2013-07-22 to 2014-09-29

Those are folder names on my Home Videos drive.

All of our family videos in between are gone.

I'd like to go into the list of people and companies I want to blame for the whole thing, but I'm most at fault. As the technology guy in the family, I knew it would happen. Honestly, it happens every couple of years. This is probably the 10th hard drive I've seen die. Two of them in one week, in fact. Obviously it happened around September of 2014. I had just unloaded several videos onto the drive, which makes it that much more frustrating. We lost power at some point during that time. External hard drives don't like power jolts. Sometimes they never turn back on. Surge protectors don't do much to protect them. Or, they were getting old and it's a normal death. Either way, a year of our lives on video is now gone.

My brother-in-law, who's good at figuring this kind of thing out, has assured me there's nothing more he can do. He was able to save a bunch of music files from the other hard drive, but I'd already backed those files up, so it's not a huge deal. The videos are a huge deal, and there are people out there with specific skills and facilities who are ready for me to come crawling to them. Joe says it will cost a couple hundred dollars. He knows I'm not made of money right now, but I'm also not made of stone, and I think a year of family video is more important than a night out at a nice hotel or airfare to Florida for a needed vacation.

I know, you're wondering why I didn't just hit the button and back the darn things up to another drive. Well, we're talking Canon 60D video files here. The 1TB drive that died was probably pretty full. I HAD begun the process of switching to another 1TB internal drive I added, but one day's worth of videos often took hours, making the computer unusable during that time. So I failed and didn't do it. I know we don't watch the videos daily, and a year out of the grand scheme of things is fairly minor, but it's also a pretty big deal. I missed 2-3 of the kids' birthday parties, a Christmas, and other memories I can't even remember that I'm missing at this point. It also skips over the months I was dealing with being laid off, so maybe it's not all bad to forget. However, I will be looking into getting something off that hard drive. The other nine might have a stellar resume or a cool assignment I'll never see again, but missing a year in video will likely need a rescue attempt.

Advice? Automatic backups (or manual on a schedule). Solid state instead of traditional spinning wheel of stupidity hard drives. Throw all your videos on Youtube. Use "unlisted" if you don't want to share (in fact, I probably have a few on Youtube I can download back to my computer). Did I mention backups? It used to be easier when the whole computer fit on a DVD, but it's just as big a deal.