HP Data Vault Giveaway

I’m giving away an HP Data Vault! Read on to find out how it could be yours.

HP Data VaultBack in January I posted my review of HP’s Data Vault, which is a small business backup and storage server from HP. As a dead simple way to configure backups on your business network without needing to hire an IT guy to provide support, Data Vault shines. It also works great as a solution for sharing music across your business network, which might be a viable alternative to having office bandwidth used up by Pandora and other streaming services. A three-year warranty helps guarantee you’ll have support for your data protection and integration with KeepVault extends Data Vault with online data backup, providing an offsite backup of data in the event of fire, flood, or other site disaster.

The rules of the Data Vault giveaway are simple – post a comment to this entry explaining a data loss disaster. If you’ve ever had a hard drive fail, a digital camera memory card lose your photos, or a soft drink spilled on your laptop keyboard, you’ve got a great story to tell about data loss.

To qualify you will need to use your real email address when leaving the comment so that I can contact you if you are chosen (don’t worry, the email address doesn’t show up publicly in the comment). The recipient of the Data Vault will be selected at random from all people who leave comments on this post.

There are two additional criteria: (1) If the anti-spam software I use to filter comments determines your comment is spam the comment is automatically disqualified. (2) A person may only submit one entry. Entering more than once automatically disqualifies you.

To qualify, you must submit your data disaster story in the comments of this post no later than 11:59 p.m. on 25 April 2010. The recipient will be notified via email sometime after 12:01 a.m. on 26 April 2010.

In addition to giving away a Data Vault, there will be separate awards of an HP Mini 311, Smart Wi-Fi Display, and HP Shirt for the subjectively determined best data disaster stories.

And if you don’t happen to be the lucky person who takes home the Data Vault from this site, keep your eyes peeled for contest announcements coming from:

1) Hardwaresphere
2) Slashgear
3) Geekazine
4) Absolutely Windows
5) Gottabemobile

With that, share your data loss disaster below:

139 thoughts on “HP Data Vault Giveaway

  1. A long time ago we were trying to put DOS onto an apple computer. It seemed simple. Install the software. Return the computer. Be a hero. This favor was for the president of our company. Being a PC person I did not know that you could not connect peripherals to the Apple computer (this is a long time ago) while it was on. Zap and a puff of smoke. I can remember the moment even now. My heart started to pound. I sent the computer to a computer store to get it fixed. By the way, I had not backed up the hard drive. They reloaded the operating system to find the problem and they wiped out the hard drive. Bad move. Everything was wiped off the hard drive. In time the company was laying off personnel because of the bad economy. I am not sure if this had something to do with my getting let go. If it was, can you blame them. I couldn’t. It pays to back up. It may even save your job.

  2. Years of managing data centers have made me paranoid; my philosophy is that any file that’s important — meaning that it would be inconvenient or worse if lost — should exist in two or three or four different places. And I have never had any disasters of my own — but I can’t say the same for some of my clients, friends, or students.

    One case in particular: I was teaching a college-level class in web page design. The students were required to build three small sites for their projects, amounting to the bulk of their grade for the semester. One of my students had all his project files on a USB flash drive — and nowhere else. At one class, he mentioned that he was having intermittent problems accessing the files — apparently the contacts were going bad. I exhorted him to make copies of the files while he could still get to them. But he didn’t, and before long the flash drive was a write-off. He never did turn in his final project, and that was a major factor in his flunking the course.

  3. I’ve had hard drives fail on me a few times. Sometimes, it was clear that the drive was going to fail soon, so I was able to get a new drive and copy everything. Three times, the drives just failed without warning. When that happened, I recovered nearly all important files because I kept copies on both my desktop and laptop computers.

  4. I take quite a few pictures on my mobile phones of my kids, etc. because I always have my phone with me, but I don’t always carry a digital camera with me.

    More often than not, the pictures may stay on my phone for a while before I find the time to transfer them to my computer. After a long day of doing yard work and being outside all day, I left my phone out on the front porch when I came inside for the night.

