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!


what joy will you create today?


  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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