A week before Christmas my husband and I went to Idaho for a family vacation. I was looking forward to a break from photo editing and the opportunity to map out my business plan for the next year with my husband. My husband’s family was giving each other 5×7’s for Christmas this year and there were a few families who hadn’t had a chance to get their pictures done yet so I agreed to take their pictures for them, but told them I would only edit their favorite while I was up there and then the rest after my vacation. I had taken some amazing pictures of my husbands youngest brother’s family (say that ten times fast) and on Sunday was getting ready to edit the one they picked out and then something horrible happened . . . the cord to my external hard drive came loose and my hard drive became corrupted and unreadable! Everything was on that hard drive!!!! Every image I have taken since getting my camera, every photo of our family for the past 7 years . . . everything. Luckily I hadn’t erased the pictures off my camera, something told me to wait, so I listened and was able to still edit their picture but everything else was gone. Thankfully my oldest brother is AMAZING and on our way home from Idaho we stopped at his house and he worked his magic geekiness and saved my hard drive. I could have kissed him, except we aren’t that kind of family, so I told him thank you and now need to send him an amazing thank you gift (ideas are welcome). We got home friday night and I was so excited to plug in my hard drive and look at the pictures I had taken and just be grateful and guess what my computer was still telling me it was corrupt. I didn’t understand because it was working just fine on my brothers computer. I am an insane problem solver, give me a problem and I will rack my brain until I come up with a solution so I sat there and thought and thought and thought about why it wouldn’t work. I really didn’t want to bother my brother again because I wanted him to spend time with his family and not have to deal with my idiocy. After a while I came up with the conclusion that it was because I was using windows xp and he had windows 7 on his computer. The corrupt files were probably xp files. I wanted test my hypothesis before spending $200 on a new windows and was telling my oldest sister about my dilemma when she told me that she had windows 7 and would let me put it on my computer. I could kiss her! I installed it yesterday and tada I can access my hard drive. I did quite the happy dance let me tell you! My brother had shown me what the corrupt files looked like and after installing windows I noticed I had a lot of corrupt files on my desktop hard drive, so I made sure I had the software to all the programs I needed and completely reformatter my desktop last night and I am so glad I did! My computer is running smoother, faster, and I love it! So while I was beyond stressed before, I am grateful now that having a bad hard drive forced me to spend quality time with my family, forced me to update my windows, and clean up both hard drives. I am way behind on editing, but luckily everyone understood and over the next few weeks I will upload some of my favorite photos I have done!