What wasn’t backed up after all

dreamstimefree_594My old laptop died a sudden death on Good Friday, 22nd April 2011.

My new laptop arrived on Black Friday, 13th May 2011.

Are you detecting a pattern here?

The death of my old laptop was not the catastrophe it could have been, thanks to my many backups. I only lost a morning’s worth of emails since my last backup had run overnight. I had backups of all documents, photos, music and databases in various places, including online.

I had a few issues with the software I had to use until my new one arrived, but these are mostly resolved. The main issues I still have are lessons you can learn from:

  • Is your Application Data (in Windows XP) or Appdata (Vista) folder backed up?
  • Some programs keep their data in the same folder as the program files, under Programs rather than Documents. You may have to consciously export a backup regularly rather than relying on it to be backed up with other documents. If you didn’t, it will be lost when you computer dies.
  • All my browser extensions and bookmarks have gone missing. I need to find out how to back these up too.
  • My download limit is being pushed by having to download a lot of software at once, and re-establishing with Mozy, my online backup service. I’m getting better at organising these things for offpeak times.

I have ordered an adapter for my old laptop’s hard drive. Since it was the motherboard that died I am hoping that the hard drive can still give me the data that wasn’t backed up. It will look like a portable hard drive, only I can open it and put the hard drive into it. Stay tuned!

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