On Monday I recovered the Lacie external hard drive and with it my basic data. I was then able to restore some semblance of normality. Among other things, I reinstalled my email program and its address book and could send emails again.
Yesterday I tackled two jobs that I had been putting off because I wasn’t sure whether I would be successful. The first was to get the printer working with the laptop and the second was to install ACDSee and try to restore the cataloguing data for my photos.
The printer’s installation disc is nowhere to be found. I think it must be buried in one of the several packing cases we do not have room to unpack. Fortunately, I had managed to download drivers from the manufacturer’s site when I got the new desktop and I still had copies.
I ran the installation file and Windows did the rest. The printer now works!
Installing ACDSee was easy enough. Before handing over the desktop for delousing, I had got the program to back up its cataloguing data. The backup file was still on the Lacie but was it usable? If not, then I could not imagine going through all my photos and trying to catalogue them again from scratch. Much information would be lost.
It was a relief, then, that the program restored the data without a hitch.
I mentioned that I had carefully kept backups of my system. This is what enabled me to recover from the breakdown and return to normal so quickly. However, looking back over recent events, I could see that my backup system was not adequate. It relied on backing up my three devices (PC hard disc, external disc drive and USB flash drive) to one another. I assumed this was sufficient on the grounds that they would never all fail at the same time. I am no longer so confident.
So I went up the road to see M again and buy a Seagate external hard disc drive. There is too much data on the Lacie to back it up onto the laptop’s hard disc so a second external drive is the only reasonable answer.
The plan is to back up the laptop and the flash drive to the Lacie and back up the Lacie to the Seagate.
Disc drives don’t last for ever and I have had the Lacie for a while already. It is almost certain to break down sooner or later. The Seagate has a 5-year guarantee which gives some idea of the expected lifetime of these devices. By the time the Lacie fails, the data should all have been safely backed up on the Seagate. I will then take this as the working external drive and buy another one for backups.
“So you are buying this to back up your backup?” asked M with a laugh, adding “Where then is your backup for the backup of the backup?”
It was meant humorously but there is a truth behind the joke: no matter how many backups you have, there is no final guarantee that you will not lose your data. All we can do is take reasonable precautions and hope they cover eventualities.
Tigger has been working a late shift all this week so all our activities have been occurring 2 hours later in the day than usual. In time we would get used to this but in the short term it is strangely unbalancing. I keep catching sight of the clock and wondering where the day went. Barely have we settled down for the evening when it seems to be time for bed. Today is Omelette Day (lunch will be 2 hours later than normal) so we will soon be back on our familiar timetable.