Scott Hanselman

It's Thursday: BACK YOUR STUFF UP

January 30, '04 Comments [3] Posted in ASP.NET
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Yep, it doesn't happen until it happens.  And then it happens.  Ain't that the way.  I'm flying to ATL on Monday for a Technology Council with some big Corillian Customers and what happens?  Blue Screen Of Death.  But no, no, not the nice full-of-hex BSOD, no.  The tiny one.  Ever seen this?

UNKNOWN HARD ERROR
0x3243 YOU'RE SCREWED
GOOD LUCK WITH THAT
WHOLE PRESENTATION THING
DUMPING PHYSICAL MEMORY...

And that was it.  Then I was stuck in a BSOD LOOP.  Yes, loop as in, puke, reboot, puke.

Was I worried? My friends, no.  Why?  (Don't you hate people who ask rhetorical questions? Do I? ;) )

Because I back my sh*t up.  DVD Burner.  Every week.  I backup My Documents, the CVS Repository and all my photos.  I back them up to a 250 Gig Firewire drive then move them weekly on to DVD, then put those DVD into a firebox/safe, then move them off-site monthly. Also, while my C: drive is not mirrored (no data there), My Documents and My EverythingElse is mirrored with RAID on two drives.

Because I'm psycho?  Maybe.  But if Portland was nuked, I'd go to Fry's, buy a new computer, move to Alaska, and restore in about four hours.

So, you, dear reader, have an assignment this weekend.  BACK UP. 

Today's Question: What's your personal backup strategy?  Is it a strategy or more of a suggestion?  If your computer crashed today, how many hours would you lose?

Also, thanks to our IT Director, Greg Hughes (visit his blog!) for helping me out with a new PC that we'll restore tommorow.  Corillian has a truly great bunch of guys in IT.  Believe it.

P.S. I forgot to mention that it was this tragic system crash at 4pm today that caused me to miss the freaking ASP.NET Roadshow.  Sorry if I missed you there.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Friday, 30 January 2004 05:51:51 UTC
I partition my PC and laptop's hard disk into a few partitions with the last partition being a 4GB FAT32 for the purpose of periodically (about once a month) GHOST-ing a particular partition with its OS and apps (e.g. WinXP Pro + apps, Win2K3 + tools + apps) in a desired state. This GHOST image backup will then be burnt onto CDR (I have no DVDR yet). Whenever I screw up any of the OSes, it's a matter of restoring the last GHOST image I have for that OS partition and I can be back on track in 15-20 minutes or thereabouts. Data (e.g. PSTs, DOCs, MP3s, etc.) is stored on a separate partition (which I would periodically archive onto CD) so that it doesn't get wiped out during restore. This strategy works out pretty well for me so far for the last two years, especially since I tend to try out anything beta then it somehow hoses the OS (especially with drivers and such) and I can get my OS back like as if I never installed those broken stuff in the first place.
Saturday, 31 January 2004 09:43:26 UTC
Bummer about your computer going south on you, but +10 points for the backups! And to think we were talking about such stuff at the nerd dinner the night before. Hmmmmmm. I wonder if there's a lesson in there somewhere.

And sorry you had to miss the road show. Rob did a great job.
Saturday, 31 January 2004 18:03:32 UTC
Yeah, see? That'll learn ya!

Since I have the oportunity to do so publically. I'll sdd to the helpful list (in no particular oreder other than furthest cube from my office to the closest): Jorge, Justin, Steve, Eddie, Scott, Doug, Aaron, Travis. Quite the crew. :)

See you later today, and we'll get you fixed up on the new computer, but I'll need expensive coffee :P

Jan 31, 2004 8:05 am - On FedEx vehicle for delivery - PORTLAND OR (better than the MVP rewards eh? Heh)

Oh and for everyone else: DOn't by HP laptops (even the "business class" ones). Since the merger, their reliability for busniess use has become horrendous. Hello IBM!
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.