Data Backup Day: Disaster Stories

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This happened about four three years ago maybe two.  It was January, and I was heading back to visit the family in New Jersey.  It was a suprise for my gram on her birthday who I had not seen for about year.  I always bring a laptop with me, and I had all my genealogy information stored on this machine.

While I was out there I made some updates to some files, added pictures, visited some cemeteries, ect.  On the way to the airport, I was trying to make space, so I put my laptop in my check-in luggage to pick up back in San Diego.

That was a big mistake, when we got back home and I remembered all my important documents were on that computer.  I turned on the computer and nothing happened.  It would not boot or not even find the hard drive.

After a bit of grumbling about how its was my wifes fault that I lost everything, I ran to the store and bought a new hard drive for the machine.  Once I reloaded an operating system, I started the painfull process of seeing what I could get off the hard drive. 

Good thing that I work in the IT field, and I have a bunch of tools always sitting around to try.  I moved the drive to an external enclosure with usb, and slaved it out to see what was available.  Another fantastic thing that I did was all the pictures I took while home were put on a DVD, so at least I had most of that backed up.   And on my other computer I still had a backup of all my genealogy (about 5 months old).  The FTM database was out of date but I still remembered stuff, and had information spread out to go in search of. 

It was not a total disaster, and it could have been worse, I had poor plans in place because I never thought about what could happen.  How I was saved, was by more luck the any principle of backups.  I now use my laptop, one external drive, and one flash drive.

As of today, I am out to sea, but I have made it an mission to make sure that all my information is backed up at least two places, yesterday alone I dropped my external drive from about 6 feet (off my rack), and it hit the ground.  It still works, just wonder for how long.


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