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When is a Joke not a Joke?

I once heard a joke that went something like this: At the sunday church service, the preacher delivered a rousing sermon. The following week he delivered exactly the same sermon again. And he did the same thing for the next two weeks as well. At that time a couple of the church elders pulled him aside and asked if he realised that he was repeating his sermons. He replied: “yes … and I’m going to KEEP repeating them until people start to act on them!”

I feel a bit like that preacher every time I talk about backups. Over the past week I’ve had the following experiences:

  1. A failed external hard drive containing childhood photos was brought to me. It contains the only known copy of the files (ie “no backup). A professional data recovery firm will most likely be able to recover them, but at a cost of at least $800. A second drive that could have backed them up would have cost about $70. I would happily have kept an encrypted backup of them safe for free.
  2. A client’s high-end PC failed to boot following the automatic installation of an update. The data on the disk was fine, but the operating system was toast. I was able to backup the current data – restore the machine from a backup that was done two months ago – reapply subsequent updates – and then restore his data. Thanks to having a backup, he was up and running again about 24 hours later with no loss of data. He also purchased an additional 2TB drive for more backups!
  3. I’ve mentioned the need for backups to 2 new customers who haven’t lost data yet … no response.

This is a pattern that I’ve seen repeated over and over and over again over the past 40+ years I’ve been in business. Data loss occurs regularly from a variety of causes (drive failure – viruses – fire – earthquakes – lightning – finger trouble – malicious acts – theft – OS malfunction) (I’ve seen all of these — many more than once); Those with reliable backups are up and running again in anything from a few minutes to a few hours. Those without reliable backups invariably face a compromised outcome that involves some combination of (a) significant expense (b) significant delays (c) having to re-do work (d) having to accept that some precious memories are now gone forever.

Folks – seriously – it doesn’t have to be this way. Effective backups are trivial & inexpensive to do; start one before you go to bed – and it’ll be done when you wake up in the morning (they’re as boring to watch as grass growing or paint drying — so just start them and go do something else).

A couple of minutes of effort every month or so can prevent a lifetime of regret; it’s a no-brainer.

If you’d be in “deep doggy doo doo” if any of the above happened to you then – PLEASE – give me a call. I can even sort it remotely for you in most cases.

Please don’t make me the preacher who has to repeat himself! 🙂

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