So I just got some new LED fixtures in at work and set out to get them incorporated in the rig. At T-minus two hours to show time I was having no luck getting them to receive DMX and while poking around in the console I managed to shift into some mode that when I shifted back redistributed all the dimmer patches. Evenly. Across all the channels.
There wasn't time to panic so I went to the disc and found that the last time I had saved a show was over a year ago. A lot had changed since then but at least the house lights would be in there and that would save locating two dozen patches. From there on out my scant paperwork was all I had to go on. I was able to get about two thirds of what was left from three different scraps of paper I found in the pile on my desk. The rest I just had to go through in dimmer check mode and fill in.
With that out of the way there was time for a quick pause to go outside and scream. Then it was right back to the console to get some cues in place before people started to arrive. I built half a dozen basic looks and saved them as low number cues, then pulled them up and changed them to fit the needs of the upcoming service.
Then I saved the show. Twice. Fortunately I have a box of old school 1.44 MB discs squirreled away in case of just such an emergency. So. If you're in the same boat as me, a sound guy also pulling duty as a lighting guy. Save your stuff frequently and keep some sort of paperwork around in case that doesn't work out. In this instance I had enough time and enough to go on to put my show back together before anyone got there (it even looked better after I was done), but you can't always count on catastrophe having respect for your schedule.