    Needless to say, we had rain that night. My mobile phone was soaked the next morning when I found it and of course the data on the memory card was destroyed. Those were some priceless pictures of the children that you can’t re-create that I won’t be seeing anytime soon.

    I am much more careful about where I leave my phone and how often I bring them over to the computer from the phone now.

  5. Once upon a time I used a Simpledrive 250GB external HD. I had it just about full of videos, photos, old school stuff I wrote as a kid, silly stuff but what I felt was important anyway and misc. stuff. Then one day it just failed to recognize and didn’t work anymore. Let me tell you, one of the few things that really hurt is that feeling when you’ve just lost years of stuff. It is like losing a part of yourself.

  6. When I had my first child 8 years ago, the hospital told us we can use their digital camera to take pictures. They would then upload the pics to a website we could share with family and friends. We thought this was a great idea since we had family that lived far away & we only had a 35mm camera at the time. We used their camera to take every picture of us after our baby was born. The gave us a log in & code to access the pictures when we got home. Well there were no pictures to be found. I was so upset & angry to not have pictures from this very special time. The hospital could not offer us any help with the matter.

  7. I’ve had quite few, but I guess the worst was when I lost my whole arsenal of sotwares, nothing fancy about how it got lost…I had a blank moment and accidentaly pressed delete…ouch!
    Professionally, our server went down and i had to fight tooth and nail to restore the data piece by piece to get the latest info, coz my last backup was a month ago…I’ve learned my lesson

  8. My 5 year old son has the right attitude. We changed the batteries in his Vtech Kiddy Zoom camera at the weekend (as we have done loads of times with no problems) & when it came back on it was empty (no back up of course), the camera isn’t functioning properly now anyway so I think it’s faulty. My son said “maybe it’s lost the photos to make room for more.” He wasn’t that bothered, his mum and me were though!

  9. More years back than I’d really like to remember, I was a Computer Operator on shift when we’d play computer games on the Operations Manager PC after hours (then only a new technology and the only colour one I’d seen).
    One night I’m clearing a diskette to save a new game onto and didn’t reconfirm what drive I was on (something I’m very particular with nowadays) before entering the infamous DEL *.* and pressing enter…
    Just before daybreak I’d recovered the missing system files and the Operations Manager walks in and comments “Bad Night?”.

  10. I have worked as a s desktop tech for many years. I have replaced drives that failed many times but always liked the challenge of trying to recover the data at all costs. In one instance where a drive was clicking loudly on boot up (a dreaded sound) i was able to recover the data by changing out the controller card with a like model from another hard drive. I don’t see this solution posted much and it really is lucky if you have the resources to get another controller card from the same model drive, but its worth a shot.

  11. Recently, I replaced my 500BG hard drive due to logical disk failure or bad sectors. Several weeks ago, I notice my system experiencing lock ups and sluggishness when running some of my programs. I thought that it could be due to not enough memory or disk swapping. Just before my hard drive failure, i also noticed erratic loading and running of programs eg. from slow to fast. I tried looking at system logs but could not identify the problem.

    I installed a HDD smart monitoring program to analyze the drive. The report indicated some problems but the drive was reported as normal. However, when i tried to run more comprehensive tests, the test never finished and was aborted. I decided not to risk it and bought a replacement drive a few days before the drive failed. I thought i had time, but how wrong i was. When i finally decided to make a backup, it was too late. All my important data was gone in an instant. I was devastated. All my important files, videos, email, contacts, music, accounts had disappeared for good. I made the mistake of letting the drive gradually slide into a dangerous but working state while remaining non decisive in backing up and replacing it.

    I wondered if it was a logical drive failure, maybe bad sectors or such problems. I did not take action on the tell tale sign like a noisy drive, files being unreadable and general slowdown of my pc. Most of the data i lost are unrecoverable and irrepaceable like photos of my kids and special family gatherings as well as contacts of friends & business associates.

    I have learnt important lessons. Alway make backups of your data and do it regularly with a reliable backup program. Finally, move quickly when you notice a problem with the drive. Repair or replace it immediately and don’t wait till its too late.

