By Darvell Hunt
Best-selling writer Dave Wolverton once told me that he lost a year of his work because his laptop computer went missing.
A friend of mine recently lost her data from her cell phone when she upgraded to a newer phone, despite being assured by her cell phone company that they had backed up her data from her old phone.
Whether your loss is as small as your contacts on your cell phone or a year’s worth of best selling material, any data loss can be terribly frustrating, especially if that loss can be prevented.
I guess I'm paranoid about backup up my writing, almost to the point of being obsessive compulsive. I keep at least five copies of all of my writing, sometime more. My primary writing drive is a small 8GB USB drive that I keep in my wallet and carry with me at all times. Whenever I need to write, I can just take it out for easy access to my entire library of material, no matter what computer I have access to at the time (sometimes, it’s not even mine!).
I back up my portable writing USB drive regularly to my desktop computer, my laptop computer, and an external 500GB drive that I can use on any of my computers, and a different USB portable drive. I also occasionally make copies of whatever I’m currently writing on the computer I’m using (if it’s my computer, that is).
A few months ago, my primary writing computer was stolen from work, right off my desk—presumably by the cleaning crew. But, fortunately for me, I had my primary drive in my pocket—but if I hadn’t had that, I still would have had at least three other copies elsewhere. (And, if you place your files within your user document storage area and use a Window password, nobody can access your files without your permission.)
Even with all of this redundant storage, I still don’t feel completely safe. If my house burned down and my laptop and my wallet were in the house, I might lose everything. It’s a good idea to store an extra copy elsewhere, perhaps using an online service or in a safe deposit box or leave a copy with a friend.
Disk space is cheap nowadays. Make copies of everything you have and don’t store them all in the same place. Someday, when you least expect it, you’ll be rewarded for your paranoia, I guarantee it.