Yes. The absolute worst thing ever possible happened.
Imagine my surprise when I went to power up my laptop and it shut down again. Well, the laptop I was using was old. I’ve had it since 2011, and it has already had the hard drive replaced once. However, with that in mind, I didn’t think much of it. I believed I needed to order a new battery. After all, the notices popping up every day upon booting told me that the battery health was poor. So rather than panicking and trying to backup the hard drive while I could, I called Directv, who kindly offers insurance on your electronic products. Since I’m on my laptops a lot, I thought it was a worthy expense. Well, sure enough, it was. After setting aside the laptop for the weekend, I called them to request a new battery. Part of their insurance coverage is a yearly replacement of the batteries. I had yet to take advantage of that little benefit and figured I’d better get on it so I could submit my newest novel.
Well, the kind man on the phone asked me what was going on. As we were talking, he also asked me to boot up the laptop. Imagine my horror when I pressed the power button and nothing happened! When I told him that, he said the words that brought my world crashing down. It was not just the battery. The computer would not power up at all, even with the power cord plugged in.
Great, I’m thinking. Can they fix it?
I’m still not in a full panic because I’m confident that it’s never an issue to retrieve data from broken laptops. In my mind, the government can do it; surely Directv can too. I decide to send it in for a small fee and postpone the release of the novel. They can decide if my battery is that messed up (yes, I still thought that was the problem) while I wait.
Weeks go by with no technology. That’s the most horrible feeling, I must admit. In addition, my daughter’s laptop had to go in under warranty because hers was sending up messages to reinstall an operating system. Was Mercury retrograde? I think it was! We have no computers working in my house. How can that be? I’m back in the Dark Ages. Meanwhile, Directv has a policy that they will refund the fee if they cannot fix the laptop within three days. Of course, that’s my situation. I’m waiting and waiting. I’m also starting to panic because the only version of The Coming Storm in the cloud is an earlier copy before my edits, so I’m counting on getting my laptop back with an intact hard drive.
Finally, I get the email. It’s been repaired and will be shipped back to me! Yay! I can have my trusty computer back. Imagine my joy (and my daughter’s too. Her laptop was being fixed as well, but HP was kind and sent the box with expedited shipping since they were so busy a technician forgot to call me back). Of course, the email doesn’t say what was done to the laptop, so I have to wait another three business days for the box to arrive. I tore into that box like a kid opening a Christmas present. Believe me. I was so excited… only to have a silver-cellophane wrapped device drop into my hand along with the power cord. I’m thinking, what the…?
The first tendrils of dread start to form in my head. Why are they sending me a sealed hard drive? I pull out the papers next. “Hard drive replaced. Unable to save data.”
WHAT?! Are you kidding me!?
I’m still not in a full panic, because the first time the hard drive was replaced, I was the dork who did it. Go me. I’m so utterly electronic ignorant that I should earn a medal for successfully replacing it once, but I must admit that it was not entirely me. I was lucky enough to have help from a little device from Apricorn called a Universal Hard Drive Adaptor with Cloning Software included. I also kept my old hard drive from the first time I replaced it. Good for me.
I’m thinking now that Directv just didn’t want to get the data off the hard drive and sent it back to me out of laziness rather than necessity. So, I hook up the hard drive they kindly returned to me and try to clone it over. It doesn’t work.
I try it again.
I get online and spend a few days Googling and looking for help. Finally, I learn with Apricorn’s help (yes, I emailed them) that since Directv reinstalled Windows 7 for me that I have to try the cloning from safe mode. Okay, so I try that. It doesn’t work. The hard drive is officially done. However, my first hard drive does work. At least I don’t lose all my programs like Office 2010, Photoshop, games, etc. That several hundred dollar loss was almost as frightening as losing my novel and book cover.
So, here it is March now. I’ve spent weeks rebuilding the novel and lamenting the loss of two years of photos, songs, movies, and games. All those wonderful things as well as my kids’ Sims games were lost in addition to my copy of The Coming Storm’s cover and the final draft. However, I’m down but not out. I’ve been working very hard to redo it all, and I’m back online again – wow, that was the strangest feeling. (Isn’t it amazing how easily technology overtakes our lives?) Furthermore, I have the great pleasure of revealing that lovely cover today with the promise that The Coming Storm is coming soon to a retailer near you!!