It’s dead, Jim.
On Sunday night, I turned off my iMac because things were dangerously hot to the touch. Unfortunately, the next morning it wouldn’t boot. I started by unplugging peripherals, and eventually narrowed down the problem to my 500GB LaCie external HD – it was dead. Before panicking, I did a little research online and found that the most likely culprit was the power supply, so I ransacked the house but was unable to find a similar power cable due to the weird-ass configuration of the connector. Refusing to cave in to reality, I set the drive aside to bring into the office hoping that Desktop Support would be able to help me.
This morning I told my sob story to IT Keith, who forced open the casing and connected the SATA drive to his PC. Windows happily read the data, and I was elated – all my music files, pictures, articles, resumes, websites and more for the past 10 years could be rescued! He started transferring the information to my network drive, and I’d be able to transfer it back over to my computer later. Hooray!
Unfortunately, the transfer was taking too long and IT Keith needed his computer back to do actual work. He gave me the drive back and said he’d rig me up a system so I could transfer the info over later. This was cool; I’d still get my stuff back including our wedding pictures and tax returns. I could be patient.
Then the other IT guy arrived, and he brought with him two power supplies that fit my drive. Hooray! We plugged in the first one, but it wasn’t watty enough and it didn’t work. The second was 62w (I needed 57w), so it should be cool.
*smoke and burning*
Um, shit. We quickly unplugged everything before fire could happen, and set about to finding another solution. He took the drive back to his desk to try a hard drive reading toaster and/or his own PC, where he could copy the files and I could retrieve them later.
.. except that pop and sizzle kind of killed the drive for real this time, and it will. not. be. read. by anything we’ve tried. It’s completely, utterly, horribly dead and my data long gone unless I want to pay $600-$1500 to use a data recovery service (which I clearly cannot do). Instead of grabbing the data when I could, or asking if I could just transfer over the truly important stuff, or waiting until I had a PC available to use, we actually killed the drive dead when it was working just fine only minutes before.
I’m trying hard not to think about it, because I have a minor panic attack when I think about what I just lost. Losing all my music is annoying, but I can probably recover most of it. Losing all my written work, IRC logs, websites, pictures – that’s the heartbreaking part. Pictures of Sasha, of my dad, of friends long since grown apart. Images from our wedding and honeymoon, from Ed’s grandparents 50th anniversary, of my snails. My first website, written entirely in humiliating Comic Sans and HTML’d by hand in Notepad. All gone.
It’s beyond heartbreaking to lose all those memories – it’s actually going to cost me my livelihood. You see, I basically grew up online in the infancy of the internet – in 1997, we were doing things so sordid and naked that if they took place today, the devastation caused by moral panic, Fox News and Nancy Grace would spell the end of online life as we know it. Since my very first step online with a 1200bps modem, I’d been storing chat logs, screenshots and pictures away in a secret folder for blackmail purposes. The logs aren’t all that useful anymore; it’s too easy to fake them and a lot is lost in the translation – but the pictures! I have – had – naked pictures of dozens of people, some of whom have gone on to become responsible members of society with jobs and mortgages and cell phones of their own. I had always assumed – counted on, really – that one day I’d shake this annoying tendency to not be an enormous asshole and start threatening to release the information I’d saved unless they funded my cushy lifestyle of no pants and Diet Coke. All my retirement plans just went up in a puff of smoke, and I am utterly desolate and wrought with despair at the loss.
To make me feel better, please email pictures of your genitals to kimli at delicious juice dot com.
OH FUCK – I just realized that I’ve also lost the ICQ log of the conversation Ed and I had the very first time we chatted online, in which he asked me if I’d ever have sex with five guys at once. I’d been planning on suing him for breach of contract, with that as Exhibit A. SHIT! This is SO MANY KIND OF SUCK! I am a sad.