Maybe two weeks ago I did something stupid. Okay, it’s not like I haven’t done anything stupid since then, it’s just that was the last truly noteworthy stupidity. I’m regularly moving files around my server and it’s been a dream of mine for the past year or so to actually have a completely organized photo hierarchy that makes it easy for me to not only locate pictures, but also back them up. Of course this means that I haven’t been regularly backing up my (rather large) photo collection. This is a problem, because I often don’t bother thinking before I delete directories. That would be the primary reason that I’ve lost my “about me” page 3 times and have become an expert at rebuilding this blog in under 5 minutes. Deletion issues become further compounded when you add symbolic links into the mix. There’s such an added sense of panic when you realize you don’t even know what you just deleted 😛 .
So the other day (I forget when exactly) I was moving photos all around and deleting bad shots and duplicates from the server. There are some key facts about this simple task to take note of:
- Deleting files over the network skips the Recycle Bin making recovery rather difficult.
- I use ReiserFS for my data drives on the server which includes no form of undelete making recovery downright impossible.
- Microsoft Windows likes to randomly select which window will be activated after you close something like its picture viewer making accidental deletion almost unavoidable.
I was being very careful not to say OK to just any delete command, but it was a doomed process. Eventually I said OK and rather than simply seeing the one file go away, a long list of files rapidly flashed across the dialogue box. That’s when the panic kicks in. It turns out that Windows had decided to switch to the folder panel this time, and that one item I deleted was my “Misc” directory. It could have been worse (considering how much is under “Local Music” or “Friends”), but I was rather inconsolable and desperately tried to locate another backup. Fortunately many of the pictures in the directory were already up on the website, or had already been moved to another location. Today I found the last major groups as I had just copied the various pictures I had taken with Lisa around Hoboken, in Central Park, and when we tried to go Apple Picking onto her laptop. Basically that means that I lost a lot of screenshots of Vice City and Perfect Dark and some random shots I took of a candle that had melted in a “really cool” way. I can live with that, but I will certainly focus on backing everything up from now on. Whew!