Disaster Narrowly Averted

Well, grades are done for the quarter now, and I feel like I can finally breathe a bit. I’ve been working mad crazy trying to get everything graded in time for them to be printed. Now that they are done, I have people and things to get reacquainted with, including this blog.

What has happened since I posted last?

Well, on March 5, I barely escaped a professional and personal disaster when my portable hard drive dropped on the floor at school and busted open.

Busted HD 2

Nearly every professional file I have is on the hard drive. To say I was kinda freaking out is an understatement. I immediately tried to plug it in to my computer, and it did show up on my desktop, but when I double-clicked on it to open it up and access files, I got the spinning rainbow wheel of doom. My whole computer froze, so I shut it down and restarted it. I tried again, once my computer booted up, to connect my hard drive. This time, it wouldn’t even show up on my desktop . . . and it froze my computer again. I began to get a little more stressed. I had student work on there that I had recently uploaded. It hadn’t been graded yet. I needed this hard drive to start working again.

You might be thinking, “Duh, Jenny, you of all people should know that you need a backup!” and the answer to that is, “YES, I do have one.” When I went to check my backup, it was backed up only so far. (I guess I need a bigger back up drive, as it is almost out of space.) The newest files — the student work, for example — hadn’t yet been backed up.

I tried connecting it again. It wouldn’t show up on the hard drive. I tried jiggling the USB cord . . . I jiggled it some more . . . FINALLY there was a connection. And, better yet, not only did the hard drive show up on the desktop, but it didn’t crash the computer. I double-clicked on it to access my files, hooked up my other drive, and began transferring files. I put a big sign next to my computer that said, “Don’t touch!” just in case the custodian came in and wondered if I accidentally left my computer on and wanted to shut it down for me. (This has never happened before, but still. I could NOT take any chances.) I got ready to leave for our usual Wednesday staff meeting, and right before I left a message popped up, “Not enough space available,” and I cringed. What was I going to do?

I went to the staff meeting. I’m not going lie — I was preoccupied the entire time with what was going on with my computer back in my classroom. Did the USB cord shift a little and the drive disconnect itself while I wasn’t there? Where could I buy a new drive real quick? How long would it take for all the files to transfer over? There’s probably like 16,000 files or more. And some of them are large — educational movies files that I have painstakingly downloaded from You Tube over several years. I did a quick search on my iPad, and at the Office Depot up the street they sold a 2 terabyte drive for a nice price. Bigger is better, right? As soon as our meeting was over, I hightailed it over to the store to get my drive. I was under a time constraint . . . our meeting was over at 3:15, and I had to go over to Office Depot, buy a drive, come back to school, set it up to start receiving the transferred files, and leave school again by 4 to get to a doctor’s appoint. Could I do it? I had everything to lose, so I made a run for it.

Back at school by 3:35 with my new drive, I connected it to the computer. It was running S . . . L . . . O . . . W. I “selected all” and dragged the files over to the new drive. Spinning rainbow wheel of doom. I sighed deeply. After a few minutes the computer started counting the files . . . 100 . . . 200 . . . 300 . . . and then you know how when you’re downloading a file and it gives you how many minutes or second are left? It finally gave me a time: two hours. Another sigh. It was obvious that I would have to leave and go to my appointment. But, on the way home, I could swing by school. Two hours would have passed by then, and I could go home with my (new) drive and my files. So that’s what I did, except . . . when I passed by school again after about two and a half hours, and I checked my computer and . . . the time count was up to six hours. I had to give up. I went home. I felt naked without my computer and all my files. I had my iPads (mini and Air) and that was it.

The next morning, don’t think I wasn’t anxious to get to work! As soon as I unlocked my classroom door, I went straight to my desk to check the computer. I double clicked on the new drive and . . . ALL THE FILES WERE THERE. I checked a couple of different locations on the drive. ALL WERE THERE. I breathed a sigh of relief. I disconnected the old one.

Disaster averted. That could have been ugly.

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