Have you done your backups lately?

A slight deviation from the theme today to mark my 100th post: instead of some anger, some advice for avoiding anger.

So, have you done your backups lately?

Hard disk drives are a contradiction: they are the part of the computer you least want to go wrong, yet are (in my experience) the part most likely to do so. Nothing is more infuriating and depressing than losing the data on your hard disk because, with a sickening whiiiiirrrr-CLUNK-CLUNK noise, it just decided to stop working one day. Think about the data you have on the computer you are using right now: documents, spreadsheets, photos, emails, videos, music – what if all of it were suddenly gone?

There is a proverb in IT circles:

“There are two types of users: those who have lost data, and those who soon will.”

Most people do not make regular backups. Of those that do, most did not start until after the first time they lost data irretrievably. I was one of them. I did not start making backups until the first hard disk that died on me, and a little of my soul died with it.

There are plenty of backup solutions available. They range from simply buying an external hard disk to make copies onto, to buying a whole backup server. I’m in the latter category; every night, the computers in my house wake up in the small hours, back up every file that has changed to a server under the coffee table, and then magically go back to sleep. The hard disk in my computer could implode right now and the only data I would lose are the files I have modified today. That sort of peace of mind costs, but it costs less than your average laptop.

Consider what your data is worth to you, and invest in a backup system today. Consider it data insurance; you hope you’ll never need it, but you’ll be very, very glad when you do.

Not ‘if’, ‘when’.

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

3 responses to “Have you done your backups lately?”

  1. Federico says :

    I quite agree, Angry Technician. My systems are all backed up twice weekly unless I have worked on something important when that is backed up immediately. Happy 100th post – here’s to many more.

  2. Ellira says :

    Congratulations on sticking it out for 100 posts!

    I need to do a backup this week …

  3. Giles says :

    Couldn’t agree more, but, I’m poor (and fixing everybody elses computers and networks comes first for some reason)

    WANT DROBO!