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And You Thought You Had Problems When You Lost Your Backup

If there was ever a good reason to recommend backing up your computer's data on an external hard drive, this case of an Alaskan computer technician accidentally deleting files worth a cool $38 billion certainly justifies it.

While doing maintenance work last July, the technician deleted what amounts to nine months of applicant information from the Alaska Permanent Fund, including dividend information, 800,000 electronic images and birth certificates, and accidentally reformatted a backup hard drive too.

Even worse, backup tapes were found to be unreadable and consultants from Dell and Microsoft were unable to retrieve the hard drive data. The only backup left was the original documentation in more than 300 boxes that had to be rescanned in a hurry to meet scheduled oil dividend payments.

For my home computer, I backup all my files with a terabyte array, but most of you probably won't need an external hard drive that big unless you work on video files. In fact, when I was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, I purchased a 750 gigabyte Seagate backup drive for $300 at Fry's.

Bottom line is you simply MUST BACKUP. It is not a matter of IF your hard drive will fail, it is merely a matter of WHEN. Be prepared for the worst. I highly recommend you backup EVERY week; do anything less and you are simply asking for trouble.

International Herald Tribune March 20, 2007

USA Today March 20, 2007

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