Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Two Words to The Wise: BACK UP!!!

I will say it again! BACK UP YOUR HARD DRIVE!!!!

As I mentioned in my previous post, Murphy reared his ugly ass head in the worst possible way. The hard drive on my lap top is totally kaput. Gone are all the pictures I took in Seville. Gone are the pictures I took in Seoul and Jeun Ju. It's true my husband took lots of pictures on our Spain trip, and other people took pictures on the Korea trip. However they don't replace the pictures I took. Photography is one way I express myself, and preserve certain experiences in my travels or just day to day occurrences. I can travel with people and they can take similar pictures, but it's just not the same thing. I may compose a certain setting one way. Anyone who enjoys taking pictures can relate to what I'm saying.

The good thing is my 750+ chess games that I've recorded on my Mon Roi and saved on my computer were not on that computer. I had some analysis on that computer, but those games were ones that I had analyzed on one of my road trips and posted on this blog. The games are on this computer, and this is getting backed up today!!

Some of you serious chess study geeks have a lot of work on your computers. If you faithfully back it up, then you are far smarter then me. If you haven't been backing it up, then learn something from my loss. I was hoping that my blog would only teach things from my chess games, but alas I offer another public service to my readers. Personally I would have preferred to show you six ugly losses from the weekend and a wall chart line that castled queen side twice. Instead I one ugly loss over the chess board, and many personal memories lost.

I'm just hoping that maybe I will be able to recover some of the stuff off the hard drive. There are companies that do that sort of stuff, but I have to find out how much it costs and whether it's worth the price.

I guess the only bright side is that the computer still has 4 days left on the warranty.


Anonymous said...

That's the reason why i have a 500 gig external harddisk attached to my laptop at home. I save almost everything to that harddisk.

Steve Eddins said...

An external hard drive is a good solution, but doesn't help if a lightning strike or house fire takes out all the computer equipment. I've been using Mozy for automated, off-site backups for a couple of years now, and I'm very happy with it. Software works quietly and reliably, with no user intervention required after the initial set-up. Using Mozy to back up 2 GB or less is free. $5 per month gets you unlimited storage of files on one computer.

I don't know if there's a Mac client.

Ed said...

chesstiger: Those are nice. But you get a power surge or a static spark at the wrong moment, and it _will_ fry your external drive along with the laptop.

Backup periodically to DVDs or CDs. Make sure you can read them on other machines! Consider storing the last-but-one outside your home.

Why yes, I _am_ speaking from experience. (OK, I haven't needed the offsite backups. Yet.)

KnightFork said...

Polly, sorry to hear about your computer problems. I had a dell laptop that the hard drive went out on a few years back. I lost a lot of pictures of my kids growing up. I learned a hard lesson that day. Depending on what works for you, all of the solutions in the previous posts will help save the day. I personally back up all of my stuff that I want to keep, such as itunes, pictures and such to DVD.

On the bright side, at least the laptop is under warranty, so you won't be out the $ on top of the data loss.

Anonymous said...

Hi Polly,

I can definitely feel you pain! My laptop went kaplooey last March! Luckily I had saved most of my important stuff to an external hard drive but I did lose all my pictures! And now I save everything to the external.

I don't use an external drive that is always attached to my computer. I use a usb powered drive that I disconnect when not in use. I am also going to by a couple of large USB flashdrives and put the most important stuff on those as well.

Sorry again to hear about your computer frying!

Polly said...

Thnaks everyone for the suggestions. All are valid solutions, and a combination of them might be worthwhile. I don't even like to think about the worse case scenario of the house burning down. I think there would be more pressing issues then whether my pictures were stored off site or not.

tanc(happyhippo) said...

Hello polly,

Sorry to hear about your computer getting fried. It happened to me before back in May this year. My laptop decided to give way so I know exactly how miserable you must be feeling.

Since then, I've backed up and back up stuff often.

As other posters have suggested, get a cheap USB powered portable external drive. They're dirt cheap these days and for $100 odd, you easily get > 100GB storage space easy. More than enough to backup your drive.

Blue Devil Knight said...


Thanks for sharing this. I never back mine up, and really really should. My wife even gave me an external hard drive to back up my stuff, and it is sitting there next to my computer unused!

Why is it that so many of us wait until disaster strikes to actually start taking precautions?

Polly said...

BDK: Like everything else in life, we think it's something that happens to other people. Though I should know better since I've had hard drive crashes on several lap tops in the past 3 years. I guess what makes it different this time is the number of pictures I had on that computer.

What makes it more annoying is some of the stuff I'd actually have if I had done things that I was supposed to do. For instance make a CD for someone with a bunch a pictures on it. Email a picture to somebody. Little things that if I had done them at the time I'd be able to get that stuff back from those people.

Oh well. Stuff happens.

Rolling Pawns said...

Many years my friend programmer, working in a small company (just him and owner), spent all weekend meeting the deadline.
On Monday he found out that computer crushed and everything was gone.
He was fired on the spot.
Not always, but sometimes it forces me to do a backup at work or at home.