Thursday, January 17, 2013
Think Ahead Thursday: Failures Happen...Are You Protected?
I am finally back up and running...Oh what lessons we learn!
Organization comes in so many forms, and it is important to make sure that you think about all the areas of your life that need to be organized.
Just because our computers are neat and tidy and dusted on our desk, does NOT mean it too is organized. So, all of your files are in order and it takes mere seconds to find them, but what if the unthinkable happened? ...yes, the unthinkable...for whatever reason you are not able to access your computer, what then?
Last week my faithful companion of over 5 years decided it was her time to take the leap to the other side and needless to say I did not have backup precautions in place. It's true! While I constantly warn of this and advise others to always have a good backup plan, I did not follow my own advice :(
So today, I am sharing my very expensive and very time consuming tragedy with all of you to, hopefully, make you aware of the crucial necessity it is to have a backup plan in place and offer you suggestions on how to put one in place RIGHT NOW!
While many times a hard drive crash does not mean complete loss of your files, sometimes it does, or sometimes it means a very, very expensive visit to a Data Recovery Specialist (not Best Buy) to get the files off of your now crashed drive. For me this means upwards of $500 to get back irreplaceable photos from the last 5 years of my precious family, not to mention countless files for my volunteer projects and business. With that stated, I cannot begin to tell you the number of hours wasted, both crying and taking care of cleaning up the mess. While it was only $60 for me to purchase and install a new hard drive, I still needed to re-install an operating system, my Office programs, Adobe, update java files, iTunes, cloud readers, and this list goes on and on. Hours upon hours of wasted time because of my lack of organization, my lack of making sure that my computer was backed up and protected from data loss.
"Time Managed is Life Regained"...Oh I blew this motto out the window last week!
But, my failure could very well be your lifeline to making sure this never happens to you if you choose to learn by my very expensive and time consuming mistake.
You will need to decide if you want an external drive and the ability to manage your backup yourself or if you want to use a service to do the backing up for you.
I know me, and though I am becoming more organized in my daily life, I knew I didn't want to take the chance that I forget to do a back-up, so I chose to go with a web-based provider. And, while there are many web-based services out there, I was drawn back to carbonite.com when it finally came down to it.
They provide me with the most cost effective and simple way to completely back up ALL of my computer and not just the files. For only $99/year, I am able to back up a full "Mirror Image" of my computer should anything happen (only $59/year if you only need your files). Understanding that files are important, so are all the programs that you have installed, the way you are used to looking at and finding those files, and more. The time it will take you to install every single program and app (that is if you can remember everything you have on your computer) could take days and you still may have missed something and not remember it until you try to open a file or edit something previously saved and find out you don't have the right software to do it....uh oh! precious time lost in tracking down the software and installing/configuring it before you are back up and working again.
We spend money to insure our lives, our homes, our cars... why wouldn't we insure our computers?!? If your life is on your computer (like mine was), then it is time you insure that you don't lose it.
Ok, I can already hear a few of you saying, "I don't have $99 right now to spend." Fine, then visit sites like dropbox.com, and box.com to set up a simple cloud back up and keep your photos and files from disappearing until you have time to set up a full back up system to manage your entire computer life. Or, you may find that those sites are plenty for what you do and use your computer for. Just make sure that you "Do Something" and don't get caught like I did.
Please don't wait to take care of this. I lost 5 days of my life crying, fixing my computer, installing software (and not all of it is back on yet) and I still don't have it all back up and running where it was. It will take you 15 minutes or less to get something in place. I wish I had "wasted" (insert sarcasm) 15 minutes 8 days ago...instead I truly have wasted 5 days and am still counting the time that I am having to spend on putting the pieces back together (not to mention the money lost).
Have I got your attention?
Not sure where to start?... Stop by my favorite techy site to compare the options from experts: cnet.com
Get going and you can have this task done before lunch and put your mind at ease :)