Thursday, December 06, 2007

How not to do backups

I am religious about backups. I bought a large USB hard drive and made sure that my laptop was backed up to the hard-drive every week. I used a tool called SuperDuper, which performed perfectly, even making the external drive bootable in case I totally lost my laptop or its internal disk.

In addition, I recently upgraded to Leopard and I set up a partition on the external hard drive for its 'Time Machine'. I never had to use it, but I did notice that it created very nice incremental backups.

On my wife's computer, I use Xdrive to backup her data to the Internet. It works very well given that she has relatively little data. The 5GB storage limit is plenty. My laptop was approaching 50GB of personal data. The data files for my thesis research add up to more than 20GB.

I made one major mistake. NEVER EVER PUT YOUR BACKUP AND PRIMARY SYSTEMS IN THE SAME ROOM. What, you think I'm talking about a fire or natural disaster. Think again. Its human error (sic).

This week, someone broke into our house in the middle of the night. My laptop was setup in an office on the first floor with an external monitor and the aforementioned external backup drive. The thieves took everything. So, now I have nothing. No laptop and no backup.

We are slowly piecing our life back together. The biggest problem is that all of my writing and research was on those disks. I also had our family images on that system. IPhoto is a very nice tool. Well, its all gone. Hopefully next week, I'll come out of mourning and get my life started again.



  • wow! my deep condolences... No data was saved on any of the university machines?

    By Blogger david, at 12:11 PM, December 08, 2007  

  • All my data files are backed up in at least three places. What I lost was my source code for analysis and all of the write-ups that I've been doing. The university provides limited storage of up to 5GB, My email files alone were about that size.

    By Blogger Elliot, at 9:01 PM, December 08, 2007  

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