Last week my laptop started making the most awful noise. A noise that even I could not argue indicated that I needed to turn my computer off and give it a break.  The noise reappeared the instant I turned my computer back on, so off to the Genius Bar at Apple Computer, my laptop and I went.  After a number of consults along with the fact that the computer ceased making the noise as soon as I wanted it to led the geniuses to agree to keep MY LAPTOP overnight.   Taking a laptop away from a blogger/writer is like taking a toy from a toddler.  Although I did not scream, I may have shed a few tears. Did I mention, I have now been without my laptop for a week! Anyway, I digress.

The first question the Apple Genius asked me was: do you back up? Duh – of course, I do….but, I didn’t always. We all hear the horror stories of colleagues and friends.  Their computers just freeze up and poof everything is gone.  They can’t get it back no matter what they do.  We THINK that can’t happen to us.  Often, I fondly recall the Sex and the City episode where Carrie Bradshaw’s trusty hard drive fries and no, she doesn’t back up either.  Yet, I did not back up for years. Well, thankfully, a little over a year ago I started backing-up.

Guess what? My laptop had a sleepover with the nice geniuses and the fan was indeed broken and my computer and subsequently my hard drive were overheating. No telling how much time I had until my computer fried itself.  Not only do I have all my writing, presentations, calendar, contacts, and notes on my machine, but also a lot of proprietary information towards my products business (and all my precious photos of my kids).  Obviously, I was thanking the back-up gods for watching over me. Of course, we all need to back-up our digital photos and video memories of our lives and families, but also as small business/startup people or if you are just starting a business, we MUST keep our “stuff” backed-up.  For many of us, our business practically resides on our computer.  If we lose that, we lose everything for good more often than not.

  • In fact, most people I talk to recommend 2 back-ups, which may be a bit much?!?!?, but I do it anyways.  I use a remote, automatic back-up service that checks my computer daily and backs-up to the clouds. There are a number of products out there that do this, for example, I use Carbonite.  Carbonite has individual and small business plans, so something will fit your needs. Another remote back-up solution is Mozy, which has an app that allows you to access your backup from your phone.
  • In addition to my remote backup, I save crucial documents, presentations, photos, etc on an alternative hard drive.  I have to admit, I must get better about doing this more often.  I usually do this every 4-5 weeks, and with my laptop gone right now and the last time I did this being a few weeks ago, I am without certain docs and photos I need.  Believe me, I am going to get in the habit of doing this more frequently.  I store my most precious information to a Lacie Rugged Hard-

I hope that my scare and a valuable lesson will be of value to YOU, and you will start to back-up if you do not already!

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