Backing up your data

Backing up your data

I have friend shopping around trying to repair his laptop that crashed.  He needs a new hard drive and needs to recover important data from it.  Best Buy quoted him $300-$3000 to recover his data.  Why even GIVE an estimate?  Jane's Mac mini recently also crapped out and I'm having her 80gig HD replaced and data restored for $200.

My friend asked me if I back up my data.  I told him "sort of".  I HAVE backed up my important documents, photos, and music to an external hard drive but it's been over a year since I've refreshed it.  I do have some redundancy in that some of my files are copied onto my other computers.  I also have a copy on my website.  But still, I'm exposed and need to take my backup process more seriously.

Coincidently, I read this recent post at  It advocates backing up your important data to a location somewhere on the Internet.  But I've read horror stories about that solution as well when a customer lost all their photos from a service.  Personally, I would advocate backing things up on two different external sources at home AND online somewhere.  I plan to use an external hard drive and a second computer for redundency for important files.  I'll keep some files on my website.  Photos, Video and Music presents a bigger challenge because they take up so much room and the process of uploading is very time consuming.  I'll use a combination of DVDs and external HD for those.

To recover data from a bad HD, here is some advice:


Backing up data from your Mac
Mail – mail data is stored in the foldersw ~/Library/Mail/POP-….
AddressBook – select all your contacts and select File…Export vCard.  This will create a file a .vcf  file.  You can then download and run this A to G program to convert the file to a comma seperated file (.csv).   This file can then be imported into Gmail.  To restore, you can export back to a file that AddressBook can  import.

One thought on “Backing up your data

  1. On the subject of file backup, sharing and storage …

    Online backup is becoming common these days. It is estimated that 70-75% of all PC’s will be connected to online backup services with in the next decade.

    Thousands of online backup companies exist, from one guy operating in his apartment to fortune 500 companies.

    Choosing the best online backup company will be very confusing and difficult. One website I find very helpful in making a decision to pick an online backup company is:

    This site lists more than 400 online backup companies in its directory and ranks the top 25 on a monthly basis.

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