howdy folks,

It doesn’t really have swine flu.  A really nasty bug just told me I should back up my data more often…

Here’s the story. The other day, my anti-virus popped up a warning message.  I selected the recommended action to abort the connection and delete the offending file.  five minutes later my computer crashed and gave me the blue screen of death. Ugh!!!  I tried restarting my computer but couldn’t get past the splash screen.

So, I reinstalled windows under a new directory and was able to salvage my pics, music and email data from the old files (almost 200 gigs of data) and backed them up to my external hard drive.  I didn’t have anything critical on the internal hard drive, it was mostly random junk that I had received in emails or images I had played around with in one of the many various image editing programs I have. My music was already backed up externally and on data dvds. 

The moral of the story,  use an external hard drive to back up your data.  It doesn’t take a hard drive failure, bad luck at surfing the internet can do it too. (I was at three sites that I trust and visit regularly).  Back up often and back up your back up on DVD, blu-ray, online backups or a second external drive.  If you have to take your computer in for a repair or just need to replace a hard drive, you will be thankful.  Consider it insurance against data loss.

I have said it before.  Keep your secondary backup in a place physically separate from your main backup.  Fire, theft, flood, children:  they can destroy all of your data (backups included) in one shot if you keep all of your data and backups right there together.

p.s. It doesn’t hurt to have a back up computer either, just in case you need to make a couple blog posts while you are fixing your other computer.