I've been away from the favorite desktop computer for about a week thanks to a nasty computer virus. This bugger was really, really bad news. Unknown to me, the thing struck my hard drive on Tuesday, April 7. By the next day, the virus infected my entire hard drive. Every folder: Word Docs, photos, video files...everything was wiped out...including the sequel to my latest novella. Ouch!
My virus expert in Florida called it "Decryption". The virus encrypts files and renders them useless. I couldn't open anything. What's worse, I use a USB "thumb" drive for back-up. Unfortunately, I left the stick plugged-in. Guess what. The virus infected my USB drive also rendering every back-up file unreadable. He also said the virus would have infected any remote back-up system too...anything connected to my PC.
I was sick. In fact, I'm still not over it. I had to completely wipe my hard drives...all four of them. Count 'em. Four! The USB drive too.
After spending a day or more re-installing software including a lot of downloads from the internet, I'm finally back up and running. Many thanks to my son for allowing me to use his laptop during this ordeal.
That sequel I mentioned? The one I lost forever? Yeah, that one. The Word Doc was approximately 7500 words when the virus hit. After a day of mourning, I got to work recreating the story. I'm up to about 5000 words right now. Amazingly, the story is coming back to me without the benefit of an outline, which was also destroyed.
Lesson learned. Back-up your work regularly...and don't leave your USB connected.