I’m a computer junkie (just ask John). And over the years there have been a few times when my system crashed and lost all my data which then took me weeks to recover. In the worst cases, I never got everything back.
Admittedly my current system is more stable (knock on wood) so it’s been a while. I’m very cautious. I run an excellent virus protection program, but that only stops “invasions” from outside. I do complete system checks on a weekly basis. (Do you know how to run sys check?)
I know from experience that sometimes the computer itself malfunctions – like a car that has mechanical problems. Believe me, I can’t take a chance! I work too hard creating workshop programs or doing websites to have to start over.
Therefore two years ago this coming August, I bought a fancy (aka “expensive”) Seagate Black Armor NAS 110 external 2TB hard drive which I thought would run daily automatic back-ups and I’d be protected. (A picture of it is to the immediate left.)
It did work for a while (maybe a month), but I can’t begin to tell you how much time it took. I was on with Seagate’s customer service for HOURS upon HOURS (sometimes from 9-9, prior to getting it to work “automatically.” It was quirky and difficult and then it quit. Fatigued, I decided to let it go for awhile.
But I couldn’t give up. I’d spent too much. I’d whined too much. I’d bragged too much. (And I’d even accepted a partial contribution toward the hard drive from the Original Dulcimer Players Club, one of the websites I host and needed to back-up.)
Before I left for Florida last October, determinedly I started over, cleared everything out, and ran a complete new back-up.
I couldn’t use my computer for a several days while it ran (because along the way I had discovered that while it was doing a full back-up the computer couldn’t be used for ANYTHING else), but I did get what I thought was back-up file that I was complete and could be restored. Sadly that that was the only back-up which was successful. I couldn’t get the automatic feature to work when I got to Florida and I certainly didn’t want to waste my precious sunshine-time trying to do computer back-ups. Therefore the Seagate back-up drive was stored away “just in case,” but as time passed it got further and further out of date.
Now, I’m back in Michigan, with more available time, and I figured I’d start over again. For about six hours yesterday I monkeyed with the installation of the Seagate hard drive. I erased everything and thought I had it scheduled to run the “first back-up” today at 10:00 a.m. but, as before, it didn’t work.
I need a back-up! I may not use it often, but I do want to have something to fall back on.
After considering all options, I came up with a solution that is simple.
I have manually backed up all of my photos to a directory on the huge external hard drive (2TB) and I manually backed up the file section of my computer’s drive which includes all the websites and workshop information. It’s true that only the files were copied and nothing will automatically update. But with a good, full back-up, I’ll try to be diligent adding to the data at least weekly. If I copy just the changed “files,” it shouldn’t be too much trouble.
The huge hard drive 2TB is still valuable when doing it this way.
It’s the old fashioned “do-it-manually” method, but a back-up will be there if I have a problem. No, in the event of a crash, it won’t let me reload every program which I have installed and put me back where I was with a simple stroke, but I probably wouldn’t want to do it that way anyway. If my computer crashes, I’d probably buy a different computer, and install just the programs I use all the time. (AND most of the time programs work better if installed from the original disks.) I would want to install the programs then copy the files which are my work-product to a new computer. (Example, if I use Word, I need the Word files I’ve created. If I use Microsoft Streets and Trips I need the route files. Photos and videos are also important. I want to make sure those are always backed up. This new back up method can do it provide I’m diligent!!
I’m still reviewing and adding to what is stored. I hope when I am satisfied that I have everything, a regularly created back-up will be fairly simple to maintain. I am determined to stay on top of it!! At least now I know it’s something I can manage without counting on the device to run and back-up from my computer. (Should have done it this way before wasting all that time!!)