Save me!


There are many recurring themes threaded throughout my time blogging. One of them is that I rarely give an explanation for why I didn’t post a blog on day “x”. It’s a combination of why would you care and why should I have to.

Another is that I rarely shy away from embarrassing myself in my posts. Either illustrating my lack of knowledge on a subject or some dopey decision or action I’ve done.

So, when both themes collide in one magnificent event, of course I’m going to blog about it!

Though I’ve been “running” this website for seven years, I’ve only been backing it up for about two. I mean, why did I need to? My hosting service backs up daily (likely even more frequently), so I can always go to them for lost files.

Plus, backing up is a lot of work and I am unashamedly lazy.

Of course, when my computer died two years ago and then the replacement died a week later, I figured it was time to do some of my own backing up (since my hosting service isn’t in charge of my C: drive).

Now, I’ve not been a total boob. I did have a small external hard drive that held some basic files, but I wasn’t always diligent in copying stuff over. So, when my computers died, it took several years of emails and certain investment files with them. Fun!

During last year’s holiday season, I went full-on bonkers and got myself a 4TB external drive. That’s twice the size of my computer’s hard drive. Whatever. It was one of those ridiculous holiday sales. I think it might have even been cheaper than drives with less memory (it also prompted me to buy shares of the manufacturer and that turned out to be quite profitable, so it’s all good).

I set a recurring task on my calendar to back up my key files (and my blog, host service notwithstanding) on the first of every month. Yes, granted, this still ran the risk of losing as much as 30 days of data, but I felt that was survivable.

This month, as I was looking at the relative size of my C: drive and my external drive, I thought to myself, “Hey, why not just back up the whole C: drive?” Wise people are now allowed to groan.

Obviously, I expected this to take a while. But I knew there were some files I could save time with because they had not changed yet. So instead of copying the entire C: drive, I could copy by folders. I bet that would save me some time.

Heh. Fit me for a tall, conical-shaped hat.

Anyway, the first batch of folders initially showed as requiring 6 1/2 hours to complete. No biggie. I could do some cleaning around the house, some shopping and some watching of talking heads on TV.

One thing I dare not do was work on the computer, for fear of the dreaded “file cannot be copied because it is in use” warning. Staying off the computer turned out more difficult than I had imagined.

As I popped back into the room after some time, I was thrilled to see the “Time Remaining” calculation now showing “more than 1 day”. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why or how a computer copies some files fast and others slow, but it can play havoc on someone watching the “Time Remaining” calc.

Eventually, it returned to a normalized time, probably close to the original estimate. Now, all that was left was a couple of small folders and the “Windows” folder.

Bopping that over to the drive, I was pleased by the (relatively) small time calculation. When I came back again, it was at 60 seconds remaining. I watched the “items remaining dwindle to 0 as the time remaining dropped to 5 seconds.

About 10 seconds later, both numbers stood the same. And 60 seconds later. And 5 minutes later. And…

Probably over an hour later it finished. I’m guessing thousands of files continued to transfer after there were “0” files remaining. Done in 5 seconds! Don’t leave! Meh.

Perhaps those are all “hidden” files. Perhaps they are files that somehow don’t count as files. Whatever the case, late in the day (so late that it was night), the adventure was finished.

What a goofy decision. And, let’s face it, it’s not like I would do this every month, so, really, what did I do it for in the first place?

The next time I get a “brilliant” idea like that, I can only hope a little byte (like the guy in Tron) is on my shoulder to save me.

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