The Day Mr. Maxtor Ate My Photos…

I have been patient for several weeks now, hoping for a miracle.  Perhaps a miracle is a bit of a dramatization, because this is really not a matter of great importance, but more one of disappointment and aggravation.  However it is referred to, what should have been a very happy and exciting day, turned flat when my editor/computer guru and husband, FD, announced that Mr. Maxtor had gobbled up our data.

Pesky gnats hover about in expanding and converging masses.

More than a month ago, FD purchased his 4-year-old desktop computer from his employer.  Employees at FD’s company get a great discount on the purchase of their work computers, and this particular machine came with huge monitors and an awesome sound system.

My last computer, a laptop, was disappointing.  Early on, the audio refused to work correctly and the computer had a slow processor, so everything took forever to open and run.  Since I am not a patient person most of the time, I continually complained about it.  Now, I did not have a throw-down mind you (I am NOT a tantrum-thrower – really, I swear!), but I did sometimes spout off (yell and scream) and walk (stomp) away from the computer vowing not to write anymore.  I lost my desire to look at video on the computer, since half the time it wouldn’t load, and the sound was choppy or non-existent.

FD worked to fix the issues numerous times, even completely reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling all my software on one occasion.  His efforts would help for a while, but then the laptop would just go back to its sluggish and wayward ways. So lately, I have rebelled the computer and, consequently, my writing.  I just did not have the gumption required to deal with my ill friend.  So, as is typical for me under these conditions, I set out to work like the devil outdoors – my coping “skill” for dealing with adversity in my life.

Unfortunately, that tactic did not work very effectively.  I might as well admit, the whole time I was sweating and toiling out in the heat, I was thinking about and formulating blog posts.  I would run into the house and grab my camera when a photo presented itself.  I sat on the mower and thought about posts I could compose based on my photos.  Some were photos I had taken this spring of Daisy deer, the chickens, planting the gardens, the day we brought our new tractor home, and more wildlife that I had managed to photograph… especially the lactating does visiting our feeders, juvenile squirrels, and fledgling birds.  Thinking of these photos, I created stories in my mind while I worked outdoors.

These beastly grubs do damage in my gardens year-around!

When FD announced his new work computer had arrived and he would be bringing home the used, but awesome, old work computer, I was more than elated!  At last I would have a decent machine to utilize!

When FD brought my new (old) computer home, he hooked it up, loaded my programs and worked all evening to get everything the way I like it.  I was in the kitchen when I heard the sound system ROCK THE HOUSE DOWN!  Well, alright… maybe it rocked the computer room down, but this baby was cranking!  The sound was awesome and the monitors were huge!  I could feel being “spoiled” coming on.  This computer was just too good to be true!

A short time later, I noticed my computer guru seemed troubled.  He’s a serious guy when he is working at a project, but now he seemed a little too serious.  I was not about to bother him while he worked, but I was curious why he was now resorting to slapping Mr. Maxtor, our external hard drive, around.  He seemed to be whacking it fairly hard with his hands and was muttering… this wasn’t sounding good.  He looked at me and said, “I can’t get the external drive to power up”.  I knew the importance of this statement.  My photos!!  That is where all of our photos were stored!  Not being a techy person, and having full faith in my computer guru and the Universe, I believed he would soon get it up and running some how, some way.  I whisked away to the kitchen and said a positive prayer.  I just knew everything would be fine.  This was just a little glitch.

This is how irritated I must look when confronted with an unpleasant happening in the day. I daresay this woodland lizard is getting aggravated at me following his every move!

Days later, after trying a number of do-it-yourself “cures”, it became painfully obvious the wretched Maxtor hard drive could not be resuscitated.  FD did not feel the data had been lost or corrupted, but we would need to locate a data recovery expert to help extract the data from the external hard drive, which was our backup media.  Every bit of data since 2009 was sitting in the belly of Mr. Maxtor.  Fortunately, information prior to 2009 is still available on another backup, but all of my recent photography was now unavailable. We would likely have to pay someone major money to retrieve precious photos that could never be replaced.

I often find the yellow foxtail to be an irritating weed I do not welcome in my gardens or flowerbeds, but in the woodlands, backlit by evening sun, I find it to be rather beautiful.

If the data can be retrieved, and the fee for doing so is not terribly outlandish, then we will proceed.  But if it is too costly, I will just have to accept the loss.  I have not cried a river of tears over this, as it is just data.  And the funny thing is, the loss of past correspondence and family photos does not bother me near as much as the loss of my wildlife photography.  Those photographs were hard-won, and capturing them left me with feelings of elation and a giddiness I have only felt with nature.  I know if they are gone for good, I will still have the memory… the feeling and bond with nature is still there.  And I will continue to be out there with my camera, formulating blog posts as I sit for hours waiting for just the right photo opportunity.  After all, the most memorable and extraordinary experiences are often the ones that are acquired through great effort.  These moments are held in a place deep within us; in our spirits… in our souls – eternal hard drives that will never fail us.

