backup plan

Have a Backup Plan

I had a backup plan. At least I thought I did. Until it failed. Don’t let this happen to you.

Just when you think you’re doing things the right way, disaster happens. Last week it happened to me. I had just purchased some new software which required the latest version of the Mac OS. As I attempted to install the latest version, something went horribly wrong and all of a sudden it looked like my hard drive had disappeared.

In a panic, I tried everything I could think of to remedy the situation. From my research (aka frantically Googling) the next logical step was to re-install the operating system.  Well, feeling that was way out of my pay grade, I made an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar. Once there, they reinstalled and upgraded my OS and with my back up drive, began to restore the computer.

Long story short, the backup unit somehow got compromised and I sat there in shock with the realization the everything was gone. All my files, everything, gone. The good news is there are companies that specialize in recovering data from hard drives and as we speak the information on my hard drive is being extracted and I should recover all my files. This is a costly process, and it doesn’t always work.

Have a Hybrid Backup Plan

After a mini melt down over the weekend, I have learned a couple of valuable lessons. One is to have a better strategy for data backup. I went out and purchased two 2 terabyte hard drives and now have 2 physical backup units protecting my data. Redundancy is good. I also learned that external hard drives don’t last forever. I was surprised that it was recommended to me to replace your external hard drive every 3 or so years.  The drives I just purchased are from Seagate and come with 2 years of data recovery. My strategy going forward is to replace one drive every year or so. Part of the issue with my hard drive failure was due to the age of the equipment according to the data recovery engineer.

There is the option of having my computer configured to store my documents in my cloud account. I’m still not sure if this is the direction I want to go, as the files would only be available when connected to the internet. However, it’s a good option if you want to have the files available on multiple devices. I’m thinking about periodically coping important files to the Documents – Cloud folder so they are available in the cloud as another form of backup.

I have purchased an online backup software service for my Mac.  BackBlaze is the software I choose, it’s $50 a year and one of the top rated solutions. My backup security process has now tripled or quadrupled.

Valuable Lessons Learned

Another lesson learned came from a totally different perspective. While I was wallowing in self pity about this awful thing that had happened to me, I began to think, what can I take away from this hiccup? I must admit I was pretty shaken up when I thought I had lost everything. And then I thought, there is only one person who can determine what I think and do right now and that is me. The way I respond defines who I am.

My thinking needed to change to focus on how I could use this experience to best serve me. I began to focus on how having to reload all my files on my computer is in fact a good thing, it will give me a chance to reorganize the data on my computer. It will allow me to only load files I need and purge the rest. Creating a better and more logical file folder system will allow me to get access to information much more quickly. No more spending time searching around for where a specific file is located.

While reloading my applications I have upgraded some of them to current and better software solutions. I’m taking an attitude of “fresh start”, even if this setback will take hours of my time to recover from. Embracing the experience to create a better computer environment from which to launch a successful 2018 is my current thinking.

Final Thoughts

Set up a multi-pronged approach to backing up your data with redundancy built in.

When stuff happens as it always does, find the silver lining. Realize that you are the only one able to control how you react to life’s ups and downs. Embrace your challenges, how you respond to them makes you the person that you are.

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