Reminder: back up your stuff OFTEN!

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Reminder: back up your stuff OFTEN!

Reminder about frequent backup.

I had my 2nd (and 3rd) computer failure today since the pandemic began (previously I had frequent crashes & my hard drive failed). I store all my data (digital scrapbooking stuff, layouts, photos, music, ebooks, documents) on 2 external portable hard drives (one is a mirror of the other with several backups.) Today, they both failed at the same time, they are about the same age.

The drive which had the most recent designs is complete toast (Windows Device Manager couldn't read it at all). I've been on a creating binge lately and hadn't backed it up for about a week or so. (It failed just before I attempted a backup.) I'll have to recreate those designs. The other (which contains multiple backups) is at the computer store and they should be able to get most of my other data off it and put it on my new drive.(Fingers crossed for when I pick it up tomorrow.) I also bought a solid state drive which is supposed to last longer than your standard hard drive. At least my most precious photos of my late son are in multiple place - my husband has a backup on his computer, he puts a copy in our safety deposit box on a USB key and our daughter also has these photos copied on her machine.

This experience reminded why it's important to back up often, especially if you've spent a lot of time making something.

I think I've more than filled my quota for computer related failures/repairs this year!

smiley Anne: SO sorry to hear.... smiley ....

Oh Anne, what a nightmare.

I hope the computer shop can get everything possible back for you.

Good news I got my drive back today. They were able to recover the vast majority of my data. Only a very few files weren't able to be copied because Windows said the file names were too long. (Designers watch the file length please.)

I had backed more recently than I thought. All of the designs I'd done recently were there. smiley

thats great news!!!

smiley smiley So great, Anne, and yes files length is a topic especially when items sit in subfolders, absolutey smiley

From a quick search, it seems the issue is when the entire filename plus file path exceeds 255 characters. Not a problem so much when you have your long-named files in root folders or high-level subfolders, but if you've got a deep nest of subfolders and then a very long filename, you could easily exceed 255 characters for the whole path, and that's when it becomes nearly impossible to copy to a new directory (which is probably the problem the file recovery ran into). In that case, even a short filename can run into problems if there are too many nested subfolders, but longer filenames mean fewer subfolders before you hit the problem.

So the advice is twofold. Designers, try to keep your filenames shorter where possible (it's a bit trickier with the blog train files, but even then you can use initials to shorten things up). Scrappers, try not to nest your subfolders too deeply.

If you can't really keep the file path or filename short for whatever reason, there are ways around it. I found this article on Help Desk Geek: How to Fix Long Filename Errors which has some advice in addition to explaining the problem with examples.

I do remember back in the 90s (and still have files from then) when filenames were all-caps, and truncated to specific lengths if too long. I actually recently went through some of those files to clean out ones I didn't need anymore, and save the others to a more updated file format (from an old late 90s/early 2000s Excel format to the format LibreOffice uses) with a slightly longer filename so I would know what was in the file rather than things like "BOOKLIST.XLS" and similar.


I feel your pain, Anne. Our main computer, that I do my scrapbooking on, crashed two weeks ago. We have a new one on the way and in the meantime, I resurrected an old laptop. We use a separate storage drive, so I have all my files. I connected it to the laptop and loaded my scrapbook program on it but it is slower than mud with a much smaller screen. Have not been active because of it. Backups are a real blessing.

I'm glad your tale of woe had a mostly happy ending.

I'm a broken record with this IRL anytime friends or family lament what they've lost: use offsite backup! My computer automatically runs a backup process literally at all times it's connected to the internet (which is nearly always), and if I had a catastrophic failure right this very moment I wouldn't lose a thing. I am telling you, I actually sleep better at night knowing my digital life is safe!

Please look into it (there are plenty of companies to choose from). This way you don't have to ever worry about it again!