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


34 thoughts on “The Day Mr. Maxtor Ate My Photos…

  1. Ooooh the pain…

    Lori, I hope you get them back, and maybe a reading/writing CD drive is in order? Then you can save all your photos on a writable CD so you can have a hard copy too.
    xo,
    Lynda
    PS: Love the lizard!

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    1. Lynda, we did have everything stored off-site prior to 2009. It’s just been since then we neglected to do a secondary backup. The external drive the photos were stored on just won’t power up, so the data should be fine. Lesson learned… we may look into an online backup service, like Brad suggested. I see I might have to let loose my tightwad strings a bit!

      Mr. Lizard is a cutie. I usually see them in green and yellow, quickly zipping through the ground cover and generally just in the woods around here. I never saw them turn the pretty blues and vibrant greens until I took these photos. We also have a beautiful lizard called “Mountain Boomers” around here. They are a collared lizard that are very striking and turn beautiful shades of blue!

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      1. That being the case… you can do one of two things.
        1. Buy and install a new power supply, OR
        2. Remove the hard drive and insert it into the case as a secondary in the new computer. Your drives are all alphabetized and your main drive is “A” removable drives, card readers, CD reader/writers are also “drives” and have their own alphabets.

        If you feel that this is beyond your capabilities, then you can pay someone to remove the drive from the external system and install it into the newer computer for you. He will know how to connect and assign it to run in your system! 🙂

        Bob does this all the time, but I don’t know the nuts and bolts (or should that be o’s and 1’s?) of exactly what he does.
        Hope this helps you!
        Lynda
        PS: We have some lovelies here with beautiful neon blue tails. So fun to find when gardening.

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  2. Yikes! I hate it when that happens. I’m compulsive when it comes to backing up files (I’ve been down that road you’re on too and learned my lesson the hard way). I still keep a backup on an external drive, but that’s of little use if the house burns down/blows away, and as we all know, anything mechanical WILL eventually fail. In my mind it’s absolutely worth the cost of an online backup service. If you decide to backup to CD/DVD, be sure to store the discs away from the house (like with trusted family or friends). I really hope you get your pictures back!

    Brad

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    1. Brad…You? Compulsive? I don’t believe a word of it!

      You know me… I’m afraid I rely on my computer guru to take care of backups, when really, I am just as responsible. I dislike doing backup, updates, and installs. It’s not that I can’t do it, I just don’t enjoy doing it. Maybe no one really enjoys that. However, this loss was certainly a slap-in-the-face reality for me to take more of an interest in doing regular backups.

      Do you need tomatoes? I have a bumper crop this year… I’ve been making roasted tomato sauce every day. This morning I made 9 pints! I’ve been giving a neighbor green tomatoes (she has a penchant for fried, green tomatoes), and FD’s mom has been taking a lot of ripe ones. Still, I pick a Walmart bag full every evening. I had blackberries too, but sorry, I ate all those!

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  3. I can’t imagine what the possible loss of images would be like, it’s one of my nightmares….sending a white light to surround the possible recovery.

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    1. Why thank you Louise!! I’m being positive about the whole experience. I was a tad aggravated at first, but it’s not the worst thing in the world to happen. We will seek a recovery service, and have a better plan for data storage in place from now on. Lesson’s learned the hard way always make the biggest impression!!

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  4. Sorry to hear that you lost your photos. It has happened to me before, so now I have backup, and still put my favorites off on CD’s. Good luck you and your tech guy. BTW, I remember those lizards from when I lived in Oklahoma!

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    1. Thank you Sandy. I am hearing from a lot of folks who have lost data. It will be fine, however it turns out. Yes, those little lizards are cute, but are they ever fast! I felt like I’d walked all over the place getting to a spot where he’d finally sit still! I use my zoom lens a LOT!!

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  5. Littlesundog, great conclusions you have reached about your own memory banks! You really do have those priceless experiences burned into the deepest parts of yourself. Never give up re-imaging them to us in words! Hopefully, the cost of special services to retrieve those images from Mr. Maxtor will not be too high, anyway! But value what is deep inside of you most of all, okay?

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    1. Oh, I will do it Granbee! What is inside is so dear and precious. My first thought was the loss of so many photos of Daisy deer. I had documented her growing from what we suspect to be just a day old, to becoming a yearling. But then, I realized there was not so much importance in what I saw in those photos, compared to the way I felt about her in my heart. Those precious memories and feelings can never be captured with the camera… they remain deep within me! Thank you so much for understanding the depth of inner spirit. You are so very wise, my friend. I appreciate your friendship!

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  6. Lori,

    I think I just might take you up on the tomato offer. I’ve been going to the farmer’s market religiously, mostly for peaches, tomatoes and melons. Apparently it has been a good year for gardeners. Quite a change from last year’s crop. Back to the subject at hand…. I use a service called iDrive. It’s set to automatically backup my files early Sunday mornings. All I have to do is remember not to shut off the PC Saturday night. It does the backup while I snooze and then turns off the computer after completion. Couldn’t be easier.

    Sounds like a trip to Anadarko is in order and catch up with you guys!

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    1. The birds got all of my peaches, long before they were even ripe. My apricots got hail damage, and the apple tree got hit with a late frost. It looks like the birds are nipping away at the grapes and I’ve shoo’ed them from the blackberries too. Someone told me to hang aluminum pie tins in the trees to scare the birds. That’s going to look attractive, but I’m willing to try anything!