  12. Those that back things up are those that have lost…I know someone who has a small business that does multiple backup and even backups off-site. That is what he does to his business computers. His home data is another story. After three plus years of adding photos and tax info, his hard drive died. He called me to see what I could do. I ask him where was his backup…well its just my home computer so I don’t have a backup. So close to $1000 later he has gotten back most of his data. The moral of the story use data backup on all machines. I have helped setup 3 WHS machines and this OS makes backing up a breezy….

  13. A few years ago I bought a WD hard disk. I had made more than a 1000 photo’s during a festival and promised a lot of people I would put the photo’s on my website for them to download.
    I promised myself to make a backup but forgot.
    You can guess, the hd crashed and I lost all the pics. The store where I bought the hd gave me a new one because it broke within a year time. As you can imagine I was very sad I learned the hard way . MAKE A BACKUP (now I do have a hd pure for backup).

  14. Last summer my wifes hard drive started to sound like a Zip drive, the click of death, and eventually died. I was not concerned since all her data was on a different drive in the pc. Everything went downhill from there. After hurrying through the setup options on my XP cd, I was suprised as to how slow the hard drive was formatting. Yep, I selected the wrong drive and was formatting over all her music, pics and college papers.
    This story does have a happy ending however. We have disk recovery software at work and I was able to recover all the files. Now we keep a USB external drive in a small safe and I run monthy backups of all our data.

  15. I took a trip to Washington, DC to attend a government leadership summit. During the whole Conference, I took many pictures of the many places we visited and of the various speakers. Well, this once in a lifetime chance came around when our group stumbled upon a group of senators and other legislative chairs. We thought it was awesome, so we introduced ourselves and told them we were from the summit and they accepted us with open arms. So after talking to them for about 30 minutes, I had my camera in my hand and thought we should take a picture to show off how cool we were with these high officials. One of the assistants took pictures of us with my camera because I was the only one in the group who decided to bring mine. So we go back to the summit happy of what had happened and everyone is giving me their emails telling me to please send them the pictures we took.

    Well when I finally got back home, the first thing I did was sit at my computer and started downloading the pictures. I used the built in feature of the Windows Picture Manager to download the photos, little did I know while the pictures were supposedly downloading they were being erased off my camera. The process looked normal with the file transfer so I thought nothing was wrong. When the photos finished downloading I looked for them on my computer and they could not be found ANYWHERE. I started panicking and found a little reprieve knowing the pictures were still on the camera. When I looked they were also deleted on the camera. I spent the whole next day looking through my computer for the pictures and they were NEVER found. I even resulted to a file recovery software that did not work for the pictures on the camera. To this day, I still do not know how the pictures where deleted on both my computer and camera when “downloading” was in progress. Everyone is still in amazement that the awesome pictures we took are gone.

  16. So many customer stories, but a personal one. Two siblings from NZ went on a tour of Spain, France and Italy and took lots of photos on one main camera and 4GB SD card. When the first got home, there were no photos on it!! After much panic on their part (scared of the other sibling!)!, I made many image backups of the SD card and tried a number of applications to recover the photos. Finally recovered *most* of the photos using a combination of PhotoRescue and Stellar’s PhotoRecovery. Moral of the story: never trust technology to look after your important stuff.

  17. I was in Norway on vacation and had been taking pictures constantly. I was backing up every evening to storage on my friends server. The last day I didn’t take the time to backup the photos from the day before (which I spent in Oslo) because I thought I could just put them on my own computer when I got home. I switched to another memory card but unfortunately my first memory card grew legs and was never heard from again.

  18. My wife has taken gigs of pictures since my daughter was born 6 years ago. One folder accidentally got deleted from an external hard drive, and it was rough sweating it out waiting on a file recovery software to download and recover the pics before the wife discovered what I had done. I now dump new pics to a special folder on this external drive until I have enough to fill a DVD and I keep a copy of them on a jump drive in the glove compartment in my car. When I have enough for a DVD, I burn a copy and take it to work. I store it in my file cabinet and delete the other set on my jump drive. After that, I move the pics in the special folder to the folder that houses all my other picture files and start again. If the house burns down, I have a copy at work, if the jump drive is lost, I have a copy on the external hard drive.

