A Backup Plan: External Hard-Drives

Today, my second Western Digital WD Elements 640 GB Portable External Hard Drive arrived in the mail from Amazon. It’s presently in the midst of receiving my 200 GB of personal files.

Here’s an actual Fort Knox backup plan. I thought I already had one. Surprise!

Sometimes the train-wreck is coming anyway and the forces are arrayed such that it doesn’t matter if you’ve made yourself bullet-proof, oops, you forgot to make yourself train-proof.

5 x 3.1 x 0.6 inches ; 7 ounces

Consider that your computer has one copy of all your files. Therefore, everything duplicated on an external hard-drive is another copy. This should be taken out of your house with you whenever you leave, in case something happens to your house. Always ask yourself the question: “Where are my computer files?” Every morning before you wash your face; every time you walk down the street, every time you get in your car, every night before you brush your teeth, “Where are my computer files?”

The second external hard-drive should be backed up only on rotation. Say, once a month. There’s no point having two drives that always say the same thing. You should have a backup to your backup. I have now designated every 1st of the month on my calendar as External Hard-Drive Rotation Day.

These can be easily set up to back up incrementally using Syncback.

(And, if you use Carbonite or Mozy or something – good too because it’s far away from you and your house and your car and everything – it helps if it’s up-to-date. Although in my case it helped that it wasn’t up-to-date …) And then, of course, you can make some DVDs every few months and mail them around. How much does that cost? A stamp.

IF I had been simply rotating two external hard-drives I would have a complete set of un-damaged photographs. Of course, one does not imagine having something like the Windows Live Photo Gallery disaster landing in their life. Nevertheless, every computer-user should have a really, really well thought-out backup plan.

Because, clearly, sh*t happens.

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