAYS back up in the future. Might be too late for the mountains of work I've got on the other one but still haven't heard from the computer guy.

Would love to welcome you to Daisy Cottage at some future date.