I have not been around much lately. While my disappearance was probably unnoticed, I feel compelled to talk about it, and hope that even one person is saved from going through the same thing. You see, my heart just hasn't been in it ("it" being picture taking) lately. Ever since the external hard drive holding over 7,000 pictures from the last 10 years of my life failed. Quit. Went kaputs. Crapped out. "But of course you had a backup??" Ironically, this was the backup, where I had spent the last 2 months since my Christmas break consolidating every photo I've taken since 2003. It was also the location of all the images I've imported into Lr4 and wasn't worried, because hey, I'm getting ready to backup to the cloud and this HDD is healthy as a horse. Yep, this HDD was to be my compilation of all the different cameras, and emailed photos, and formats, all organized into one location, for cloud upload. Only I kept putting off that upload because I knew it was going to take some time to set up and I kept thinking I would just do it tomorrow. Or next weekend. And then we had a power failure, and my external hard drives were not properly unmounted. Suddenly my perfect, never-had-a-problem HDD was not offering up any of my photos. While I cannot say with 100% certainty this caused the problem, I think it's highly likely (as do the technicians I've spoken with). Right now it's a good news (hopefully)/bad news scenario. The good news (hopefully) is that the DataTech technician I spoke with says that by my description it sounds like a logical failure and they should be able to recover my data. Of course there are no guarantees until they actually crack open the case. The bad news is that it's going to cost me anywhere between $500-$2,000 to recover the data. The cost will depend on their level of effort. Luckily, they will take a look and give the price first, and if they are unsuccessful I only pay for any parts they purchased on my behalf. I get a bonus in March. I was earmarking part of it for the Oly 12-40 pro (which I covet and drool over), and also the new Oly 25/1.8. Now I will be spending that lens money on retrieving old photos (and I will be happy for the privilege). I've given up on the 12-40 in lieu of this unexpected expense and I'm hoping to sell my 17/2.8 and kit 14-42 and combine it with the credit I have at the little brick and mortar I love, to get the 25/1.8 (they're calling me when they get their first one in the next week or two). While it doesn't make sense to some, this experience has really saddened me and has taken a little joy out of what was an otherwise totally joyful hobby. I just haven't been feeling it lately and I've been looking for renewed inspiration. I'm finding some in my boys, who have enjoyed a few photo walks lately, including my 7-year old who is shooting with my 16-year old Kodak DC210. I'm slowly coming around, but until I get that HDD to DataTech and know for 100% certainty that they can recover my pics, there is still a cloud hanging over me. And that's my cautionary tale. Don't put off backing up your stuff. Don't wait until next week, next weekend, or tomorrow. DO IT NOW! I'm now using CrashPlan which backs up my computer AND my remaining external HDD several times a day (and by several I mean a lot). And I keep thinking "why in the hell did I wait to do this???"