There’s a saying among computer folks that rang true again last week: There’s two kinds of people, those who do backups, and those who’ve never lost data (usually due to a hard disk crash).
I’d add a third type, those who’ve lost data and perform occasional backups. Other than my photos, which are backed up 3 or 4 different ways, I don’t always perform regular backups on all my systems. (I’m sure everyone is just shocked by that revelation!) On the other hand, I have developed the habit lately, more often than not, of doing automatic daily backups of my primary system.
And thankfully that was the case for my current primary system, a Powermac G5. I run Prosoft Engineering’s Data Backup program automatically each night, with the results being written to an external firewire drive. When the boot drive started failing it was a simple matter (well, it took a few hours as the system was very unresponsive; the drive didn’t die, but it is terminal) to boot from the firewire drive and then carry on. Data Backup isn’t the fanciest program out there, and it doesn’t have a lot of options, but it did do the job for me!
Unsolicited, unpaid testimonial, in case anyone’s wondering.