Blue Screen of Death!

I awoke feeling like I was standing in this picture I took of Vaux le Vicomte and ended thinking I was in a nightmare.
I awoke feeling like I was standing in this picture I took of Vaux le Vicomte and ended thinking I was in a nightmare.

I had a very disturbing experience on Monday. It was a public holiday and I awoke, luxuriating in the knowledge that the day was our own. As I was certain that my most recent post must have become a viral sensation on the internet (I am sorry to say that I always think this about every post before I check the stats), I turned on my laptop, only to discover…


Instantly all of the Karma of years of patronisingly telling others to ensure that they back up their work came pouring through the void straight on my head. I hadn’t backed up anything! All my photo collections which I had laboriously sifted and arranged for easy access, all my blogs in progress, all my future blog content, (oh and yeah a few important work things) GONE!

With a rising sense of doom I started calculating where I might find copies of the photos while frantically restarting the computer about 15 times. At last a screen appeared which said something like “No bootable device discovered”. At least this showed that something in the computer was able to search for something else. My wife immediately looked up the prompt on her computer, the news was not good. Basically it meant that the computer was unable to find the hard drive. Where had it gone? Was it also on holiday? Why didn’t it leave a note or something? There were assorted hints from the internet about how to fix the problem involving some cabalistic ritual and the Function keys (which I never touch for fear of doing something irreversible) but the verdict was not good. I ignored this advice and resorted back to the normal IT department mantra “try turning it off and on”.

The reality of the loss began to really hit. Oh Paris! Would I never see thee more? Had my original Blue Ringed Octopus photo (the origin of my most likes) vanished forever? Were the scintillating letters I wrote home from Oxford now just an undecipherable code? (some claim they always were).

I had no idea that First World Problems could be so very upsetting.

After another 15 or so start-ups a new screen appeared which I had seen before which told me that the computer did not shut down properly and did I want to start windows normally? Of course I wanted to! I gingerly pressed the button and waited. The CD player opened and revealed my copy of “Swinging Cheese”, a classic compilation of swinging hits of the 50s, and the main screen reappeared with the files all neatly arranged on the desktop.

Grabbing the terabyte portable hard drive I did a sort of virtual natural disaster evacuation, transferring everything on the desktop to higher ground. The family, all dressed for the beach and ready to go out the door had to wait as thousands of little images replicated themselves in a new home. At last, after about an hour, the transfer was complete and I had learnt my lesson.

“Never again put all your eggs in one basket”

Now I am paranoid about the external hard drive. I am off to buy another one to back it up…but what happens if that stops working?  Aaargh!

NOTE: Jennifer Nicole Well’s great blog features photos based on a colour each week. I noticed that the path leading to Vaux le Vicomte seemed to match the colour “Beaver”.

One Word Photo Challenge: Beaver

One Word Photo Challenge: Beaver


  1. Thanks so much for the compliment! I really enjoy writing these little pieces and am glad someone else out there enjoys them too! Best wishes! 🙂 I love your blog too so I particularly appreciate your positive feedback. 🙂


  2. My son experienced this last week! It ended up with me loaning him money for a new one as he needs it for his studies. Ouch! Lucky you got your files back! All the best from Sweden!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it sick making! It always seems to happen just at the worst moment too. I wonder if there is a feature in the computer that measures levels of peace in the house and then activates the Blue Screen of Death for the sole purpose of destroying it? Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was horrified for you while reading. I used the fact that the post featured an image as a sign of hope that you had gotten your files back. And sure enough you did! Now I need to go home and back up my files. I have way too much on my computer just waiting to disappear. (for the record, this post was very funny and I think you deserve the viral audience that you imagine)

    Your image is gorgeous. Thanks for submitting to the OWPC.

    Liked by 1 person

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