Karl's Blog

Backup - Intro

Only businesses need to backup

Yeah, that is one of the things, I need to get around to.

I know I need to do it, I just don't know how.

I don't have anything important that needs to be backed up.

I just bought this computer with great technical support.

I don't have time right now.

I can't afford it right now.

One of the biggest dillusions we put ourselves in, is "it won't happen to me". I just got my computer, how can I loose my information. When I did computer technical support and a customer would tell me their computer would not start up anymore, their first question was something like, "Did I loose all of my pictures?" Or will all of my email be gone? Or even worse after we replaced their failed Hard Drive (storage), the realization sinking in that everything that they had done on their computer for the past year was gone.

A very popular excuse for not backing up is, "Well, my computer is brand new and it will not break for a while. Time for a reality check here. Everything breaks. It is not a matter of if it will break, it is a matter of when it will break. Something can break at any time, even if it was purchased yesterday.

There are services available which can sometime recover data from damaged or failed Hard Drives, however frequently even they are not successful. Services like this are always very expensive. Two of my employers have lost data and as a last resort paid a professional data recovery company to try and recover the data. The first instance was successful however it ended up costing just over $5000. The second time was not successful and no data was saved.

Frequently, we don't realize how much important information our computers contain or we don't realize how important it is until it is too late.

Over time, saving data and information has become easier however it is also much easier to loose that data. Compare the difficulty of chiselling out a sentence on a stone tablet versus typing it on a computer. But we also need to remember that a stone tablet can still be readable after several hundred years where everything you typed into a computer can disappear completly with one power surge from a nearby thunderstorm.

It is always easy to forget the importance of our information. Most cameras today are digital which means that pictures are cheaper to take without film and developing costs, but since we frequenty don't print them out the pictures and the memories they hold for us and the stories they relay to those that come after us are lost if we don't have backups. Letters that we write, Emails we send and receive, Tax information and submitted forms, Bank information are just a few examples of data that is stored on your computer. Another example that I run into frequently is passwords. Internet browsers offer the convenience of remembering our passwords for us. The problem with this is that if we have followed the advise of not using the same password for every website, then it is easy to forget which password goes with each website, or even what some of the passwords wereif we were to loose the information that the browser saves. The pictures we take, what we write and read tell the story of our lives which I hope everyone of you will have to look back on and also have to pass on to future generations.