Backup FAIL! Why Backing Up Still Leaves Us Paranoid

Backup FAIL! Why Backing Up Still Leaves Us Paranoid

Today we had a terrible revelation, so epic, catastrophic, and potentially life changing that is shook us to our core. Our backup hard-drive died! While that might not seem a big deal to most, as graduate students our lives and futures are contained on our hard-drives. Loosing a simple Excel spreadsheet can spell doom!

The death of our drive couple with Dropbox suffering a temporary outage scared us enough to reevaluate our back up system. First we noticed that we back up both of our computers to the same drive over our network, no back up redundancy there. Second we utilize Dropbox as a second line over the internet to sequester our most important files and sync them between our laptop and main desktop. The dual death and outage left us feeling very exposed all morning as we did some very important dataset work for our thesis. From now one we swear to adhere to a few rules of backing up.

  1. Never panic, no matter how exposed to potential data loss and ruin one might seem.
  2. Always back up your back up locally in your home.
  3. Relying on online backup services is great, until you have no control over when and how they will be fixed.
  4. Remember to keep data in hard copies and OCR can be a truly wonderful thing.

If you have any horror stories please share them below.

(Top image: flickr user doegox licensed under Creative Commons)

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