Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why I don't need to backup my computer.

   Here's something that's mildly erratic - I've decided that I no longer need to backup my desktop computer.
   This is actually less crazy than it sounds, and can be chalked up to a case of semantics as much as anything.
   Ever since a month or so ago, when my main desktop computer died, and, instead of restoring it from one of my images, I just reinstalled Windows and the few applications I need, as well as my business records, I have been growing in the realization that I really don't need to be backing up gigs of info each and every night.
   There are a few reasons why I'm able to do this, that anyone with a reasonable amount of computer saavy can achieve, but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone unless they follow the same regime which I do.
   Basically, I'm fine with my email residing in the cloud.  Gmail works great for me, and if I lost all those emails, I'm quite sure my life would go on.  So that's one pile of data I have little concern over.
   My home photos and videos, those are COPIED to the cloud via Picasa, but not as an archival practise, that's just to share with friends and family.  As per my rules of computing happiness, they are copied to two flash drives every month and placed in a safety deposit box.
   Otherwise, all my other data resides on a DNS-323 networked attached storage drive.  Two 1.5TB drives connected together, NO LONGER IN RAID, and set to mirror overnight.
   The information on them, while handy to have, isn't unrecoverable in theory - it consists mostly of my CD's and DVD's ripped for easy access throughout the house, as well as applications that I find myself installing or reinstalling on my own, and client systems regularly, so I like to keep copies of them on my local network.
   The only thing I had to change was the location of my business account file, from the local hard disc to the server.  Now the desktop I use has a handful of readily re-installable applications, and no user-specific data on it.  I keep those applications, and any relevant drivers, on the network drive, so it only takes me an hour or so to rebuild a completely useable computer with all of my data still readily available, if need be.  Probably less time than it would take to rebuild an image file!
   Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there for you to cogitate on.  I'd love to hear comments about anyone's opinions on this.  I suppose if you are hard core about customizing your operating system experience, you'd had to have to redo that, but I'm fine with most default options, if it means one less programme to install, and less things running in the background or through the night for me.
   Best regards everyone.

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