How do you describe the wave of feelings your body goes through when you realize your hard drive has just crashed? The hard drive that has collected irreplaceable files and the hard drive that until today, you trusted with your soul.
You could compare it to the combined feelings you get when you realize you’ve run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, lost your keys after a crazy night out, put your phone through the washing machine, road off your car or realizing your wallet has been stolen. But honestly, for me, this feeling was way worse than any of those.
My treasured computer was now flashing a black and white image of a folder with a giant question mark like a beam of the devils eye into my brain and there was nothing I could do about it.
Now, for a moment, let’s imagine you’ve never invested in a backup external drive, filled your USB drives with the most up-to-date versions, registered for online storage or been shown how to create a time machine. Without any of these tools it’s all gone; your computer is completely empty.
Let’s bring to life the devastation this day brought me. I lost over 11,000 photos – including my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, my month long trip to Europe, singing tour in Mexico, 2 weeks in New York and California, 3 weeks in the East Coast, Family Birthdays’, Christmas’ and Baby photos, photos of my best friends Wedding, irreplaceable images of my best friend who passed away 5 years ago, over 7 years of design work, client files and award winning papers from University; I lost it all that day.
You’re thinking… what, you never invested in back up technology? I don’t feel sorry for you. That’s just stupid.
I know, I know. On the outside it seems like a simple solution and in hindsight it was a small investment that could have changed my life, however, if you don’t know, you don’t know… until one day, you just have to know.
So, let me share with you my top 5 ways I now save, transfer, send and duplicate my work to avoid this ever happening again. Technology can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. You can either plan for the worst, or wished you read this blog earlier. Happy SAVING!
Watch the speed of transfer and compatibility to your particular year of your computer. Usually, the more expensive the hard drive, the better the speed and protection against viruses and power outages, however, don’t be scared you HAVE to invest a lot – something, at any cost, connected to your computer for back up is better than nothing.
This is only available on apple computers and is designed for personal, individual users; however, it is also the most amazing and easiest tool Apple ever created… if you know about it. You connect your “new” hard drive to your computer and activate the built-in Time Machine tool and your computer will automatically duplicated on your hard drive exactly as it is at that moment. Files, software, settings and photos can be easily restored using your Time Machine back-up hard drive – just in case – you ever have a failed internal hard drive.
3. Box.net – Online Storage:
This is helpful and most useful for duplicating and saving files when taking your external hard drive is not an option. You can save and download any files online to any computer at any time. This is also a great tool when your needing to send clients large files or show family multiple photos.
4. Dropbox.com – Computer File Sharing:
Is similar to online storage, however, it is a file folder embedded into your computers filing system that connects all of your computers and phone to each other. If you save a document, photo or client file to the dropbox on one computer, that file is automatically saved to the rest of your computers. This is a tool you can log into from any computer, anywhere around the world, to access your stored and saved files just as they look on your home computer. This becomes extremely helpful when meeting clients or showing family members as you can simply log on and connect to your file folders and send certain people direct links to your shared folder.
As archaic as it sounds, copying work onto a DVD is another additional reliable source of backup. If you’re a photographer, it’s as important to duplicate your clients photos onto CD and physically store them in another location to keep them safe in case of a fire or flood in your house.