You never know when it might happen.
Before we left on our recent trip, my computer was beginning to act up. It would freeze for no apparent reason and my screen started to display what used to be called “snow” on old TV screens. By the way, my computer was five years old – certainly not new, but not horribly ancient for a home computer.
When we returned and I got back to my desktop, the freezing and snow issues increased with each day. I’d complain to my husband, who would come check out the problems. His take on the situation was that the hard drive was in the midst of dying!
I was not a happy camper since that meant I was restricted to a laptop or iPad. However, I was NOT worried.
I belong to many online genealogically oriented groups and I am amazed to keep reading messages that begin with “I should have known better. . .” or “My computer crashed. . . how do I. . . . ” or “I’ve heard about backing up my computer, but I never got around to it and now. . .”
Now, here I was, faced with the prospect of a hard drive crash. What did I do? I turned off the computer so that if we needed to access it for whatever reason, there might be a chance that it had a bit of life still left in it. Next, my hubby got busy ordering me a new computer. I was most impressed that it was ordered on a Tuesday, promised to arrive before the next Tuesday and it showed up at our door on Friday.
For the last three days, we turned the old computer back on and worked at transferring all my files and programs to the new one. It involved tracking down key codes and licenses and such, but the process moved along quite smoothly. I am happily working away on my new computer this very minute.
BUT – what if my old computer had actually died and it couldn’t be started up one last time? I believe in backing up – on a flash drive, to Dropbox, to an external hard drive and to both Backblaze and IDrive. Maybe I am a bit paranoid, but better safe than sorry!
Thomas MacEntee has written about the 3-2-1 Back Up Plan:
Have at least 3 different back ups, using at least 2 different media and at least 1 back up off site.
I wasn’t the least bit worried about losing one iota of my work. If just one person reading this post decides that now is the time, not later, to begin backing up his/her work, then I have done my job. Don’t delay!
Back Up, Back Up and Back Up!