Backing up

At my day job today, I had a customer who was looking for help. Her computer was pretty damaged by a virus, and among several things, she lost many of her pictures as everything was stored on just her computer. She was pretty upset and was asking if I knew of any way to help her. I gave her some ideas. Told her to try googling “data recovery software” or take it to a computer specialist who may be able to work some magic on it. In the course of the conversation, she asked if I’d ever had that problem.

Luckily, I never have. I keep my antivirus software up to date, and have it set to run a full scan daily. But despite that, I know that if I were to get a virus or if my hard drive were to crash, I’d be okay. At my day job, we always ask if people would like to make a backup cd of their pictures. (Kind of like McDonald’s “would you like fries with that?” *grin*) Many people tell us that they have their pics on their computer, so they don’t need a backup disk. With both my personal photos, as well as my client photos, I take it a few steps further.

The first thing I do when I get home from a session is to upload all the photos from my memory cards to the computer. As soon as I do that, I make two backups of all the raw images. One to disk, which is then verified to make sure that there were no errors in the transfer, and then the disks are stored in a safe place. And then I make a copy to my external harddrive. I then set the memory cards off to the side, not to be used until I have edited the images from my session. Once those two backups are performed and verified, I then start going through the images, choosing the best, and editing those. Once the editing is done, I then repeat the backups to the external hard drive and disks. Now these backups may be a bit excessive, but they will only be helpful if I have a computer problem. Computer goes down, all I lose is the time it’s going to take to reload everything back onto a new one. But what happens if something happens to the house? It is tornado season, after all. (And yes, I was up until 2:30 this morning watching Twister. LOL) In addition to my other backups, I also use an online backup system. Every day, my computer performs scans. If I add or change files, those files are then uploaded to a secure server in a completely other part of the country. Should something drastic happen, I am able to re-download those files without any problems at all.

Perhaps I am a bit over-protective. But when I think about these files, I know that they are so much more than that. They are people’s memories. It is part of my job to make sure they are safe and secure.

If you are interested in using an online backup service, there are several out there. A few good ones for consumers are MozyHome, BackBlaze, and Carbonite. They are highly rated, very affordable, and very easy to set up and use. It’s never a bad idea to protect your memories, and I hope that you are reassured that I do everything in my power to do so.

In the meantime, have a happy 4th of July weekend! 😀

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