It’s that time of year again, finals! We know how stressful this time is as a student and how devastating it can be if your digital work is lost. So, we would like to offer our advice in hopes to save some of you from the stress of lost data.
1. Use G Suite whenever possible
If you are creating a word document, presentation or spreadsheet consider using G Suite. G Suite automatically save as you work, so you don’t have to remember to save as you go along. Plus it has an easy to use revision history to restore to an older version.
2. Set your preferences for data recovery
Set up data recover on your Windows and Mac computers. Additionally, if you are using an application local to your computer many have preferences for data recovery. For example, Adobe applications have options that allow you to set preferences for data recovery if a crash happens for you forget to save.
3. Save in more than one place
Flash drives, external hard drives, and files can become corrupted or damaged. We always recommend saving your work to multiple locations. You can save to your Campus Drive (Y: Drive) and can upload your work to Google Drive (you have unlimited storage in your FIT Google Drive) besides your personal devices. If you work in the Labs on campus, saving to the desktop should only be used as a third location or to move files. Work saved on the desktop or local drive in the labs will be cleared when the computer is rebooted, or you log off, this data cannot be restored.
4. Save often
We know that with a deadline hanging over your head you can get end up in the zone and forget to save your work as you go along but you will thank yourself later if something goes wrong. It may help to set a timer to remind you to save every 15 minutes. Are you listening to Pandora without an Adblocker, why not save every time a commercial interrupts your jams.
5. What to do if worst does happen?
For some reason, you were unable to follow tips 1-4, and the worst happens; a file is lost or damaged. Keep calm and try the following:
- Open the program the file was created in and see if you can open it from “Open Recent.”
- Perform a search for the document or another version of it.
- Perform a google search for a solution if you are getting a specific error.
If all is truly lost, have a good cry, then it’s time to contact your instructor and to get back to work. First, take ownership of what happened and accept it, in other words, don’t blame the person that kicked your flash drive or the computer for crashing. Bad things happen, and all we can do is learn from our part in the mistake. Your instructor may be more understanding if you accept your role and approach them with a request for an extension by demonstrating you learned from what happened.