PSA: Do Your Backups!

Macbook Pro Case

I’ve had a few computer crashes over the years of varying degrees of severity.

This year alone, I’ve had two (that’s just my laptop – I’ve probably had panicked moments with my phone for one reason or another too.)

First, my Macbook Pro crashed in June.  It turned out that it was a hardware failure that was a known issue with an existing recall but which I’d missed.  Luckily, Apple still honoured (via the local licensed dealer, iWorld) the recall even though the warranty on my nearly five year old laptop had expired.  So that saved me about $1100.

At the time, I was very fortunate to have just done a backup (I try to do them regularly but don’t always remember. I also used to subscribe to an online backup service but let that go which is probably a mistake.)

Then, this weekend, my laptop froze during an iTunes update and when I tried to boot, it came up with an ominous black screen with a dark Apple logo then it would stick a spinning wheel.

Back to iWorld I go but this time, a bit more nervous as I haven’t done a back-up in awhile.  It’s not as big of a deal as probably 98% of my stuff is either unchanging and recoverable from a previous back-up or in the cloud (all photos, most music, etc.).

But I’d just synced over my Voice Memos which had a lot of recent recordings of Sasha talking about Santa and Christmas that I didn’t want to lose.  Plus there’s always going to be recent odds and ends that you don’t get back after a crash.

Beyond that, there’s always the general pain-in-the-ass aspect of re-entering passwords and re-configuring any software or bookmarks or whatever that don’t come back perfectly – even from a recent back-up.

Anyhow, initially the tech couldn’t get it to boot either and so we were looking at having him create an external clone, reformat the hard drive then copy everything back which would’ve likely worked and ensured I was (basically) back to where I was before the crash (but not guaranteed.)

Luckily, I got a call today that he left it overnight then tried some startup repair trick and that *did* manage to fix everything so it was as if nothing had happened.

Not sure why he didn’t do this at first but at any rate, I’ve got my computer back and guess what I’ll be doing overnight that I haven’t done in awhile?


Plus maybe get off my lazy butt and try to start being a bit more diligent about my backup processes.  Most techies recommend the 3-2-1 method – 3 copies of anything you care about in 2 different formats plus at least 1 off-site backup.   (I’m sorta there but not really – I have multiple copies of most of my files in various places but not everything in two different formats and not everything in an off-site backup – just most of my “core” stuff – photos and music mostly.)

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