Your computer is dying and that’s fine mostly. But more specifically, your hard drive is dying. Perhaps sooner. Perhaps later. And the fate of your data depends on you.
Studies show about 8% of hard drives brick within the first three years. So it’s a gamble. Will you get a new computer and transfer everything over in time? Maybe. But you may prefer a silent guardian, a watchful protector.
Where does he get those wonderful toys?
Getting backed up is surprisingly easy. And yes Mr. Wayne, it even comes in black.
1) Easy – It will take you just minutes to sign up for automatic backup to the cloud on CrashPlan’s servers for a Mac or PC.
- Relatively cheap (less than the cost of an external hard drive per year)
- Did I mention it’s easy? It’s also automatic. (This is important – see top image.)
- Even the free version of the software allows you to backup to friend’s computer although you may prefer to “Never rub another man’s rhubarb.”
- Quick access to files via their software, their website or mobile app.
- The initial backup to CrashPlan can take over a week.
- If your drive completely croaks, it could take a long time to download a full backup (although you can have them overnight you a hard drive with your data)
2) Go Shopping – The Mac comes equipped with Time Machine. All you need is a another drive to backup to. If you’re on a PC, most hard drives come with some backup software or apparently there’s some built-in to Windows 7. When I hear of a good solution, I’ll link it here.
- Immediate access to all your files in case of catastrophe
- No monthly payments
- Time Machine – Holy Hookers Batman, this is easy! (Mac)
- If you’re on a laptop and the drive isn’t connected to your network, you’ll have to remember to plug it in. (See top image)
- It’s another hard drive and eventually it’s going to die also (but probably not the same day as your computer).
- Sometimes backup software fails.
You are Ready. Breathe in your fears.
1) If you’re a Mac, make sure you’re not already using a Time Capsule for your wireless router. If you are, just fire up Time Machine and you’re set.
2) Not using Time Capsule? Connect an external hard drive to your router via usb. Almost all router’s support this now. Mount the hard drive on your computer(s) and start your backup software.
3) If you work with other people’s data, or (don’t want to be killed in your sleep for losing the family photos) consider a redundant system.
- Crashplan Unlimited @5.99/month
- CrashPlan (this part is free) backup to another computer in the house.
- LaCie 2big Quadra 4 TB 2-Disk RAID connected to my router. The RAID means it has 2 hard drives so if one fails it can be replaced. I prefer a separate router and hard drives (vs a Time Capsule) so they can fail independently.
Whatever you do, the most important part is to make it automatic. (See top image)
Now citizens, take control. Take control of your data!