Archive Pen & Links

If a fire breaks out in the woods, how is your data?

June 17, 2010

It’s summertime in the Mid-Valley and that means one thing: It’s only a matter of time before a massive fire breaks out. Granted 2010 probably won’t be the same smoke monster 2008 was, but the danger is still there.

Now, you might be asking yourself, why am I reading about fire season in a freaking technology blog.

One word: Backup.

It’s the thing nobody wants to bother doing because it takes actual planning and following a regular schedule. The only time we think of backup is when our computer has a meltdown shortly after Macworld, taking notes and pictures with it.

Unfortunately, this critical task is something we ignore way too often until it’s too late. And with fire season here, it’s time to think about how you’re safeguarding your most important information.

Everyone has a different backup solution for their data. There are online options available such as Carbonite and built-in options like Apple’s Time Machine. Whatever your solution is, make sure you won’t be screwed if your drive dies.

A regular backup in the home will make sure you’re ready if your computer dies. But what if your house burns down, floods or someone breaks in and steals all of your electronics? Suddenly your entire backup system is blown by one single point of failure.

Here’s how I maintain my backups:

My main machine is my laptop that moves back and forth from work. Plenty of important data on there that if it fails, I need to get back immediately.

The software I rely on most is Bombich’s Carbon Copy Cloner. It’s donationware, which means free to use, but don’t be a prick and never give them a dime. In one click, it makes a bootable backup of my hard drive on an external hard drive that can be restored fairly easily. The only downside is it’s Mac only.

I have one drive at home and one drive on my desk at work. If one fails, I’ll have the other ready as another backup. All of my data exists at least twice, if not three times.

I’m curious to hear what solutions you have for backing up your computer, or the ones you plans to use after reading this. Either leave me a comment or e-mail me.