Is Your Life Backed Up?

Part 1 of the “Backup Your Life” series.

A friend of mine returned home to find out that his home computer was dead.

It would not boot, and the hard drive had failed. He ended up losing everything on that computer.

To say he was in a state-of-shock was an understatement.

He took inventory of what he had lost and it was not pretty: Pictures. Music. Documents. Data. Passwords.

What would you lose if your main computer was suddenly gone?

Is your life backed up?

We all want to think that it couldn’t happen to us.

Unfortunately, it happened to me last week… 

Is Your Life Backed Up?

As much as I talk about being prepared for the unexpected, I recently got a chance to test just how prepared I was.

I recently purchased the new iPhone 4S. As part of the upgrade, I was excited about some of the new cloud syncing features. For example, it automatically syncs your pictures from your phone to your computer.

I had to update the iPhoto software on my iMac to enable to the new Photo Stream feature.

The software download went smooth enough. I launched the new iPhoto application, excited to start magically syncing my photos.

This is where the trouble began.

The application began performing a “library update” to upgrade my existing photos for the new software.

Then it crashed. And crashed. And crashed.

In fact, the app would not run at all.

Even worse, it was in the middle of the library upgrade when it stopped working. The thought crossed my mind that my entire photo library might be corrupt.

I did a quick check and sure enough the 65GB photo library was unusable. I probably had 8 years of photos in that library.

You could say that my heart jumped for just a moment.

What Would You Lose?

What would you lose if your entire photo library was suddenly gone?

All of the existing pictures of your kids? Your entire life story?

Our lifestyles have shifted from a material world to a virtual one.

Yet, most of us have not made the shift to protecting our virtual possessions and valuables.

What would be gone if you lost everything on your main computer?

  • Pictures – Not many of us have printed photo albums anymore. For some, all of our pictures are contained on our hard drives. How many years of memories would you lose?
  • Music – CDs and other media used to be stacked up in our homes. Now, your music may only be stored in the files of your computer.
  • Documents - What important documents would you lose? Writings? Papers? Tax records? Journals? What irreplaceable documents would you miss?
  • Data – Many people underestimate the amount of personal data they would lose. Contacts? Addresses? Phone numbers? Calendars? Passwords?

How much of your life could be lost in a computer crash or simple theft?

Back Up Your Life

A few moments of preparation and a simple backup plan can prevent disaster.

People tend to downplay what would happen if they lost their computer and everything contained therein.

For the majority, it would mean years of lost memories, documents, and data.

Want to know what happened to my 65GB photo library?

Stop back tomorrow… for Part 2, of “Backup Your Life.”

Are your virtual valuables protected? Do you have a backup plan?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Avodovnik

    @TMNinja I’ve evangelized them before, but @crashplan already saved my bacon once. Take a look if you haven’t yet ^^ worth it!

  • crashplan

    @tmninja We agree – backup is crucial! Luckily, unlimited backup starts as low as $3/mo. with CrashPlan. http://t.co/sjkD9pTm

    • TMNinja

      @crashplan Good stuff! We’ll have to catch up. :)

      • crashplan

        @tmninja Our course. Let us know how we can help you.

      • TMNinja

        @crashplan Definitely. :) Will check out your services. Thx @avodovnik for the tip!

  • Avodovnik

    @TMNinja I’ve evangelized them before, but @crashplan already saved my bacon once. Take a look if you haven’t yet ^^ worth it!

  • crashplan

    @tmninja We agree – backup is crucial! Luckily, unlimited backup starts as low as $3/mo. with CrashPlan. http://t.co/sjkD9pTm

  • TMNinja

    @crashplan Good stuff! We’ll have to catch up. :)

  • crashplan

    @tmninja Our course. Let us know how we can help you.

  • TMNinja

    @crashplan Definitely. :) Will check out your services. Thx @avodovnik for the tip!

  • ErinSkellyCameron

    I have an external drive, and I back up my laptop drive daily. I learned from Carrie’s mistakes in Sex and the City … I don’t want to risk losing all my stuff.

    • TMNinja

      @ErinSkellyCameron :) Good stuff. Think I actually saw that episode.

      External drives are good. I prefer automatic setups to eliminate the manual process. :)

  • ErinSkellyCameron

    I have an external drive, and I back up my laptop drive daily. I learned from Carrie’s mistakes in Sex and the City … I don’t want to risk losing all my stuff.

