Backup Your Data

I think we all get busy and just take for granted when we are on our computers, all of the stuff that we rely on to be there will be there.  Well guess what, sometimes your computer will crash and that “stuff” is no longer there.  That is what happened to me two weeks ago and I am still in the process of trying to reload everything.  Unfortunately, I also lost a lot that cannot be recovered because it was not backed up.

The reason it was not backed up – none, certainly not any good one anyway!  I have an external DVD player that plugs into a USB port and I can get everything in the “My Documents” folder backed up onto one DVD other than the music I have.  My DVD player also has Lightscribe, which means that I can just write on the DVD what it contains and the date it was backed up, and my DVDs will never get mixed up.  And even worse, I have the backup folder for alot of my programs in the “My Documents” directory so I don’t even have to stop and think about where my my backup data is.  For the stuff that I did backup, it was easy to flip thru the DVDs and see which one was the last one because of the date.  

Back in January, the printer I had died.  It was an old, serial printer.  Although it was old, it did what I needed it to do – print (even in color), copy and scan.  When it broke, I bought a new printer that needed a USB cable.  I did not have an extra cable when I took the printer out of the box so I swiped the one from my DVD player since I did not use that every day.  Unfortunately, I never bothered to get a new cable and it was a pain to swap the cable out so I stopped backing up as regularly as I had been.

My last backup was on April 11th, so I lost about 5 months worth of stuff.  I had never backed up my Dexcom stuff and recently got a new receiver, so my Dexcom history is gone.  I also had a file that I tracked the dates that I started a new sensor and when I removed it along with notes if I had problems and Dexcom replaced the sensor – also now gone. 

When I download my Aviva meter readings, I always delete what is on the meter – I do that because sometimes if I check my BS again and have a high reading and wash my hands to find out it was not that high, I don’t want those high numbers messing up  my average and standard deviation so I zap them.  If I don’t delete what is on the meter, I won’t remember that some of that stuff was deleted.  So other than the couple readings that were on my Aviva meter, I lost everything between April and September. 

I also got my pump after I did my last backup, so some of my pump data is gone.  I haven’t looked in the manual to see how much gets saved – all my basal/bolus history was still there but all but one month of the priming history was gone.  Being the spreadsheet queen that I am, I had also set up a nice little spreadsheet to track how much insulin I was throwing away so that I could figure out how much I really used on a daily basis.  That is also gone!

After I got the Dexcom, I took my Navigator readings off my hard drive and put those on a DVD so I do have those.  However, the CoPilot software allows you to put your test results from lab work in and spits out a nice a report.  It is a nice report to take to new doctors along with hard copies of your labs because it has everything summarized in alphabetical order and they can see exactly what was done and what your results were – I have had several doctors comment on really liking that report.  When I took the Navigator readings off, there were was no way to delete the Navigator readings and leave the lab results on – you can hide data but that doesn’t make the size of the data file smaller so when I took that Navigator stuff off, I just deleted everything and reentered my lab results.  Now I get to put those in yet a third time because they weren’t backed up. 

I use Quicken to track my finances.  Recreating stuff that went thru my checking account was not that hard, but when I go to the grocery store and buy stuff like glucose tablets, I like to categorize them to go to “diabetes” like any good little bean counter would do – that history is gone.  I have no way to know what I spent cash on or if I got $20 back when I was at the grocery store and what I spent that on.  Everything between April and September is gone!

The biggest pain is my music – I feel like it is the day the music died!  I use ITunes to listen to my music because it is like having a giant jukebox.  I have about 250 actual store bought CDs that I have to reload.  I have CDs that I bought because a group had a song that I liked but I did not necessarily like that group.  I would play it a few times when I first bought it but then did not bother – I have a Metallica CD because they had a song I heard on the radio that I liked but I don’t really care for Metalica.  With ITunes, I can load the songs that I like onto my computer and get to hear them more when they come up in the shuffle.  I also bought a lot of music from ITunes.   

I had over 3,100 songs when my computer crashed.  Besides my store bought CDs, I had about 50 backup CDs of the songs that I bought from ITunes.  And of course, I had songs on my computer that I bought that were not backed up yet so those are lost for good.  If I bought a full album from ITunes, those songs were backed up onto their own CD, but the others were labeled Copy 1, Copy 2, etc.  For some reason, my numbers go from 17 to 21 so I don’t know what happened to the missing CDs.  I also bought some Wiggles music for when my nephew is here and those songs weren’t backed up. 

It is a slow process trying to restore all the music.  When you put a CD in, ITunes will come up with the names of the songs on the CD, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always put the right song name so I have to check everything before transferring it to my computer.  Plus, I don’t want to put stuff I don’t like so having to figure out what songs I like and what I don’t slows down the process. 

The songs that I bought from ITunes are even harder to restore.  I found out the hard way that ITunes apparently keeps the information for that stuff in a file on your hard drive.  I know that I have stuck a backup CD in my computer and it popped up with the song information.  All that information is now gone – when I put the CD in, all that comes up is Track 1, Track 2, etc.  Most of the CDs have about 17-20 songs on so that is a lot of information to have to reenter!  Plus, when I printed out the covers to stick in the jewel case, I only printed the singer and song name.  I like having the album covers show in ITunes, so I have to look up album names before transferring the stuff back to my computer.  And to make it even more fun, some of the stuff I bought from ITunes is no longer available in the ITunes store so I can’t find the album name!  Needless to say, putting the music back is a very slow process.  Going forward, I am going to backup my ITunes directory onto a couple DVDs so it should be a lot easier to restore (hopefully)!    

Lesson learned:  the 10-15 minutes I should have spent per month to back stuff up pales in comparison to losing stuff that can never be replaced or the weeks it is taking me to restore everything that I had on my computer.

One picture that did get saved was from my brain MRI – I guess I still have a brain, I just need to learn to use it more often!

Take a few minutes and backup your computer today – you never know when you will be glad that you spent those couple minutes doing that!
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One thought on “Backup Your Data

  1. This is a great article.It is good to have backups of all the crucial data because it is the only way data can stay secure with out getting lost.Am glad i learnt about backing up but in a very crucial way and this was after i had a hard drive crash.So since then till now i don’t for get to backup all my crucial data online with an online backup solution called Safecopy backup.

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