computer backup {tips}

Want to hear something scary?  Other than my mix up of Thursday and Friday in the order of days of the week after getting it right for so many years.  If you missed yesterday’s post, you’ll need to go here for this to make sense.  :/

Well, at least scary to me anyway…

Someone lost their blog this week.

Like when you try to go to her blog, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, you see this…

I know, sad.  :(

And yes, my computer kindly translates EVERYTHING to Dutch since big brother can see we are in the Netherlands Antilles.  Gee, thanks!

You can still find her on Facebook…and I’m sure she could use some encouraging words right now.

Update:  Kristin’s blog was recovered yesterday!  You might have noticed Foto Friday went up on Thursday…apparently I had some calendar confusion as this post was supposed to go up yesterday and Foto Friday today.  Oh well.  Note to self – Friday comes after Thursday.  ;)

Then, I read that Beth broke her Mac.

And I decided to get backed up.  So all is not lost.

Honestly, we’ve been on the external hard drive bandwagon for some time now. Photography is a long lost hobby of my husband, and I like to think of our vacation photos as a never displayed museum collection.

These are from Tamaya in 2004.
Ok, that second one probably doesn’t belong in a museum…but should probably be on our wall somewhere.  (No, I don’t still have that shirt De, but Joel still sports the Grateful Dead one.)

And, the untanned strip on my arm…that’s just from a spot where I had a temporary tattoo.  That’s how I roll.  :)

These shots are from Spain in 2009.

What, you don’t take pictures of random fishermen and road signs on vacation?

We do…it’s so funny how many great memories a picture of a tree shadow on a stone wall can conjure up.  Smile.

Anyway…before we made the big move to the little island we got our first laptop.  Ha, yes, we got our first laptop in 2009.  :)

And, I had a techie friend of mine swipe our desktop clean so we could donate it.  In the process, he put everything we had on the desktop on a handy dandy little external hard drive…and I’ve been addicted to backing up since then.  Well, let’s not stretch the truth, I will be getting caught up after this post is finished.

Seriously peeps, it’s so easy…and that’s what I keep telling myself every time I procrastinate getting our external updated with our newest photos.  How mad at myself would I be if I lost this forever…
That, my friends, is a blurry picture of my husband watching Team USA in the world cup in 2010.  :)

So, this is what works for us.
We first got external hard drive #1 in 2009.  It’s a 150 GB Toshiba, easily found at Target or Walmart.  My rule for what goes on the external…

ANYTHING THAT, IF OUR LAPTOP CRASHED, I WOULD BE PISSED TO LOSE.

It’s a simple rule really.  With all of our photos, music, etc dating back to 2004, we have only used 55 GB.

Then, in November of 2010 we took a 2 week vacation and it just so happened that Tropical Storm Tomas hit Curacao at the exact same time.  Good for us!  But, somehow, water got into our house and onto our laptop AND external hard drive.  (If you want to see a short video of kids wake boarding in the street click here.)

We were very lucky that they weren’t both ruined.  Well, the laptop has to be plugged in at all times now…and the cord to the external doesn’t work – but no loss of data.  Phew!

So, bring on external hard drive #2 (that has a compatible cord to external #1 so they now share).  It is a  300 GB Toshiba, also easily found at Target or Walmart.  My rule for what goes on external #2…

EVERYTHING THAT IS ON EXTERNAL #1…and some movies

Another simple rule.

So, the train of thought here is that external #2 is the true back up.  I actually keep it in a safe deposit box…I don’t know why…can’t ever have photos of memories (can you really have a photo of a memory?) locked up too tightly I guess.  :)

I actually don’t save too much to our laptop.  I think it helps prevent it from getting bogged down with data, slowing it’s functionality.  And, if we were to ever get our laptop stolen or lost our important data wouldn’t go with it.  There I go with the logic again.  ;)  External #2 with the addition of movies on it has about 155 GB of space used up.

