It seems every day I have the same conversation. A customer walks through my doors, a dead computer in hand, and a blank look on his face. It's broken. He can't check the weather now, so the world is just about to come to an end! Why? He has no clue, but the blasted thing is just not doing what it's supposed to be doing! If he knew what was wrong he wouldn't be standing in front of me looking like an addict needing his next fix! We go through the usual Work Order jargon - name, phone number, description of what it's doing (or NOT doing). I hear about the game he was playing or email he was reading and how this weird thing happened he's never seen before. Must be a gremlin in there somewhere. Then I ask that question. The question that often spurs a dumbfounded look by the client. "Did you bring your backup?"
Suddenly the Weather is not so important.
Everyone tells me they are "Computer Illiterate" and all they know how to do is play Solitaire or check email. Which makes me laugh because in order to do either, one has to be a little tech savvy! Turn it on, wait for it to quit thinking, click the email icon (or double-click), hit send and receive. They don't think about all that they really know! Save "keeper" email into folders, track down that contact info, reply, check spelling, attach the pic of the dog "dancing" on the kitchen table. Where is that pic....? Oh yeah! Plug in the flash drive, find the picture and Attach. They change the size of the font so grandma can read it, CC it to aunt Lulu and cousin Charlie. Press send, watch the number 1 appear in the outbox and then disappear, and vuala! All of that to just send one email.
So, back to the Weather guy. "No," he says. "I don't have a backup." "Can you drop it back by," I ask. He pauses. "I haven't backed up since I used Medlin Accounting back in the 90's." And then he gives me a look like it will be my fault if his data is gone forever!
I said all that to say this. BACK IT UP! I know you can do it. You have enough nerd in you to make a copy of your important files. Flash drives are cheap enough. I bet you've even burned a CD before. Heck, at least get up in the closet, look behind that old box of ZZ Top cassettes, and break out the 3.5" floppies! Don't wait until you're standing in front of me with smoke coming out the back of you computer. I've been called a genius, a guru, even a miracle worker (funny, that's how I think of my mechanic, my doctor, and my friend Weasel that plays the drums), but I have a real tough time resurrecting the dead! Sure we can send it off to those guys that wear the space suits. But that kind of data recovery can cost thousands!