I'm recovering from a total failure of my hard drive that happened Sunday night. I had to get a new hard drive and start reinstalling windows and software. A crisis such as this gives me a painfully fresh perspective on my backup procedures on my computer. Yes, I should have known better. Yes, I should have backed up regularly.
I've put the failed drive back into my system as a slave drive in hopes of retrieving any useful data that still exists on it. Windows keeps telling me the thing needs to be formatted. I've tried to retrieve data using software designed for that purpose and it actually found a few small things on the drive (without offering to format it). But practically all of my working data is no longer accessible ; gone are the documents I was writing, the digital pictures I'd taken.
Except for the pictures I had decided to share with others and posted in one place or another on the web. Except for the things I had written and posted for someone else to read. Except for the documents I had emailed to others for their use.
But the data that I never shared with anyone - the email drafts I never sent, the working documents I was keeping to myself, the pictures I never gave to anyone else - that is the data that is probably gone for good.
One by one I am finding things that I liked so much that I wanted someone else to have them, and those are the treasures that keep coming back to me.