And the moral is…

We have had a really strange weekend.

Parts of it were very good. Parts were very, very bad.

The good: We had a nice visit with the Webmaster’s parents and extended family on Saturday. The Munchkin also got to try roller skating, and she has inherited both her daddy’s and my genes in that area. The skates were a little too big, and she couldn’t really control where she was going, but she had balance, determination, and some undeniable skill. And she LOVED it. The Webmaster and I both donned roller skates for a little bit ourselves as well, but my skates were too big for my feet and I felt really clunky. I didn’t fall down, though!

Also good: Went to the bridal shower yesterday, which was very pleasant and had yummy food. I’m glad I went.

The very bad: The Webmaster did a system update on the computer Saturday night after we returned from his parents’, and somehow, though the two programs have nothing to do with each other, the upgrade deleted our entire photo gallery from Picasa 2. The last backup the Webmaster had done was from mid-July. So, he stayed up all night frantically trying to retrieve what he could, and we began canvassing family and friends to see what they might have. Thankfully, my own files were unaffected, so pictures that I had posted on the blog or sent via email were saved – albeit in a smaller, resized format, but we are just going to have to work with what we’ve got. My uncle was kind enough to send us everything that he had from Tad’s first birthday party, which was a lot of good stuff. My mother remembered that the Webmaster had downloaded a lot of pictures of Little Cousin’s August visit to their system, which the Webmaster copied and re-loaded into Picasa. My mother-in-law has some pictures from events that we lost. A few more recent pictures had been printed once, so they were saved in the Walgreens’ system. Sadly, we lost a lot that are simply unrecoverable, and there were many cute ones of the kids that are gone. But, we’re moving forward, thankful that it was only a few months’ worth of photos, a portion of them were successfully recovered, and that I had posted so many pictures on the blog.

The moral of the story is: Always do a backup BEFORE a system update. Because no matter how much you think one thing won’t affect the other, it just might. Also, do regular backups to a safe location. And maybe, just maybe, we should print pictures more often.

Still, as I pointed out to the Webmaster, we still have healthy, happy kids to take pictures of. We still have their baby pictures. We didn’t lose everything. It was only a few months of pictures, and we’ve gotten some of it back. And the memories won’t disappear. While this was bad and sad for us, my mother commented that there is only one baby picture of her late father in existence, because the rest were lost in a house fire many years ago. A college friend of the Webmaster’s lost her wedding photos and her first son’s baby photos in an apartment fire some years ago. We are doing everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again to us, EVER. In the meantime, the rest of you – learn from this. Do a backup. Keep it current. You will never regret the time you take to do it. And if anyone has suggestions as to where the best place is to store photos online, or how you keep your own stuff protected, I would really love to hear it.

On a much lighter note, a charming little example of reverse psychology…

We went to my parents’ house last night so the Webmaster could recover pictures from their system. The Munchkin was drinking some milk at the kitchen table and coloring.

Auntie: “Finish your milk, Munchkin.”
Munchkin: “No!”
Gichan (my father): “Munchkin, finish your milk later.”
Munchkin: “Okay.” (drinks the last of her milk)
Auntie: (staring in shock at our grinning father) “I hate you.” (this was said tongue-in-cheek, trust me!)

5 Responses to “And the moral is…”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    November 20th, 2006 07:26

    Sorry about your pictures. I’ve sent you some from my last visit.

  2. Kim
    November 20th, 2006 08:15

    I’m sorry to hear about your pictures! That’s so sad. :-\ We had a similar thing happen to us, my dads computer crashed and we lost pictures from our last family gathering before my grandfather was put into assistant living. Now we keep all of our pictures on both Hard drives so when one crashes our other works. I’m glad you were able to get some of your pictures back though.

  3. Linda
    November 20th, 2006 11:00

    oh, my…I agonize with you!
    We do a daily backup with Acronis for incremental tasks that I do daily: and, on Sunday, Acronis does a complete backup of everything!
    All of my pictures are backed up monthly to DVD w/a copy to my dear friend/’Mom’ persons house!
    I have a copy of all of her backups for safe keeping! So, try that ans see if it works!
    And, Happy Thanksgiving and our love to all the Family!

  4. The Humbled Webmaster
    November 20th, 2006 11:26

    Technically, it was a “System Restore”; a feature in Windows XP Pro that allows you to jump back in time to “restore point”; that is, to a time with different registry and program settings. I was trying to fix an mpeg playback issue with this tool, when this mass-delete happned. System Resotre IS NOT SUPPOSED TO TOUCH ANY PERSONAL FILES (email, video, music, photos). In fact, I’ve used it before to great effect! However, it is good advice, and it’s advice I always give to others, to ALWAYS do a backup before any kind of grand system change… even if it’s “worked before”.

    A big THANK YOU to family members that have come through with some terrific photos that make up for many that we lost!

    In case you were wondering I used File Recover from PC Tools Software (http://pctools.com). There are several tools out there like this, but this was simply one of the first I came across.

    I’ve also recently ordered a 500GB hard drive with external enclosure ($200 sans tax). That will be one of our major backup solutions. Flickr may be another — free accounts are limited to uploading 20MB/month, but your storage appears to be unlimited.

  5. Dozeymagz
    November 21st, 2006 15:30

    Nightmare! This is really something I absolutely dread happening. I’m really sorry you lost some pictures. My own backups are WAY out of date.