Now, you see the honkin’ big external hard drive #3 is the picture above?  That one is just for fun.  That one needs to be plugged into a power source all it’s own (the others don’t, just USB connection to computer) and holds like 800 GB or something.  (Read:  too lazy to get up and plug it in right now.)  We just got this at Target last fall when we started collecting some movies, and other things that take up a lot of space so we got those things an external all it’s own.

We didn’t want movies taking up all the space on external #2 so any new movie we add just goes to external #3, so technically, they don’t have a back up, I am ok with that right now…but that might change.

Seriously, so simple.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it.

And, I found a great tutorial on how to back up your wordpress blog in 60 seconds here.

What about you?  Do you have a system?  Do you use an external hard drive…or 3?  Have a better idea?  Dress up, paint your face and wear a silly hat during world cup soccer games?

Now, since it really IS Friday now, I can say…Enjoy your space this weekend and see you next week!

(Just so you know Dana, I will not be walking off any short piers this weekend so please stay safe!)

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Comments

  1. says

    I was wondering about yesterday’s post being posted on Thursday. Just figured it had something to do with island time and all …

    I’m terrible about backing up … and I should have learned my lesson 10 times over. Just had yet another laptop “wiped clean” by the Geek Squad because Windows would boot. This time the hard drive needed to be replaced …

    :)

    Linda

  2. says

    I have an external hard drive…my business (Indigo Image) is on my computer..actually more than one computer but I have considered an online backup system. I have a client who recently got his house broken into and all his computer equipment stolen..including his backup drive.

    Happy it is Friday but woke up to 6″ of snow this morning…and it is still snowing. I think I will do a foto friday post today of the white stuff!

  3. says

    Karah,

    First of all, Joel’s photography is stunning. And if it isn’t going to live on a wall I”m thrilled that it is backed-up and stored in a safety deposit box, that is in the states at least suppose to be fire and flood safe too.

    Since you do have a safety deposit box I’d suggest {if you don’t already} that you scan and backup key household / life documents as well as photos and store the docs on a separate thumb drive in the box; birth certificates, marriage license, deeds, car titles, insurance policies and who to call to file a claim and the # to call, computer bookmarks and passwords to registered sites {especially if they are financial accounts and / or services where you make online payments}, wills (ick), list of all financial accts, tax records (another ick), etc … we keep all that on one small thumb drive in a safety dep. box along with other items.

    We learned the hard way {but were quite fortunate in how we came out of the situation} … less than 2 yrs ago we didn’t have a backup system and we had a house fire … if I hadn’t blurted out that night to a fireman to get my Mac out of there {and bless him, he did}, we would have so been up a creek without a paddle. No matter how simple one tries to live, life is full of documents and info that must be kept; backup, then do it again. I’m going to check right now to make sure my Mac still has sufficient space for the auto-backups we do locally :)

    Sorry for this super long comment. Now go and have a great weekend!

    Robin
    happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com

  4. says

    I actually just backed up my blog, because of Uncommon Slice of Suburbia disappering. There’s nothing like seeing one of my favorite morning reads disappear to make me do what I should be doing all along.

    We have an external hard drive that we occasionally back our files up to. The danger with using a portable external hard drive to back up your laptops is that you have to remember to put it away when you’re done. (If your household is like mine, their are multiple laptops dotting the landscape.) A few years ago we had an external hard drive that had been left on the floor and kicked over by someone. A very important pin inside had sheared off and we lost about a year of pictures. Unfortunately the bulk of my kitchen reno pics had been lost. I still mourn the loss of the cardboard city pics. The boys had created homes out of the giant cardboard boxes that our cabinets had come in. The had decorated the walls with artwork, and even had working lights. They slept in those boxes for a couple of weeks that summer.

    So yes, back up your stuff, but then back up your back up. You’re so smart to keep the one in the safe.

  5. says

    We also have to remember that external hard drives are not immune to crashing or dying, so the 2nd external hard drive is a good idea, but it’s really a pain to have to back up in fourteen different ways… and I’m so terrible at even doing it one.

