Sunday, 31 August 2008

Help!!!

I don't actually think anyone can help so maybe a little encouragement is all I need. I am currently doing the 3-day novel contest and I have until midnight on Monday to produce a stunning masterwork of fiction, or more likely a half decent story that I'm not entirely embarrassed to send in. I have what I think is a pretty good idea. I spent the first hour or two expanding my notes and then I started writing. It was slow going at first but eventually I hit my stride. I slept a few hours, then I got up before dawn to continue. Things were going along tickety poo. I was taking breaks to keep myself fresh and was feeling very good about it. Then disaster struck. I saved the story to my memory stick and took a forty-five minute pee/food/beverage/stretching break and when I returned my computer was in 'preparing to standby' mode, whatever the hell that means. Then it spontaneously shut down. I remembered the brilliant words of Douglas Adams. I didn't panic. I simply rebooted and it seemed everything would be fine, but my memory stick had not been ejected properly and it said that I might lose some information. I figured because I had saved I was fine. But I seem to have lost it all! Lost! It! All! The thing that has me perplexed is when I click on the icon and open the file it seems like it is empty but when I scroll across the icon it says that the size of the file is 80.0 KB. Is it possibly that it is saved somewhere and I just can't see it? I'm a total techno-weenie so it might be hiding in the recesses of my computer or my memory stick and I'm too much of a dolt to find it. (Note to self: Learn how to drive your effing computer before writing another damn word!) My brother is pretty computer-savvy but he's a musician and he's playing a gig tonight so I can't ring him to rescue me until morning and I fear I might have jumped off the roof in frustration by then. Or I might be swimming in Tangueray and tonic and not writing a word. Either way, finishing this contest is not looking good. Any trenchant words of encouragement? (That is, after you get up from falling on the floor laughing.)

12 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

Gods Helen. What a nightmare.

I can only suggest that you (a) check all the temp files in both locations or (b) use file recovery software.

liz fenwick said...

Ditto what Rachel said....the other things is a restore point??? if you are on XP. I had to do that the other day. Isn't Capt. B a bit of the pute whizz.......maybe email him????

sending (())s

JJ said...

Oh gawd, sorry Helen, I'm a dolt too. Sending hugs and self restraint from the Tangueray & Tonic.

ChrisH said...

Noooooooo! So sorry I can't offer any techie help but will send Positive Novel Racer Vibes and keep my fingers crossed that you recover your novel.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I too am a technomoron so all I can do is send you sympathy. You could try Googling for some suggestions (although when I do that with techie questions, I often have to do lots more Googling when I get the answers...) Really hope you manage to solve this one. Best of luck.

DOT said...

It will be on the memory stick, things don't get wiped - how you rescue it I don't know. Perhaps Google a 'how to recover files on memory stick' might deliver an answer. I wish you luck.

Technology is wonderful till it goes wrong.

Helen Shearer said...

Thank you everyone for your comforting words. I haven't managed to find it yet but I have written a few thousand words since and, after a decent sleep, I think I'm back on track. I'm going to call my brother this afternoon and see if he can find what I've lost. Last night, before I went to bed, I drank a rather large gin and 7 UP then I scrawled down on paper as much as I could remember of what I had written so hopefully I'll be able to reproduce it if need be. I'm not sure if it was the gin or the writing that significantly reduced the urge to jump, but it turns out that the superintendent of the building will not have to spend his Sunday afternoon scrubbing a large crimson stain from the pavement. And I just might finish this story.

Thanks again, everyone. Have a great day!

Debs said...

What a nightmare. I'm sorry I can't help with any useful suggestions (completely useless technically) but hope that your brother is able to help you find your lost words.

Graeme K Talboys said...

Eek. My worst nightmare. It's why I have three back-up systems. Hope you find it.

Helen Shearer said...

Still haven't found it but I have managed to write several thousand new words so it's not a total loss. My dad came over today with a 500GB contraption that I can save everything to from now on. Once I figure out exactly what it does and how it works I'll be unstoppable!

wordtryst said...

Oh, ****, Helen. I'm certainly not laughing. Can't offer advice but I really do hope you get it back. I think I'll have nightmares about this.

Aside: Your post captures your feelings beautifully.

Captain Black said...

Helen, I've been away on holiday so I guess I might be too late to help with your lost file. Why not drop me an e-mail and I'll see if I can help.

Standby mode is when the computer is put into a low power state. This usually happens with portables, in order to save battery power. There should be no files lost during the process, unless the shut-down occurred in the middle of a copying operation. You might be able to recover a temporary backup copy of the file, depending on what word-processing software you use.

Unfortunately a system restore point (XP) will not help, as they only save the state of the computer's operating system, not your data.

As a quick guess that you're using MS Word, try looking in the directory "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Recent".