on Jul 17, 2008
Sometime during the run of DMotR, my main hard drive filled up, mostly with movie stills. While tearing apart one of the many busted old computers that’s been donated to me, I found a 40GB hard drive. Vague portents had been scrawled on the top in magic marker, indicating that the drive was possibly operational, but not to be trusted.
I tested and found it to be functional. 40GB isn’t exactly spacious, but if I moved my games over then I’d have my important work on the trusted Western Digital and the frivolous stuff on the tenuous Maxtor. If it failed, the only thing I’d lose would be my save games. Bah.
As the months wore on my main HD continued to stretch at the seams, and the Maxtor was entrusted with more sensitive duties. Inevitably I started trusting the drive, more or less out of habit.
While moving the machine around dealing with my keyboard problem, that secondary drive at last failed.
Pfft. Big deal. I’ll swap in another drive and re-install my games. I mean, the only thing on it was my games. Oh wait. I also had all my game screenshots for… Nooooooo!
A majority of my Screenshots for Stolen Pixels was on that drive.
I’ve just abruptly gone from having about three weeks of lead time – perhaps four – to having nothing. I’ve already submitted the one set to go live on Friday, which means I have just a couple of days to come up with a new hard drive so I can install a game so I can take screenshots so I can make a comic.
The worst of the loss is my collection of World of Warcraft screenshots, which were tough to acquire. Some of the jokes were very complicated and required up to four people to pull off. Four people, all in the right zone, as the right characters, at the right time of day. All together they represented several hours of work. The people in my guild were nice enough to donate some of their playtime to help me out, and now those shots are gone. (Actually I might still have a couple that were moved to the main HD for editing. I might be able to make one comic out of them. Maybe.)
The only thing I have available at the moment is Guild Wars, which I inexplicably installed on the main drive. I’ve tried before and found it’s tricky to make comics in that game for a variety of petty reasons.
The worst thing is that I have nobody to blame but myself. I put valuable data on an untrustworthy source and it failed at a bad moment. I regularly back up the data on my main drive, but I never bothered with the capricious Maxtor.
The drive technically works. It’s recognized by the BIOS during boot. It’s recognized by Windows. But Windows claims it’s “unformatted”, and helpfully offers to format it for me. (NO!) A HD recovery service isn’t feasible. (Way too expensive, particularly given that I’d need a very large number of files.)
I get really edgy when I’m rubbing up against a publishing deadline, and I’m really up against a deadline now.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.