Learn from my mistakes!

There are a few things I hold most dear to me. These are the things I dread losing. My husband, my daughter of course, and -- my computer. In such a technology centered world, don't you find yourself lumping in your computer, cell phone, or cameras into your prized possessions? A few weeks ago, the worst happened - I thought I'd lost my hard drive.

There are a few ways in which a hard drive can fail, break or be damaged. A power surge or mechanical drive failure (it breaks, or just stop spinning/working) are the two leading causes. When I attempted to turn on my computer one evening to work and it wouldn't turn on, I assumed the power supply to my system was broken. My husband, who works on computers for a living (and is therefore exceptionally handy to have around) took it apart to diagnose the problem. A few hours later, my husband approached me slowly. And quietly. This disturbed me for a number of reasons and I was left speechless when he said to me, "You may want to say a prayer because I can't get either of your hard drives to work."

10 years of personal images. 
2 years of client images. 
Every song I've ever downloaded. 
Photoshop, my precious Photoshop. 
Home movies.
My journals.

Of course this happens right before Christmas as I am trying to finish up client orders so they can make and purchase gifts for their families. It was a nightmare! In my initial panic I emailed a few local data recovery centers, interested in a price quote. I told them the situation - that my power supply had gone out with a vengeance and in turn blew out the tiny circuit board on the hard drives. My face went white when I received a response - $799 - $1400. Well, at least it's a taxable business expense? Hurray?

In an effort to make an already long story shorter, to save my hard drives it cost us $60. $30 for the new part (the little green circuit board on the top of a hard drive) and $30 for rush shipping. My husband replaced the part and within 5 minutes my hard drive was back up and running. I cried. I danced. I jumped on my husband and threw my arms around him. I hugged my little girl. My optimism was not for nothing!

So - here is the question I am sure many of you are asking. As a professional photographer, or at least a tech savvy lady - didn't I have a backup?

Yes... and no. I had a backup, but I did not have an external backup.

I used my main drive to store my files and used a separate hard drive as my mirror. However, because of the power surge within my machine it knocked out BOTH drives - the main and the mirror. If I had the other drive as an external (thus a separate power supply) this very likely would not have happened. I thought I was being so prepared and efficient by having my backup and mirror - I was wrong. Very wrong.

How did I solve this problem?

I am now operating my main drive, an external backup and I'm using an online backup storage service called Backblaze.

While my external helps in the event of a power surge or a main drive mechanical failure, Backblaze helps protect against both drive failure, power surges, fires, toddlers, and the end of the world. The best part? It's only $5 a month for piece of mind and unlimited online storage. Worth every penny, especially knowing how close I was to losing everything. When you're a photographer, or a even a mom or dad with a camera, that phrase could not be more true. My pictures, my memories - they're everything to me.

So, learn from my mistakes. How are your files being stored and protected? Are you covering all your bases - think worst case scenarios and how your computer would fare. Don't let a situation like mine happen before you evaluate what needs to be done!

1 comment

  1. huzzah you're blogging again! I've missed my Friday 5!