On Saturday the 20th of June, I came into the office. I have two machines at my desk. One I consider my work machine / CAD machine and the other is my general purpose machine. I had been checking emails and reading through my headers on Feedly, when I decided to turn around and get some work done. On my CAD machine I use an extra 1 TB drive (Drive K) to store all my data. When I looked I saw no "K" on my windows explorer so I rebooed.
Click click, click was all I heard from where the K drive was located and no K drive designation. I knew I had a problem.
I "thought" I was backing up multiple ways, which apparently wasn't true. I have a 128 GB jump drive that I carry on my key chain. I manually back up to this with "Free File Sync" on a fairly regular basis, or so I thought. I have an external 1 TB drive that I was using a third party back up software program to back up to, or so I thought. Then I back up to the cloud with Carbonite, or so I thought.
Business has been crazy for the last 6 to 8 weeks, so I had not back up my jump drive since the end of May. My external hard drive was only backing up C drive not K drive and apparently when I started folder "Projects2015" in January, but I did not add it to the folders to be backed up with Carbonite. A mess for sure, but not insurmountable.
Fortunate for me I had been emailing .dwgs and .pdfs like crazy and I did manage to recover a lot of files off of my "sent" Gmails.
It should take me about two week to recover fully. I was functional and about 90% back in about two days, very long days.
Any time we do things manually we are open for error. Automatic backups are a must! What have I done since the crash? Here is how I am approaching my backups for the future.
1) I still back up to my jump drive. I will try to remember to do it every Friday and I may forget, but I like having my drawings on my person.
2) I took the 1 TB external drive and manually back up to that drive with Free File Sync every night before I walk out of the office. I don't know if the limitation is me or the software, but I think some programs would not let me select multiple folders to back up, so it was a pain in the ass to have to back them up one by one. When I installed the new 1 TB internal drive, the new K drive, I made a master folder - Barch_Main, then I put all my project folders under the main folder. So now when I select the one main folder it backs up all the sub-folders, which are all my project folders.
3) I purchased a new 3 TB external hard drive. I didn't need one that big, but it was the best bang for the buck so I got it. I used the backup software that came with the drive, which is something I had never done before. I have no Idea why! So now I am using the WD backup software. It backs up C drive every night at 3 AM, but it is backing up K drive continuously.
4) I reconfigured Carbonite to back up the Barch_Main folder, so now it is getting all my current files and when I created Projects2016 under Barch_Main, I will not have to worry about whether I added it to Carbonite.
5) One last method I have added, but I don't think I have ever read about. Being able to go back to my emails and download the attachments I had sent other people was a life saver. So I have implemented a new policy. I made a new email account for my backups. Every time I email a client with final PDFs, I email my backup email account with the .dwg files. This way I can always go retrieve them like I did this time. It is basically poor man's cloud backup storage. Eventually I will have to buy additional Google drive space as you only get about 15 GB of free storage.
I am fortunate that I can recover drawings if they were plotted to PDFs. It is not 100% recovery, but enough that I can edit the drawings if necessary. It is till better to have .dwgs. So now I have 5 methods of backing up. Two automatice and three manual. Next time I hope I am more prepared.