Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back Up the Truck

Do you back up your data? How often?

Thankfully, I've never lost anything of consequence, and I'll knock on wood that I continue to have that good luck. But part of that is preparation. We can talk a lot about the craft of writing, the business, getting published, and all that, but what happens when your hard drive takes a dump?

I know someone who just had a hard drive go bad. He said he didn't have any backups because he's never had one turn out so bad he couldn't fix it. Unfortunately, he couldn't fix this one, and now he's missing a ton of files.

Backup options are plentiful. External hard drives are cheap. Flash drives are even cheaper. Writable CDs and DVDs are cheaper still. There are also online backup options available. Dropbox gives you two gigs for free (and you can get more if you accept someone's invite or invite others who sign up. Today, Amazon announced five free gigs as part of their Cloud Drive project. Online storage is out there. (I would do my due diligence with respect to security and confidentiality first, of course.) There is a backup utility built into most flavors of Windows, and many security suite products will include a backup utility, also. There's really no excuse for not finding some way to back up your important data.

I have an external hard drive, multiple flash drives, a spindle of CDs and DVDs, and online storage. At the risk of sounding overconfident and tempting the fates, I think I'm covered. Are you covered? You might want to be sure you are. Don't lose that work in progress. It would be a shame for all of us if a great novel were lost to the vagaries of power surges.

Happy writing.

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