When I formatted my computer, I said I made a back up of everything. Apparently, that was not true. I forgot the single most important folder: the one containing my texts. All lost. This left me no less than devastated.
At first I could do nothing but cry, then I thought about how I had read on programs that can recover deleted files, including after a complete formatting. I tried two of these. The first one, Handy Recovery, is unfortunately a paying program. This means that, unless I pay $49, I can only use it for 30 days and recover 1 file per day. Well, I had more than 30 files to recover, and I would have died of excessive anxiety if I had had to wait 30 days before completing the recovery.
So I looked for another program, and found Recuva. I am going to hump it! It was able to recover many of my files, although some remain lost forever. I'm a bit of an emotional rollercoaster right now. On one hand, not all my files are lost. On the other hand, I did lose some I would have loved to still have.
I have an old backup on a CD here, but, well, it is old. It doesn't have any of the things I have written since moving to Montreal, actually. I always was too lazy to make backups.
So, I have lost some poems, but those should be elsewhere too, as I published many online. If they aren't online anymore, they could be in database backups (I still have those).
I have lost some fiction. Nothing completed, but still starts I would have loved to keep! I lost one I was particularly attached to, but none of my Big Important Novels. My poor babies
I have lost some Titanic fan fiction! I think I haven't lost any I have written, but I had a nice collection of fan fiction from other people, and it's partially lost.
I have lost some of the work I have made on a video game. I haven't done designs, coding or anything, just concepts and ideas. Well, some of the things are intact, but some of the files were lost.
Finally, a bit of advice if this ever happens to you. First of all, keep in mind that when you delete a file, you aren't really "deleting" it. You are merely telling your OS that the space occupied by this file is free for use, and that there is no longer a file on whatever address it was assigned.
Second, try not to use your computer for anything but the recovery. Shut down IM programs, browsers, text editors, etc. Any program that is running can be creating files (temporary or permanent), and these files could just happen to overwrite your beloved lost ones.
Third, the recovery program will ask you where you want to put the recovered files. It is really important to avoid putting them on the disc where the files were originally. Why? For the same reason as number two: some of the recovered files could overwrite the lost files! You can use a USB storage drive or an external drive.
When a file has been overwritten, the program will still recover it, and save it under its original name. When you open it, however, it will not be the file you thought. My files were all text files (mostly in the .odt and .doc formats), and some of them read as code for software, or characters like #.
That said, I have to catch up on my work. I spent the last 24 hours or so doing just recovery and crying, so I got a bit of catchup to do.