Help! My Computer Crashed!

My computer crashed. Dead crashed. Blue screen crashed. AND MY MANUSCRIPT IS ON THERE.


I thought I would share this story with all you writers out there since some of my backup plan saved my ass, and I lost some things that are a total pain  to rebuild:

Last Thursday, I returned to my desk to find an alarming blue screen on my laptop, which no amount of re-booting would fix. My terror rising, I drove to my computer repair place and dropped it off, secure in the tech’s reassurance that MOST hard drives can be recovered.

13612144_10207862823863285_6003241830679013384_nI returned home, popped the cap on a cold Corona, and waited for them to call. Things took a sharp downhill turn an hour later when the tech called and said the hard drive was unrecoverable. WHAT THE F–K??


After hyperventilating, and switching from Corona to raw cookie dough (hey – we all have our coping mechanisms), I sat down to try to figure out just how bad this was going to be.


THANK GOD I invested awhile ago in an online backup program. I happen to use SOS Online Backup but there are lots of options out there, including Windows’ “OneDrive” or Apple’s iCloud. The important thing with your backup is that it regularly backs up your critical files without you having to do much about it. Then, when all hell breaks loose, you can restore your work from the online system. You can also use an external hard drive for this, but make sure it happens AUTOMATICALLY and REGULARLY.


  • My manuscript and client files were all able to be restored onto my new laptop (thank goodness, or I would still be sitting here drinking Corona and eating cookie dough.)
  • DO NOT LEAVE THIS TO CHANCE. Make sure your manuscript file is being backed up somewhere.


One thing NOT backed up on my system was my Outlook  files. So I could was able to access all my mail in my webmail access … but all those handy files (particularly of Usernames & Passwords) were gone. I had to rebuild my user/password list for myself and all my client systems one by one. Total pain in the ass.

  • Moving forward: All Usernames & Passwords will be tracked on a spreadsheet that is backed up regularly.


Another thing that does not restore automatically is your software – which is KINDA important! I was able to restore these one by one onto a new system, but it would have been a heck of a lot easier if I had logged this info somewhere along with the license numbers, username & passwords so I could re-download and install.

  • Moving forward: All computer program info will be logged into a spreadsheet that is backed up regularly.


In my day job, I have (or had) tons of specialty fonts for client email designs installed on my computer. All of this is gone. Sure which I’d saved the font files in one place (that was backed up) so I could re-install these fonts on my new laptop.

  • Moving forward: all font files will be copied into a master font folder, then backed up along with my documents.

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