In the past year, I’ve known a lot of people who have experienced hard drive failures. No rhyme or reason or pattern, hard drives just have a tendency to fail. But, here’s one common thing I have noticed with each and every person that has experienced one of these failures: No one had a backup.
The most recent experience I’ve dealt with was a situation where the user had moved their Documents folder and their iTunes library to an external drive (which was ironically, considering the title of this post, the F:\ drive in Windows XP). And that external drive failed.
Folks, you need to back up your data. It will be easier for you, and for me, when your hard drive fails. Notice I said when, not if. Your hard drive will someday fail. Just like someday your car will need maintenance.
I have seen so many folks, including members of my own family, buy extra hard drives to expand their storage when they fill up their primary drive, but they never think of having drives to back up their data.
At bare minimum, have your data backed up on a drive at your desk. To be even better you should have that and an offsite backup.
My motto for backup is “unless a file exists in two or more places, it doesn’t really exist.”
If you are on Windows, get a backup solution in place. There’s a lot of software out there that will help you schedule regular backups of your entire drive.
If you use a Mac, you don’t have an excuse. Buy an external drive, plug it in, and at least let Time Machine make backups for you, which is built in to Leopard and Snow Leopard. If you need a bootable clone, I suggest SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner.
Now, go make a backup. You’ll someday thank me.