Posted by: Jodi | March 30, 2010

An Important Reminder – Backup Your Work!

Last week I experienced unexpected computer problems.  There was a very real possibility that I could have lost all the contents on the hard drive.  I was lucky.  Nothing was lost, at least not this round.  This my friends is why it is important to backup your work.

I used to work at a vet office where we used a computer program to organize client records.  There were two servers where this data was stored, each an exact copy of the other.  If one failed we could switch to the other without losing a beat.  At least that was the idea.  We made a big mistake.  Both servers were purchased from the same company at the same time.  They both had the same defective part, an unbalanced drive.  They both crashed within a week of each other costing the clinic hundreds of hours to re-input the data.  If they had followed these simple rules it wouldn’t have been such a problem.

Here you have it – the Big Three rules of backing up your work.

  1. Media – Always save your work on at least two types of media.  If you usually save it to your hard drive, put your backup on a USB key or burn it to a disk.  You can also save it to an email account or use an online service.
  2. Location – The backup should ideally not be kept in the same place as the original.  If there is a fire and you keep all your backup disks next to the computer they won’t do you any good.
  3. Time – You should make separate files for each backup clearly labeling them.  This is for when you need to return to a specific time, say to return to a deleted section of storyline  you’ve realized you could use after all.

I use a USB key for the initial saving and put the backup on the hard drive at least once a week.  Whenever I hit a milestone I email the file to my hubby and he keeps a dated copy at work.

So, what are you waiting for?  Back up your work, you’ll thank me later.

Happy Writing!

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Responses

  1. Great advice. My computer happens to be possessed . . . so I tend to write and store everything on-line. : )

    • Storing online is becoming the fastest, easiest, and most secure ways to store data. One day I’ll get around to doing it!

  2. Thanks for the advice! Glad to know nothing bad happened with your computer 🙂
    Backing up is vital, I don’t even want to imagine what I’d do if my computer were to crush without me backing up…

    • Like I said, I was really lucky. I wouldn’t have lost any of my WIP but I would have lost a bunch of family pictures. While fixing it I was sure to burn a copy of everything just in case.

  3. […] An Important Reminder: Backup your Work […]

  4. There is a lot of confusion about backing up your data. One concern is that it takes a lot of space. In fact, in most cases you have copies of your software applications, and don’t need to back them up. Your data files are relatively small, and in nearly every case for a home user, can be backed up on one or two CDs. Of course, music and video take up more room, but it would be a prolific writer indeed that would have more than one CD worth of text files.


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