  19. Last summer we took our 8 year old to Disneyland and took a TON of pictures. We had recently bought a new camera for the occassion and since I hadn’t gotten around to buying a second battery, yet, we brought along the old camera as well and we each carried one, taking pictures with both. Thank goodness, because after taking the card out of the new camera and putting into an card reader to transfer the photos it became corrupted and most of the pictures from that camera were useless, even after trying all kinds of file recovery utilities. It sounds like the problem might have been using a newer SD card with an older reader. Having half the photos on the other camera was a lifesaver.

  20. About ten years ago, thieves broke into our home while we were away on vacation. Along with many treasured items of immense personal value, they stole two computers. Fortuitously, they left behind our weekly backups (on floppies), so I was able to recover about 95% of our data. It was a valuable lesson in the importance of current backups.

    Shortly thereafter, with our new computers, I set up a LAN with an external 160GB hard drive configured as Network Attached Storage. The NAS was then concealed elsewhere in the house. A simple batch file was created to back up all new or changed data from each computer every night into separate folders on the NAS, with the result that I have essentially mirrored data (always less than 24 hours old). The backups are totally automatic, and give great peace of mind. About once a month I create new folders on the NAS and then delete the old ones to purge copies of files that no longer exist on the computers. Since setting up the NAS, I have restored or migrated data about 6-8 times.

  21. Personal story – had an error on my primary hard drive while I was gone. That coincided with a failed power supply. I noticed that the computer wasn’t powering on so picked up a new Power Supply. Hooked it all up, primary HD wasn’t recognized. Tried all sorts of tricks before I realized that the partition tables were messed up. I ended up switching the order of the hard drives and trying to find the right utility to fix the partitions. Finally found one utility (Partition Doctor, I think) that allowed me to reset the partitions and recover most of the data. The only files I couldn’t transfer off were some videos for which I still have the original tapes so no loss there except time. Still, that was potentially pretty bad as I’d had a lot of miscellaneous files on that drive. I’d moved my docs/pics off before that time so those were good.

    Shortly afterward I invested in a subscription to Crashplan for my home PC and started the backup process. I like the small peace of mind from knowing my files are being backed up off-site. (And I’ve tested the recovery as well.)


    For Outlook, I have a habit of Shift-Deleting my items so they bypass my Deleted Items folder. I’ve made the mistake sometimes of hitting Shift+End+Delete which highlights pretty much all messages in the folder, then proceeds to delete them. Grateful that recovery was enabled on the Exchange server so I could get the items back, but definitely a moment of panic going to “Inbox Zero” without meaning to.

  22. Last four years, I received a 2.5″ laptop hard drive from my aunt that it seems unusable. Out of my curiosity, I tried to revive the hard drive because I was thinking if there were files needed to retrieve. After searching the internet for any software that will do data recovery, I successfully retrieve the undamaged files and at the same time I convert the hard drive into an external hard drive(HD). I made it into an external HD because I noticed some crackling sound inside the hard drive while troubleshooting. It was said in the source in the internet that was the sign of hard disk failure. What I learned about this experience is to backup important files in the hard disk regardless of its health…

  23. A few years ago I woke up to one of the worst nightmares, a computer crash. I went into the “study” where my computer is located and switched it on. This is my normal routine in the morning have to check the email and other blogs (wink,wink). I normally flip it on then do some other stuff before it loads. I noticed that it didn’t boot up and then I opened up the case and the harddrive wasn’t doing anything. It had just died without any warnin at all. I was one of those people that thouht that it couldn’t happen to me. Now I back up to a small hardrive so that this will not happen aain.

  24. I bought carbonite because constant virus attacks require me to wipe out the hard drive. After the first back up, I wiped out the hard drive. When I restored all my files, I accidentally deleted my restored my pictures and replaced it with the new my pictures file, which was empty. Yes, I deleted it from the recycle bin.
    I was in a daze from reinstalling everything back to my computer and it was a stupid mistake. Nonetheless, I lost about a year and a half worth of pictures. It wasn’t the carbonite, it was my idiot mistake.

