That’s how long I have been in the computer business.
In that time, I have seen many products come and go, companies absorb smaller companies and the change of the computer retailer from a specialty store into a commodity dealer. Remember WordPerfect?
I have also watched as people called me up in tears when computers would fail and all of their work and photos were gone. Of course, that’s after we got to the total digital age. Prior to that I would ask if they had the negatives and then tell them to make another print!
In today’s digital age, photographs are handled quite well with small point and shoots, and cell phone cameras. We also tend to create thousands of images. Some are immediately deleted but there are those that are treasured for years. Loved ones and pets, grand-kids, scenery and travel are all handled with smartphones, compact cameras and DSLRs, and storage is an issue.
Backups of your data ensure that if a hard drive fails internally, the data is stored outside of the computer as well so it can be recovered.
For many years, I used the same couple of drives for backup externally. One had nearly 4TB of my raw and processed image files. One day, the program that tells me the health of the drives in my computer, flashed red, said health was at 9% and within two days, it went to 2%.
Scared to death I would lose client work and my own artistry, I immediately checked my backup plans to the two different services that stored my data in the cloud. One could not read from the drive and the other also had an issue.
The sweat was starting to accumulate on my brow: there were tons of photos from shows and bands, all sorts of other shoots and stuff I had scanned and retouched for family and clients. Losing it would be detrimental to my business, my family and my clients.
I immediately bought another INTERNAL drive and had it within a day or two; and using some of the skills for data recovery, started the copy process into the new drive. About 15 pictures did not make it but they had already been delivered to the client and I had the RAW files if they needed that already backed up to the cloud.
I got to thinking about the issue and realized that many of the external drives I use for client data recovery and data transfer had also had issues after only a year or two of service.
A few years ago, a client had called telling me that the internal laptop drive had died, they bought a new computer and could I transfer the data from the external backup drive to the new laptop. “Of course!”, I replied.
Lo and behold the external device was dead. They had not had me over in over two years since everything seemed to be ok.
I called the client back to let them know that the internal drive was completely dead, the external backup was completely dead and that they would need to go to the next level – a specialty company that disassembles the drive in a special clean room, puts the platters into a special reader and recovers the data in that fashion. Beginning estimated cost: $750.00 up to $3500.00.
Needless to say that client was rather upset with the outcome.
Why write about upset clients?
Because this can be prevented. Really.
From these experiences, I now tell clients to budget a replacement external backup drive EVERY YEAR and budget for a cloud backup plan. They are not that expensive and your data is safely stored with encryption that only can be decrypted with your login and password. Cloud backups are also accessible from any computer – this is important if we had a natural or other disaster. Disaster PREVENTION is less expensive than disaster recovery.
External drives are getting cheaper and cheaper and since they might last a year or two, why gamble with your important data and photos? I learned the hard way.
I have found that Costco and Sam’s Club and even Walmart usually have drives for around $150 and under for external storage (and recently even LESS) and for that price every year, you avoid the fright and wallet-shock of specialized data recovery.
If you do need it, I have codes and discounts for DriveSavers, a company that has handled some major data recovery for clients in the past.
For Cloud Backup I use iDrive AND Crashplan. I use two cloud backup services and have my data backed up to a Network Drive with 6TB.
Plans for two years are around $100 and iDrive backs up your data when you computer is on and not being used. If the computer is off, it WON’T backup. I get that question a lot. If it is hibernating, the data cannot be backup up to the cloud. These settings are usually in the Control Panel in Windows and System Preferences on Macs. You want the computer to be on for the backup. The initial backups can take longer if there is a lot of data to be sent to the cloud.
Also, a CLOUD backup truly can be a lifesaver in the event of a ransomware or other virus attack – some routines in the virus can and will encrypr any drives with data attached to the infected computer!! The online backups are usually very safe from these attacks.
Here’s a link for iDrive. If you sign up on their site and set it up, you can start the backup process now.
Once you setup the account, you can download and install the iDrive client and configure it to backup when you are not using the computer.
At the top, it will ask if I have referred you. Please click it and say yes, I can check to see if any of my clients computers have backed up or not using their control panel. If I see that a client has an active account but has not backed up, I call to check on the situation.
If you prefer to have a drive delivered directly to your house, you can shop at my Amazon store for a drive and I am happy to help you get this and the cloud backup setup for you.
Here is the link to a three different external backup drives and are just a small sample of what is available:
- Western Digital 2TB external drive (http://amzn.to/2vD81zY)
- Western Digital 4TB external drive (http://amzn.to/2eJfGbT)
- Western Digital 4TB external drive formatted for MACs and will be used by the Time Machine automatic backup (http://amzn.to/2vTYxj1)
When I get to a client call, I always check the internal drives, external drives and make sure that there is a cloud backup as well. This is part of disaster prevention, most clients have me over at least two or three times a year to check on all of this.
I am available to help set up your backup plans and drives and ensure the safety of your data to prevent any major disasters. Just give me a call…