Saturday, September 16, 2006

Do You Backup?

I am told that statistics gathered by Apple computer are that 26% of computer users say they back up regularly, but only 4% actually do what they say they do. (This is a word of mouth report, so I don't promise that the figures are entirely accurate, but they sound as if they reflect reality).

I learnt the hard way about backups when my hard disk died a year or two back, and I found my last full backup wasn't as up-to-date as I would have liked. In fact, it was a year old! Of course, the problem with backups is that storage media tend not to keep up with the size of hard disks. That particular computer had a floppy disk drive and could read but not write CDs. The backup was done by way of our family network, onto another computer. It required arrangements to be made with my husband, when he was around at the same time as I remembered, which tended not to happen.

When I bought my new computer Apple was between models, so there wasn't much choice in the shop. I was pretty pleased with my new computer which reads and writes CDs, and reads DVDs but doesn't write them. I didn't think I needed to write DVDs. That was before I found out how quickly my photos fill up the space of a CD. I backup all my documents onto CD, but it would take a lot of CDs to backup all my photos.

So, P. bought me a spare hard drive. It is set up so that I can easily copy the entire contents of my hard drive. Wonderful! Hopefully I will never have two hard drives die at once. And I don't keep it on all the time, so that if there is a power surge, it won't fry both hard disks.

Now I am looking forward to Apple's new operating system - Leopard. Apparently as soon as you turn on an extra hard drive, it will ask "Do you want to use this for backup?", and it will then automatically back up everything, once a day, to the second hard drive.

Of course there is always the possibility of the house burning down. I really should take the spare hard drive, plug it into P's computer (which does burn DVDs), make a copy of everything and store it somewhere out of the house. One day I will get round to it.

Do you back up regularly? What would you most miss if your hard drive died?

8 comments:

Carmi said...

I'm a senior research analyst for a tech research firm, so I read this entry with great interest.

It shocks me how many companies and individuals out there do not have solid backup plans in place. It's like driving without insurance or a seat belt: you feel naked.

I burn everything to CD and DVD fairly regularly. My drive died a few months back: I lost only a couple of days worth of scribblings - no great loss.

All my precious photos were saved. Phew!

h&b said...

Blah !
I am absolute crap ... I try to print hard-copies of photos every 6months, but that's it.

Think of me as a 'bushfire survivor' though ( I am not ), but I have nought from before I turned 18yrs of age - no photos, no keepsakes, no memories in physical form.

Although I feel liberated, i'd like to have baby photos and the like, but I can still recall them in my head. There is nothing of a non-live nature I would really, truely miss ...

Here from Michele's today

Deb R said...

I am badBadBAD for not doing back-ups nearly as often as I should. And it's not like I don't know better - I've lost a hard drive before. I have no excuse. I just get lazy and forget to do it as often as I should. I'm someone who needs an idiot-proof system that reminds me to make back-ups AND makes them easy to do.

What I'd miss most would be some photo files. I have some of them backed up to CDs, (as well as some of the saved to my website) but not all of them.

panthergirl said...

I back up using Retrospect in my office, which backs up to tape.

The only thing I'd be devestated to lose are my pictures and music. I have an external HD and I should just copy everything to that.

Here via michele...sorry for the delay!

paris parfait said...

No! I know I should, but I don't nearly often enough. My computer crashed last summer and I had to pay a tech to retrieve the files from my hard drive. I must become more vigilant about this - after all, I'm constantly running anti-spyware and virus checks to keep invaders away. The least I can do is back up my work. Thanks for the reminder!

Christi said...

Uy backing up. You'd think I would learn my lesson.

I lost a TON of digital pictures, school files, and miscelanious items when my computer crashed about two years ago. Luckily I have most of my pictures stored online so I can at least still view them but alas, printing cannot be done.

Here from Micheles today!

Paul Sveda said...

Personal items I backup less often then I should and work items I backup regularly. I should probably do better though.

Michele sent me and says hi.

cheers,

P.

Tia said...

I am here just to say a very quick "bye!" for now until I get settled in Rotorua and figure out how and where to get internet access!... I'll be in touch when I get my bearings again! =)