I was reminded of the need for backups once again today. One of the folks I work for had a hard drive that wouldn’t boot. We dropped it in as a slave to the “clone” machine we use to do bit by bit cloning of drives for e-discovery, and for a little while it seemed like we might be able to get the data from the bad drive over to a good drive. Unfortunately, that process errored out as we went rather quickly from a drive that wouldn’t boot, to a drive that was completely unreadable. Of course, they didn’t have any backups of all those family photos and movies that were stored on the drive.
Now he’s looking at the choice of paying a whole lot of money to someone with the proper tools to try and recover that data from the physical drive or it being gone forever. Not good choices any way you look at it.
It got some of us discussing home backup strategies. Personally, I keep a backup of all our photos and other important files on an external USB drive, but I’m keenly aware that while that lessens the chances of data loss, it is still possible. Should both drives fail in short order, or if something should cause damage to my home office, I may be in just as much pain as someone with no backups. I’ve been keeping an eye on some other tools to add to the overall backup plan, such as Windows Home Server, and online storage. I’ve also been considering burning the photos to DVD and storing that at the office. I guess you could call Flickr my online storage right now, but only a small percentage of my photos show up there, and they show up in reduced quality from the original. I wouldn’t really want those to be the only photos I wind up with, but I guess it would be better than nothing.
I know there’s some folks out there with similar concerns. What are your backup plans? Any of you using online file storage as part of your backup plan? What has your experience with those services been? If you had a client who took a lot of photos, maybe a few home movies, etc. what would your recommendation be for their plan?
Let us know, after you go do a backup, of course.