Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Losing Everything On My USB Drive

Dead USB drive

From the time we moved out of our apartment in Savannah to when we got our household goods in Germany, I kept all the files I needed on a USB drive. I’d backed up what I had before moving, but the USB drive was all I saved to during the move. I could have saved on my husband’s laptop, which I was using, but I didn’t want to clutter it up. I had just gotten the USB drive right before we moved, so I hadn’t anticipated a problem. Maybe I should have. I’d gotten it on clearance for a couple dollars. Maybe they were on clearance because they sucked. At the time, I thought I’d gotten a deal.

I was planning to back everything up on my external hard drive, which had been shipped with the household goods, the weekend it arrived. As if it read my mind and thought “no you’re not,” the computer stopped recognizing the device. I had my camera plugged in at the same time, so I thought maybe it wasn’t recognizing that. When I realized it was the USB drive, someone suggested it could be the driver. I tried updating and nothing. I tried the USB drive on another computer. Again, nothing but the notice that the computer didn’t recognize the device. Now what?

I searched the internet to see if I was screwed and asked some friends via Facebook. The general consensus seemed to be that I could probably get it recovered. Software to do so cost a bit, so I decided to stop into the computer repair center on post and see what could be done. I explained to the guy that the USB drive just stopped working and asked what he’d charge to recover the files. He said it would depend on the size. When I told him about 4g, he told me about 30 euro (which would be about 40 dollars). We couldn’t do it at that time, so I said we’d probably go back.

My 2011 NaNoWriMo Winner’s Badge. Some of the only evidence I even wrote a novel draft in November.

My husband asked me later if it would really be worth the money to recover it. I considered all the things I had on there. The novel draft I worked on all November was saved to it. When my husband gave me my new camera a few days before Christmas, I was using a small SD card and had transferred photos over to the USB drive that didn’t have duplicates. I still had original versions of pictures on my external hard-drive and my Droid X I’d been using as a camera until I got the new one. But I had spent hours editing and organizing them, and that work would be lost if I didn’t get the USB drive fixed. I had submitted a lot of work and logged a lot of responses to them in the time between moving, and didn’t want to relog it all. I’d revised a few stories and would have preferred to have the newer versions.

I wasn’t thrilled with spending 40 euro, but I was even less thrilled with losing some of those things entirely and having to spend hours re-doing the rest. It would take me a little under four hours to make the money to recover the files. It would take me a lot longer than that to recover everything mentioned above. So, to me, it would be worth the money. We decided I could do it when we could put the money toward it and had the time to go over when the guy was open.

It took awhile for us to have they money in the budget and, even once it was, I ended up forgetting to grab the USB a few times when we were going over on that side of post. We finally had time and I remembered to take it with me on May 25th. When I went in, the guy said to leave the USB drive with him and come back in 20 minutes. When I went back in, I waited around for a few minutes for him to come to the front. When he saw me, he went to his computer, took the USB drive out, and handed it back to me. “It’s no good,” he said. “My software wouldn’t recognize it.”

I told him thanks for trying and left. If I’d gone in months ago and gotten that result, I probably would have taken it harder. But since I’d taken so long to go back in, I’d had time to prepare myself that it might be a lost cause. Of course I hoped otherwise, but part of me expected that I couldn’t get the files back and I had just been delaying the inevitable. Now I had to start the process of fixing what I could and letting go of what I couldn’t.

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4 Thoughts on “Losing Everything On My USB Drive

  1. That sucks. I am so paranoid about losing things like that, that I save it in several places including emailing important things to myself. I had enough papers in college get eaten by bad drives, that I am better at backing up now. Not perfect mind you, I still have a number of pictures that haven’t made it to the big drive yet.

    • Yeah. I am usually better about it but this time would be the time I wasn’t. I have Google Drive now as an extra backup which I’m liking so far. Everything I save in the folder also gets saved on my gmail account. With pictures I’ve started uploading them as soon as I can and uploading them to at least FB or Photobucket. It’s extra steps but at least I’ll have updated versions of the photos if something crashes again.

  2. I sadly agree with Andrew, that sucks big time! Really sorry that happened and that darn device can’t be read.

    • Yeah it does. Thanks. I’m actually about to post on what I gained from losing it. Some of it might be stretching it a bit lol but I’m trying to see the bright side.

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