Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a stickler for backing up. I’m constantly lecturing people (to their great annoyance probably) about making sure everything they value (in the digital world) is backed up. I’ve even blogged about it. I’ve written a tip with excellent advice about backing up. We don’t leave the things we value (photos, jewellery, computers, family heirlooms …) lying around unprotected, exposed to dust, rain, thieves or worse, so why do we think our digital valuables should be treated any differently. Yet so many of us do.
I am pretty good at backing up, and in multiple locations. Sadly, when it comes to security “pretty good” is not good enough. One of the warnings I’m fond of quoting is “It’s not a matter of whether or not your computer will fail, it’s only a question of when”. I have said this often, and believed it, yet in all the years of working on computers, I have never had a major loss. Until now.
In this past month I have had not one, but two external hard drives fail. Sadly, one of those hard drives contained the backup of the other one. When the first one died I was disappointed, even a little irritated. When the second one went as well, sheer panic does not overstate my reaction. Those hard drives contained every Artisan project I have ever created, apart from the most recent ones which are on my internal drive. Some of those projects have been completed and printed, but to my shame many of them have not. I am much better at starting projects than finishing them! I can’t tell you how many completed pages, how many hours and hours of work disappeared with those two dead hard drives.
I also use a cloud backup service which usually runs quietly in the background and gives me complete peace of mind. However, the service I was using had announced some major changes (including a significant price increase) which meant I needed to find a new service. True to form I had procrastinated somewhat about choosing a new service, so for a short while I had no cloud backup at all.
As you can tell, my backup plan was pretty good – I used multiple hard rives as well as cloud backup. It took 3 things to fail at the same time for my data to be lost. What are the odds of that happening? Yet it did. I am telling you all this because I don’t want the same thing to happen to you! What would happen if your system broke down like mine did? How devastated would you feel to lose projects, photos, documents? What are you doing to protect your digital assets?
You will be pleased to hear that this story has a happy ending. I paid up the $$$ to reactivate my cloud backup for one more year, and thankfully found the contents of my dead hard drives backed up safely. But I don’t ever want to go through that again! I needed to make some changes, and I thought I would share with you what I am planning.
- FINISH THOSE PROJECTS!! Getting a printed photo book is the whole point of what we do, and I had several books that were almost finished. I have been working hard since I recovered the projects and have just uploaded 3 completed books to the FOREVER Print Shop!! Hooray! Thank you FOREVER for the extra 5 days of the Black Friday sale!
- Upload all my unfinished projects to my FOREVER storage account. It is so easy to share my completed pages to FOREVER. Al least if I lose my projects again, I will have high resolution images that I can use to recreate the projects.
- Upload all my old completed projects to my FOREVER storage account (The ones that I printed before FOREVER existed). I may never order them again, but at least I will have a high resolution PDF of those projects, and they don’t use any of my data allowance in my FOREVER account. And if I ever do lose or damage the printed copy, it will be a snap to reorder one.
- Buy some more storage and get busy uploading more photos. I already have the last few years of photos in my FOREVER account but really it’s the older photos that are more vulnerable and more valuable. It takes time to choose which photos to upload, but those photos if lost will be lost for good, so that is time worth spending.
Here are the three projects I have completed and uploaded for printing. So happy to have these done & I can’t wait to hold the books in my hand!!