Computer Backups

28 Oct

Oddly enough, I’ve never gotten into the habit of doing regular back ups of my  computer files. I usually had 2-3 copies of important things spread across 4 computers and 4 external hard drives with more on a portable hard drive and even another that I’ve yet to unpack. I have so many because I had some at school to save student submissions and my assignments for a full year. Or I transported homework and exams back and forth between school and home. I have never gotten into saving to the cloud unless the item needs to be in the cloud like this blog. I started a free cloud backup system but I didn’t like the price tag to continue the service. The free picture sites are nice but the upload time means I will only place the ones I intend to use. I have thousands of others that are important only to me.

When I’ve purchased a new external hard drive, it often came with automatic back up software. I bought a 1.5 TB drive last year for a specific purpose but it decided to immediately do its auto back up of my entire system included the other external drives. Okay. That was last May. It has not allowed me to use the drive for what I wanted or to refresh the backup up because it doesn’t have room to backup all of my drives or even my main computer. It also would not let me remove that old back up set. I reformatted the drive. It no longer has the auto backup software but I don’t think that is a great loss. I am now using it to rearrange my collection of digital movies, photos and old files.

At some point I’ll place the old teaching files and class recordings onto DVD’s and file them. The experts now say that by using a good quality disk, and storing them upright in jewel cases, I can expect them to last 50 years. I really doubt that I will care about them that long or that the technology to read them will still be in place then. I can’t quite see one of my great grandchildren wanting to hear my recordings of my classes. They might be more impressed if they could see me while I taught but that won’t be an option. I’d just delete them now but I learned from past experience that what ever I don’t save would make a perfect example later on. There were many times that I wished I had some of my old mortgage company spreadsheets for my Excel classes. Because I have not ruled out writing a textbook, I’m not ready to toss them if they can be stored easily.

So I’ve now found activities for my down time. I can scan old print photos. I can transfer files to DVD’s and I can free up one of those external drives to back up my main computer system. That should keep me out of trouble all winter. For today, however, I have some drywall to tear out in the bathroom. That sounds like more fun.

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