File Corruption. This Catharsis Has Nothing to Do With Travel.

I just spent the better part of the day working on a sound file for an audio book on which I am working for a fellow writer of a weblog — only to have the applications software program crash and simultaneously corrupt the file to the point where it cannot be recovered.

File Corruption. This Catharsis Has Nothing to Do With Travel.

I saved the file regularly as I was editing it. The file was one of 20 chapters in this book which I recorded. I worked on it for hours; and I was only minutes away from saving an .mp3 version of the file and sending it via e-mail to the author of the book, which is also available as a physical book…

…and then it happened: the software crashed just as I was saving the file, which then became corrupted. When I tried opening it, nothing was there; and I was unable to recover any previous versions of the file.

I just sat there staring, eyes glazed at the screen — with that sinking feeling in my stomach that I just lost several hours worth of work.

I will need to start all over again. I cannot help but feel like I wasted much of the day today working on something which suddenly became all for nothing.


Fortunately, I copied the original audio file which I recorded before editing it; so I do not have to record that chapter all over again. Still, losing work — despite saving the changes on a regular basis — is rather frustrating.

Also, there are many other things in life which are worse — and this incident could have been significantly worse: instead of saving the chapters as individual audio files, I could have saved them as one large audio file — and this could have happened by the time I was almost finished with the last chapter. At least in this case, I only need to edit one chapter all over again.

Although this incident has nothing to do with travel, many people do work on their electronic devices while they travel — and I am sure that quite a few of them experienced similar software malfunctions.

Have you ever worked on a file — only to lose time and effort because of a software crash or a suddenly corrupted file? If so, what did you do? How did you handle the situation?

As for me, I will bite my lip and start over again. Hopefully the audio book will be successful once it is finished and will lead me to do more of them — as well as other projects which involve using my voice…

…and in the meantime, thank you for reading and listening. I feel a little better writing this cathartic article…

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “File Corruption. This Catharsis Has Nothing to Do With Travel.”

  1. Sorab says:

    Brian, I’ve been bitten by this more times than I can remember, but my latest episode was by far the worst. A few months ago, the SSD on my 2-year old laptop crashed & I lost over 2 days of work (still kicking myself for not saving it). I’ve been through a few magnetic HDD failures, but a SSD failure is different – its instant & comes without any warning. I was mad as hell, but that was only the beginning. I then lost another day looking for a way to retrieve my data only to realize its notoriously hard to retrieve data from a failed SSD. Finally, I gave up & decided to replace the SSD & start over. Turns out, I couldn’t open the laptop because it had a “Torx Security” screw. I drove around to the usual suspects (BestBuy, HomeDepot, Lowes) and no one had a Torx Security screwdriver. I finally found one at Harbor Freight and was able to replace the SSD. It then took another day to “setup” my laptop and of course 2 more days to complete the work I had lost. By the end of it, I had lost 7 days.

    This episode taught me a few things. First, I setup a monthly reminder to create a system image and back up on a secondary storage. Second, I setup Google Drive to automatically sync my folders to the cloud.

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