Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Going forward? You have to back up!

As if my own resolutions for 2010 were not enough, I've been bombarded lately by outside additions to my list. For example:
The truth is, I hadn't backed up my computer since August 2008. Why? I got scared off. Here's what happened:

I had automatic back-ups scheduled, but at some point my 160 GB external hard drive seemed to be filling up... with weekly full back-ups! ...even though I had set it to back up changed files only. When I tried dragging some of the excess to the Trash, it appeared to me that the files on my computer drive, not the external drive, were being deleted. In panic, I pulled the plug, literally, on that whole operation. At that point I turned off the automatic back-ups and gave up the whole scary and perplexing process!

When I read that Amy's freshly repaired laptop was returned to her with a new--and blank--hard drive in it, I must say I squirmed in my comfy desk chair a bit. There but for fortune...! My own computer was mailed off to Dell for repairs earlier this year. By dumb luck, I had asked enough questions of the phone tech ahead of time. I told him I was concerned about the lack of security for my data, and he replied that they didn't need the hard drive in order to repair the problems I was having. He directed me in removing the hard drive from my laptop. It was a matter of a couple screws, as I recall. The hardest part was figuring out where to put the drive and the screws so I'd be able to find them when the computer came back.

Now, in the light of what happened to Amy, I consider this a key piece of advice for myself and anyone else who is sending a computer off for repairs:
  • Before your laptop goes anywhere for repairs, ask if you can REMOVE YOUR HARD DRIVE and send the computer without it!
You'll be protecting your data, and probably saving a bit of shipping cost besides.

So, what am I doing at this very moment? Yep, I'm creating a back-up. At least I think I am. The computer says I am. But I'm not sure how this can actually be accomplished, considering the amount of data that needs to be backed up, and the amount of empty space on my external drive. Even as a practitioner of fuzzy math, I am pretty sure you can't park a Winnebago in a one-car garage.

I guess we'll find out.


Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

I think it's hilarious that you had to post three times to get your url showing at Geneabloggers - you must REALLY, REALLY want that prize!
Evelyn in Montreal

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Thank you for sharing your experience and mine. My computer problem was not the hard drive. I was naive in assuming they wouldn't replace it anyway. Lesson learned.

T.K. said...

LOL!!!! Truth to tell, Evelyn, I just wanted to look real smart by posting the title of my article as a link instead of just pasting the URL. Yeah, that went well, eh? :-P

T.K. said...

And BTW, now we know for sure, you actually CAN'T park a Winnebago in that garage. After all this time waiting for the backup to finish, I now have the error message saying there's not room for it. And do you suppose it told me how much room there isn't? No. It did not.


T.K. said...

Amy, I don't think it's naive at all to assume they wouldn't replace a part that's not broke. Why would they? And since they did, you'd think they would at least have returned the part to you, or transferred your data to the new drive, or something. I mean, come on, they gotta know you want your data, right? Anyhow, thanks for writing about it. I had no idea I was dodging that kind of bullet!

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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