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What if your log home disappeared?

That title sounds like a science fiction movie story, but it makes an important point that pertains to every person or business that uses a computer. Taking a break from the topic of log homes, I’d like to share a personal story that happened to me last week.

So why have I been absent from this blog for the past few days? I wish I could tell you that I was on vacation or helping out with a ‘log raising’ or some such activity of my choosing, but unfortunately I was here — sparring with technology gremlins. Thursday a week ago, I was doing nothing out of the ordinary when all of a sudden my monitor froze. Actually, the entire computer froze as I could do nothing but turn it off with the power button. No problem, I thought to myself… reboot and continue what I was doing.

I did, but it didn’t. Instead, I was shown XP’s infamous “Blue Screen of Death” telling me that something was horribly wrong. Microsoft’s famous “blue screen” was a common sight in Windows 98, but it almost never occurs with XP. When you see it – you have trouble. I fired-up my laptop to research the XP Error Code and discovered that essentially my hard drive was toast… burnt toast. No recovery, no repair… wipe it, reformat and begin anew.

I was not happy, but I was not devastated because I actually didn’t lose any data. This crash would be a major inconvenience but it would cost me nothing except time to rectify the problem. You see, I a total and complete paranoid whack jobwhen it comes to my data. I backup my data locally to a Maxtor and every night my data is backed-up to an off-premise site. Twice in my early years of computing I lost significant files due to such equipment failures, and those experiences turned me into a data backup believer. No, I became seriously paranoid about losing data.

When you make your living using a computer, losing what you have created is no different than say… a home builder whose project mysteriously catches fire and burns to the ground. The results of your hard work, blood, sweat and tears are wiped away and you lose everything from time, money and potentially customers. In this day and age, computers and the data they hold are part of every business and most people’s personal lives. If you are NOT backing up your data on a regular basis… someday you will pay.

It is not a matter of IF… it is WHEN.

A few months ago I wrote an article entitled, “What if YOU no longer existed?” The premise being that if the “ones and zeros” that make up our life disappear. . . it will be as if we never existed. The point being that if you use a computer, you absolutely, positively MUST have a backup system in place – by tomorrow! In that article I explain my backup methods and the company I use for off-site backup. Read the article here…

What was really interesting about my recent hard drive meltdown is that I now needed a copy of all that backed-up data to load on to my newly reformatted hard drive. I cannot begin to tell you what a perfect solution this turned out to be… I went online to my backup company (Mozy), chose the backup set I needed (the most recent) and downloaded all of my original files. This process was seamless, totally transparent and the feeling of relief was liberating. In short, what could have been a financial and professional disaster turned out to be nothing more than an irritating inconvenience.

Your backup process should be set up once, and then work automatically. Your backup files should be encrypted and stored in a secure, remote location that’s only accessible to you — from anywhere. If you do not have a bulletproof backup solution in place…. take a few minutes to learn how easily and inexpensively such a thing can be implemented. I’m living proof that it works as advertised.

PS: The only downside to my dilemma was all those OS tweaks and programs downloaded over the years that have to be recaptured. But, a small price to pay when all that data is secure and accessible.

2 comments to What if your log home disappeared?

  • Hello Tom,

    I know what it feels like to loose data, it happened to me too. Nowadays I have info on my comp, backups and internet drives. I just wish that someone would introduce complete virtual copy of desktop, which could be taken in use if original disappeared…

  • I just had a sudden nightmare pass before my eyes! What a timely reminder – especially as my computer will be a big tool in my new log home venture. Thank you for this great information! I can’t believe I forgot about “backing up.”

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