I had one of those nights where I just couldn't sleep. After a nap of about an hour, I got up and decided to go through my entire LR catalog. I did some re-organizing, some deleting that should have been done on import, and other such house cleaning. That entire process took me about 4 hours. Luckily, the last thing I did was make a backup of my new catalog.
I am so happy with myself, that I decide to delete my primary back-up, and run back-up again with my newly organized and thinned catalog. Well, being bleary-eyed and in dire need of coffee, I just wanted to get the new back-up started. That is when I deleted EVERYTHING!. Photos, catalog, all of it. Just over 14,000 photos, and my LR catalog GONE!
First reaction? What the heck just happened? Then I realized what I'd done. Instead of deleting from disk E: (my backup), I had deleted from disk C:, my primary storage. $#!T. Double $#IT. Ok, ok, no harm done, yet. Everything (143 GB) is still in the recycle bin, and I still have the back-ups from BEFORE I 'fixed' everything.
Problem? I had deleted everything I wanted to KEEP into the same recycle bin where I had just deleted everything I wanted to DELETE. It took me two hours to pick through the recycle bin and restore what I needed. Once positive I'd gotten everything back, I was able to use my new back-up of my new catalog to get everything back in order.
All is well, I think. I did find several of my wife's photos in the recycle bin. Not being sure where they came from, I put them all into one folder for her to look through later.
All-in, I spent about 7 hours on this. The last 3 of them recovering from my mistakes. There are two take-aways from this nightmare.
1.) Don't do major computer work when exhausted.
2.) Keep extensive back-ups!
I have my photos and catalogs backed up on 3 separate hard disks. At worst, I could have put everything back to where I started the evening. I used one backup to put everything back together. I do plan on keeping the other two as is, just in case I missed something.
Don't be me!