World Back Up Day Blog - It's 3-2-1-1-0 for a reason!


Userlevel 7
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Years ago, before 3-2-1 and 3-2-1-1-0 were household terms, I had a lot of photos from my early teens, and other important documents stored on my computer.  Fixing PC’s from an early age, going on college, then work for a large IT company I knew the importance of data backup, and have seen people upset when their precious photos were gone forever.

 

I had an old Dell prebuilt PC that was cutting edge at the time. I paid thousands for it, and it had one of those nice big square monitors. I still have the recept somewhere to remind me not to keep spending so much on items the depreciate in value so fast. (as I type on a computer with a 4090 GPU and 14700k CPU🤣) 

 

I bought a USB hard drive for backups, and copied over everything. One day, when my computer crashed I was happy when I bought a new hard drive, and restored all the files. I never really thought about it too much, and felt like my own hero for not losing all my data.

 

I continued on, copying all my photos and files to the drive for a couple years. I got a bit lazy and would do it every 6 months or so. After about 3 years, my PC wouldn’t turn on and I heard ticking from the disk.  I did the same thing. I bought a new HDD and loaded windows, but this time my USB hard drive wouldn’t be recognised.

 

6 months is a long time for a disk to be sitting in a desk. It didn’t even have that much use, but there was zero option for recovery. I’ve done lot’s of disk restores, file recovery and HDD repairs. I even bought a matching drive and swapped the PCB, but unfortunately, this one was gone. 

 

Had I followed 3-2-1, I wouldn’t be writing this story. Even more, 3-2-1-1-0 would have had me TESTING my backup.  If I noticed my USB drive was dead, I would have made copies somewhere else.


Now for my personal photos, I tend to keep them on multiple computers, the cloud, and a NAS with the odd external backup. Call me paranoid, but I’m not going to have that again. 5-3-1 at a minimum haha.

 

The 3-2-1 rule can save your personal data. I cringe when I see people with every photo they own on a laptop C:\ or on their shiny MacBook with no time machine. Even when you back up, make sure to do it regularly and test. 

 


4 comments

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Great story Scott and definitely a principal to follow always no matter what system you are working on.  I have my laptop for work and my homelab going to multiple places including Wasabi.  You never know when you will need to restore something like I did this week with both my Domain Controllers as they went belly up.  😂

Userlevel 7
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… Could that have been file system for the USB drive? 

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

3-2-1 for the win! 😊 Sorry you lost your data Scott. 😕 Thanks for sharing your story!

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

3-2-1 for the win! 😊 Sorry you lost your data Scott. 😕 Thanks for sharing your story!

I have many, like the time i encrypted a ton of files on my PC and lost the key lol. That was many years ago at least.  As long as we learn from mistakes, they are not always a bad thing. 

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