Lessons In Hard Drive.

Remember the days when you would shoot a roll of film and get it developed? You may have been one of those people who would then shove the packet in a cupboard somewhere, eventually ending up with packets of photos everywhere, not knowing where what was. Or you may have been one of those {slightly OCD} people {like yours truly} who would develop the roll then go home and put them straight into an album, eventually ending up with whole shelves filled with photo albums.

Then came the digital revolution, and smartphones, and instead of developing doubles for Grandma we were sharing our photos on social media, or, even more bizarrely, “in the cloud”. I was great at transferring all my photos to CD’s, back in the beginning. I have a folder of CD’s in which are stored all of our family photos, up until about 2009. Then I guess it just got too hard to keep up, what with all the phone pics and feeling like I over shared everything.

I was, until this morning, confident that I had managed to transfer the more recent photos onto a portable hard drive.

Until this morning.

You see, when my computer hard drive threw its hands up and died a couple of months ago, and when I went ahead with a factory reset, I was that sure that my photos, which were the only things on the hard drive I was worried about losing, were safe and sound on another storage device.

Until I went in search of a certain photo taken of a certain husband and a certain favourite singer of his.

And I couldn’t find it.

The only photos on the computer were the ones still on the camera memory. The only photos in the “cloud” storage were food shots and phone selfies. The only photos on the portable hard drive were…wait…where were they? Which hard drive were they on anyway? I turned the house upside down, tried the movies hard drive, the old hard drive, the work hard drive, the kids’ hard drive, in desperation I even tried the music hard drive.

No photos. Not one f***ing portable hard drive in our house has one single photo stored on it.

I checked the CD folder, and there were all the photos safely backed up.

Until late 2009.

My next step is to step up the search and retrieve mission by rounding up those elusive little zip drives, you know, the small USB storage things that you load with thousands of photos before it then magically disappears. Or the kids wipe it all out to store their Simpsons episodes. There are handbags to empty out and bedrooms to raid, and I have everything crossed. The one photo I was looking for has been recovered via my Instagram stream, but mostly I am kicking myself that I fell for the whole digital thing. I take so many photos, and relied on technology instead of doing the retro thing in actually developing them. I remember thinking, why would you take photos and never develop them? That’ll never be me.

Famous last words.

So it now seems that I have no photos taken since 2009 except for the ones currently on the camera. Or what may few have been printed out since then.

Or the gig pics of myself and my favourite singer which I religiously double and triple back up.

But I do have a shitload of selfies.

Tell me: do you back stuff up, or ignore it and hope for the best?

Til next time,


  1. Ugh horrible, and I hope to F it wasn’t THAT singer you’re referring to but I think it is…terrible news, sorry to hear. All your family moments captured can’t be replaced, I’d probably feel sick.

    I’m also very cautious about storage. I worked in a photo lab for almost 4 years up until December so it was easy for me to copy them to cds, dvds or print them. I’ve slipped on that since quitting and I should really start backing everything up now.


    1. Yes, it’s that picture. And all I have is the Instagram one and am hoping hubby has the original on his phone, but I’m not optimistic.

      I am hoping the USB’s will have the whole lot on them.

      Go back up!!!


      1. Well my fingers are crossed for you, hope you find a stash on a usb.

        I’m definitely going to back up…it’s just that there are SO many ways to save them and SO many places to “share” them it’s almost overwhelming to begin the process or choose where to keep them, not to be dramatic about it. It just becomes easier to let stuff sit & hope it’s fine. Bad idea!


  2. You have just stressed me out NO END! I have so many photos on my harddrive and it scares me! I must buy some discs and just put them on it, or will a USB do?? FREAK ME OUT. I haven’t printed photos out since before 2005 I don’t think? ARGHHHH


    1. Lol! I didn’t realise I would scare everyone, but if it gets everyone to back up their photos then good! Get to it! How freaked out do you think I was when they weren’t turning up anywhere?!


  3. Oh I recognise your pain. I learnt the hard way very early on. A whole family holiday to Florida lost forever when the computer died. Luckily I made a diary/album of the trip, so had printed a few out. But now I have a tin of all the SD cards, which reassures me that things are there.
    I prefer albums though. They’re so much easier to look back at things. Who looks at old pictures any more? But they do take up so much space.
    Now my biggest nightmare is a toddler with an over familiarity for the delete button. Gah!


    1. I love albums, and can lose myself in them for hours. The worst thing is I can’t even remember what I lost, so the pain will hit me every time I think of something I lost.

      But toddlers and computers, yeah, I hear you. One of mine once ripped off the B key. So inconvenient.


  4. ooh no, hope you find some of them at least! I’m so bad I don’t even take photos off the camera, never mind back them up. This infruriates my husband (who backs things up in triplicate, religiously), but I kind of perversly enjoy the weird thrill of not doing it! Living on the egde… 😉 (and I’d be the first to moan if I lost any!)


    1. All gone, I’m afraid. And I never put all the family shots in Facebook or anything, so bad luck there. But if your husband is doing it then you may continue to live dangerously, lol.


  5. Oh man, I hear you! I just lost 6 months worth of pics when my phone carked it. I have all my camera photos on HD, but I actually need to double back them up to the cloud just in case. And while I’m at it, I need to find the CD with our wedding photos on it. It’s here somewhere…


    1. Yes, go and back everything up!


  6. I spent about 6 months backing up every family picture and video I could get my hands on and I keep that going now. Currently, I have over 35,000 pix/videos backed up to hard drives which are in the hands of 4 different family members and still on 2 computers. Still can’t believe I did that, but as it turns out, I was the first one to benefit from it…..we had a water loss in our home this past winter and the water wiped out a whole box of stored pictures……..thank God they were backed up! It would’ve been the end of one son’s whole growing up years till he left home!


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