waypasttense (waypasttense) wrote in thrifty_green,

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Computer Storage and Disaster Planning Saves $ and Digital Lives

How much is your digital life worth?

It was worth $150 or so for me to buy an external hard drive to back up our G5 Mac. And then to pay a tech guy to come out and get it set up right... and to buy some backup software, although it never quite worked right and we suspected a hard drive problem.

The problem got worse and we finally were able to back up with Time Machine before taking it to the Apple store, where they replaced the hard drive without reinstalling anything from our old one (we had a backup, eh). But something went wrong and the back up was over-written.

Now how much is my digital life worth?

Every single day I come home from work and find I can't resume my everyday life: can't balance the checkbook, email a friend, etc, because I no longer have anything. And that's only the stuff I use daily. Worse yet is the loss of creative work and ideas.

Getting my life back was easily worth the $100 it cost to get data recovery software - the mistake I made was I should have tried it out before buying because it only partially worked. It couldn't rebuild usable files.

Now how much is my digital life worth?
My only remaining option is a data recovery company - $500 to $1200.

I'm paying it, but I'm also going to start backing up critical files online. Google now offers Google Documents. At the moment, it's free. But I recently saw a posting on Wise Bread for these free online storage services as well.

XDRIVE (5GB free storage)
MOZY (2GB free storage, unlimited file size/bandwidth)
MEDIAMAX (25GB free storage, file-sharing, unlimited file size/bandwidth - don't use to download files larger than 10Mb)
BOX.NET (1GB free storage)
ESNIPS (5GB free storage, file-sharing, unlimited file size/bandwidth)

There are oh so many ways that tragedy can be avoided. Multiple backups is one of them.
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I cannot count the number of times my friends have lamented over a crashed hard drive and how their entire life has been ruined because they lacked a relatively simple preventive measure.

Hard lesson to learn, but the homework was easy....