Back-ups, eh? Who needs them?

I had a call from a customer a little while back: sadly, their old dog had died. They had dug out their old DVDs of photos to look back on happier days together and found they were all blank, at which point they called me.

This is actually something I encounter quite regularly: whether it’s something that’s been deleted accidentally, something that’s ‘just disappeared’ or, most common, some sort of machine failure, one day something precious will not be there anymore.

That’s the time you reach for your backup. The important point to stress is that the full phrase is ‘backup copy’. Many times, I’ve visited customers with wedding/baby/pet/honeymoon photos on their PC and I’ve advised them to make sure they have a backup. A year or two later I visit again and hear, “We took your advice and took the pictures off the computer and put them on a CD”. No! Putting them on a CD is a good idea, but don’t take them off the computer: the CD will one day fade or get scratched or lost, the PC hard drive will one day fail, but the likelihood of both failing at the same time is tiny. As long as you have that backup copy, you can always recover those precious memories (or important business documents).

Newer versions of Windows have reasonable backup facilities built-in, and there are other free resources available (different backup software, using free internet services, even just dragging things across to a CD or DVD).

It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but it does have to be done, not put off for another day.

In the end, some fancy tools and a little bit of time in the workshop recovered almost all our friends’ puppy photos, but often people aren’t so lucky. If you’d like help settrng up your backups, get in touch.

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