Don’t be a hard drive crash test dummy

Our customer’s hard drive crashed. It stored nearly 10 digital years worth of her family images: births, family vacations, birthdays, parties, graduations, and other events. Our customer’s digital images had not been printed out (unlike analog photos) – they had been shared on the computer and occasionally uploaded to a digital frame or to an online photo site. Her backup consisted of an external hard drive (also damaged) and an incomplete collection of floppy disks, CDs and DVDs, plus about 1% of their images saved at an online photo site.

This was just too close for comfort, since my own personal backup situation was similar. During the past 15 years I’ve relied on a hodge podge of backup methods: floppy disks, tape drives, CDs, DVDs, online photo services and other online backup solutions.

I set out to find a reliable, affordable online backup solution for my data. Online photo websites that are free often have fine print in the user agreement that allows website to reduce the resolution of stored images if you don’t make a certain number of paid prints, etc. Although it is extremely easy to upload hundreds of images to these websites, if you ever want your images back you must download them one by one which becomes an impossible task if you have thousands of images, as many of us do. (The BCC digital lab was recently hired for $125 an hour by a customer who lost several hundred images, to download images individually from his online printing website – not an inexpensive proposition).


After spending some time researching I chose online backup. I signed up for a yearly account. Just moments after installing the Mozy applet, data started backing up over my cable connection at about 10 gigabytes a day. Well, it’s finally complete – for the first time ever I have a complete off-site backup of all my images . . . nearly 50,000, genealogy files, and documents taking up just over 500 Gb (that’s more than half a terabyte, 500,000 megabytes, or the equivalent of about 800 CDs). is a fully encrypted online backup service that costs around $55 a year. Less if you get a 2-year membership paid up front. Once signed up you have unlimited storage for the flat annual fee. With Mozy you can back up one computer and any drives that are connected to your computer. Many other online backup solutions will only backup drives inside your computer, not external drives. Once installed the process is very automatic. If you power down or reboot your computer, the backup resumes automatically. Backups over broadband upload 5-10 gigabytes per day. Easy configuration options even allow the backup to proceed only when the computer is idle. My computer is relatively new so I left it set for maximum backup speed for the entire time. Mozy will also automatically add and delete as you move files into or out of your watched folders you designate.

At last, I have my images protected.

Also just added to Mozy 2.0 is the ability to create a local backup to an external drive which gives you the best backup a scenario – a local and remote copy!

To learn more or sign up for your own Mozy account, just click on the Mozy logo below.

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