Having been involved in computers for nearly 4 decades now, I have a healthy view towards data backups. Both my Macs are backed up to a local Time Machine drive on my network, PLUS to Amazon Glacier. I also have important development & client files copied to Google Drive and DropBox on a regular basis. Onsite and offsite backup.
I backup nearly all my critical data that I work with daily. However, I also have a ton of data which (I thought) I consider unimportant. This comprises of:
Old videos that I have edited and uploaded to Youtube etc.
Copies of photos from my wife’s phone
Images for all software installers I’ve used while setting up my PCs
Interesting videos or lessons that I have downloaded from Youtube over the years
Collections of interesting guitar tabs I’ve found online, etc.
Basically, stuff that I thought I could find again later if I really needed them.
Then, this week, the 3TB external drive that I had all this stuff on finally gave up the ghost and died. “No biggie” I thought to myself. “It was nice to have, but I’ll just get a new drive and start accumulating this unimportant stuff again from scratch”.
But then, in that same week:
My wife asked about a photo from her old phone that she couldn’t find any longer, and was it in my backup?
My son called to ask if I had a raw copy of a video I had edited for him some years ago as he needed another section (that I had edited out in the final render) for an audition he had to do.
I found out I had to reinstall an audio plugin for one of my old recordings, and the original publisher no longer had the older version of the plugin (which I needed to match my audio project) available for download on their site any longer.
How coincidental was that? All of a sudden, I needed this “unimportant” data that I thought I could throw away.
So this week, I’ve sent the external drive away to a data recovery service to see what they can do about bringing it back to life. The offer a free inspection to examine the extent of the failure, and quoted my AUD$300 to recover the data if they can. I figure $300 is worth it to me to just have all that data at my fingertips again, and if I do get it back, I will immediately be setting up a Glacier backup for all of it.