  • Matttanguay

    I can relate! This year, I lost 2 months worth of new contacts (and notes about those contacts) – at the time when I was networking most. I even hired a technician to try to fix it, but nothing could be done.

    Since then, I’ve been backing up everything regularly.

    Which reminds me… I have to backup my computer ;)

  • Matttanguay

    I can relate! This year, I lost 2 months worth of new contacts (and notes about those contacts) – at the time when I was networking most. I even hired a technician to try to fix it, but nothing could be done.

    Since then, I’ve been backing up everything regularly.

    Which reminds me… I have to backup my computer ;)

    • TMNinja

      What do you use to back up your computer?

      The key is “not having to remember. ” Put it on automatic. :)

      • Matttanguay

        @TMNinja Hmm, that would be a bit tricky with my current setup. I back up my files on my external hard drive, and on my server. I need to plug and turn on my hard drive before I can copy files to it… That would mean I would have to leave it always on.

        Perhaps on my server it would be doable. Is there a software you’d suggest for that?

      • TMNinja

        @Matttanguay Hmm. I don’t have a software for doing a direct backup to your own server.

        I am partial to cloud services like Mozy and Carbonite.

        I use both Mozy for a cloud backup and an Apple Time Capsule to back up my computers.

      • Matttanguay

        @TMNinja Ok. I had heard of Apple’s time capsule. Looks like an effective solution for backups. I’ll look into it!

      • TMNinja

        @Matttanguay If you are on a Mac… you need to go for it. :) Works like magic.

      • Matttanguay

        @TMNinja And it looks like it’s compatible with PCs :)

  • TMNinja

    What do you use to back up your computer?

    The key is “not having to remember. ” Put it on automatic. :)

  • TMNinja

    @ErinSkellyCameron :) Good stuff. Think I actually saw that episode.

    External drives are good. I prefer automatic setups to eliminate the manual process. :)

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  • Matttanguay

    @TMNinja Hmm, that would be a bit tricky with my current setup. I back up my files on my external hard drive, and on my server. I need to plug and turn on my hard drive before I can copy files to it… That would mean I would have to leave it always on.

    Perhaps on my server it would be doable. Is there a software you’d suggest for that?

  • TMNinja

    @Matttanguay Hmm. I don’t have a software for doing a direct backup to your own server.

    I am partial to cloud services like Mozy and Carbonite.

    I use both Mozy for a cloud backup and an Apple Time Capsule to back up my computers.

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  • VictoriaNicole23

    It’s a good thing that I don’t have a laptop yet.For that matter,I don’t think I could use the simple back-up plan.I always forgot everything.And that’s weird hahaha.Anyways,thank to your reminders.

  • VictoriaNicole23

    It’s a good thing that I don’t have a laptop yet.For that matter,I don’t think I could use the simple back-up plan.I always forgot everything.And that’s weird hahaha.Anyways,thank to your reminders.

  • Matttanguay

    @TMNinja Ok. I had heard of Apple’s time capsule. Looks like an effective solution for backups. I’ll look into it!

  • TMNinja

    @Matttanguay If you are on a Mac… you need to go for it. :) Works like magic.

  • TMNinja

    @Matttanguay If you are on a Mac… you need to go for it. :) Works like magic.

  • Matttanguay

    @TMNinja And it looks like it’s compatible with PCs :)

  • http://www.veloxtelco.com.au/ Joanna Wilson

    I’m not really that type of person who need a back-up plan,but now I intended to be.Thank you for the encourage.It would help a lot.Thank you.

  • http://www.veloxtelco.com.au/ Stephanie Barnes

    I’m not really that type of person who need a back-up plan,but now I intended to be.Thank you for the encourage.It would help a lot.Thank you.

  • http://www.mycreditcardpayments.com/ My Credit Card Payments

    Thank you for sharing this article, you made me think and believe that backing up my files would be a great thing to do.

  • http://www.mycreditcardpayments.com/ My Credit Card Payments

    Thank you for sharing this article, you made me think and believe that backing up my files would be a great thing to do.

    • TMNinja

      @My Credit Card Payments Thanks! Look for more info coming soon on how to back up your digital life! :)

  • TMNinja

    @My Credit Card Payments Thanks! Look for more info coming soon on how to back up your digital life! :)

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