My dentist has a sign in her office:
I’ll paraphrase that to fit a recent experience:
And what do we keep on our PCs and laptops and whatever other devices except files that we care about?
Files that matter:
Work-related stuff, if you’ve been working from home or always work from home; and personal files – maybe medical records, insurance records, information about your home or car or warranties; plus your Christmas card list, birthdays list, restaurants you’d try again or wouldn’t.
For me – I have a lot of files including yearly lists of all the books I read and movies I watch; Word and Publisher and Excel docs from 700+ blog posts (plus hundreds of jpeg and png images); reams of other writing; projects I’m working on; family and other pictures…
I have a lot of files.
158,625 files, to be exact.
I know this because they suddenly became inaccessible, locked in my hard drive with no way to retrieve them.
Here’s what happened:
I walked by my computer one Tuesday afternoon and glanced at the screen. It was black – that was normal – except for one sentence across the top, which was not normal.
A sentence which struck terror into my heart:
ERROR: NO BOOT DISK HAS BEEN DETECTED OR THE DISK HAS FAILED.
What the hell? Just all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I’m in big trouble?
Panicked, I called my computer guy, whom I’ll call Computer Guy, or CG.
I read the sentence to CG and he said that yes – it sounded like my hard drive had failed. And as tech-challenged as I am, I knew what that meant.
No internet, no email, no access to my files.
CG arrived the next afternoon, 24 agonizing hours later, and confirmed: My hard drive had failed.
He tried several approaches to access the hard drive and – no luck.
So he packed up my tower and hard drive, and took them home for additional testing. On Thursday – after yet another agonizing 24 hours – he confirmed:
I needed a new hard drive.
He couldn’t access my files to download them to the new hard drive.
CG said he’d return to my home Friday afternoon with my tower and a new hard drive, get me set up and…
That was another 24-hour wait.
But I won’t keep you waiting:
CG said he could restore all my files.
All 158,625 of them.
For one reason.
I am not doing a commercial for Carbonite.
It just happens to be the backup system that my previous CG suggested in 2021.
But I am endorsing some kind of backup…
For the files you care about.
I resisted the idea at first – I didn’t want to spend the money, blah, blah, blah.
But because CG strongly recommended backing up my files, I subscribed to Carbonite and paid $75.59 for the first year.
At the end of the first year I considered not renewing – I hadn’t needed Carbonite in 2021, so why get it again?
Especially at the increased price of $83.99?
After wavering for awhile, I resubscribed for 2022.
Back to the present.
CG set up my computer to download all my files from Carbonite, and he told me it was going to take hours.
“You have a lot of files,” he said, shaking his head. “You have more files than some companies do.”
The file download lasted until Saturday morning, a clear demonstration that I have WAY too many files.
And it’s time to delete stuff I don’t look at and don’t need.
But my files? Yes, my files were back in place.
If I hadn’t had a backup system…
OK: I’ve used words like “agonizing” and “horror story,” and I know that’s overboard.
In the big scheme of life, these are computer files.
Not the war in Ukraine.
But in my life – and I’m betting in your life – we care about our files.
So I’ll offer this for you to consider:
Backup your files.