A Bit of Friendly Advice....

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by 480sparky, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    ..... to ALL digital shooters.

    Wednesday night, I shut my computer down as it was telling me to install an update. I typically do this at the end of the day. So I click on "Update, then shut down" and go off to meet the sandman.

    Thursday I get home from work, and my computer will not boot up. I get the first splash screen, but it just hangs on that. I turn the tower off and back on. I push the power button multiple times. I let it run for 3 hours, and it goes nowhere.

    So this morning I take it to the repair shop. They hook it up and get the same thing. I mention, "It's either the hard drive or the motherboard". Either way, I'm covered.

    Because........ I have multiple backups.

    Yes, everything on my computer is backed up in three locations. Not just three separate external drives sitting at my desk. Three distinct mailing addresses.

    Since I was heading out tomorrow to visit family for Turkey Day, I was more than prepared and had along the latest back-up external drive which I was prepared to leave at the shop so they could leisurely restore my computer and I could pick it up in two weeks when I got home.

    But............... just before we had all but forsaken my 'puter, the repairman said, "Let me try just one more thing..... you mentioned it was doing an update?" He reaches around and plugs in the store's network. He restarts it, and bam! Away it goes. I log in..... everything is up and running!

    Hooray! I don't have to spend a boatload of scratch to restore my machine. Seems my modem had a brain fart during the update and my computer was just hanging up since it was waiting for ET to phone home. Once the network was connected, it finished the update and I came back home with a working machine.



    Moral of the story:

    BACK EVERYTHING UP........ ALL THE TIME.

    I got lucky this time. But I had no need to freak out since I have three back-ups to work from. I may not be as lucky next time and have to spend my hard-earned money to get back on track.


    And, if YOU back up regularly, you too can not have a panic attack if your computer just.......... dies.






    My PSA for everyone.:biggrin-93:



     
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  2. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would still have a panic attack because my computer costs $1200 and I cannot replace it right now.
     
  3. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Very good advice. I learned long ago that you can never have too many backups but you can most assuredly have too few.
     
  4. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wife's computer just had the HD fail. Less than 1 year old so I knew it was under warranty. I did every check I could including internal computer system test. Knowing if it really wasn't the HD I would get charged for the service call. It's on it's way back now. And they did replace the HD. We back up fairly often. But probably not often enough. Did not lose anything important on the laptop.
     
  5. otherprof

    otherprof TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I just backed up this message three times! Anyway, it deserves to be backed up and resent regularly! Glad you didn't need to use the backups, but so nice to have them!
     
  6. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am amazed that more people don't do backups because of how cheap they are.

    I tell my friends there are only TWO kinds of hard drives in the world... those that HAVE failed... and those that WILL fail. There is no third category.

    There are data recovery businesses that can get your data off a failed hard drive (this assumes it's the drive electronics or motor that have failed and the drive wont spin up even if it's moved to another computer or drive enclosure). This is really expensive. I had a friend who worked at such a place many years ago and he told me what was involved (it ties up a dedicated technician for many hours with special equipment) -- and he told me that it's basically never less than $1000 to recover data from a hard drive and that's on the really cheap side (easy recovery and not much data). Usually the costs are quite a bit more (several thousand dollars).

    Knowing this... the backup drive is definitely the cheaper way to go.

    I do two types of backups...

    One clones my internal drive to a bootable clone (I can boot the computer off the backup drive and run it if the internal drive fails). This saved me once when I had a complete failure of a drive and I ordered a replacement but it was going to be a few days before it arrived -- I was able to run off the external backup disk.

    The other performs an incremental backup. This is the Apple "Time Machine" backup that is built into the OS (just give it an external disk or network attached disk to use as a backup destination). It is performed every hour and it's transparent (in the background while I'm using the computer -- you'd never know it was happening). That saved me once when I had a drive where the heads were getting sloppy and not properly aligning to their tracks. The result was that whenever it would "write" data, it was bleeding over into the adjacent track (damaging whatever files were stored there) but I didn't know this until I tried to read the damaged files. It turns out it had been happening slowly and had started about a month prior to me noticing. Since I had the incremental backup... I was able to tell it to do a restore of all those files from a backup that was captured before the problem started happening (the latest backups were corrupt and unusable.)
     
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