Computer Crashed & the only thing I lost was time

So, it happened. My hard drive got fried- and seriously- I had no warning until about a day before it happened. I noticed that my programs were running sluggish- that files took forever to load- and things in general seemed a little “off”.  I went to bed that evening- leaving my computer on- and woke up to a blue screen.

I wound up buying a new computer because it was time. I just didn’t want that bill right now.  And I wasn’t ready for this forced “time out”- though my house has not been this clean since the Graduation party of 2012! So there’s that.

There were a few safety nets I put in place after my last crash a few years ago that made life so much easier this time around that I really want to share with you. So much so that this post is the very first thing I did now that I am up and running. The hassle of reinstalling  is never going to go away- but that fear of oh my goodness what have I lost can be lessened. Here’s what worked for me:

*And just a heads up- I have linked a few tips-but not for any affiliate reasons or because I get compensation- just to make life easier. These things worked for me. Maybe they will hep you too!

Google Photos. I use the free version- because lets face it- I’m not going to be working with RAW files anytime soon or making posters of my pictures. 16×12 is pretty much as big as I go- and the free version of Google Photos works just fine for that. All my photos- phone and computer are automatically backed up on the cloud. So- when my computer crashed- at least I didn’t have that horrible pit in my stomach of OH NO! MY PHOTOS! I knew I was covered.

BackBlaze: I pay for this each year- and it is money well spent for sure.  All my files are backed up and stored everyday- and they stay on their cloud for 30 days after a computer is off.  I don’t know how it compares to other programs- but for me, the price is reasonable and they have had my back through two crashes.   I download my files manually as opposed to paying for a disk. It took about 3 days for almost 1TB of data to be reinstalled- but I got to make sure nothing was overlooked.

*This is also why I didn’t pay to have a tech do a data transfer.  I wanted to be sure if a file name was too long, I could rename it and download as opposed to trusting someone else not to skip over downloading it.

Belarc:  after my last crash I ran the free scan on my computer and got every. single. program and registry code on my computer in a nice PDF that I printed out and tucked away for a rainy day.  So- when the storm rolled in- and I needed to reinstall my programs- I had everything I needed. It even logged previous versions of programs I upgraded from- which was super helpful when prompted for upgrade reinstall.

The only programs I have not been able to re-install as of today are ACDSee  and Filter Forge.  I found a great substitute for ACDSee- (XnView) and since I really only used it for quick file viewing and batch renames, and I haven’t used Filter Forge in years. So- I’m ready to move on.

MainType:  As you can imagine- I have a bunch of fonts- and managing and installing them is an important part of my workflow.  I always keep a separate folder on my desktop of all the fonts I download.  This way- It gets backed up by Back Blaze.  Previously I used Nexus Font- but it has been discontinued- and I was wary of downloading an older version because there’s so much malware out there.

I found  MainType and was able to reinstall all the fonts I had previously downloaded for projects them to my default Font folder (and weed out fonts I never use, like Papyrus and Jokerman) in a very user friendly way using this program.  It’s free but because I loved it so much- I made a donation to the author. You know- for Karma’s sake.

Also- I use DropBox paid (about 10 bucks a month) and I have an EHD for all my personal scrapping projects – these provide just an extra bit of peace of mind. In all, I’d say I pay about 100 a year for backup- but it’s well worth it.  You know how the saying goes: if it’s not backed up in 3 places, it’s not backed up.

If all you take away from this is Google Photos and Belarc- you’d be in a pretty good place for your photos and programs.  But seriously- if your reading this- consider it a sign: back up the files that are important to you.

If you have any tips to share- or things that helped keep you sane in a crash- please! Share them here! There’s always something new to learn!

This weekend I will be trying to catch up on the design i was in the middle of before the crash. It’s a funny one- and I need a few laughs after the week of grind I’ve had! Later!

Renne

what joy will you create today?

Comments

  1. Oh! I’d never heard of belarc! I’m going to check it out. I still use nexusfont, but I’m going to check out mainfont too. Do you like it better?

    And PS: if you have Backblaze send you everything on a disk, you can send the disk back and get a full refund. I don’t remember if you have to pay for shipping or if they send a label.

    • WOW! I didn’t know that about the refund! Thanks for the info! So far I really like Mainfont- it’s always hard working w a new interface- but I think its easier to delete fonts with Mainfont for sure!

  2. Oh man…when it comes to computer crashes you got “lucky” all you lost is time. Still a major pain though.

    I’ll need to look into Belarc, that report is GOLD!!! I LOVE Google Photos…helps keep my phone clean and my photos safe!

  3. Oh wow, useful tips! I’d read about Backblaze before but now I’m sold. And I used to have MaintType, I just forgot about it over time (my laptop was reinstalled a while back). So thank you!!

    • Yep! Definitely a lifesaver- but keep in mind- it only saves for 30 days- so you have to recover quickly!

  4. So glad that it wasn’t a total disaster Renne!! Backblaze has saved me more than once … total peace of mind for sure!

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