    I, too, just found out how to download my blog through An Uncommon Slice of Suburbia. Not sure I’ve taken all the right steps, but it’s a start. Now I’m off to try to back up my Mac into my one external hard drive…

  6. says

    Great tips, karah….and I am so glad that Kristen got her blog back! I had read about it somewhere else and it sounded horrible! Thanks for letting us know about the details of backing everything up. Great advice.

    blessings,
    karianne

  7. says

    I see that picture where you’re holding a glass of wine – just figured that’s why you got your days mixed up!

    I heard about poor Kristin losing her blog – so glad it came back! Taught us all a lesson (which you obviously already knew) to back our stuff up. We have an external stick where we backup all of our photos.

    Love all your vacation photos – and yes, I take pics of weird random stuff so it’s not just you. Roadside goats in Spain (like your dumpster goats!), cemeteries in St. Barth’s (they are beautiful!), a field of concrete mushrooms in Napa … Need to take some of these off the computer and get them up on the wall!
    Kelly

  8. says

    I’m terrible about remembering to back-up, at remembering most anything actually, lol. We got a humongous external (1TB?) and after reading what you have on yours, I’m sure I’ll have space to do the digitizing of my father’s slides from the 50s through early eighties.
    Janet

  9. says

    Haha, I read your Friday post on Thursday and it didn’t even register that it was a day early! Shows how observant I am! ;-)

    And, yes, backing up is something I don’t do nearly enough of…thanks for the reminder.

    And, thanks for your sweet comments on Merritt’s birthday party!! I agree, the wishing tree would be super cute at a wedding!! And, Merritt is my maiden name, so it’s special to me. I’m glad you like it!! :)

    Have a great remaining weekend!!

  10. says

    All of a sudden I’m feeling REALLY good that we just put that WordPress plugin on the site to automatically back up everything…and I love the random pics, some of our best memories of our honeymoon included the photo of a sign right outside the hotel in Jamaica that said “Need a likkle extra money?” “Tell dem send it!” Serious.

  11. says

    That was very scary about the blog loss. I lost mine one day too. Now I back it up all the time, and I also purchased carbonite to back up my files. Thanks for sharing at the newbie party.

  12. says

    Yikes! I can’t imagine losing my blog. Backing up is probably a really good idea. We don’t really have much back up plans, but I think maybe we should.

  13. says

    Thank you for your post! I’ve been procrastinating, but after reading your post, finally got up and just got everything backed up! I knew that Beth had lost everything, and had that happen to me before so….thanks for getting me up to do it. Also, I’m now following you on LF…hope you’ll follow me too! Little Bit from DecorateWithaLittleBit.com

  14. says

    GREAT advice! I Google deleted my blog a few months ago and talk about panic attack! I was beside myself!! I sent them message after message and started Googling what to do next. I sent them proof that I was the original author. It was very frustrating! I never heard anything back from them, but two days later my blog was back up. The next day I ran out and bought an external hard drive. Now I need another one….????? Oh boy….

    xoxo laurie

  15. says

    I back up my blog to a dummy blog (export it to my hard drive then import into a fake blog, but don’t publish. I also back it up on my hard drvie. And I back up my hard drive on a second computer and on a 64 flash drive (fits easily in my purse) I’m moving my blog though to a hosted wp site so I am hopeful it will go well. Good information about the important of backing up and love your photos!!

  16. says

    I used to think backing up on a HD was the sensible thing to do, but you have to treat the HD with more care that your computer. I used a HD to back up everything, unfortunately I was under the impression that things were safe there, so instead of backing up my Photos, I stored them all on the HD.

    One day whilst cleaning my desk, I picked up the HD and stupidly turned it on it’s side to dust it, I heard a buzzing sound, then nothing. When back in it’s place I logged into the computer, but could not access the HD. I was living in Spain at the time, I took it to a computer specialist, who said he couldn’t do anything with it. So I contacted a Laboratory back in the UK, as a result I sent it to them, only to find out that by turning the HD on it’s side whilst active had damage the HD itself, and they could not salvage anything from it, a lifetimes photos down the drain, fortunately I had some on CD, and I had sent some to family members, so I did replace some.

    Now I use an external back-up service, it is constantly backing up everything, and for $50 per year it is peace of mind.

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