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BigDon
2010-Jan-31, 12:18 AM
My main computer for composing stories and such, my bedroom computer, was hit by a seriously world class virus/hack. I've been posting on a borrowed one for the last two weeks or so.

When I was first hit I was annoyed but not gutted because I know some first class data recovery people. When things started going wonky I disconected from the net and tried fighting it myself. A bad one, it got on board about a year ago but was under suspression by my anti-virus programs, (according to the after action reports), but while not allowed to run hog wild it created its own freaking restore points in nested compressed files, for a year, in all my back ups.

Then when I went from XP to Windows 7 and I booted the machine fresh, the bad thing woke up

So after I find and remove three of these restore points I get up to get a cup of coffee and come back. I see a black screen and big clunky graphics saying:

Deleting D:$0 (a string of alpha-numerics)

Scrolling up the screen. I stare dumbstruck for a moment then manually kill power. No, I wasn't in save mode while hunting for snarks and went and found a boojum.

The guy who looked at it is the guy you call when your accounting division deletes tax records on six million in income, by accident, just before a big IRS audit.

We had that conversation from The Thing.

How's the generator?

It's gone!

Can we fix it?

Macready! It's GONE!

There was nothing left on my D: to even recover. Eight months of writing stories off-line. I wasn't holding out on you guys, it was just that I was writing more like I speak in person, which gets me weinie points around here. (As it should.)

My computer guru recommendation is even reformatting won't make these drives secure again. I guess for the good of humanity I ought to render them non-functional before discarding them.

My point of all this is I can't sit and formulate on the borrowed machine. No privacy, people read over my shoulder, my fish beg for food. My friends network is already hard at work procurring me a replacement set up but it will be a bit.

ABR.
2010-Jan-31, 12:26 AM
Reading between the lines, it sounds like no backup files or hard copies either. Wow, I'm so sorry to hear this, BigDon, and not just because those are stories I might not get to hear now. My wife's computer crashed after installing Windows 7 this week. Fortunately, we recovered everything. Suddenly, I'm not feeling quite so bad about that.

I guess the only other question is, when's the wake?

hhEb09'1
2010-Jan-31, 01:16 AM
Moral: anything you make yourself, have a backup on a physically separate medium.

Sorry BigDon. BAUT, condolences.

Jeff Root
2010-Jan-31, 01:33 AM
Don,

My guess is that all the data is still on the drive. It is just that it would be
an enormous amount of work to manually piece together all the broken links
between parts of files. You would have to examine each piece and decide
which file it is part of and where it goes in that file.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Taeolas
2010-Jan-31, 05:24 AM
Have you considered using Google Docs for your writing? Even if you don't like using the interface, I use it to more or less keep my docs accessable. (I open them up and usually cut and paste them into Open Office if I'm working on the big ones). At least it is a possible solution for going forward, though it doesn't help your current situation regrettably.

mahesh
2010-Jan-31, 11:46 AM
Aaw shucks BD! I am so sorry.

For your weinie points...for the future, would you also consider / think, that orally taping your 'conversations' may be an alternative? Like Oral History or something...As a backed-up back-up. One can't reproduce the initial emotions, style. At least it'd reflect an essence of feelings.

Sorry, for not having thought this through, a bit more.

As Taeolus says, Google docs is an alternative. A good one.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Jan-31, 12:05 PM
Don,

My guess is that all the data is still on the drive. It is just that it would be
an enormous amount of work to manually piece together all the broken links
between parts of files. You would have to examine each piece and decide
which file it is part of and where it goes in that file.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis
Based on the description of the recovery guy BD had on the case and his comment, we're talking overwritten data sectors, which means recovery is a case for a scanning magnetic microscope.

Cougar
2010-Jan-31, 02:57 PM
My main computer... was hit by a seriously world class virus/hack.

Sounds like the Chinese government. They know who the big players are: google, yahoo, bigdon....

Jeff Root
2010-Jan-31, 03:09 PM
Unless the guy examined an awful lot of different sectors and found them all
to contain the same thing, I would want a second opinion that the data was
overwritten.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

BigDon
2010-Jan-31, 03:33 PM
Unless the guy examined an awful lot of different sectors and found them all
to contain the same thing, I would want a second opinion that the data was
overwritten.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jeff, you can only push a pro bono favor so far. :)

He worked on it for three hours with his magic kit of recovery and repair disks. And in the last five years this guy has recovered my drives twice in similar circumstance, plus cleared up lesser messes. And it wasn't like he was annoyed to be doing it. He got envolved when the job got interesting. *I* was the one who finally told him to "call it" and mark the time of death.

If he says it's dead I have no higher authority to appeal to this side of the devine.

Cougar, you caught me off guard and made me laugh. Shame on you.