Technical Blather: Recovery Sucks

The Not So Good

Friday night I went to bed and left the laptop on. I don’t normally do that, I’m a serial shut down type. The only time I leave it up and running is when I leave something up that I was looking at and don’t want to forget. Or searching for something and I don’t want to have to start over. There wasn’t really any reason I left it running Friday night when I went to bed, but there it is, I did.

Saturday morning, I pressed the button and waited. Black screen back-lit, just sitting there. So, I did a hard reboot. I waited a few moments and hit the button, then waited. Again, black screen, lit up, but no response. I wait a little longer this time, but nothing. After a few more times, adding more time for the computer to say “Just kidding, here you go!” I gave up.

I was able to get to the recovery screen after pressing F8. I dislike the new screen. Even though I chose to keep my files, it erased pretty much everything. Everything. My writing was gone. My stock photos were gone. My PSD files were GONE.

Getting Worse

After my initial panic attack, I start thinking. First, I hate Windows 10. I’ve recovered on Windows 8 without losing a damn thing. Now, all of a sudden everything is gone. Even applications, which was never ever touched in 8. Literally, I have lost Origin and Sims 3 and Sims 4. I’ve lost things I don’t remember having. Now, there’s a lot of stuff I have backed up on old CDs…. that’s how outdated I am. All my writing is on the cloud, but a lot of that is current writing, not writing that I’ve put aside over the years.

The Search

I started searching for ways to recover my lost files. A lot of the searching I found was a dead end. I guess there was a utility in Windows 8 that is no longer available in Windows 10 (gee, thanks for that), that would have recovered everything I lost. Free. Instead, now there’s a link to a company that wants money in order to recover those files on the knowledgebase. I assume a portion of that money goes to Microsoft.

I probably could’ve hopped into my vehicle, driven to Best Buy and had the geeks working to recover everything for me, but who knows how long I would’ve been waiting to get my machine back and who knows what kind of information would’ve been copied and taken. I’m slightly paranoid when it comes to tech, but not paranoid enough that I think anyone would really be interested in anything I’m doing. It’s more of a privacy thing for me. I don’t want people poking around my things. I would yell at people to stay off my lawn and have told kids not to ride their bikes in my driveway (insurance and stuff, if someone were to get hurt).

The other option I found was to copy files from the windows.old folder into the new windows. Yeah, that doesn’t work. Not for applications. So, I’ve had to spend time redownloading and reinstalling. Which, I’m nowhere near done yet.

There’s Money in Recovery

Okay, so I plunked down some change on a program, finally. But only because after doing a deep scan of my drive it found everything. Although, I’m not happy with the recovery process. It doesn’t put files back where they are supposed to go – so recovering applications is useless because they aren’t going to run. It also recovers several copies of things – many of those things are empty folders, which I don’t understand at all. Because I didn’t understand that there were many empty folders, I simply recovered the entire ‘writing’ folder. Which then recovered all of those empty folders. Either way, even if I only recover the folders with files in them, I have to rename them because they are adding _### to the end of the duplicates (depending on how many duplicates there are). What I find most irritating is that they are putting the files in the folders with _### on the end instead of the file of the original name.

I’m new to the program, so perhaps in my glee of finding everything, there is a way to make it work so that it puts the files in the original folders and recovers those, but I haven’t found it yet.

Work in Progress

So, instead of writing or creating today, I’ll be recovering file folders with actual files in them, renaming them to what they are supposed to be, and downloading the programs that I’m still missing. I’m also researching external hard drives so that this doesn’t happen again. Well, I probably won’t be able to save the programs if it does happen again, but at least I won’t have to recover files like this again.

I’m an avid believer in Ctrl+S folks… so this happening to me has taught me a lesson. Ctrl+S can’t recover a crashed drive. Be safe out there, folks. Backup everything.

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