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28 January 2009 @ 11:04 am
Can I get off this merry go round?  
You know, I've never had these problems EXCEPT for the version of MS Word on my work computer, which is Office 2003, and they won't upgrade it.  Anyway, I never knew it was a g-damn problem until now.  Once I could blame on my flash drive, but twice??  I'd say this is more than a fluke. 

I was smart enough to back up my f-ing document this time, but the problem?  Somehow, my back up file is EMPTY.  Nothing.  Nada.  Blinking blank f-ing cursor. 

Meanwhile, the source copy for Nemesis2.doc is corrupted in the same way that file of Consort was a couple months back.  Word encoding error.  A bunch of squares, symbols, and m-f-ing sanskrit instead of recognizable letters and words.  I would write more about how I feel about that, but a string of profanity is probably not what anyone wants to read.

Seriously, I tried to open the document this morning and my heart siezed when I saw that stupid error.  "No problem", I thought, "I have a BACK UP."

No, I damn don't. 

That's it.  From now on, I'm e-mailing myself important documents, posting them behind f-locks, whatever the hell it takes to have so many f-ing copies I won't ever be this screwed again. 

You guys, I'm so depressed.  I was so, so, SO pleased with those thousand words of new chapter 1.  It's only a thousand words.  Big deal.  Except I loved them, and I'll never be able to recreate them. 

I used to love MS Word.  So much that I wasn't able to give it up for my Mac.  Now, I'm beginning to hate it. 
Current Mood: crushedcrushed
L.A.frenchroast on January 28th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Aw man, that sucks. *hugs*

Emailing is definitely the way to go. Google docs (if you use gmail) is also a really great way to store chapters and notes. And CD-RWs, while rather late-90'sish, are also very good if your flash drive is giving you fits. I have...a lot of stuff backed up on CD-Rs, simply because I've had too many friends lose backup files when their external hard drives crashed.

And of course, paper. It would be sucky to have to retype everything if it came to that, but at least you'd have it to copy. When I have a WiP, I usually print it out and put it in a notebook, adding pages as I write them. Then if I'm stuck somewhere without a computer, I can reread it, make notes in the margins, add to it at the end, etc. Not especially tree-friendly, but you can shrink the font, expand the margins, etc. so you don't waste much paper.
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty": Another Bad Daykistha on January 28th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, holy gods, I'm so sorry. This is just shitty. Shitty, shitty, shitty. (There I've done the string of swear words for you. It's a tame one, though just in case.)

I think it might not be just WORD screwing up. From the sounds of it - I'd start looking at the whole damn computer. Maybe have IT strip and reformat? (Get everything off first, and make sure it's really copied to the drive.)

Oh, damn, this is just craptastic. Loves, hugs and warm fuzzies.

PS - Maybe start backing up to the Kindle daily.

Edited at 2009-01-28 07:40 pm (UTC)
Miss Crankypants: Life On Mars Camberwick Green Ohnoesaka_paloma on January 28th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
I don't even know if it's possible or if you need Super Special Software to do it, but is there any way you can download to you Kindle, where you can actually look at it immediately to make sure it isn't corrupted?

ETA: Good God, is that even English? "you can download to you kindle"? How about "you can download it to your Kindle" instead? Urgh.

Edited at 2009-01-28 08:32 pm (UTC)
almost entirely sexyshadesofbrixton on January 28th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
Dittoing google docs (I love it because I can sneak on and edit things from work if I have a chance) and giving you massive, massive huggylove. <3
KayJayUU: zenkayjayuu on January 28th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Argh!! God.


So sorry. Your muses will put it right, but for now, just *hugs*.
meandering: Base - bookseffervescent on January 28th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Oh :( I'm so sorry! *hugs*

As an alternative for the future, have you thought about pasting some of them into Google Docs, like someone else has mentioned? I know it's online, but it's a fairly easy thing to access and if you have a gmail account, it'll be the same login. Nobody else can view it unless you share it. I've found it a lifeline, and you could still use LJ as well. ♥
Karina Sumner-Smithksumnersmith on January 28th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
You may want to try to do a search for "word recovery". There's a program out there that is able to deal with corrupted Word files and transform nonsense characters into text documents. I had a freeware version of this on my last computer (the one which just died a spectacular death, else I'd be able to give you a name and a link *g*), and it saved many thousands of words in my novel when the file went bad and I somehow managed to save the bad version over my backup (le sigh). It's a bit glitchy -- you have to go back and add in the apostrophes, some spaces, etc., but the words are there and that's the important thing.

Good luck. I hope you can recover your book!
rhienellethrhienelleth on January 28th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
I've searched and tried several word recovery softwares, but none have been successful. You don't by chance remember which one you used, do you?
Karina Sumner-Smithksumnersmith on January 28th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Took a bit of searching, but I've found it. This is the one that worked for me:

rhienellethrhienelleth on January 28th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
Tried it, and it doesn't seem to have worked. :( Thanks, though. I can't imagine the panic at the thought of losing most of a novel!
xlana: commaxlana on January 28th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)


Nu: book-a writer's lifequiet_rebel on January 28th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)

Yes, e-mail, e-mail, e-mail!

Could you imagine if you handwrote your stuff, then lost a notebook? Yikes!
"Connoisseurs of Difficulty": Another Bad Daykistha on January 28th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
An old friend of mine did the notebook thing - and then in the middle of a chaotic early morning drive (like 3AM) home left the pile of notebooks on the top of the car as we left.

She never really recovered.

Edited at 2009-01-28 10:53 pm (UTC)
anneteanneten on January 28th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Oh gods that totally sucks. Microsoft products have proven unreliable for me at work as well...

I do have a suggestion for an optional word procesing program: AbiWord portable. You can find it on portableapps.com and it runs right off of a USB flash drive. And it's compatible with word, so you can keep that format if you like.

I use quite a few of the apps from that site and run them on my work computer (the nazis at work won't let me load firefox, so I use the portable version instead). The programs are stable and reliable. Maybe it'll work for you.

I realize it's a small consolation, but it's an option.

I just realized that OpenOffice is also available. I never tried it because I was only interested in the word processor (the whole suite seemed like an embarassment of riches to me).

Edited at 2009-01-28 11:50 pm (UTC)
Lexcrankylex on January 29th, 2009 12:10 am (UTC)
Stop using Microsoft products. What is it that you love about Word, maybe I could suggest a specific replacement for you.

Also, in general, I would suggest backing up to google docs. Copy what you've done, dump it into a google doc, and it's safe.
purple_shoes on January 29th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Oh honey, I am so, so sorry.

I've been having the same problem lately, mainly because I have been stuck using Word Processor on the new lappy (awful awful awful) and it likes to crash after I have spent hours writing a scene and generally take the last save point with it.

I know how awful that is and I wish I knew a way to help. :-(