- At Christmas dinner, my nephew gave me the lecture about backing up my data.
- Yesterday I read about Amy's vanished hard-drive at We Tree.
- Last night, I read the ultimate prod at GeneaBloggers: back up and win a prize!
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!
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.