Monday, December 22, 2008

ALWAYS Back Up Your Pictures - PLEASE!

Ok, Public Service Reminder - BACK UP YOUR DIGITAL PICTURES! And videos, if you have them.

Sure, music and movies and games suck to lose. But let me tell you - this hurts so very very bad.

We just lost nearly 5 years of photos. My second son's first smile. His first tooth. My first son's first day of school. First Christmases, new home, Easters, graduations from karate, Kindergarten, you name it - gone in an instant. It's as if we've had a fire, and all of our photos are gone. This is just so horrifically painful. And there's a few people we can blame.

First and foremost, I blame myself. I am always admonishing people to back up files. And I normally do burn pictures to CDs. Except that for the past 2 years, we've backed up photos onto 2 other computers, instead of CDs. Well, we thought we had. But, oops, no - the files we thought were there - AREN'T! And the CDs I had to meticulously burned prior to that, labeled and filed - missing. Can't find a singled one. We don't know if they got thrown out, or they're just lost. I had them last year, I used them, in fact. But they're not there now. Not when I need them to ease some of the pain.

I also blame my husband. He is a computer whiz. He builds them, fixes them, heals them. He's even found lost, thought long gone, files for OTHER families! Other moms who thought those precious firsts were never to be found again - crying - have thanked him profusely. But he can't do that for me, somehow. And he built the new server for us, a supposedly fail-safe place to store all our files. It was supposed to back itself up. It was supposed to never, ever fail. But it did. Brand new, supposedly fully functional, and suddenly, the new drives are no longer working. We finally got them to talk to the motherboard again, and yet, they won't allow the files to be retrieved. It's heartbreaking, knowing the files are there, and yet, beyond reach.

And finally, I blame Seagate. They made these drives. They made this supposed fail-safe system. This self-back-up system. They claimed to have a warranty. And then they have the complete audacity to want to charge $10,000 to get these files off these drives. That is the price of a CAR. They're insane. It is THEIR fault. We followed their instructions, their rules of installation and operation, and THEIR drives were faulty. And their backup system FAILED. This was 100% the fault of their drives. And yet, we're to pay this insane amount to get all these precious memories back? Insanity.

We're hoping to run photo recovery programs and system scans to recover files off my laptop, as well as the hard drives on which we used to have the photos stored. I'm sure we won't find everything. There is no way to even know, as I'm sure my memory of every picture we've taken since buying our first digital camera in March of 2004 is faulty. I'll be thankful for every single one we find, that's for sure. And I'm thankful for the family web site I have, where I haven't deleted any of the uploaded photos. I'll also be tearing apart the house to find those lost CDs, to at least have the pictures up to 2006.

I will also be investing in an external drive for backing up pictures in the future, because I am not trusting any company's claims ever again. There is no such thing as fail safe. So I'll say to everyone - back up your pictures NOW, because losing everything is horrible. You can replace the movies, you can replace the music. But the pictures - they can never be replaced. Sure, I can get pictures of my kids at every age, even every holiday, from my mother. But they won't be the same as those precious favorites I've taken. They won't be the silly family shots we all have of the sweet time we all spend alone. It will not be the same. And for that, I am so very, very angry and hurt. Please don't let it happen to you!


Melisa Wells said...

Oh Deanna, that totally sucks. I'm so sorry this happened!!! Hopefully you'll find those CDs one of these days.

Wahhh. Hugs to you: (((Deanna)))

Bargain Briana said...

OMG< I had the same thing happen this week! We may have lost some pictures but not as many as you. Most were backed up but not all were. I'm so sorry. I was so ticked this weekend about ours too. If you purchased any online from kodakgallery or snapfish or used them to store, you can make a archival cd for a fee...I just bought an external pocket hard drive ($94 shipped well worth it!) to start backing up. *Sounds like you had more back ups in place than us, though...that has to make it even worse.

We are hoping our computer guy can retrieve some of the music, scrap pages, most recent pictures, etc.

We did lose a ton of Peyton's younger pictures when we moved because I threw out the negatives and then they got wet in storage and were ruined.

Dea said...

Thanks, ladies! :)

I'm hoping the all-house hard drive scans will help find if not all, most of the pics. It's SO awful thinking of it.... BUT - now I know what to do, and not to procrastinate, and not to let my hubby move files around until I've done my thing, right??? I'll be the most backed-up person ever now...

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