Saturday, July 14, 2012

My hard drive died... what to do.....

You're working away on your computer, listening to the music you've purchased through itunes, editing the pictures you took at your family reunion a few weeks ago.  All of a sudden, everythiung goes quiet and a blue screen pops up.  Stupid computer, you just lost the last 15 minutes of work that you hadn't saved!

You restart your computer, and it comes up saying insert boot disk.  What?!?  Surprise, you lost more than just the last 15 minutes of work.... your hard drive just died and you lost everything.

This happened to me today... well... kind of.  It was actually one of my data drives that died instead of my main hard drive, so when I rebooted it still came back up, but that particular drive was missing from my computer.

The biggest difference between what "actually" happened to me and what would have probably happened to you.... is I didn't lose anything important.  Anything really important, I backup and backup again!  And some, I even backup again... and again.

All of my business documents, financial files, music and photos are always backed up.  First, I configure my hard drive to be in a mirrored RAID system.  Any change I make is automatically made to the 2nd hard drive.  If one fails, I get a notice that the RAID system has a problem and I replace the bad hard drive.  It repairs the RAID system and I'm right back where I was.  Never down at all.

All of these files are backed up again using an online backup service.  I currently use (and our parent company, KawreS SuperStore sells) Carbonite.  It backs up all of my files automatically whenever a change is made.  It also keeps "versions" of the files, so if I change the file and a few days later realize I need the old version, I can get it back.

Finally, my photos... the heart of my business... are backed up again.  I back up all of my photos to an external hard drive and store it at home.  It is much faster to get the 44GB of swim meet pictures back from USB hard drive than it is to download them from Carbonite.  After 6 months or so, I back all the photos up to a second external hard drive which I keep at the store and take them off of my computer's hard drive.  These will also be deleted from Carbonite, but I have already sold all that will probably be sold.  But in case the customer does want more, I have them backed up at home and at the store... if there's a fire or one of the hard drives go bad, I still have another backup to get them from.

So, what do you do to backup your important information?  Shouldn't you at least be using an online backup like Carbonite?  For $60 per year, in my opinion, it's definitely cheap peace of mind and you don't even have to remember to do it - it's automatic.  After the fact, you can send your hard drive off to be 'recovered', but that usually has a minimum price of around $1,000.  If you're interested in an online backup subscription, let us know and we can answer your questions and we would appreciate the opportunity to sell it to you - it's the same price through us or directly through them.


So, what actually happened to me?  I did lose one of my data drives.  It stored all my mp3s and my survelliance camera videos as well as a few basic files.  My mp3s are backed up (both on an external hard drive and on Carbonite) and I'll copy them back over when I replace the hard drive.  The few files are backed up on Carbonite and I've already downloaded them to another location.  My survelliance videos.... well... they're lost.  I don't back them up because they aren't that important.  So, if you shoplifted in the last few days and we didn't catch it - congratulations.  But that's the only thing I lost... old survelliance videos. 

What would you lose if your hard drive crashed right now?

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