Close call with the laundry!
Last Saturday I went to do my laundry. The laundry bag was packed and heavy because I was also including bed linen and some heavy clothes, including my jeans (yes, it’s good to wash jeans once in a while!). Anyway, after struggling to stuff everything into the washing machine and starting the cycle I grabbed one of my text books and did some reading. After the 38-minute wash cycle was up I transferred everything into the dryer and decided to head back to my dorm room and do some organizing. In my room I was dusting off the computer and suddenly I got a sickening feeling in my stomach. My USB flash drive was not protruding from the USB port on the laptop! It was gone! I searched around and could not find it. If you are like me and frequently back up your important personal files to flash drives then you probably know what I was feeling (okay, maybe not for those of you who do secondary and tertiary backups! *Geeks!*). It was then that I remembered not emptying out one of my jean pockets which I had thrown into the washer! I dashed down to the laundry room and stopped the drier 10 minutes into its 60-minute cycle, and there it was… perched upon the rim of the door looking up at me like a child who has been abandoned! I scooped it up, placed it a few inches in front of a cool blowing hair dryer for about 10 minutes and then left it to recuperate under a warm desk lamp for about 2 hours.
The moment of truth came when I plugged it into the USB port of my laptop and my nerves were calmed when I heard that little “ding” sound. Windows was still able to read the flash drive. Yay!
This is a true story and I told it to make several points. If you carry around a flash drive, make sure that you don’t make the silly mistake as I did and leave it in the washer. Actually, the washer wasn’t the worse part because even though the internal circuitry may get wet there is still a chance that you can get it working again. You do this by making sure that it is dry. Expose it to low heated air from a hair dryer and leave it in a cool dry place so that any additional water can evaporate naturally. Whatever you do, do not go and plug it directly into your USB drive if it is still wet to see if anything was lost! Doing that may just induce more damage. Now that I think about it, had I left it longer in the dryer all of the internal circuitry could have melted leaving me without my backed up data. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case and I plan on making periodic DVD-R backup copies just to be safe!