Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall

Don’t forget the backups!

Last week, it finally happened, my 10 year old desktop computer finally gave up the ghost.

Last week, it finally happened, my 10 year old desktop computer finally gave up the ghost.

I turned it on Saturday morning only for to to start bleeping at me, reporting that there was no Hard disk installed, when I could see it quite plainly when I opened the case of the machine.

Fortunately, I also have a laptop so I was able to continue working straight away. I diagnosed the problem as being a failed motherboard, so I  ordered some new parts from Amazon Prime – motherboard (plus memory and CPU/cooler, and a new Hard disk) which arrived Sunday lunchtime. An hour or so with a screwdriver and the parts are replaced. Now comes the hard part, restoring the backups.

You do Backup your data, don’t you?

And just (if not more) as importantly, you do test your backups. If you do, give yourself a big pat on the back.

Where to keep backups

Where is the best place to keep backups? Certainly not next to your computer!

In these days of cloud storage, it can be quick and easy to keep copies of your important data away from your current location.  Until recently, I regularly made backup copies to a removeable drive and a networked drive.

Now I synchronise my important files to cloud based storage automatically.

I’m not a fan of DropBox or Google Drive. I have become increasingly uncomfortable about how these US based companies use the data that they hold on my behalf.

Recently the European Court of Justice ruled that US firms signed up to the Safe Harbour scheme could no longer be automatically considered to provide “adequate protection” to personal data they had received from the EU. What does this mean for your data? Well there is an interesting post here from the BBC.

I use an OwnCloud provider based in Germany. OwnCloud bill themselves as “A safe home for all your data Access & share your files, calendars, contacts, mail & more from any device, on your terms”.

You can have all of the features of DropBox and a few more, but with the knowledge that the data is kept within the EU and its much stricter privacy laws.

I’ll be writing a longer article on OwnCloud later.

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