25 October 2010

Backing up the RIGHT stuff? A new lesson learned!

 I have my computer documents and files backed up -- and a full backup that can be used to restore my system in case of a fatal problem. I have a laptop. And, I have a second desktop available to use IF I really need it. Of course, I'd have to kick my husband off his PC! I even have a shared network! I'm always reminding people to backup, backup, backup! It's absolutely vital! ...and I thought I was pretty much covered.

Because my desktop is my primary "home" and I normally only use my laptop for teaching and speaking I don't have ALL the same software and tools on both PC's, nor do I keep documents and email in sync on both computers. Mistake! 

Luckily, I knew for a couple of days that my system was sick so I copied over all the documents and pictures that I THOUGHT I would need to get me by while my desktop went to the PC hospital. Another mistake!

I soon found out that that I didn't get ALL the RIGHT STUFF! It has turned out to be a super lesson learned for me! I'm still frustrated and angry at myself for not thinking this through BEFORE this happened, so I need to make some new plans.  I still don't have my desktop back from the PC hospital and I'm in serious keyboard shock trying to type on my laptop, but I now know a few other things I need to think about, WAY in advance of a potential problem.

My most frustrating problem with this episode is that I don't have all my downloaded and saved emails. And I have multiple gig's full! I did copy my Thunderbird profile over to the laptop and figured I'd find out what to do with it AFTERWARDS, but I forgot to also get the associated files. (I know, you may be asking yourself what I'm talking about but suffice it to say I wasn't totally prepared!) I've had the same email provider for almost ten years and they don't have IMAP capability which would let me share the emails between computers; they only have POP3. I get about 100 to 200 emails a day and so I only keep them on the email providers server for a couple of days. I do have access to new emails on both my phone and on the web, but  I NEED THE STORED ONES!

So now it's been almost six days without my desktop; no time to try to find another solution for accessing my saved email; and no way to respond to the many people waiting on me for answers. Oh, did I tell you that I also didn't have my address book synced with my laptop?  Another mistake.

There is good coming from all this "trauma"! I will now learn about and implement whatever I need to do to keep myself in operation mode! So if you have any brilliant ideas let me know!  And for each of you, take heed and plan ahead for YOUR potential disaster! There is a difference between backing up your system and backing up in an effort to keep working!

PS - I also changed cell phone technology a couple of days ago! Don't do this in the middle of a disaster! So I can't even sync my phone numbers!  ;)