  25. Hurricane Katrina, 2005. My Firm’s office was 1 block from the beach, in fact some news outlets were using the slab for their broadcasting equipment. I lost over 10 years of family pictures and personal files, as well as countless hours of work and a couple hundred CDs. Not a fun time to think about. I now rip all my CDs into MP3 and save them on external drives. Live and learn.

  26. I’m a UT Radio-Television-Film Senior specializing in editing and visual effects. This year I have been deep into production of my thesis film Codes of Awakening, but met with a series of disasters. As a dutiful editor I have kept three separate backups of my footage. In a single weekend I lost a brand new External Hard Drive and, in an entirely unnrelated event in a different location, my brand new graphics-engine PC refused to turn on. With two of my backups eliminated, I quickly ran to my last line of defense. Luckily the footage was still there so my project is going well. But in the meantime I lost all of my project files and organization (the only thing I backed up was the raw footage for emergencies like this). It’s been a tragic month, and as always it happens at the worst time for projects. Let us all be thankful for backup solutions!

  27. My digital camera had lots of pictures that I took last summer in 2010. I had all types of pictures. I was going to use these pictures to make scrapbooks and to document the various things that I did over the summer and I was going to make photo books for my family members. Well that did not happen because I dropped my camera in water while I was in the ladies room at a local retailer. I had the camera in my purse (which was open–don’t ask why) and was putting my purse in a spot (located behind the toliet–this is where you are suppose to put your purse so it could be safe) to hold my purse. Why did I do that, the purse flipped over in the toliet and my camera was soaking wet. All my pictures were ruined. Also the same day I dropped my cell phone in a cup of tea. Talk about having a bad day. I think I need waterproof electronics, if there is such a thing.

  28. I totally blamed my data loss incident on my friend. Couple months ago, I was at the school library working on my English paper, an essay that I have worked on for a while. Being a good buddy that he was, my friend approached me from behind, slapped my back forcibly and yapped,” Whatcha workin” on, brad.” Unbeknown to him, I was drinking my hot mocha at the time. Well as you know it, his action unleashed the demons swirling in the cup upon this poor helpless little soul that’s my laptop. For the first time in my life, I was pissed!!! I didn’t punch him like a sandbag or anything, just screamed at him for a minute for two. If we were alone, I might have flayed his skin off. But with so many people watching, I had to subdue my Wolverine blade and behaved like a civilized earthling. Fortunately, he knows a thing or two about computers. So he was about to fix it. However, I still had to rewrite the three pages that I didn’t save.

  29. I have experienced several data loss but the most memorable one was my first time. I got hit with a virus!!! I know what you are thinking. No, I wasn’t watching porn or anything remotely close. I foolishly opened an email attachment without checking to make sure there’s no virus because I thought there’s no need since it was sent to me by one of my friends. Yes, he did it on purpose. His cousin told him to infect my computer because his cousin thought it was me who stole his girlfriend. It was a mistaken identity. There was another guy named Chang. Luckily for that other Chang, this Chang received the brunt of the damage. Oh don’t worry, it wasn’t a big deal. The virus just erased my whole freaking hard drive along with all my personal documents that I have amassed over the year. I did manage to get them back after forking over $100 to the Geeksquad. And guess what he said to me after I told him about this madness? “That’s what you get for having the same name as that deucebag.” Man, if only I go back in time and get my parents to give me a different name. Then I wouldn’t have to experience the joy of mistaken identity for two more times and counting.

  30. Back even before hard drives, I had a bunch of programs I had written in BASIC for school on an Atari computer saved on a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk. The disk had become corrupted and I could not read any data from it. At the time, no one ever thought about keeping backups. So, suffice it to say, I had to rewrite all the programs.

  31. My home computer died in December last year. It had two internal drives and so I haven’t managed to get any data of either one.

  32. I have been bitten twice by power supply failures that have rendered my hard drives useless. This is very frustrating in the fact that they wre OEM power supplies and on battry backups. I guess it shows that Murphy’s law always wins.

