Elizabeth Jane Corbett

writing her way home

Hard drive issues – both personal and computer related

What causes a common cold? Who knows? I'm putting this one down to:

  1. The stress of a mammogram call back (everything is fine, thanks)
  2. Not getting enough time to work on my manuscript
  3. The excitement and challenge of doing an interview on Radio Cymru
  4. Working the weekend though I knew I had a cold brewing
  5. Taking my mum to a medical appointment with the said cold hanging over me
  6. Not getting enough time to work on my manuscript
  7. Finding out that the promised replacement Welsh teacher had not materialised
  8. Realising I would be taking two groups of learners at different stages and each learning a different dialect
  9. Knowing I would need to make the corresponding resources
  10. Not getting enough time to work on my manuscript
  11. Doing a software upgrade on my Macbook while feeling distinctly below par
  12. Finding I could no longer log in
  13. Realising I had not done a back-up for AGES

Not a bad list of minor stresses, when you look at it in black and white. But how knows? Maybe someone sneezed and in was in the wrong place?

Whatever the reason, I've got a cold.

I went to work on Thursday because I wasn't sick enough to stay home. Half way through the day I knew I would be sick enough by closing time. I slept all day Friday. Spent a miserable Saturday hunched in front of the gas heater. Mum told me I should go to the Doctors. I resisted the temptation to tell her I was more worried about my computer. I mean, what could the doctor do? Apart from tell me to rest and drink plenty of fluids? Whereas I'd been on the online forums. I was pretty sure they would have to do a factory reset of my Macbook. I would have to restore my apps and data from my back-ups which … as I mentioned earlier, had been sorely neglected .

I booked an appointment at the Apple Store.

Don't get me wrong, the Apple Store is one of my favourite places. Apart from the fact that I only ever go there when something is wrong. I like:

  1. The buzz
  2. The Genius Bar staff in their signature blue TShirts.
  3. The opportunity to look at new products
  4. Like, how cool is the new Apple watch!
  5. The fact they always show an appropriate mount of sympathy for my dilemma
  6. Without making me feel stupid for doing a software upgrade without first doing a back-up

The Genius Bar guy tried to open my computer without having to do a factory reset. But in the end, the online forums were right. A clean start was the only way forward. Fortunately, we were able to back my data up to a removable hard drive before wiping it.

'Ours are a bit over priced,' the guy said. 'Do you want to slip across to Big W?'

I've got a cold,' I said, 'slipping anywhere is beyond me.'

I bought a new removable Hard Drive. We set to work backing up my data. Documents, pictures, Welsh language televsion.

'This could take a while,' the guy said. 'Do you want to go for a wander?'

I didn't have the energy for wandering either. I made straight for the nearest cafe and ordered a coffee. Then another. It didn't help. Hmm…maybe mum was right? Maybe I should book a doctor's appointment. I went onto HotDoc. Made an appointment for Monday morning. I was pretty sure the doctor wouldn't be able to do anything, apart from making the rest and fluids official. But the appointment would keep my mum happy. Meanwhile, the Apple guy would back up my data and wipe my computer. If only that was the cure for the common cold? Wipe us clean and restore our factory settings? Alas bodies are more complex than computers. But at least, once I'd restored my Macbook, I'd be able to start making the new flash cards for Welsh class. Once my head cleared, I would also be able to work on my manuscript. Meanwhile, I've learned one important lesson. Never do a software upgrade without backing up your computer.



A media hat trick – my BBC Radio Cymru interview


We that are left – an interview with Juliet Greenwood


  1. Hope you and your computer are feeling much better soon, Liz. xx

  2. I’d like a backup of my body to the original as long as the original doesn’t go all faulty again and give me constant headaches! 🙂
    I hope you’re feeling better soon, Liz, that you’re computer is all better and that you’ll get to do the writing you need to do soon – I also often feel unwell when I’m not writing enough (and it never feels like I’m writing enough!)

  3. ejcorbett@yahoo.com.au

    Yes, Leisl it is a mixed blessing this writing busines. As for the factory settings. I have a sneaking suspicion mine may have been faulty from the outset. Too much melancholy in the mix. 🙂

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