Thursday, September 24, 2009

Simply Back Up! - the newest, secure method for backing up your data

As we find ourselves becoming more and more digital so do the things we cherish and love, such as our family photos. My daughter was born in October 2000. At that time digital camera were less popular having only reached the masses in 1998. Since her day of birth her photos are digital. Every footstep, every new accomplishment and every precious moment is held hostage at the mercy of the hard drive.

I have quite a few photos and now with most cameras including a video feature of course I have hours of video as well. You can only imagine that over the past almost 9 years and counting I have acquired a bit of data, too much to store on my daily use hard drive. Some years ago I discovered the external drive and it has been a wonderful tool but very expensive. I own one Terra Byte drive, that is equal to 1000 GB - your average home computer now has a 160 GB hard drive - so 1000 GB or 1 TB is a lot of storage. It's convenient and I can easily share my date across computers by plugging the USB cable into the computer.

You would now think that all of my photos are safe, they are on that drive so they must be safe right? Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me share with you a couple of 'stupid mistakes' I have made over the years and learn from these won't you?

I took all of my photos and placed them on my external drive. I (thankfully) left the originals on the computer so I could continue to view them. That drive was used on another computer, which is very common for me to swap the drive between computers (PCs). I left the drive plugged in and came back after about one hour to find the drive had sat and ran and ran without working properly to the point it burned itself up! Why? What could I have done differently? This was a normal daily task for this drive - nothing out of the norm. Now where are my 'backed up' pics? No longer backed up! That drive is dead and it's going to cost big bucks to have a clean room facility pull it apart to retrieve your data - can you afford that?

So, I thought I had learned a lesson there. To be truly backed up one must have 2 back up drives! Another lesson; it's one thing to have two drives, it's another to use them correctly. With your photos and files you are going to want to back both up at the same time so that they contain the same data. When you update one be sure to do so for the other because the one time you slip up is when the equipment will fail!

Here's another lesson. Never extend the electrical cord of the external hard drive while the drive is teetering on the very edge of your desk and your very excited 6 year old suddenly thinks she heard the Easter Bunny in the other room and must take off to investigate! This makes for a really bad situation. Because I made this mistake my daughters entire 2007 years worth of photos are now gone forever. Wait let me sadly say that again I MADE A MISTAKE AND NOW MY 2007 PHOTOS ARE GONE FOREVER - now lucky for me I have many digital relatives that were kind enough to save the photos I had sent through out the year and they returned copies to me. But that wasn't everything and that's disturbing.

So the moral of the story is ... things happen to your external drives. Cd's and DVD's are not the right way to preserve something. An external back up is great for here at your house but for long term security - you need an off site back up. I have solved this problem.

Simply Back UP! Is a new service of Simply Seniors Computer Tutor. This service is available to anyone in any location as the software is downloaded to your computer and installed. It runs quietly in the background up dating your back up daily. This service includes full technical support and assistance if a restoration is needed. Simply Seniors Computer Tutor will be here for you!

I will be debuting the software and the service on my web site next week. Visit

Please feel free to contact Simply Seniors Computer Tutor for more information on this Simple Service!

Stacey Kile
Owner - Simply Seniors Computer Tutors

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