  33. About ten months ago when I was back home in Singapore to stay a couple of months due to my mother’s health situation, I had my laptop as always with me, whenever I go back there. While there, I continued as I always have done, to continue creating more and newer recipes using the opportunity of being able to obtain authentic, local available as well as seasonal Asian ingredients. Along with that I attended many local culinary events, ending up with journal notes and photos.

    There were also personal trips to update my information of various accounts, those of medical provider, government and finance agencies. I was staying at my younger brother’s who has two teenage daughters. The older niece was bent on getting a laptop and after we went around shopping for the appropriate models, we decided that the next weekend we would go pick one up at the promotional fair in town. Since her desk computer was out of commission and apparently she had to get some project paperwork sent before the weekend, I let her use my laptop. My sister-in-law was not about to pay another few hundred bucks to get the desk computer going. Reluctant as I was, I didn’t think anything could go so terribly wrong as things did.

    To cut a long story short, I lost all I had on my laptop since it resulted after three days of trying to fix a non-booting OS which kept giving the ‘NTLDR NT loader not found’ loop. To this day, she couldn’t tell me what she was doing before she shut down prior to the non-booting scenario. Unfortunately, I did not have my own set of repair utilities which I’d left here in America. Even if I had my recovery CD, it wouldn’t have been any better since it would only have installed the OS in its factory pre-loaded state.

    Needless to say, my biggest loss were my personal culinary journal notes, recipes, photos and notes, on top of the emails and saved e-papers from all government and private agencies where I’d updated my personal finance, medical, government and other matters.

    Well, I did get my laptop back into shape but if I could, would love to be able to store all my desktop and laptop data somewhere easily available and safe.

  34. Last summer, my girlfriend and I went on a vacation for couple weeks.When we returned, we found our apartment in a total mess. Clothes wereeverywhere. One of the windows was broken along with a bunch ofutensils. And pretty much all electronics were missing. My girlfriendand I do have a habit of backing up our data in external hard drives.But that time, it was no help because they were stolen as well. Sothere’s nothing we could do other than suck up the misfortune andstart all over again. Nowadays, we back up our data online as well asoffline. Just in case something like that ever happens again.

  35. Well I am working on IT industry where taking backup of data is extremely important. Couple of months back we figured out a horrific loophole in our back up process. If any one of here worked on IT then they probably know that usually IT department take back up on daily, weekly, monthly basis. Same case is with our company too. Our company has SLA with client that they will keep the clients data for last 5 years. It works like that we have certain number of tape drive devoted to daily back up, some tape drives for weekly backup and same for monthly and annually backup. We take back up from unix file system. Clients backup system was designed to take backup daily in daily tape drives from unix file system. Client’s Unix file has retention period of 15 days. Weekly tape take back up from daily backup tape file every week. So we are covered for week. Similarly we take monthly back up every month. But we found out that monthly tape was taking backup from file system instead of weekly tape. Since we have unix file system retention period for 15 days so we lost 15 days data in monthly backup process. We found out this loop hole when client request some data from 2 years back and data was not there. Our client would have sued our company for not following the SLA (Service level agrrement) but since our company took over the project from some other company and we haven’t designed this process and haven’t touched that since we took our project. So client got agreed to not to sue our company. So whether is IT, corporate world back up is extremely important. I know the lucky winner will be chosen by random draw even then i am writing this big story. The reason for that to tell you importance of back up in real life. If i win HP datavalut then i want to use it with its full potential as I am IT professional and i know how take maximum benefit out of it.

  36. When my first major data/HDD crash occured I thought I was OK because I had built an external HDD and saved important data to it. When I reformatted and reinstalled my OS and then attempted to reinsall my backed up data, I was horrified to learn that I had used “short cuts” to transfer the data to my external HDD, and of course, the original data for the short cuts was lost in the crash and so was all my data! Hard lesson learned.

  37. It’s an eerie 2am in the college of civil engineering study lounge. My friend was furiously typing her last few paragraphs on her thesis, after working for more than 12 hours nonstop. Then, the unthinkable happened: the screen went pink and didn’t respond. My friend thought I played a joke on her since it was April 1st. As tempting as it was to play along, I immediately took action.

