The Importance of Backing Up

Hard disk photo by walknboston. Used under a Creative Commons attribution 3.0 license.

I’m going to state this up front for emphasis: Back up your important files.

Repeat with me: Back up your important files.

The last time I posted here was on November 2. Two days after that, I left for a business trip to St. Louis. Two days after that, I used my laptop while waiting in the St. Louis airport for my flight home. The next morning, the laptop wouldn’t boot up. I brought it to the experts who informed me that my hard drive was, in the parlance of the characters on Battlestar Galactica, “fracked.” Dead. Extinct. No more. Late. Lamented. You get the idea.

When was my last complete backup of my files, you may ask? Many, many months ago. I am alleged to be an intelligent human being, but I had no recent backups of some pretty important files, among them:

  • The most recent draft of my ghost hunter novel
  • The ebook files ofPurgatory
  • Some financial records, including receipts from this year’s conventions

Fortunately, a few beta readers had the ghost hunter novel, I’ll be able to re-create the convention receipts from credit card statements, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to recover the ebook files from CreateSpace. If worse comes to worse, I’ll have to rebuild them. This will be a huge pain in the butt, but if I want to submit the book to more book bloggers, I’ll have to do it.

I’m typing this on a new laptop (the one with the dead hard drive was, as the computer tech said, old enough to start kindergarten.) I imported my most recent backup, but it was not nearly current enough. I’ve learned my lesson. I’m backing up my stuff.

Have you backed up your important files in the last week? If not, do it today. Seriously.

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2 Responses to The Importance of Backing Up

  1. Doc Coleman says:

    If it doesn’t exist in three places, using two different backups schemes, with at least one of them off site, it doesn’t exist.

    Everyone should back up daily, and automatically, so you don’t have to remember. I use Apple’s Time Machine backups on my Macs, but I also use a service called Crash Plan. I wrote an article about Crash Plan for my Nifty Tech Blog a while ago. It is a tad dated, but still good info. It is an excellent, minimally expensive way to have current backups. Here is a link to the article if you’re interested:


  2. Tim Dodge says:

    Good info and good advice, Doc. Thanks for sharing.

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