Don't forget to back-up

There are two kinds of hard drives in the world: those that have failed and those that will.

For some folks, a hard drive failure is the end of the world as they know it. For others, it is a minor hiccup: they have their data backed up.

With this in mind, I hope everyone backups their data.

Apple has made it extraordinarily simple to backup a Macintosh. Time machine is very efficient, seamless, and free. It’s built in to every computer running Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and higher. A small hard drive from LaCie or Seagate easily costs less than $200. In short, there really is no excuse for not having your data backed up.

A simple data recovery from a failed hard drive can cost as little as a couple hundred bucks. Some data recovery specialists have special clean rooms where they can take apart a failed drive and put it in a new mechanism. The cost for this type of recovery starts at around $1,500 and can climb as high as three or four thousand dollars! And even then, there is no assurance the data can be recovered.

Backing up one's data is critical. I have some clients who use their computer to surf the internet and stay in touch with friends and family. Most of their data is transient and temporary. They can live without most of it. But it's difficult to replace all those email addresses,work files, and family pictures. And what was the password for their bank account? It was stored in the keychain, and the keychain data, along with the rest of their data, is gone forever. Those are minor hiccups. It is more serious when one’s wedding photos, or pictures of a loved one who has since died are gone forever. Memories.

Other clients live and die by their data. They are the newspapers who store their articles, photos and ads on their hard drives. They are the physicians who struggle to keep their data straight so their claims to the insurance companies are not rejected. Without their data, they are out of business.

Telling someone their data is lost forever is probably the most disappointing part of my business. Call me instead to make an appointment to set-up a back-up strategy, or to verify that your strategy is working--that your data is secure.