CC #3

Crash!

“INFILTRATION ALERT! VIRUS ATTACK!” screamed a sudden flashing red screen on my laptop computer, followed by, “Windows has detected a Trojan Horse virus. Run anti-virus software?” Yes and No options popped up on more red windows. A stream of .exe files swarmed across my screen, followed by a new window that said, “Scanning…deleting files.”

“GAK! No! Stop! Do not delete anything!” I hit the panic button off switch and felt my heart drop. “No-o-o, this cannot be happening.”

I waited. Took a deep breath. Said that word we all say when things go astray. Gingerly restarted the computer.

“VIRUS ATTACK! Warning – 34 threats detected,” flashed angry-looking red screens.

I said that word again. Dead laptop. I wondered when I last backed up my files. Again with that word! I dug out my backup hard drive and plugged it into a friend’s computer. Last backup: July, 2010. [Word!]

The next two weeks were a blur of tears as I mourned the loss of seven month’s work. Gone! All my documents, spreadsheets, pics, PhotoShop work, tax info, lawsuit files, websites, and all the columns I wrote for ParkerLiveOnline – gone!

And it was my own fault! Virus attack aside, I should have been more vigilant about backing up my files. I know better – I once worked in a data center making huge reel-to-reel data backup magnetic tapes.

Tapes! That will date me.

I threw my dilemma to the universe via Facebook:

Cate Mueller > “Does anyone know how to get rid of a Trojan Horse virus?”

and received helpful responses like:

John Wright > “Get a Mac.”

Finally I stopped sobbing and mustered the courage to face the inevitable professional diagnosis. I dragged my ruined laptop into HapiFace HQ in Parker and, blinking hard, said, “C-c-c-can you fix this?”

HapiFace HQ proprietor Joni Lueken asked me a few questions, then smiled gently and said, “I feel confident I can recover your files.”

My heart soared. And now we know the reason Joni calls her shop HapiFace. I walked out with a healthy laptop and a great, big HapiFace! Thank you, Joni.

Now, everyone stop what you’re doing and BACK UP your work!

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Cate Mueller is a web designer, editor, reporter and photographer in Bouse, Arizona. To visit her website, click here.

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