So I've spent most of the last week head-scratching and fannying about with my PC. It started last Saturday when an Excel file I was in the process of opening simply disappeared into the ether. No sign of it in the Recycle Bin, and Hidden Files set to show anyway so no sign of it - simply gone. It was a file I'd been sent from Butterfly Conservation that came on a time-limited We Transfer link, so I assumed the file must have some sort on in-built self-destruct based on the date and thought no more of it. Then later in the day, the same happened with another file. Shite - all the hallmarks of virus activity. I have Norton 360 running, so nothing should get past anyway, but even so I then spent the whole of Saturday evening running a full scan. Nothing found, no virus on the machine or within the files.
I decided to back-up and move files about, and that is when it became clear that the hard-drive on the PC was starting to throw a wobbly. The upshot is that I've not lost anything important, and all the key files and stuff I need are recovered and or/backed-up, or at least recoverable. But I have lost a load of recent photo files - essentially everything I'd taken/saved from the TG-6 since mid-August (the last full back-up I did) - all the earlier files were still fine. This is a bit of a pisser as it means that there a few significant moths and suchlike that I can no longer re-edit or have anything better than the low-res versions I've posted on here, Facebook, Naturespot etc. Still it could be a lot worse.
I'm usually pretty good at backing up, but of course unless you back up literally every time you change or create a file then there is always a chance of loss. I've sourced another external HDD and recreated my hard drive, and I've then completely deleted everything from the internal hard drive, run the disk checker, saved a few files back onto it and de-fragged it again after that. All seems okay, and probably will be for a good few GB but either way and have moved everything that I'm working on 'live' to a One Drive synced folder. I've also backed up a few key files on Google Drive for good measure. And I'll have to start backing up more frequently - even more so now that I'm holding all of the VC55 moth data, not just my own stuff. It's more of a time-swallowing ball ache than anything, certainly it's not fun.
The milder conditions in the last week brought one one or two moths. The lack of decent woodland close to home always limits the potential for much here in the winter period.