Have you backed up your data lately?

I used to keep my back up disks in a fireproof safe tightly sealed in water proof bags. The basic idea was that my data was safe as long as there was no nuclear strike. I’m not that crazy paranoid these days. But I backup my files at work to a “paranoid” level. It paid off a few days back. When my ass was saved by a well archived backup file. So I take this moment to ask you – have you backed up your “stuff” lately?


6 thoughts on “Have you backed up your data lately?

  1. My music and stuff are too big to backup in a feasible manner (unless I invest in a DVD writer) but I’ve got all of my mom’s accounts and stuff backed up… Now if only I remember to do these things on a regular basis! 😀


  2. I have just my photos to be backed up. I remember once, this virus attacked and I lost all my Sigiriya pictures and they were so sexy 😦 Which reminds me to back up all my current pictures. I usually back my phone up quite regularly. This was so helpful. Thanks for sharing.



  3. Lost three months of wildlife photographs a few months ago, since then I do backup fairly religiously (though I am prone to forgetting sometimes). I’m also looking at a RAID system with an old PC of mine to provide more back up capability for my photographs.


  4. No real excuse for not backing up data these days, storage space is cheap and there are plenty of utilities than can schedule regular, incremental backups of any new/changed data.

    I suggest external harddrive or a physically seperate internal harddrive that is powered off/disconnected when not used for backup – that way less chance nasties can infect it and main drive failure wont make your data irrecoverable.

    There are two types of data: stuff that can be replaced – software, music multimedia that were bought/nicked whaterever, and the data that you have created yourself – your pictures/video &etc, documents, accounts & that’s the stuff that needs protecting.

    In fact you should always store your data in a physically separate drive from (i.e not a partition of) your main/C drive where the programmes are installed. Then backed up in another physcially separate drive/DVD &etc.

    It’s an arse rebuilding a PC, loading all the software & etc, but the pictures you took and the words you wrote three years ago are irreplaceable.


  5. A tale of caution – even for those using macs: I usually do a comprehensive backup every friday in my office in colombo. However I was travelling the whole of may and let it slip – so my last full back up was from 23 April. Lo and behold I had upgraded my hard disk on my mac book pro from 250Gb to 500 Gb on my last trip to Singapore not worrying about the quality of the disk that was put in..and it spectacularly failed when I was next in Singapore. Could not access anything – so had to spend S$400 to retrieve 2 weeks of crucial work + s$300 for a proper hard disk replacement + 4 days of reduced output etc whilst the retrieval and rebuild were taking place.
    I now backup constantly and full backup daily to 2 different hard disks…


  6. Chavie: I totally agree with you – DVD is the safest/cheapest method though not the most convenient. Plus they don’t last for more than a few years. Still Its better than nothing. I used to back up stuff (in my student days) on a SLOW noisy tape drive. Never had a quiet night’s sleep for years but it saved my ass quite a few times 🙂

    Me-shak: Sorry to hear about that. For all its worth, data retrieval is (expensively) possible – so there might be hope yet.

    N: RAID is not a good backup option unless you got them mirrored – which makes it expensive. Even than if it goes belly up its messy. There’s a longer post on the downsides’ of RAID as backup. I’d say RAID is workable as a “workspace” storage for files you are working on. chamira’s comment sums it up better than I could.

    I had a near miss when a pair of drives I had set up as a RAID. By a lucky mistake I had them mirrored (RAID 0) when one of the drives went down. If I had them split into a RAID 1 (with no redundancy) I’d have lost everything. From my experience I’d say the only way to back up large gobs of data without spending a fortune is to stick them on removable media in a physically safe place. For home stuff its DVDS. All of which means using some sort of back up software. Personally I’m too paranoid to rely entirely on syncing applications to keep everything together. Nothing gives peace of mind like a full backup sitting in the depths of a bunker. 🙂

    All the best with your backup hunting.

    chamira: Totally agree with you. Thank you for detailing the options so concisely 😀

    maf: That sounds very painful. Hope everything is back to “normal” 😀


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