No, I did not have another computer crash, as I had reported in Surviving the Blue Screen of Death a couple of years ago. However, one theme of that post was the importance of having a good backup off premises. Today, I stopped by the bank to pull my offsite complete (but aged) hard drive copy from safe deposit, slip it in my back pocket, and bike back home so that I can clone my drive afresh.
So the Object At Hand today is actually the key to safe deposit storage rather than the pocket sized terabyte container of my whole computer’s soul.
I do copy my personal data files, like pictures, videos, email boxes, web site files, and so on to a local external, isolated hard drive every few days using a USB adapter that is only powered up to do the backup, and then shut down again. This saves energy, and makes it immune to power surges up to lightning strikes.
This is fine to protect against power surges, viruses, or disk crashes. But a thorough burglary or fire would lose me this copy. Also, as described in my BSD article, a full clone gets you up and running ever so much faster than having to reload your O/S and all your software manually.
So tonight I will open up my tower (that is commonly erroneously called a “CPU” [which is actually the processor chip behind the fan], or the “hard drive” [which is the thing I’m working with at the bottom connected by wires], or even [for reasons I don’t apprehend] the “modem”), connect the hard drive to a second SATA port, boot to a CD with cloning software. I downloaded free EaseUS Disk Copy, but a techie friend prefers Clonezilla. It runs overnight, as a terabyte (1,000,000,000,000 bytes) takes a while to copy even at direct SATA bus speeds. Tomorrow I can take an up to date version of my whole system back to the bank where it will survive anything but direct megaton hits.
At the core of the issue, the object is peace of mind.