Yes, I know we KNOW we are supposed to do this. I have been working with computers professionally since 1997. I do know this.
I did something so dumb I cannot believe it. We have an external hard drive that my husband uses almost exclusively for our family digital photos and his music collection ( he is an audiophile.. we have over 4,000 vinyl LP’s and about 90 gigs or ripped worth of music that he ripped from them) . We use the external back up because *I* thought it would be safer than storage on an internal drive and less likely to be corrupted or damaged and really didn’t consider the option of online storage. Little did I know that using online storage could have protected our precious family photos, some of my business and client data and my husbands music collection- hundreds and and hundred of hours worth of work that took years to collect. What did this stuff need protection from- the most dangerous enemy of all- the computer user that thanks they know what they are doing! ME!!!! In a moment of sheer madness I decided I had to change the external drive- a sizable 300 gigs and was all ready 3/4 full – from a FAT32 drive to a NTFS drive- mainly because I wanted to store family videos and it wouldn’t accept files bigger than one gig. So…. I decided to change the drive and against ALL my instincts I did not back up the drive.
3 says later- after using 4 different data recovery application I have most of the stuff back. The files names have been changed- no more dates of photos or names of albums- but given numerical file names that are impossible. I know have to know that Florida pictures for February 2005 are called “1222890” . I am an IDIOT. Don;t even ask me how it went when I broke the news to my husband.
I have since seen the light and decided that online storage is the way to go. It is much easier- and faster- than I thought it would be. The one company that I like, IBackup offers an easy to use, intuitive map drive folder on your desktop and you can set up folders to share with others- so my husband can share family photos with me and I can access his music.
If you have some time over the weekend- make the effort to backup your important stuff BEFORE you need to. I would give almost anything for that split second when I hit enter and realized what i had done.