      Just give us a call to make sure we’re home. I have maters sitting all over the kitchen. Come have a beer or two on the back porch. Maybe Miss Daisy will show up and you can check out our yard deer!

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  7. I had a problem with my internal hard drive. The chipboard that made everything run sparked and caught on fire! My tech-savvy brother and sister-in-law sent it to a company in Canada and they put on a new chipboard for $50. Got it back, plugged it in, and voila! It is running like there wasn’t ever a problem. The data itself wasn’t damaged, just the board running it. I don’t know if yours has the same problem but it might be worth checking into. I don’t know the name of the company, but I can find out from my bro if you’re interested. They had amazing reviews and tons of happy customers, of which I am now a part!

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    1. Thanks so much for offering to help! It’s always great to have a tech-savvy relative or friend to help out! FD is pretty good, and likely he’ll confer with a local source to determine what happened. Hopefully, like with your unit, it will be a simple and inexpensive fix. I just checked out and subscribed to your blog… nice work! You do impressive work.

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      1. Thank you! I have so much fun with photography, and like you, I love photographing nature. I’m loving following all your adventures and I love the way you give nature a voice. Thanks for sharing with us, and keep up the good work.

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  8. Went through a similar dilemma myself recently when I bought a new computer and tried to get all the old programs I liked to use for my maps, gps data and photos. Needless to say I spent several weeks in a funk because I couldn’t get everything set up like I had it before. On the bright side, I’m learning to work with the new computer and found that a lot of photos I thought I’d lost were still in the hands of a friend on disc. Now I have about 2 years of hiking and biking photos that I thought I’d lost for good. Glad to see you are up and running. Hopefully it all works out for the best and as always I enjoyed your post. Take care.

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  9. Oh, I’m so glad you were ablel to get those “lost” photos!! I bet you were elated! I’m confident we’ll get ours too. From now on I think we will do an online backup Brad (above) mentioned. The pricing was reasonable and it’s easy. I sure did learn my lesson!!

    Thanks for appreciating my posts. I enjoy your writing style as well. Your hiking and biking adventures take me on soothing and scenic tours that I never seem to find the time to venture on myself. I love your candidness… making me laugh when you describe some of the pitfalls along the way, and the hilarity of real-life hiking and biking. After all, it rarely goes smoothly as we hope! You weave a wonderful story of adventure on these trips you make. And, I’m afraid I’ve fallen for that handsome fellow, Paco… your sidekick!

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  10. I lost a lot of pictures when I had to get a new computer…and some of my documents the new computer could not read…so I lost some of them too…. So I know how you feel… yet now a few years later…there are so many in my computer now that I scarcely miss the ones I’ve lost in the adventure of looking forward. All things vanish in life… I’m getting to the age where that is a blessing because I couldn’t hold onto everything my heart has loved!

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    1. What a beautiful and practical perspective of losing some things! I just now looked at your blog… such a beautiful and calming place to visit. Isn’t it wonderful, what nature presents to us in so many ways? I love the way you said it, “I couldn’t hold onto everything my heart has loved!” How very true that is, my friend. I’m so glad you came to visit!

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      1. Hi, I suppose as I’ve gotten older I’ve found that the things we try to hold onto become very heavy over time. When I was asked to put my book together I found it was much more delightful to just let the poetry go free …. and found it had been picked up and shared by others and so it has wings now.

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  11. Your lizards are looking like a lot of my backyard friends here in California. I don’t remember seeing a lot of lizards when I was a college student in OK. Wow! Amongst all that red clay, huh?

    Let me know if you have trouble getting the data off the hard drive. I have a friend here who is a GENIUS with computers. He salvaged ALL the data off a fried laptop for me. He’s in Nuclear Medicine Equipment with GE. Say the word, and send it to me and he can get it off I’m 95% sure.

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  12. These are little woodland lizards, and the mountain boomers that we have in Oklahoma are mostly in the Wichita Mountain area. I’m not sure they frequent the college campuses… but you never know!!

    Thanks for the offer MJ!!! Wow, what a cool friend to have! I may take you up on the offer. I’m waiting on a phone call from a company to see if they can extract the data and how much it will cost. If that looks bleak, I’ll get with you and maybe your friend can help! I sure do appreciate the offer!

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      1. No, and I just asked for the drive back. The data recovery place quoted us $1600 to recover the data. Highway robbery, I say!! I’ll send you an email. I have had too many irons in the fire lately… I haven’t been able to think about the hard drive much.

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  13. Lori, As a technophobe, all I can say is ‘commiserations on your loss.’ I, too, have been known to yell at my computer when things aren’t going to plan. Funny, my Mac doesn’t respond to yelling any more than my old PC did.

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    1. Oh, I would love to have a Mac someday! With all of the wildlife photography we do, the graphics of the Mac would be wonderful! I have good news on the Maxtor situation… FD managed to revive it and I have my photos and documents once again! I plan to blog about the experience soon! And, we’re going to go with an online data backup from now on. I’m researching those now.

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