12 December 2008

Backup your data

Maybe I'm paranoid, maybe I've more money than sense (nope, that can't be it!), or maybe I've lost data before, but as far as I'm concerned, if you place any value on your images at all - and that doesn't have to be monetary value, it could just be sentimental value - then backing up your images is an absolute must.
There is a well known saying in computer circles, that hard disc drives exist in two states: those that have failed, and those that are about to fail.
If you store your images on hard discs, you really are tempting fate if you don't have another copy stored somewhere else. "Somewhere else" should, in an ideal world, be offsite (to avoid theft, flood or fire at your main location) and possibly on a different medium, though this is not essential. If you can't get data off-site, then at the very least, you need two copies at home - two hard discs perhaps, or a hard disc and a collection of DVDs. With CDs and DVDs though, their shelf-life is not yet completely understood, so make sure you go for good ones that have been tested for archival purposes. If you're using hard discs, make sure you don't leave both connected to the computer. Having one remote and only connected when backing up will help ensure you don't fall foul of any spyware, malware or viruses that may corrupt your data.
There are many backup methods you can employ, and maybe we'll look at some of them in-depth in future posts, but for now, I wanted to flag the importance of a good backup routine in the hope that it might save one of your from losing data.


No comments: