Back Up Plan

It’s always a good idea to be prepared with a back up plan when it comes to your career, workout schedule, or whatever life throws at you. I have learned the hard way that it is also imperative to have a back up plan for all of your electronic devices that help manage your life.

Several years ago when I was working on a final 20 page paper, for one of my MBA business classes, my new IBM ThinkPad crashed. No warning messages or red alerts, the laptop just went kaput. It was the time when 3.5″ floppy disks were the storage medium of choice for document back ups. But the words floppy or back-up never crossed my mind at this point because I was working on a machine that was not even two weeks old. I also didn’t like to be interrupted during the writing process by saving it to the A: drive. What are the chances that a new computer would konk out? In my case,very good. Luckily, I was working at a business that had a department filled with computer geeks who were able to swap out the defective hard drive in no time . However, I had to take two days off from work to recreate the business paper from scratch. I was devastated and swore that it would never happen again and that I would always back up my work several times during the writing stages.

Since that meltdown, I have been diligent about backing up everything. Precious photos, music, important documents, you name it, they are regularly backed up and stored in a fire-proof box. You may call that a little OCD, but you never know.

Well, it happened again. On Tuesday after the Labor Day holiday, I decided that it was time again to back up and sync my iPhone to my computer and iTunes. I usually need to allocate a chunk of time because for some reason the back up process takes a long time on my home computer. It was cold and rainy so I decided it was a good day to do the back up. After opening up iTunes, I received the message that a new software version was available asking if I want to download. Of course, I said yes so the download of Everything seemed to go well with the download so I connected my phone via the USB cord to start the backup. I was making good progress or so I thought. That was up until I received the message notifying me that there was an update to my iPhone asking me if I wanted to proceed with the update. Naturally, I clicked the proceed button.

I don’t know what happened but sometime during the hardware update, my phone stopped working. All I could see on the screen of my phone was a picture of a white USB cord with an arrow pointing to a blue circle with iTunes written in it. What next? I repeatedly kept pressing the home button with hope that my 102 apps and data would magically appear. I spent the next 5 hours rebooting my computer and plugging and unplugging the USB cord into the port with hope that the phone would return to its normal state. I even searched the Apple support page trying to find the cure for my problem. No such luck so I went to bed.

The next morning I rolled out of bed, poured a cup of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table with broken phone in hand. I felt so disconnected to the world. I had no schedule, no contacts, no running log, no games, no phone, no nothing. I was overwhelmed and worried that I had lost everything and wondered how on earth would I ever recreate the contents of my phone again.

Since the weather was miserable, my husband and I decided not to run. He went to work and I called Apple support. I received a call from the first technician from Apple in less than a minute from when I filled out my support request online.

The response time was excellent for 7 o’clock in the morning. I spoke to the first technician for about 2 hours with absolutely no progress on my phone situation then the unthinkable happened. I got disconnected from the call. I waited patiently for the call back that never happened. Steam was coming out of my head and my computer at this time. Once I calmed down, I called Apple back. This time I was transferred to a technician who seemingly knew what could have caused the problem with my phone.

Another two hours on the phone uninstalling and installing software and still no working phone. The only hope I had at this point was to go to the Apple store at the mall to see if they could offer any solutions. The technician at the store took my phone and plugged it into one of their computers and voila my phone was restored to the factory settings.

I was happy that the phone was working again, but all of my personal stuff was gone. The next step was to connect the working phone to my home computer in hope that my backup from the night before was still there. I was nervous to plug my phone into the USB port, so I waited for the call back from the Apple technician to guide me through the process.

After another hour or so on the telephone and a few installation steps, my phone was back to normal. The backup I did before my phone crashed was successful so I was able to retrieve everything back on my phone. I consider myself lucky. It also was a good reminder to make sure I schedule time every week to back up the phone. I also realized that I no longer remembered the telephone numbers that are stored in my contacts and that I needed the actual iPhone to connect me to the world.