Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A copy...Deuteronomy 17:18

This post is a public service announcement.

Have you backed up all the important files on your computer lately? Hmmm? Photos? Word documents? Important e-mails? All of them?

No? STOP. Go do it NOW. I will wait.

All backed up now? Good.

You never think you'll lose your stuff...until it seems you have.

I'm writing this post from the laptop as our other computer is otherwise occupied with backing up all of our photos. When those are finished I'll work on the other data that we wish to save for posterity. When that is done I'll check and see if the computer has fully recovered from whatever was ailing it this morning.

Although yesterday was sunny and warm, it was very windy. The power blinked off at least five or six times. The computer was left on overnight, but there is no indication that the power went off during the night. All other clocks and electrical appliances in the house were behaving normally.

When The Man got up this morning the computer was simply telling us that Windows wouldn't start, and none of the available options seemed to make a difference in that opinion.

After a quick call to the free computer tech line (aka, The Man's brother), it was suggested our problem might have something to do with yesterday being the second Tuesday of the month. Okaaay. I got out the system restore CDs that came with our computer. I had to use an unbent paper clip to force the CD drive open, inserted the first CD, forced the drawer closed, and BINGO, the computer started acting like it was at least trying to be cooperative.

The computer claimed a few files were corrupted and finally entered safe mode. After getting Windows to start in safe mode I went to retrieve the laptop. By the time I returned the screen looked like its normal self. I immediately grabbed some blank CDs and started backing up the photos. I had started that job several months ago, but, well, I kind of wanted to delete some first. I didn't want to save all the blurry shots, nor all 216 school picture rejects, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. Faced with the prospect of losing everything, I'm now backing up everything. CDs are cheap enough. Besides, some of those school pictures with goofy grins may be fun to have around 10 or 15 years from now. I just set the last batch of pictures to copy. All the digital pictures we've taken since we got our camera in April of 2004 will fit on 8 CDs. Yes, they are cheap enough.

It just occurred to me that we bought our computer in December (?) of 2002. Maybe it is time to start thinking about a replacement.

Please leave a comment to let me know that I'm not the only one who was not up to date on my backups. For those that were already backed up, what do you do to make sure that is done systematically?

An update on the pastor who died following a car accident last week...The weekly newspaper reports that he told the officer at the scene he was reading his mail and missed the corner. He was reading his mail.

When you are driving, please drive safely. Thank you.


Rachael said...

I've been meaning to back up my pictures forever. Honestly, I haven't backed them up in a couple of years. Alright, you convinced me, I'll go get some discs and do it this weekend. PROMISE.

Derrick flips through post-cards and stuff all the time when he's driving and it drives me crazy! I'll tell him about this.

Thanks for your public service announcements, I think they've been of service.

Kathy of the HavinsNest said...

Just so you know....Dell offers a back up service where you can back up stuff to their server. We got a new computer last week (replacing one bought in March 2002 that was trying desperately to die). I'd been backing up pictures to DVD and did the rest when the new computer got here.

I am now backing up to Dell Data Safe.

Mark said...

If you're backing up to CDs, make sure you use the high-quality GOLD foil CDs. The dyes on anything less may not last too many years before they start to fade.

I back up to an external hard disk (which is cheap enough now that you can have several, and they are much faster to both back up to and restore from). Magnetic media still has better long-term retention than optical media.

Once a year, I back up from there onto both CDs and DVDs so that I have content in three separate places. I stick the DVDs into a fire safe. And then I erase the backed up content from the PCs internal drive.

For automated backup of other documents, I use Windows OneCare.

Lori said...

Yes I will back up this weekend too. Rachael's friend Jill had a baby and lost the first 6 months of pictures due to her computer crashing, she paid something like $3000 to have a professional recover them.
The dell data safe sounds like it might be a good option, I am going to check more into that since I have a dell computer.
Was the pastor reading his mail or the person who hit him?

DeWitt said...

This using CD's to back up is a waste of time. CD's are notorious for corrupting. Use an external hard drive. They are cheap and much faster to perform the backup and to retrieve. Many have a "one-step" button on them to do an automatic backup with the push of a button.

~ V ~ said...

GOLD foil CDs? OK, I've now educated myself on the different CDs. I just grabbed what was here in the computer cupboard. Better than nothing, but I'll pay attention to the labels the next time I'm shopping for archive quality.

I've heard that the BEST place to store your valuables to protect against fire is not in a fire-proof safe, but in the freezer. I still keep all my important docs in the fire-proof safe, but I'm trying to figure out how to make more room in the freezer. I'm not sure how that would affect CDs & DVDs.

Lori, it was a one-car accident, fortunately. Totally, completely, unnecessary. He simply wasn't able to make the corner while he was doing something else.

Rachael, I tell M that it isn't HIS driving I'm worried about, but the unpredictability of the other drivers on the road. You always have to be ready to react to the unexpected.

Kathy, that is something to keep in mind when/if we replace this computer. Thanks!

Ann said...

I've had a computer struck by lightning TWICE and both times I've lost important pictures that I didn't back up to a CD. You would have thought I would have learned my lesson the first lightning strike, but noooo....