    Suspecting a virus I cracked open the PC case. After yanking the hard drive out I placed it in my external hard drive case and booted up with my partition program. I searched for hours in a cold sweat while my friend paced up and down the room. Bingo! At 4:30am I successfully located a set of auto recover word files and transferred them to my laptop.

    Nothing feels better than saving your friend’s 200 page document with only hours before it’s due.

  38. This story of a data disaster occurred to a family member. But, from it I learned a valuable lesson. Now I am trying to figure out how and where to start backing up my system. One of my wife’s uncles has retired and is now an amateur photographer. He has thousands of images of birds of prey and other local birds. He has been saving his data to an external 320gb hard drive. About a month ago, I received a phone call from him asking for technical assistance. When I asked him what happened this is what he said, “Well… the drive made a clicking sound and then just stopped working. Can you do anything?” My response to him was that obviously since we were talking on the phone that there wasn’t much
    troubleshooting that I could do. He agreed to bring it to me the next morning.

    When he dropped the drive off, he explained that he had been trying to access some images for a magazine submission and needed the images, if at all possible, as soon as possible. Now, I need to explain I am the family “geek”. I am not a computer professional. I have been using computers for years and I have always been one of those people who have scoffed at the idea that I would be impacted if I experienced a data disaster. I have always said…”If my system crashes then I will just start over.” But, after spending days and nights helping the uncle recover most of his images, dealing with the renaming of the files by the recovery software, rebuilding the folder structures were destroyed and just the general inconvenience of the whole process…I think I have been extremely naïve and (fingers crossed here, dash of salt thrown over my shoulder, wood knocked on…. very very lucky).

    But, now I am faced with quite a dilemma. I was not very smart with the setup of my system. I have three hard drives that are each partitioned. I have so many files, digital media, documents (kids school work, copies of my college history, years of work related data, records from the wifes foray into a home based business). I don’t even know where to begin. I need to setup a true network storage environment so that all of this data is backed up.

    Boy, even writing this has felt daunting and now that I read what I have written I am still feeling quite overwhelmed. I might need to go get some anti-anxiety medications to help me get through this. I hope I win. But, if I don’t win, thank you for giving me the opportunity to face an issue that I have been in denial over for so long. Good luck to all the entrants.

  39. Several years ago, I had this crazy data loss experience that left me utterly bewildered. Never in a million years would I believe, prior to that incident, such event could ever happen to me. It all started on a Halloween night. My friends and I were heading home after an evening of partying like there’s no tomorrow. Midway, we got attacked. What? How? As we were passing through an apartment building, a bunch of kids thought it would be fun to throw eggs, tennis balls and water balloons at us right from above. It might be fun for them, but definitely not us. At that time,I committed two major mistakes. First since I was at the rear end of the group, my best tactic was to turn around and take a different route. Instead, I chose to scamper ahead and thus get to enjoy the blast of my life. My second mistake was in the way how I protect my head. Like any logical human being, my top priority when under attack from above is to, as I take cover, protect my precious head because I need it to plot up plans for world domination. Instead of just wrapping my arms around my head, I used my backpack, which would be a fantastic option if it didn’t happen to have my laptop in it. When I got home, my computer suffered couple dents and a little bit of wetness. After drying it with my hair dryer, the laptop was still usable and it was good. I was happy.

    However, that happiness didn’t last long. A week later, I woke up to the sound of the fire alarm because my laptop was on fire! On fire! Boy was I lucky! That night, I had left the computer on as I have done it very often to download a game. I guess the little wetness had turn my super computer into a mere mortal that couldn’t handle the pressure of being on all night. Poor little guy. I only have time to think about this in retrospect because as the fire was raging on, I was busy saving my asst. I really suck at multi-tasking. After the event of my life, I was left with a burnt table, darkened wall, a surcharge from my landlord, and of course a fried laptop. All those things that I have accrued over the years and that my laptop spent countless nights downloading were gone. Because I had never had any data loss prior to that, I didn’t back up anything at all. And believe me, I had a great time amassing all those files again. Haven’t you heard that the second time is always the charm? And there is another good thing that comes out of this incident. I got to stimulate the economy by buying a new laptop and an external drive. However, my pocket said otherwise.

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