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Stuck in Hard Disk Drive Hell! 185/366

Stuck in Hard Disk Drive Hell! 185/366 (Photo credit: Mr Munnings on Tour)

I think everyone has had that OHMYGODNO!!!! moment when something goes wrong with their computer system. It could be a simple program glitch, in which case what you are working on may be gone but at least you still have all of your original documents safely stored in your hard drive. What if it isn’t as simple as rebooting your computer and starting again? What if its a virus? Or, god forbids, your hard drive finally wears out and just crashes? Are you prepared?

Unfortunately few of us are truly prepared for our computer systems to go belly up and as a result we spend a lot of time cursing, screaming and perhaps even crying over lost data. There are a few simple ways to minimize or prevent data loss.

Save a Backup

Create another folder specifically for copies of importunate digital documents. This gives you a simple safety net if the original corrupts or even when you accidentally save after a deletion. If you have multiple hard drives then designate one as your primary backup and save your copies in there.


Save copies on a different form of media. Yes you have a backup on the extra hard drive, but also burn one to a disc or put it on a thumb drive. It might be redundant, but this way if you loose your computer then you still have a copy of it. I try to keep in the habit of copying everything off of my hard drive at least once a month.


Print out a hard copy of anything truly important. If everything fails then at least you have a reference you can retype, photocopy or scan back in when your system is finally operational.

Off-site Storage

If your documents are truly that valuable that you can’t risk loosing them then I suggest you make an additional copy on a disc or thumb drive and store it off-site, away from the home office. If it’s office data then keep a copy at home and vice versa. Or if it is truly valuable stuff like a will or contracts then perhaps putting a copy in a bank vault is the option you want

Following these simple steps won’t prevent you from having that panic attack when you find your files missing or corrupted but it will allow your panic to lessen quicker as you remember that you were smart enough to make backups.