Where did it go?

Mule deer
A mule deer I saw on my morning walk.

When I sat down at my laptop yesterday morning something didn’t look right. The folder on my desktop called “All My Files” wasn’t there. It was there before I went to sleep. Gone 10 hours later.

I googled how to restore files. How to find files. Apparently the OS I’m using can hide documents from view. I went through five ways to find my files. I went to icloud. My missing files are still missing.

Finally. I went to the Apple website to book an appointment at the local “genius bar.” Instead I clicked on “call.” They called within seconds. I spent more than three hours on the phone yesterday with two techs. They searched near and far and in the cloud for my files. They both asked me if I had backed up my files on a thumb drive or external hard drive.


What was I thinking about? Why didn’t I? I realized it had to do with our move. My two external hard drives that used to sit by my computer at home….didn’t make it back to that handy place where I used them. Out of sight. Out of mind.

I found my bright orange La Cie external hard drive and it’s now sitting next to my computer. I won’t make the mistake thinking my computer automatically stores all my files on icloud. Some files are there. But the ones most important to me are not. My entire NaNoWriMo 50,000-word manuscript is gone. My newsletter files are gone. There’s a gap of a few days in May when I finished the newsletter that are missing. There’s a month when I wrote the manuscript that is gone.

I had both of these files open on my laptop. Where did they go?

I’ve learned my lesson to make copies and backups.

My case with Apple has been escalated to engineering. They “may” be able to restore my hard drive with all my files. Or they may not.

I’ll let you know tomorrow. In any case they were very helpful and didn’t chastise me for not backing up. But I learned my lesson. What’s left is backed up.

A mule deer catching afternoon shade against our fence. The mulies have nothing to do with my post today — except keep me calm with their beauty.

How often do you backup your computer? Have you experienced a computer snafu that stressed you out? What was it?

36 thoughts on “Where did it go?

  1. I use a Chromebook and it does sync and backup files with/to my phone, but honestly I don’t have any majorly important files /docs that I would be devastated about if they disappeared. I am sorry yours have escaped, but I would really be more focused on why- why now if this sort of thing has never happened before

    • Thank you. Yes, I asked the tech at Apple why. He said the engineers would try to fix it, but probably wouldn’t offer a reason. That’s not very helpful…

      • See, that seems odd- suspicious to me. There has to be a reason right? I would have an overwhelming need to know why because isn’t that part of preventing it from happening again…

      • I know! The tech told me it’s a software not a hardware issue. But they won’t tell me what that issue is. I’m updating to a new operating system now.

      • My suspicious brain tells me it’s an Apple issue that they don’t want to admit too 🙁

      • Yes! Once I had an issue with my iPhone and everyone at the Apple store had the same problem. Apple admitted to nothing but gave us all new phones.

  2. Oh, that stinks! I’m so sorry. I don’t understand the world of icloud and how some of my files end up there but not others. I guess it is something we all need to increase our awareness of!

  3. I backup monthly, but that’s just photos. I use Google docs for my writing and that doesn’t get stored on my computer…I can open it anywhere.

  4. I have Time Machine on my Mac and it is on all the time so there are constant backups being made throughout the day. I have not updated my system yet, still on Catalina. I have to be careful about updates because sometimes the software I need for my transcribing doesn’t work right away. I am going to upgrade to Monterey, which looks like the latest, as soon as I finish this big project. Definitely don’t want glitches with that! So sorry about your lost stuff.

    • I need to set up Time Machine. Don’t upgrade to Big Sur. From what I’m reading online, other people have had my same issues. Definitely skip it and go to Monterey!

      • I think that’s what it will probably do automatically. That’s another reason i don’t upgrade right away. I wait to see what the glitches are. I have been saved many times by having time machine going. Sometimes I have to retrieve a document I accidentally changed.

  5. Feel horrible for you. Nothing worse than losing a file. Especially all the work that you had saved. When I hear stories like yours, I’m instantly taken back to the early days of computers and working as a newspaper reporter. The small papers I worked at had processing systems that weren’t the best and regularly went down, leaving you to re-create whatever you had written under deadline. Not a fun experience. Good luck. Sending good thoughts you’re way that your files miraculously show up!! 🍀

    • That would be an awful lot of pressure! When I first worked for a paper as an intern in college, I used an IBM Selectric typewriter. There was a typesetter. Nothing was lost back then, but it was a lot more work to create a newspaper.

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