I hate to nag but I know there is something you should all be adding to your New Year’s resolution list that you probably haven’t thought about. It’s boring. It’s irritating. And it just doesn’t seem that important. But you know you should do it: Back up your data.
For years, I just didn’t do it. Then one day, a few years back, the hard drive on my desktop died a loud, sudden, and spectacular death. I lost so much of my own work in that tragic event that I cried. I couldn’t face work — except to admit my foolishness and beg deadline extensions from my editors — for days. My heart was broken. I lost articles in progress, notes on fiction, an almost complete work of fiction, emails, and photographs â€“ lots of photographs. My hard drive never recovered and I never got back most of that work. But I am resilient. I did recover. And I learned a hard lesson. It was a bad experience that I could have easily avoided it. So now I avoid it.
I know I’m not the only one who has carried on blithely as if hard drive failures only ever happen to other people. A while back, Kym posted a comment here saying that she had lost a year’s worth of pictures of her kids’ in a tragic hard drive accident. She will never be able to remember what they looked like when they were 7 and 9. Everyone I know has a similar story. The fact is, hard drives die. Eventually, they all die. In fact, they are guaranteed to die. They are just fallible bits of magnetic storage.
The data on them though is important stuff, though. So don’t lose it. Here’s what you do: Automate the process. I use an online backup site Mozy.com. It waits for me to stop using my computer and backs up everything I’ve written or edited or added since the last time it backed up. It does this every day. I don’t even think about it. Mozy offers a free trial that might serve if your storage needs are simple. I pay $4.95 a month for unlimited backup.
And Now for the Giveaway
But an online backup service is only good if you can get online. This is a good thing if your house burns down but an irritant if your Internet connection goes down. So doing a local backup is also good. And I happen to have a giveaway that will help with that. I have an automatic backup tool called ClickFree. All you do is pop the DVD into your drive and it automatically backs up all your data files. It even goes and finds your emails (those are often hard to locate) and backs those up too. They make DVDs that automatically back up photos and other types of data, too. And they make an external hard drive that backs up all the data (not the software installations) on your hard drive.
Today, though, I have two 5-DVD packs that back up your office files. (I have a lot of these to give away thanks to Ruth, though, so I will be doing more of these giveaways coming up.) All you have to do to win one of these 5-pack Office DVD packs is post a comment below. Tell me your own data-loss heartbreak or at least how you are making data backup one of your New Year’s resolutions.
Note: This contest is closed. CongratulationsÂ Susan and Judy!
In other news
Last week, I forgot to say that Kary, Michelle, and Jenny each won a copy of my book, How to be a Geek Goddess. (If you didn’t win, I see there are a couple of other giveaways for my book out in the blogosphere right now. There is one at Wise Bread and another at Oh, Hey, What’s Up?) Melissa won the flying Tinker Bell. Thanks for playing!