How well are you backed up?
This is something that’s gnawing at me, so I figured, well, why suffer alone?
Digital photography has taken the world by storm. I now have several thousand images of Ryan’s first year of life (not to mention lots of other, lesser family events and milestones). I’ll bet you have a bunch of important digital images, too.
Take my handy Backup Questionnaire:
1. Do you back up?
- Yes, but infrequently. If I lost my main storage, a great deal of recent work would be lost.
- Yes, and frequently enough that if I lost my main storage, only a minimal amount of work would be lost.
- Backup? What’s that?
2. How stable is your backup?
- I back up to CDs or DVDs. The backup will last as long as their shelf life.
- I back up to an external hard drive, which stays switched off except when I am making a backup, to minimize the chances that it will be accidentally corrupted.
- I back up to a hard drive in a separate computer, but the hard drive is always or often accessible, so if that machine goes haywire, the backup may be lost.
- I back up to a second drive in my main computer. Whatever calamity befalls my main data may befall my backup, too.
3. What if you deleted or corrupted a bunch of your files and then, unwittingly, ran a backup?
- The previous backup would be overwritten with the new, corrupt, data. This would mean that the corrupt data would be gone forever.
- I keep a fixed number of backups, so as long as I noticed the problem in time, I could recover.
- I do incremental backups so I can restore to any one of many points in the past. I have a large window in which I could detect the problem and be able to recover.
4. What if your house burned down?
- All my backups are in my house. They would all be lost.
- I keep my backups offsite. They would survive.
My answers are middling: I have 1b, 2b and c, 3a, 4a.
My main problem is that I have too much data to back up to CDs, and DVDs have a poor shelf life. I really need to invest in an additional external drive and store it offsite, swapping it with the one at home periodically.
Take a moment and think about your own backup strategy!