I still have not received my pictures back-well, they were on the disk but my DVD drive malfunctioned and destroyed the file (anyone see a pattern here? As well, our Dish receiver died, as well as my son's car-which may be an electrical problem...). All the other retrieved files are there, even if some are corrupted...which is okay, I think most of the zip files are unneeded. (They were most likely business files which would have been backed up elsewhere. Of course.) My tech will be getting another DVD for me, and I ordered a new DVD drive from Sager Notebooks (my laptop is from them, they originally were one of the few firms that did "build to order".)
While is seems crazy that a DVD burner would kill a file, consider that the back up I attempted with it actually erased the disk, and all the other computers read it as unusable! It has stalled out on burning Cd's more and more as well. I now refuse to use it -what will it do next? I am not finding out!
Needless to say, there are lots of photos and ideas and discussion that could have taken place, which because I was waiting for the perfect time-to blog, to back up, to share...might never take place:( So take note of my advice below, which comes not just from this experience, but multiple occasions (we utilize computers at work for many things and one sure thing is that something will fail.).
- Back up weekly all data that is important or even just a little important to you; favorites, files, photos, even downloads (create a download file and always send everything there every time). Use DVDs or Cd's that are made to last a long time. Some cheap ones may not. Archival quality disks are available for modest prices.
- For photos you can buy storage binders, print a proof sheet, and insert that along with the DVD on each page. Don't for get to note date, place, people and so on. So helpful later when all might become less obvious!
- Do not depend on external or internal hard drives! Keep things on several operating systems or in several different places. See no. 1, back up stuff, it is less heartbreaking and cheaper than trying to recreate it all! (I need to find maps and sites that I use in my work, not fun!!!) (As well, if you copy your DVD's/Cd's and store them in a different location and/or fire proof safe you will be able to preserve the data much better.)
- Research new operating systems before installing, and check to see if your machine is proprietary. We almost lost a huge portion of data because Compaq is proprietary and if you install Windows XP on 98 that is not a Compaq "approved" disk, it can really mess stuff up. Fortunately in those days we backed up! And did so until I obviously became a flake :p
Another thing, research before purchasing software, hardware or computers! We do that a lot around here, but even I took a chance on the M* drive which I knew to be suspect. Moral of that is don't trust that hardware can change it's ways (tong in check here..). We have all worn out a variety of hardware, most commonly the hard drives, but also lots of key boards, keys, mice, etc. So a better quality product is a good idea.
So there is my helpful Helen hint for today! May you have a good November, with today being All Saints Day. If you were to choose a favorite saint, who would it be?
One of the last Peace roses in my garden before chilly fall weather!