My PC Dropped Dead, But At Least I Rescued My Mass Effect Saves

I love my desktop PC. I'm a PC gamer through and through and my current computer, which is the machine I also use every day for work, is one I built for myself in 2010. I dust it out regularly, am careful with my file management, and have mastered the art of putting the mouse away at night so the cat can't chew through its wire again.

But sometimes, parts just fail. And my hard drive, a terabyte of game-filled glory, rapidly began to die last Sunday. I had just enough lead time between discovering the bad sectors and becoming completely unable to boot Windows at all that I was able to back up a few key folders of data.

So what did I choose to save?

The first folder I made sure to grab wasn't "My Documents". It wasn't even "My Pictures" or "My Music". No. Clearly, my priorities lie in another area entirely. The first folder I was absolutely, positively sure to rescue?

The BioWare subdirectory.

Because that's where my Mass Effect and Dragon Age saved games and screenshots (for five games, total) all are. I spontaneously copied the folder with my Fallout: New Vegas saves right after. My characters' lives, apparently, are what I can't live without.

Now, to be fair — or, perhaps, to rationalise — my most important images and documents are all backed up or stored elsewhere, and most of my important programs are easily re-retrieved, either from discs or from services like Steam.

Meanwhile, the defunct desktop made my job much more difficult. It's hard to contribute to a block called "PC Gaming Lives" when your PC has, in fact, died and taken all of your daily resources with it. Until the new drive arrived late Wednesday, it was a rough week.

Still, I found ways to manage work, if clumsily and slowly. My evenings were where I suddenly found myself adrift. I'd just finished the most recent book I bought, I'm caught up on the few shows I watch, and I had no PC to play games on. Everything is on my PC. What was I to do?

I picked up my sadly neglected DS, then put it back down. I toyed with the games on my iPod and Droid, then put them both back down. Without my PC, it seems, I just wanted to mope.

Luckily, the story has a happy ending. Hard drives are one of the easist, least expensive parts to replace. I still have my music, I still have my documents, and I still have my 1500 Mass Effect screenshots. Everything's up and running, just in time for a long weekend. Think I'll feed my addiction and shoot some Reapers.

Image: Flickr user S Baker


    Why bother? It's not like any of your actions will affect the endings or anything.

      Because his characters obviously mean something to him


      hey i spent 3 games with my character. even though i was unhappy with the ending its not my shepard's fault that it went pair-shaped. he doesn't deserve to die because of a BW screw-up.

      plus screenshots!

    If only there was a universal game save folder it would been easier to save those characters lives(and others). It would also be easier to set up something like an auto back up using dropbox or something similar.

    And that is the one thing I always forget to save when I format, my save games. But I only have a few minutes of annoyance before I just go "meh".

    no 1 thing to do, backup steam directory

    Buy two hard disk drives and mirror them next time you scrub

    First thing I do on a clean install is set the my documents folder to point to my backup drive. That way if my OS dies I don't have to try and rescue any files as they are already backed up.

      Until your backup drive dies.

    Everyone take a moment from there day to remember this dead pc, you will be missed

      Can we take a moment to remember the English language, too?

    I have all my game saves going to dropbox, so all my saves are automatically uploaded for me, also means I can continue on any PC with the game installed. Also, I use crashplan to backup all my data to my server, and crashplan again to backup my server to my work PC. redundancy is King!

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