Why You Should Never Vacuum – Ever!

Why You Should Never Vacuum, Ever from soivebeenthinking.com


So, I’ve been absent from blogging for about a week. It’s not that I haven’t had a lot to say – that’s for sure – I’ve just been busy pulling the pieces of my broken virtual life back together. Thanks to my vacuum cleaner. Consider this a lesson on why you should never vacuum, ever!

Last week, I was actually having a great morning: I didn’t have to work, I was making a dent in the laundry mountain and steadily eliminating the dust from all the various corners of our house, well, family room (but I had big dreams for the rest of the house!)

So, I stopped vacuuming for a moment to pull up the couch cushions.

Big mistake, I thought I’d locked the vacuum handle into place, stepped forward and the handle fell back to the floor. On the way to it’s final resting spot, however, the handle bounced off my open MacBook. Right over the hard drive.

It bounced.


No physical damage was evident so I thought I was okay but when I tried to work a little bit later…that’s when I realized the real damage.

No hard drive. My computer slowly died as I tried to shut it down and it would not respond to any attempt at revival.

I didn’t panic, I have my music and pictures backed up on an external hard drive. I thought, “I’m good.”

It wasn’t until later that I understood – those two libraries were safe but nothing else. Nothing to do with my day-to-day, none of my emails (prior to Jan 17, 2014) none of the pictures I use on my blog, nothing I’ve written or started writing to post “later,” nothing stored on my desktop, none of the apps I’ve paid for and downloaded from 3rd party vendors, none of my digital gift certificates, none of my photography and jewelry books and none of my log-ins and passwords for any of my servers, websites, hosts, etc. It was all gone.

After 3 days without my computer, while Apple replaced the hard drive and tried to retrieve my information, I started to feel the enormity of what I’d lost.

This has been a small nightmare. Just as an example: it took me a whole day to figure out how to get into my own website without the password autofill and no certain idea of what my log-in info actually was. I had recently changed it to something non-logical and “un-hackable.” And the log-in and password were stored in a file on my now-crashed hard-drive.

I did get a quote from a data company and for a mere $700-$2,400 max, they will take a look and try to extract my data for me.


I’ve got that cash right in my front pocket.

So, I’m sitting on that quote. And slowly but surely rebuilding my presence/digital life and gaining access to my “stuff.”

The one lingering doubt I still have is about my home movies. I’ve got to figure out the movie situation – whether or not I have any of the videos we’ve taken over the past 12 years of the kids growing up. That would probably be the kicker on purchasing the data extraction service for me – if I don’t have them I will have to send in that hard drive and hope for the low end of the quote.

I’ve definitely learned a few lessons: turn on Time Machine at least once a day; back up your whole hard drive, not just parts; close your laptop when you aren’t using it.

And never, ever vacuum.

At least not near your open and vulnerable MacBook.

Coming soon: a post on the best options for backing up your hard drive and the crazy cost of data extraction services!

Have you ever lost your hard drive? Do you have a nightmare story like mine? I’d love to hear it!

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. The Dose of Reality

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! You are so right. No good deed goes unpunished does it? This is the best argument for not vacuuming I’ve ever heard.

    I’ve lost all my stuff once and all the pictures on my phone (which were a lot) once. My computer had been giving me a lot of trouble, but I just pressed on until it died one day and nothing could be retrieved. I had no back up for anything (like I do now) It was horrifying. My phone melted…as in actually melted taking down all of my precious pictures which I had no back up for anywhere.

    I have a pit in my stomach for you. It’s just horrible. Now whenever I think my computer is about to conk out, I get a new one—but of course that doesn’t allow for accidents like this. I need to lie down just thinking about how awful it is. I’m so sorry!! –Lisa

  2. I remember reading about your phone and pictures. It’s an awful feeling, for sure. I’m trying not to panic about the movies right now…I’m trying to think it though where all the older/oldest ones could be on other hard drives so hopefully I don’t have to pay that ransom! Yes, that’s what it feels like, a ransom. What I did discover is that my very first computer…the whole hard drive (pictures, music and everything else) backed up to a DVD. What the heck? If only.

  3. Okay, that is hysterical – and awful – all at the same time. I’m so sorry!!!!!!! I will never vacuum again:)

  4. Oh my goodness. I’ve actually had that happen at work, and they were able to retrieve A-S of my files. A little bit is better than nothing, I guess!
    And I PROMISE I will NEVER vacuum again!!! hehe!

  5. Ohhh..nooo. It makes me so queasy.
    This happened to my husband. He did pay the enormous wad of cash just to see if they could retrieve anything. I believe they could in that case. It was a nightmare
    I am so sorry!

    • I am glad to hear a success story – that’s heartening at least. I’m trying to keep track of what I am missing as I notice to determine if I really need the service. I’ll give it a couple months – nothing urgent so far!

  6. Oh, Steph! I am so sorry! That is such a nightmare and we are all so dependent on our data! In an effort to be efficient last week, I had a similar mishap – not a fraction as critical as yours – but basically, I wound up breaking a LOT of the ceramic tile that I was going to use to tile the floor of my store – after a few boxes dropped on my (ouch!) foot. I think being efficient and organized and vacuuming in particular are over rated. I hope you have retrieve everything!

    • Oh Ilene! Ouch! I hope you are okay. That is really a bummer – and probably a costly one at that. I agree with the overrated part – absolutely and whole heartedly!

  7. OHMYGOSH you POOR THING!! What a total and COMPLETE nightmare!!! I am so so sorry you had to go through this… and I PRAY those movies will be found!! (Without the added money coming from your front pocket!)


  8. Oh, Stephanie – I’m so sorry! I once erased two years worth of photos from my laptop by accident and I could not retrieve them. I was able to print the ones I had downloaded to Snapfish but lost the rest. I do back up my whole computer, but not daily. Maybe I should – and I definitely will stop vacuuming. I hope you can get everything back!

  9. That does it. I am never vacuuming again! I need to start using my Time Machine again. It stopped working last year and I never replaced it. I need to take care of that!

  10. Oh my goodness! I cannot imagine that. I purchased a time machine and I am SOO bad at using it and letting it back things up. If I ever do damage my laptop, I am going to be kicking myself hard….so now I am going to go and back this baby up!! Can’t wait to read your future post on the best way to do it.

  11. No more vacuuming? You don’t have to tell me twice!

    I really hope you’re able to get your stuff back. You never realize how important it is to be vigilant about backing up until something like that happens.

    And I look forward to your post on how to back up! The way I do it is extremely time-consuming, so any tips are awesome!

  12. Lol. That’s quite a story. Thanks for the great read. 😉 I’ll be sharing this for you.

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