Backing up your data before life happens, as it inevitably will, might help you save not only your data, but possibly your sanity as well. The data we have in our computer or in the cloud is increasingly defining our lives. When we loose files, we loose pieces of our personal history, the products of past labors, and even the foundation for our futures. Loosing data today is not much different than having damage from fire or storm in your home or office. Where is your tax return from last year, the receipt for that Amazon purchase, or the itinerary for your next trip to the orient? A few bits lost from a disk or a snafu at the data center can whisk away all of the documents and data files that define who you are and your place in society.
Backing up your data is easy to do; yet if we do it at all, it is often not done well. A few years ago, I was one those people that did not data backup seriously and it caused some inconvenience. When I first starting to learn Linux, I was playing around with it and somehow removed the option to boot up Windows from GRUB. Luckily, the partition was still there, just GRUB did not know about the Windows OS. I didn’t really care about the Windows partition, so I just used Linux to get the data from it and didn’t worry about fixing GRUB. But those were the days when my life was simple as the most I had to loose was a few music files.
Here recently, I had to pull data off a hard drive for a friend of mine. I did not have the luxury of using Linux in this situation so I looked at using Recuva from Piriform or TestDisk TestDisk from CGSecurity. I ended up using Recuva. The setup was a typical Windows install; just hit next a couple of times. Using Recuva was easy. All I had to do is to tell it what drive I wanted to scan and it went to work. After it was done with the scan, Recuva listed all the files that it could find with a color next to the filename to indicate if the file was recoverable. I check marked the files that was needed and saved the data. Everyone was happy—this time.
I would like to checkout TestDisk sometime. TestDisk does not have much of a GUI, which might scare some people away, but it still looks easy enough to use. It also can read more filesystems and run on more operating system than Recuva can, which is useful. If I ever use TestDisk, I will write about it.
Moral of the story is to backup your data. More copies of your valuable data you have, the fewer headaches you will have recovering you life and the happier you will be. If you are not worrying about you stored data you will have time to create more of it.