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Justin’s Annual Reminder: Do you Backup?

Every year, at least a half dozen times, I get asked by someone “can you get data off my dead hard drive”.

My reply is always: if your lucky.

Hard drives are one of only a few parts inside your computer that actually move… And with all things that move, you have friction, and with all things that produce friction, you have wear. That said, if you use your hard drive at all, eventually, it will die, and with it, your data.

This is my annual reminder to remind not only myself, but everyone, that if your going to take the time to create data, you should also take the time to back it up… And what better day to do it than the first day of the year…  Just to give you a little insight as to what I do:

  • My primary data is on raid 1, it would take 2 drives failing at exactly the same time for any data loss to occur.
  • My photos are uploaded to smugmug, who keeps triplicates of the data as well. My photos should never be lost (which is probably my most important piece of data).
  • I backup my blog yearly, and it’s databases are backed up nightly with my servers.
  • My most important data is backed up to an external hard drive.
  • All my videos are backed up to an external hard drive and I keep the DV tapes around.
  • My websites are all backed up to 3 different servers

So yeah… Just my annual reminder to make sure I check my backup processes to insure they are still up to date. In fact… Maybe if I have some spare money from Christmas laying around I’ll pick up another Terabyte of raid storage. In either case: Happy new year!