I don’t know what has been going on with the world lately, but being the only computer guy in my close group of friends with an IT support background definitely has it’s down sides. Since August I have experienced 5 catastrophic hard drive failures. I wish I could blame them all on one common factor, like bad firmware or something, but I simply cannot. The drives were of different ages and from a variety of manufacturers and system builders. Only one of these drives was mine, the rest belonged to friends and family. Care to take a guess at how many of these drives were backed up?
Luckily for me, my drive that failed was in an external enclosure and was only used for backup anyway. The rest though, were the main system drives from my friend’s primary PCs. I was able to get most of the data off of one of them, but the other 3 were completely toast. Based on the look that shows up on people’s faces when I tell them that I can’t restore any of their pictures or home business files from a failed drive, I might as well be a surgeon informing family of an unfortunate surgical outcome for a family member. It’s absolutely gut-wrenching. I don’t wish it on anybody.
I’m a firm believer that if your data does not exist in at least 3 places, it doesn’t exist at all. Burning DVDs of pictures or copying them to an external hard drive are great, but you need to have a copy OUTSIDE of your home as well. The method that works for me is that I have an external hard drive that I leave in my desk at work, every other weekend I bring it home and copy my data onto it. Monday morning I put it back in my desk at the office and I feel much more protected. Some people like to ‘cloud’ option as well, however with Cogeco having a 60gig per month bandwidth cap, it’ not an option for me (my backup drive is almost 200gigs.)
Really though, I don’t care how you do it, just BACK UP YOUR STUFF!