General Question

rexpresso's avatar

Have you lost any files that you could have prevented with backups in the last year? Please say also if you haven't. This is kind of a statistic. Feel free to share horror stories. I've been there. Thanks :)

Asked by rexpresso (922points) May 17th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

froamer's avatar

I haven’t but I work in the computer industry and know a lot of people who have. Hard disk failure is the usually the cause, but back in the days of floppies I knew someone who was keeping their backups “safe” by sticking them to a fridge with fridge magnets!

ru2bz46's avatar

@froamer I knew someone who used thumbtacks to keep their floppies on a corkboard.

froamer's avatar

@ru2bz46 :-) nice! I was also called out cos a customer “put lots of floppies in but could not get them out”. It turned out they were posting them in the gap between the case and the floppy drive. I opened up the PC and it had 10 floppies in it.

ru2bz46's avatar

That’s a PEBKAC error.

_bob's avatar

My lapto died on me a few months ago. I was pretty sure the hard disk was okay, so I removed it, and used it on another laptop. It worked, and I was always to save my files :)

PapaLeo's avatar

Almost. I had two PCs in a row die on me (power unit failures), but was able to have a PC shop recover the data.

Perhaps this short story raises two questions in your mind. Let me answer them in advance:
1) Why two PCs in a row? Didn’t you learn from the first one?
– We have a puppy in the house who loves to chew. Especially cables. The fact that he hasn’t electrocuted himself is a wonder. I didn’t realize where the damage was until I hooked up the second PC. Damn me.

2) Why didn’t you recover the data from the hard drives yourself?
– I didn’t have any PCs left. I took advantage of the ravage to switch to Mac. Glad I did!!!

prasad's avatar

I haven’t lost any files on hard drives of my computer.
But, I did lost much from first floppy drives, then CDs, pen drives. I would rank CDs on top for losing me most of the data.

Fyrius's avatar

Not me.

hearkat's avatar

Within the past year? No. I use an up-to-date iMac at home and Windows XP Pro at work.

I do have files that get corrupted somehow on the Wndows machine, but that is only within one her specific program relaex to the work I do.

simpleD's avatar

I lost 2GB of unbacked-up data (on an $800 drive) early in my design career. Since then I make sure to have at least 2 copies of every file on different drives. I backup daily with Retrospect and continuously with Mac OS Time Machine. I’ve relied on both strategies to recover files on several occasions. In my University design labs, I see drives fail on a weekly basis. I recently replaced the drives in two 4-year-old PowerBooks.

veronasgirl's avatar

I lost all of my music…twice. The first time, I didn’t have a back-up and my computer crashed. I learned from that mistake and once I had re-loaded and purchased all of my music again I made back-ups of all of it. Well, my computer crashed again and it turns out that when my computer burned the back-up disks of my music it never finalized them, which means they didn’t work. Which means I had to buy and upload music AGAIN.

aprilsimnel's avatar

A few years ago, one of my hard drives with 4 screenplays and a few episodes of a show I was creating up and died on me. :’(

I still have the drive, and when I have a spare $1800, I’m going to have the data pulled out.

PapaLeo's avatar

@simpleD I am not worthy!!!

PapaLeo's avatar

@aprilsimnel $1800?!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!! I paid 20 euros apiece for my two drives. Two words for you: shop around.

rexpresso's avatar

Everyone, thanks, great feedback :)

@PapaLeo, I’ve once had to take care of a client’s drive that cost nearly 2000$ do recover. No other method worked than opening the drive in the lab. Yep, it costs two arms and two legs. Better to prevent…


The other day I messed up with an advanced disk management program in my Mac and the drive became inaccessible. I saved the day because I had backups from Time Machine.

Best to all ;))

aprilsimnel's avatar

@PapaLeo – I don’t think you read that last sentence correctly. It costs $1800 to get the data pulled out of a damaged hard drive. Because there is so much work and writing on the busted drive, I want it all back if I can get it. Of course I’m not spending $1800 for new drives. I’m not a genius, but I’m not that stupid.

Apsaras's avatar

I haven’t lost files, but I’ve lost portions of papers I was writing, et cetera.

Horror story from a friend: In high school, we had an english paper due that was the biggest chunk of our grade by far. It was a “decade project”, where we had to research some facet of a specific decade and write roughly fifteen pages on it. MLA formatting and citations, tons of sources, bibliography/works cited, etc.

Naturally, the friend and I were up hacking away at the damned thing the night before it was due. Suddenly… something happens on his end. He spilled water, or his sister crashed into it, or something. The computer fizzes out, unresponsive.

Panic time. He’s good with computers, but has no luck. The drive is essentially fried. He calls in his father, asking him to help in the restoration effort.

The paper was gone, along with everything else. Except for one thing – his rather extensive porn collection. Which his father then found.

Jack_Haas's avatar

I got Search and Recovery free with ZoneAlarm a while ago and it’s saved me a lot of time with accidentally deleted files.

Shuttle128's avatar

Lost my entire hard drive last year, about 80 gigs of old files. I definitely need to start backing stuff up.

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