Sunday, February 22, 2009

use your virus scan religiously

I've kind of learned my lesson about backing up files all the time--as I said, kind of. On that note, I'm a day late and quite a few words short, but I can safely say I got to keep about 3500 words last week. That's not my goal, and would not have been my total, except that very early Friday morning, when I had some paying work due by noon, I turned on my computer that was finally, finally all loaded back up again from the crash a couple of weeks ago, and...all I got was a blank screen. The computer was on. The little lights were glowing. But the screen stayed black.

I turned it off and then back on again, hopeful that this was just some "I'm cold and I don't want to get up yet" glitch. Nope. Finally, the computer whispered something to the screen and it grudgingly revealed in dotted text that my config/system file was missing or corrupted. I tried to do a file recovery, but that didn't work, so while I started penning what I needed to send to my editor onto paper, I had my computer reformat itself again--for the second time in February.

Then I went and had coffee with a friend and let her console me. Yes, I got my assignment turned in--typed like a madwoman on my kid's computer after I got back home. And I've been emailing my JaNo file to myself every few days now that I don't know why my DVD backups will burn but not show up again as good files when my computer tries to read them, I do have the first part of the week's JaNo work. I haven't put it on the computer yet, just finished getting all the stuff I have to have to run it, plus all the updates from Microsoft, Adobe, et al. But despite the fresh pain, at least I have progress to report this time; unlike the last crash.

Which reminds me. I think I know when I picked up the first viruses that caused the first problem. I don't know if this latest was due to virus interference or the fact that my computer is just getting as tired of all of this as I am, however...

Since my first crash I've been reading up, and there was a vicious worm released Dec. 8th that I believe was part of my initial crash. Because I usually only web surf the same boring sites each month, I didn't catch the problem until I had to do a web-intensive travel article around the first of this month. Apparently financial sites are also prone to the risk.

That said, please use your virus scanner regularly, and back up your files. Just from reloading my computer since Friday morning, before starting to add any of my files I ran a virus scan after all the updates were loaded and 12 viruses were detected and quarantined.

I'm not trying to scare anyone, but having to bring everything back up several times in as many weeks is just not fun.


Tiffany said...

That sounds like a nightmare to be under deadline and with a dead computer - kudos to you for working around it!

Keri Mikulski said...

Wow.. Sounds horrible. Best of luck and thanks for the warning.

Marianne Arkins said...

OH MAN! I'm so sorry... I hope it's all worked out now. :-(

smellshorsey said...

Your painful lesson will help us all. But gosh I'm sorry! That's discouraging and maddening.

You're taking it like the pro that you are. And the words you wrote all count, whether they are in the ether or on paper.

I try to print out a hard copy every few days. If I have to, I can re-key it. And I have a friend who keeps hard copies and duplicate back-ups (plus copies of her research) in her car trunk in case her house catches on fire (what if her car catches on fire, too? Best not to ask.)

After my computer died a few months ago I started using Mozy offline back-up service. It's $4.95 a month and I hope I never have to find out if it works.

All of this will make you crazy.

So sorry about your experiences. Anne