That Sinking Feeling

In the life of a computer geek, there aren’t too many things that fill you with a sense of dread more than the feeling you get when you realize you screwed up your data.

I was actually working on a way to properly and regularly back up one large set of data from my 500GB portable external hard drive to a stationary 1TB external hard drive on the home network.  The portable HD is where I keep all of my music, as well as my unwatched TV shows and other similar large files that I don’t want clogging up my laptop’s internal drive.

The 1TB drive was all of my old data.  Pretty much every file from every computer I’ve owned dating back to college.  Backups of old websites I would run, prior to this blog.  Every DVD rip I ever did, movies that I didn’t buy the DVD, only rented it.  iTunes TV shows that I’d already watched, including several season passes.  Photos from before I started using iPhoto.  TurboTax data files from years past.  ISO images of old operating systems.  And so on and so forth.

Even with all that crap, there was still just over 500GB available on the 1TB drive, so I started backing up the portable drive to the 1TB drive.  I was using Carbon Copy Cloner to do the trick, and it worked beautifully, took about 6 hours to complete overnight a couple of days ago.

But then I decided to get fancy, and that was to be my downfall.  I tried to change a few settings in Carbon Copy Cloner, file paths, etc.  And then I kicked off the backup again.. and got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I watched as my old files started disappearing from the 1TB drive!

I somehow managed to do the clone operation to the root level instead one level down, and Carbon Copy Cloner erased almost all of the data on the 1TB drive before I could stop it.  And since it was doing a lower level operation than the Finder would do on the Mac, I couldn’t simply look in the Trash to recover the files.

I’m trying to run a data recovery application to see if it can save my bacon.

On the one hand, I really don’t want to lose all of this stuff.  It’s the accumulation of years and years worth of information — some of it real work!

On the other hand, there’s nothing there I really need.  Most of it is stuff that was effectively in deep storage.  As much as I like the idea of enjoying the little things, I also believe in the philosophy of “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.  So, if the deep data recovery doesn’t prove to be fruitful… c’est la vie.

To quote April, “If you drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let ’em go, because man; they’re gone.”

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