One morning, not too long ago, I started my day as I usually do – by turning on my computer, then heading to the kitchen to make a coffee.
When I returned to my office to check the email that had arrived overnight, it was quickly apparent that something was amiss.
Eudora, the email program that I use, wouldn't open.
‘Not a problem‘, I thought, ‘I'll just access my mail through the web interface‘.
That would've been a good plan if Internet Explorer been working properly. I had a connection to the Internet, but the browser couldn't make heads or tails of what I was asking it to do.
Time to make lemonade out of lemons.
As I always spend way too much time engrossed in email, I chose to view the problem as an opportunity to begin my workday by writing the NPT newsletter instead.
Hmmm… what a novel concept. Start the day by being productive. I was getting revved about writing.
You guessed it – the text editor wouldn't work either.
Now I was cheesed – it was time to solve the problem.
I attempted to restore functionality from 3 different backups. The third try was the ‘charm' – total blue screen. I couldn't even access the computer in Safe Mode.
I know when I'm beat. It was time to call a tech.
Unfortunately, I didn't know any technical wizards in my new town.
Then I remembered my girlfriend Christy mentioning that she and her husband had the ‘best' computer guy tending to both their business and home computers.
I called her at 7:45 AM to ask how I could get in touch with their wizard.
An hour later, Ori arrived on my doorstep.
He tinkered and toiled, while we chatted about computers and affiliate marketing.
After an hour with no success, he broke the bad news.
He would have to take the computer with him and thought it was likely that the hard drive would need to be formatted. He also wasn't sure whether or not my data could be saved.
You've probably heard how some people see their entire lives pass before their eyes right before they die?
Well, in that moment, I saw all my data do the same.
No, of course I didn't have my new book, current projects or any of my software backed up to the external drive, laptop, OR the old Dell desktop which were all gathering dust in another corner of the office.
Nothing, nada, zipola.
The only saving grace was that my web sites were still safe on the server, raking in bucks. (THAT happy situation would last only a few more hours, but that's story for another day).
Anyway, after Ori connected the Old Dell to the Internet, I bid a sad farewell to both he and my sick computer.
Working on ‘Old Dell', I didn't have access to my email archives, so I didn't have anyone's address handy. Because I always use the ‘reply-to' function, I honestly couldn't even remember my mother's email address!
To work on my sites, I had to download them from the server first. None of my new software was installed on the old computer. I could download the programs, but I didn't have registration keys to make them fully functional. Instead of using my template to format the NPT newsletter, I had to go to the website and do a lot of cutting and pasting.
Everything I tried to do took far more time than usual.
After several hours of frustration I gave up and waited for Ori to phone with the verdict – which came the following day.
He told me that the HD would indeed have to be re-formatted, but the data had been spared.
Yee-ha! Overjoyed with relief and gratitude, I performed an energetic happy dance for the cats (who quickly fled the room).
After Ori returned the computer, I began the process of rebuilding my workspace by re-installing programs and then their upgrades. In some cases, the software registration keys didn't work because it appeared that the software was being installed on a new computer, for which I would need a new key. I would then contact the software seller, explain the problem and sometimes wait days for a response. I ended up having to re-purchase several programs.
Each time I tried to work on the freshly installed software, I had to restore my personal preferences by reconfiguring a mutlitude of variables.
The whole episode ended up being a costly mess that took weeks to sort out and all because of an itty-bitty little worm.
Don't let that happen to you!
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