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How I Lost All My Cosplay Photos

Updated: Aug 20, 2022

Yep. That isn't a clickbait blog title, even though I wish it was.

Here's the embarrassing story about how I lost 250GB of cosplay photos and how you can learn from my idiotic mistakes.

I've transferred my cosplay photos from laptop to laptop every time I get a new one, but the file of cosplay photos was getting too big, so I bought myself a brand new external hard drive to put them all on. Transferring the photos went well, but I figured I'd keep a backup on my computer juuust in case.

After about 2 weeks I thought "oh it's fine, the hard drive works, I'll delete them off my computer" MISTAKE #1

Me, blissfully unaware of the huge mistake I'm about to make

I then got myself a new laptop and after I transferred all my files from my desktop to my laptop, I wiped the desktop so that it would be ready to sell or trade-in MISTAKE #2

Flash forward a week later and I go to plug in my 3 week old, barely used hard drive into my new laptop... and it's beeping. I think "huh that's weird, but I'm sure it still works! Nope. My files weren't showing up. My brand new hard drive died on me.

MISTAKE #3 I go on the website of the hard drive company and realize they offer free repairs and returns, so I submit a ticket for a data recovery repair and ship it to their warehouse a few hours away. 3 days in I'm checking the status of my repair and return and I see somehow it says they're going to "destroy my hard drive and send me a new one"

and I have no backup of the 250GB of cosplay photos on there.

So, here I sit today after 5 days and 12 combined hours on the phone with customer service representatives, supervisors, Canada Post, UPS and all I have is a receipt that says my hard drive is going to a landfill. Yep.

I've recovered a good chunk of my photos, but if you think I'm ever going to trust technology again you'd be WRONG. I now have my photos on a new hard drive, my Google Drive, my iCloud, and in a private Discord server (discord saves your photos in higher quality than Instagram).

"So what's the point of you telling us all this Payton?" Well, dear reader...


I cannot stress enough that you should have 2, if not 3 different avenues to store your photos. I'm lucky I have this website, my Instagram, photos I sent to my friends on Discord, and Google Drive, but I've completely lost some of my earliest cosplay photos that had never seen the light of the internet. Crushed is an understatement for how I'm feeling. I wouldn't wish this upon my worst enemy.

If you're a cosplayer, artist, photographer, or any sort of creative person PLEASE learn from my mistakes and back up your files. Don't be like me.

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