| Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 10:37:09 +0000
| From: John Allen <john.allen at dublinux.net>
| Conor Wynne wrote:
| >[ ... ]
| > Well, windows and all my purchased apps are now gone, gone gone hone,
| > along with my account details to download em again!
| > Nice one!
| > Yes I did have a backup, I emphasise did! While nuking vista and
| > installing xp on my father-in-law's laptop, I used MY backup USB
| > HDD just for his docs. [ ... ]
| > I am forever preaching backups to people [ ... ]
| Arrgghh, the old I used my backup disk for another purpose, and now
| I've lost everything.
| The moral of the story is *NEVER* use your backup disk for anything
| other than backup :)
yup. other good advice includes, but is not limited to
(and not necessarily in any particular order):
0. if anything can go wrong, it will. hence, act/prepare
1. backup media is for backups, nothing else.
2. have MORE THAN ONE backup. on separate physical media.
3. NEVER ASSUME a backup worked / is good. verify!
(or, “unverified backups should be assumed to be bad”.)
4. don't use the most recent backup (N) for the very next
backup (N+1) unless you can afford to lost both of the
backups — the making of backup N+1 destroys N, but then
N+1 will turn out to be bad .... oops!
5. backups should be physically write-protected (especially
the important / valuable / long-term ones!).
6. store selected backups (or duplicates thereof) in a
physically separate location as a precaution against
fire, theft, flood, cats, not paying attention to the
other rules, watching TV, drinks, and so on.
7. assume backups will be stolen (or lost or destroyed);
i.e., will not be under your control and falls into
the hands of someone who you don't trust / don't want
to have access to your data.
8. clearly label the backups!
96. a backup is “too expensive” (in money/time/whatever)
only if you don't need the data (i.e., can afford to
lose the data you didn't backup).
97. there is no such thing as an extra or un-necessary
98. ALWAYS have some media available / ready to be used
for a backup.
99. some key data can/should ALSO be backed-up on paper.
note that, in this case, since rule 1 was broken, rule 2
should have saved the situation. and if something still
managed to go wrong (per rule 0), rules 4, 5, and/or 6
would have provided more chance(s) to prevent disaster.
p.s. my own (known) major failings with backups are that
I don't make them often enough (I've been know to go
for nearly a full year with, at most, one. not good!);
and I don't pay attention to rule 7.
I use DVD-R, DVD+R, or CD-R for essentially all
backups and hence automatically follow rules 1, 4,
and 5; also 2 since they are almost never discarded.
rules 3, 6, and 99 are fitfully followed; i.e., I
could/should do better .... .
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