Hard Drives Make the World Go ‘Round: Computer Update
As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, I suffered a hard drive failure on my blogging machine…. Luckily, all of my files were backed up in the cloud. The downside of having hundreds of gigabytes of files stored up there in the cloud is that you don’t get them all back instantly. No, they trickle like an early spring drizzle from the ether back into the computer from whence they came. And it takes a while.
I’m happy to report that all my files (I think they’re all here) are back. It took a couple weeks, and it’s taking me more time to reinstall all of the software (Carbonite heads up: Unless you pay for a premium account, they don’t back up your software, only your files.)
So after all of the restoring, and reinstalling, and putting thousands of files back into the right folders so that things work right, I think I’m back in business. I know quite a bit more about the inner workings of hard drives and computer code than I did last month.
When you lose a hard drive, and everything on it, you learn very quickly just how dependent we’ve become on data. So much of what we do, who we are, even, is nothing but one’s and zero’s, stored on a spinning disk inside our computers. And most of us have absolutely no idea how any of this works. It’s kind of scary. Some experts are worried that due to technological advances, the data we’re storing (and backing up) will someday be unreadable, and therefore lost to future generations. Literature, music, photographs, memories…. all of it may someday be gone unless it’s continually updated and migrated to the latest form of digital storage.
I’ve got a little bit of insight into this: How many of you have old VHS tapes from the 1980s that you’ve converted to DVD? Now we’re converting those DVDs to blu-ray, or storing the video on hard drives. We’re going to have to keep doing this FOREVER. Or it’ll be lost. I was shocked at how deteriorated my 30 year old VHS tapes had become. DVDs will break down and degrade too. Probably quicker than you’d think. We’ll always be moving our stuff from one dying format to a newer one. And backing it all up all the time so we don’t lose it. It sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? My experience (still ongoing) with restoring lost files and making them all work again proves to me that yes… it is exhausting. But important.
So once again, I can’t emphasize the importance of backing up your computer files anyway you can. My Carbonite account has proven it’s monthly $5 cost to be an incredible value for all the time and effort it’s saved me. Going forward, I’ll be keeping the Carbonite cloud backup, but I’m also going to be investing in an external hard drive that will automatically back up my computer files (via Apple’s Time Machine function). With computer files, things like precious photos, music libraries, tax information, checking account info, 4 years of website work, etc. etc., there really is no such thing as too much redundancy when it comes to backing it all up. Because it can all disappear forever in the blink of an eye.
Now that I can think about anything else other than getting my computer restored, I’ll hopefully be back soon with something that’s actually interesting. Until then, VIGILANCE !!!