Computer Crash: A Story Lost aka Auto Save Only Works When Turned On

A computer crash is a writer’s nightmare. Months of work could be lost if your backup strategy is poorly designed or non-existent. I have always been paranoid when it comes to backups. I have my program set to auto-save every 5 minutes while I work. I save a copy every night to a network drive and a USB thumb drive I keep with me at all times. I have written over 400,000 words across three novels without issue.

Last night my luck ran out when after a 3 hour writing session the computer froze unexpectedly while writing. The mouse and keyboard became unresponsive but the screen still showed the visible portion of my work. As a precaution I photographed and then hand wrote every visible word on the screen. I hoped that when I rebooted, between the information I copied by hand, and the auto save, I would have most of my evenings work recovered.

After rebooting the computer and verifying its stability. I launched my writing software and went to the snapshot recovery section. I loaded the last snapshot finding to my horror that the snapshot contained none of my days work. Going into setting I found the auto save was no longer selected. As near as I can tell, the last upgrade of the software unchecked the setting.

In the end it could have been much worse. The auto save is turned back on and I will spend my evening recovering my lost work. At least a portion of it was saved when I photographed the screen. There is now concern over what caused the crash. I will modify my saving habits while I write until I have a better idea what’s going on. I have always thought the auto save was my friend.  If only it had been on. <sigh>

By lostbowyer

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