Have you ever had a hard drive go bad on you? Have you heard that whirrr click click whirrrr that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up? Maybe your hard drive started sounding like a police siren, the pitch going up and doing, up and doing. Maybe, just one day, you went to open a file, and you got a big fat error screen. Your stomach freaks out, your brain starts whirring and clicking just like the soon-to-be-deceased hard drive.
Did I save everything? Is there anything vital that I haven’t backed up? When’s the last time I backed up? Do I have the DVDs to reinstall Windows? Am I under warranty? How long am I going to be without a computer? Will my wife let me use her computer, or is she sure I’ll destroy it just like I did my own?
You turn it off and step away, afraid it’ll blow up like a road-side bomb if you touch it again. Don’t look, don’t touch, just let it rest. You consider pulling it out and throwing it in the freezer, because someone told you one time that that might actually work. You start praying to whatever Catholic saint they’ve assigned to technology (that would be St. Isidore of Seville, Patron Saint of Computers and the Internet). You start wondering if any other religions offer a solution to this problem.
You pour yourself a glass of water and sit back down.
The moment of truth. Will it come back? Is it completely gone? It whirrs to life, and the sound is gone. Crisis averted – for now.
Of course, now that it’s up, you start backing up everything. Shift-click-copy. The entire C: drive is being sent to your 2 Tb (not tablespoons, but terabytes) behemoth. Every time the hard drive whirrs into overdrive, you twitch, because it could be the beginning of the end. You promise that if this hard drive survives, you’ll backup every week, start helping the poor, and defragging whenever you get the chance. Sweat starts beading at your temples as the progress bar moves up and up, hoping to get all of your files off of the possible Titanic before it sinks for good.
And it finishes. You’re safe. You’ve got all of your history, files, pictures, movies, pirated materials, non-pirated materials, and everything else onto the life boat. Even if the ship were to go down, you’re good.
Maybe the hard drive lasts for another few years, and it was just a fluke. Maybe it’s going to go out within the next 3 days. It doesn’t matter now; you’re ready for it.
I’m declaring August 1st National Backup Awareness Day. At least in my house. For the sake of your sanity, loved ones, and pirated materials, please back up everything you have to at least 1 other location. Important stuff should be backed up to at least two places (all of my research is on another hard drive and in my Dropbox account).
Do it for yourself; do it for America.
(I’ve been told that March 31st is World Backup Day – well, just like we change the date of Labor Day from May 1st to the second Tuesday of the 9th month except after C or whenever it is, I’m unilaterally changing the date of National Backup Day for America.)