For years I’ve photographed renaissance fairs, belly dance shows and national parks, among other things. By 2008 I had over 300,000 photos, all of them stored on a single external hard drive. Even though I’ve been a computer professional for years, it never occurred to me that something could happen to that brand new drive. Hard drives, at that time, were expensive and I figured I’d make a backup “tomorrow”, but somehow tomorrow kept getting put off to the next day. In other words, I didn’t have a backup plan. Livedrive solved that problem.
Disaster Strikes and I’m Unprepared
One day I was sitting at my desk editing a photo when I heard a horrible screech from the drive. It didn’t take me long to realize that all of my photos, the originals anyway, had been destroyed. I had copies of these picture in a modified, smaller form on another drive, but the originals were gone.
With some experimentation, I found that the drive was not totally destroyed. I could turn it on and it would last from ten to thirty minutes before shutting down again. So, over the next few weeks I spent long evenings copying files off the drive, little by little, until I recovered all but a few hundred images.
With this narrow escape from disaster, I learned my lesson and quickly came up with a real backup plan..
I looked at several options:
- Buying an external hard drive and copying the data to it on occasion. This wouldn’t well because remembering to do a manual backup is problematical at best.
- Buying a drive and using software to backup to it occasionally. Better than the manual method, but the drive containing the backup would be in my home, where it could damaged or stolen.
- Getting software to do an automated cloud backup. This option is by far superior to everything else. In this backup method, my files would get backed up over the internet to a system somewhere else. Since I’ve always had a fast internet connection, I wasn’t concerned with performance.
At the time, there were many cloud backup options, and most of them were quite expensive. However, two products stood out as being inexpensive and superior to everything else.
I was determined to protect my data, because the computer could always be replaced, but the data, photos, and records were vulnerable to disasters of all kinds. I chose the cloud backup solution.
Your Data is Far More Valuable than Your Computer
Before doing anything on your computer, check, NOW, to see if you have some kind of backup. No? Then you are living on borrowed time. Your computer could be working perfectly right now, but in a few seconds you could have a real disaster on your hands.
Think about what is stored on your computer. Your business records? Family photos? Videos? If you are anything like most people with computers these days, you’ve got hundreds or thousands or more files that are irreplaceable.
What Is The Best Way To Keep These Files Safe?
I recommend a product that has literally saved my butt numerous times. It’s called BackBlaze. This wonderful little application is simple to install in just a few minutes, and best of all, it’s completely automatic. As long as your system is connected to the internet, your files will be automatically saved to a secure location outside your home. It’s cheap, under $75 a year; it’s simple, and it’s secure and safe.
But besides a catastrophic computer failure, what else could happen to your files? Well, a virus could infect your system, the hard drive could fail, your friend, child or co-worker could delete the files, a thief could steal or wreck your computer, or a natural disaster could wipe it all out.
If you use BackBlaze, you don’t have to worry about any of this. Whatever happens to your computer, your files will be safely stored so you can recover them as needed.
Check Your Backup Regularly
Be sure and check your backup, whatever product you choose to use, once in a while to ensure it is actually working. Not having a good backup can be a disaster of epic proportions. In one instance I’ve seen the lack of a backup turn a situation which was just uncomfortable into a complete disaster. I knew a guy who was working on an older Macintosh computer. Our entire company switched to PCs except for him, because he didn’t have the time. The Macintosh was old and unbeknownst to anyone it had been outfitted with an old RAID drive (mirrored) from a manufacturer that no longer existed.
This guy believed he was doing backups every day. Someone showed him how to do it and he followed those instructions to the letter, even to the point of ignoring the error that it produced each and every time it ran. That was actually in the instructions.
One day his hard disk started making strange sounds so he called us. We tried to boot it up but no go. We asked him if he was doing backups and he handed us his zip disks, which were blank! He had been faithfully doing backups for over two years, and not one of them worked.
We had to send the disk out to a disk repair shop, and they managed to recover about 20% of the data at a cost of over $6,000! It took the poor guy almost six months with two temps to get all of the data hand-typed back into the computer!
Cloud Backup is the Way to Go
My cloud backup, BackBlaze, has saved my butt several times. It’s the best online backup solution that I’ve seen to date.
- My system had a total failure where I would have lost all my files forever, I restored it all with Livedrive.
- A disk drive crashed hard, and I would have lost 100,000 images. Again, I restored them all from my cloud backup with Livedrive.
- And numerous times I have recovered individual files and folders that got accidentally deleted.
If you want to protect your precious photos, videos, financial data and documents, install a cloud backup solution such as Livedrive today.