Okay so this is completely off my usual topic but I felt the need to share this recent experience as a warning and to prevent anyone else going through what I’ve just had to deal with.
I kind of like Windows 10, certainly it’s a step up from Windows 8 though I’ll always be a XP girl at heart. However, times move on…apparently…
My new laptop runs on Windows 10, my old desktop does not. I have been
badgered encouraged for sometime by Microsoft to upgrade but as I’d had a couple of glitches where things did not run on the new system as well as they did on the old I was holding off…for a while.
However, two nights ago and completely unasked for my desktop computer upgraded and in the morning everything had changed. I had to set up emails again and tracking down the previous data file was no mean feat. Years of saving favourites to Internet Explorer pointless as they were wiped out. Fortunately both these issues were corrected by my soon-to-be son-in-law (he might be second guessing his choice of family to marry into by now :-/ but I am hugely appreciative of his help)
But, worse than all that – my documents had disappeared. All of them. All my client files, all my ‘work that pays the bills’ documentation gone. I had learned from previous experience though that they would be ‘in there’ somewhere. I found them by searching the system for a file I knew was one of the lost, hunted them down and put them back to where they needed to be. They’d been buried deep but hurrah I thought, despite all the resetting up of ‘stuff’ I was going to have to do at least I had my work.
Scroll forward to the following morning. Overnight there had been ‘UPDATES’ – never has a word been so innocuously written… and the documents file was empty of all my ‘stuff’ – again.
…and this time…this time people, there was no trace of it. I typed in the file I’d searched for the day before and with a careless shrug my computer answered ‘Not ‘ere guv, ain’t never ‘eard of it’ (okay so some poetic license has been used here but this is genuinely the voice I hear when my computer speaks to me…just me? Okay then…)
I usually go into some sort of panicked meltdown mode at this point but I honestly haven’t the time at the moment for that and I thought – backup! Now I have a back up done by Carbonite, an online system that backs up things continually. To be honest I did have a glitch a few years ago with them over some things (quite a lot of things) that weren’t backed up when they should have been and we’re still arguing the point on whose fault that might have been…ahem…moving on. However this time I logged in and after a fair amount of rummaging around (I have a lot of ‘stuff’) found what I was looking for…hallelujah!!
I downloaded everything, put it back where it should be and immediately made a second copy onto my external hard drive. Me pessimistic? Never.
So the point of all of this (what was meant to be a short post!) is that if you have an older machine out there, if it is still running on something previous to Windows 10 and if you are getting messages that Microsoft want you to upgrade then please do a back up before you are in danger of losing everything.
Back up. Back up. Back up. I can’t say it enough times.
Judging my the manic searching I did yesterday on Google, it’s not just me, so it could happen to you too.
Unless you have a Mac of course, and then nothing ever goes wrong, or so I’m told 😉
Just as a quick reminder I have a short story about to be released. It is based on a character from the Grayson Trilogy, I should say a much loved character. If you haven’t read TGT then this will give you an introduction to my writing without you having to commit to a whole novel. If you have read TGT (thank you!) and here is another tasty little morsel for you.
You can get it for free just by signing up to my newsletter, the sign up box is somewhere over in the right hand side toolbar…have a look, scroll up and down a bit…got it? Good 🙂
After it’s been released via the newsletter it will be going on Amazon. I’m just off to sort a cover for it now.
What a nightmare… but your nearly s-i-l sounds as useful as my son2. My intro to Windows 10 was equally abrupt for a different reason, when my laptop+Windows 7 was mashed by malware… Fortunately I had the important stuff in a dropbox. Son2 reset the laptop with – of course – Windows 10. That was in December and I’m sort of used to it now…
He is Linda, he’s also very calming in such a crisis. It’s the time it takes to sort this stuff out that annoys me, it’s completely messed up my week. Back ups are the answer but they are so easy to not get around to doing and this time it could have been a disaster, if I hadn’t had one. So that’s my main message today.
And it’s an important one. In the end, the only stuff I lost completely was all the bits and pieces I had ‘filed’ on the desktop of my laptop. Lesson learned!
Funny, I just backed up all my docs and photos onto my external hard-drive and then I read your post. Every day I get a message from Windows to upgrade my laptop to W10 and every day I ignore it. I’m used to W8.1 now and don’t need to waste my time chasing missing docs. Your warning is timely – thankyou – and I’m sticking with what I’ve got until I need a new laptop.
Well you’ve done the right thing. However, don’t be surprised if it just upgrades anyway, ours did and I didn’t ask it to. I’m not the only one either judging by the results on Google. It also had the cheek to leave a message saying everything was just where I’d left it on the second morning! Although I guess apart from the important stuff it was 🙁 It is pretty intrusive. Even on my laptop I set it up saying I didn’t want Cortana but after the next update there it was on my toolbar. I didn’t want to have my documents on OneDrive yet there they are. Anyway, many thanks for stopping by and commenting Cathy, I’m delighted you’ve avoided disaster and long may it continue 🙂
Crikey, Georgia, how scary is that! I do tend to back up my most important stuff but heaps of useful odd bits and pieces don’t always get the same attention. But the most alarming part of your experience was the way the machine took it upon itself to override your “no thank you” instructions! I have Windows 10 having bought a new laptop and desktop at a similar time both with 8.1 and not being a great fan of that, took the opportunity to upgrade quite quickly. But I’m not overly impressed with it. As you say, it has an agenda all of its own and Windows 10 Mail is dreadful! Seems to me, Microsoft have ditched a lot of what they used to include before and so are keen for everyone to move to 10 so they can charge for the extras! I will use your story as a prompt to be more serious about my back-ups. So thanks for sharing your experience.
Fortunately I don’t use Windows Mail Wendy, I stick to Outlook because I know how that works, most of the time! Maybe the machines really are taking over? Scary thought. Carbonite is great actually because it is always backing up in the background so you don’t need to remember anything, apart from renewing the subscription of course. They also do a mirror image back up which places a mirror image on an external hard drive as well which I might just set up. I’m pleased you found it useful though and many thanks for commenting 🙂
as you know, we also had a problem with AOL over the weekend…it blocked us off our account and I had to go arsonist in a hayfield on Twitter to get them to unblock it. I don’t know whether M has updated files..he was going to..I will check…
Just make sure your back up is up to date Carol that’s all I’m saying. Hope you got all your AOL problems sorted out – technology, eh!! Many thanks for reading and commenting though 🙂
I am literally sweating from reading your post. I was/am aware of the problems with Windows 10 because of my other half and daughter’s experiences but this advice given from a writer’s perspective really has haunted me. I ignore the pop-ups to upgrade- I use Windows 7, and my comp is 4 years old (Gulp, anytime now…), and do back-ups etc. but eventually I’m aware that Microsoft will phase out the backups for this and we will be kicking and screaming into Windows 10. I have decided to complete my novel using this comp and will change once it is finished. I just hope it doesn’t die on me before then. It has had check-ups during its hiccups and no one has told me it’s on its last legs yet, so fingers and everything else constantly crossed! 🙂 Thanks for your sage advice.
I am envious of your Windows 7 usage Skilbey, having missed out this upgrade completely, and I wish you many more happy years with it. Apologies for the alarm caused but we can get lax about our backups and if this comes as a reminder to one person then it has done it’s job. I have taken to copying my entire documents folder onto a separate hard drive as well as having the online backup. Then of course I keep a separate set at least 500 yards away from the house in a fire proof box, plus a couple of USB sticks with my novels (suitably passworded, of course) on somewhere entirely different…too much?? I think not, and I refute the allegation that I am a worrier 🙂