When disaster strikes… or it’s a Monday

Backup Plans for when Crashes HappenI often tell students that there is no greater teacher than experience…. You can learn from mine, or you can go get some of your own. And today’s tip is no exception to that.

I came into the office today only to find that my main production computer would not work. It’s Monday morning, so I pulled out a few of my quick-fix routines and they all tell me the same thing: your hard drive is dead, reformat it and start over from scratch. Happy Monday!

Luckily, I have a complete backup of my hard drive, own the licenses to my software, and now just have to put all the pieces back together again. That’s not how I intended to spend this Monday, but think how much worse it would be if I didn’t have that backup or didn’t own my software…

There are a lot of backup services out there, and if you’re curious, the one I use is called Crash Plan Pro by Code 42. (I don’t get any royalties for mentioning their name, and you can believe that an old cheap-skate like me has done some comparing and contrasting before making this decision.) The important features of their product are that:

  1. The backups are stored offsite (outside of my office)
  2. The backups happen automatically, based on a schedule I determine

Many of my students and readers work in enterprise environments where “the office” takes care of backing up their computer. What they don’t realize, however, is that many IT departments do not backup your local (C:) drive, and almost none backup your Desktop. If you are dependent on a departmental backup, be certain you know what is backed up and what is not.

Backups are like insurance policies, nobody likes them until you need them, then you spend some time being thankful you learned from someone else’s experience. I hope you will all learn from mine and go get a backup plan before you leave work today. It really is that important.

Image credit Blair Fraser. Image retrieved from Fancy Crave.