You would think that someone who’s worked with computers since the IBM compatible XT days (1990) would know something about backups … and would actually have a backup plan. Well, I have learned to practice what I preach.
A couple of weeks ago, I began to have problems with my laptop; it just happened to have “everything” on it. My backup plan was to occasionally copy my most important files to a backup directory on my D: partition (same hard drive). Even more occasionally, I would backup my backup directory to an external hard drive. My plan worked well until my hard drive decided to go belly up. Over the course of several hours and multiple reboots and automatic runs of chkdsk, my computer asked me for my Vista license key (not good!), which I entered. After many more reboots and automatic runs of chkdsk, I was finally brought to a Vista desktop. I maniacally began dumping data to my external drive and saved my backside (actually, it was a huge answer to prayer!).
A couple of weeks later, Best Buy finally returned my laptop to me. The laptop was under warranty, so at no cost to me, they had replaced a defective hard drive and motherboard. It took me over a half a day to get all my apps reloaded and my data restored. Now it was time to readdress my backup plan.
I installed Cobian Backup and scheduled a daily backup of my user directory (which I have learned contains all the data I need, if I use the default settings in my programs) onto a Backup directory on C:. Once a week or so, I’m going to backup my Backup directory onto my external drive. I will probably utilize several USB flash drives to facilitate “offsite” backups of my most important files. My hosting account includes “unlimited” storage and bandwidth, but they spell out in the Terms of Service that they don’t offer the “unlimited” storage so you can backup your hard drive. I’m still praying about the ethics of using Cobian to backup my most important documents and “working” copies of the websites I’m working on; that sure would be easier than keeping up with the flash drives.
Anyway, I generated quite a buzz on my FaceBook account asking my FB peeps what their backup plan was. I was referred to Mozy, which includes 2GB free storage. My only question at this point is, if I use Mozy, will I be able to access my files from an older desktop if my laptop crashes again. No answer yet from my friends.
All this to say, “So what’s your backup plan?”