It can happen to anyone, even you. One minute you’re fine, working away on your faithful computer, the next minute you’re living a nightmare! Somehow, for no apparent reason, your most trusted friend has turned against you with every silicon fibre of its being:
- Months of work has disappeared in a nanosecond.
- Everything that defines you as a geek is gone. Perhaps forever.
- And to top it all off, your backup Zip™ drive is now click-click-clicking itself to death.
The idea didn’t catch on, though you can find plenty of people recounting their own tales of electronic woe online. In most cases, there’s nothing spooky, eerie, or cinematic about computer disasters. Most data loss disasters happen without special effects, though the DriveSavers Museum of Disk-Asters has some pretty spectacular photos of the kinds of physical damage computers can suffer.
I’d certainly be horrified if I came home to find my laptop a burned-out shell and my external hard drives scorched and melted. And right now it would take something that destroyed my whole office to deprive me of my business data. But that would be enough to do it, because I still haven’t found a really effective off-site backup solution for myself. And it is fire season in California.
Nevertheless, hard drive failures and human error are far more common than earthquakes, fires, and floods. So…you wanna see something really scary? How about a $2000 data recovery bill for a week’s worth of work lost when a laptop died on the way back from a business trip. Or coming home from a vacation in Europe to discover that the server died without anyone noticing and the backup tapes were useless? A year and $10,000 later, that company still has data that has to be re-entered by hand from printouts.
If it’s important, back it up now. If it’s really important, back it up offsite as well as locally. Then it won’t matter if your computer plays tricks on you.