Monday, March 10, 2014


My laptop had been giving me signs the end of days was near for a few months now. It had a good run. I picked it up about six years ago with a tax refund check. I actually bought a second one for about $250 when there were some back to school sales in August/September knowing this day would come. But its weird. The keyboard isn't the same and neither is the mouse. It has Windows 8. Ugh.

My wife has been on me about not using the new one because anytime I had to scan something or print something or do a little Photoshop work, I always went back to my old one. After all, that's where I had the programs loaded. So with the new year, I made a conscious effort to start loading programs and bringing over files to the new one. I'm figuring out Windows 8 (still ugh though). Photoshop is loaded now, too.

One night about two weeks ago, I decided to clean up my hard drive on the old laptop and move all of the files I wanted to move over to the new computer into one folder. Thousands and thousands of scanned Cubs cards. Pictures and textures and fonts from all over the interwebs that I use in my custom cards. All of the cards that I've made and their templates. There were a couple of dozen GBs worth of files and as slow as my laptop was running it was going to take a while to transfer. So I set it up to move, and went to bed.

But when I woke up is when the nightmare actually started. I went to my computer and it was off. Not a good sign. When I turned it on, the computer made a clicking noise and said it couldn't recognize my hard drive. Ugh. 

Hopefully, everything got transferred.

No such luck.

As far as I can tell, nothing from this latest move made it on to the hard drive before it crashed. The whole year I spent scanning, cropping, renaming and tagging my Cubs collection, gone. All of my custom templates are gone. Some of them are easily re-creatable, but I lost the background texture for the ATCRCS set among other important files.

In the past, I'd been very good about moving family photos and home videos onto our external hard drive and burning a CD for safe keeping. But almost nothing from this wonderful hobby. 

So I'm left to decide if everything I've done in terms of organizing my collection and the cards I've created are worth the couple hundred dollars it'll cost to professionally retrieve the files. My wife doesn't seem to think so which means any "recovery" money will have to come from my hobby money. Who knows how long that'll take so in the meantime, I'll be starting from scratch.

One of the few saving graces is that everything associated with my 2014 Topps Blog is on a flash drive. I just cannot believe in the two years I've been making ATCRCS cards, that the template has not been transferred once somewhere else!

Lessons learned. All you fellow custom card makers, back up your files now!


  1. Man, I feel your pain. Sorry to hear it.

  2. Yikes. Sounds rough. Good luck on recovering you files!

  3. That sucks. I wish you luck recovering your files.

  4. Thanks guys. I wasn't looking for sympathy because I know its my own fault. But I appreciate the commiseration!