The importance of backing up stuff!

I just wanted to share a wee drama I had today and I really would hate it to happen to anyone else!

Recently my old faithful and reliable camera, that I effectively hijacked from the family to take gardening photos, died.  The memory card held within was jam packed with photos proudly taken of my awesome produce, with the occasional birthday party, parental proudness and cute moments – although with growing boys “cute moments” are getting fewer and far between!

My poor old reliable camera ~ Photo taken with Hubby the Un-Gardener's phone

The camera had been my constant gardening companion for years.  The cord was all grubby and I was sure there was dust in the focus bit that zooms out (I’m not a photography expert, more a point and shoot kind of a girl) because it made a funny crunching sound when it zoomed in on something.  It was old and battered, but it did the job.  That was until I dropped it!  So I convinced Hubby the Un-Gardener that in this day and age that it is pointless not having a decent camera to catch those all-important special moments, although I neglected to mention that more often than not we have our phones with us and they take pretty decent pictures these days.  But he saw reason and off we went and brought a shiny new camera (in black so the dirt won’t show as much!)

My shiny new camera - with a possible bad streak! ~ Photo taken with Hubby the Un-Gardener's phone!

I figured all I have to do is swap the SD card over and bobs your uncle, we’re back in business and I was in business –  for about a week.  Then I popped the SD card into the computer to have a look and got the biggest shock – the kind that leaves a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach as you fight the waves of nausea.  They were gone.  My photos – just gone.  The ones taken with the new camera were all still there – taunting me as if to say:  “get those grubby old shots out of my memory space.”

The offending SD card and cause of all this fuss. ~ Photo taken with Hubby the Un-Gardener's phone!

Now the problem was that I hadn’t been very good with backing up.  Every time I looked at the photos I’d think – I should do something with those, and luckily for me, occasionally I’d drag a whole lot across to the computer, but I never got round to deleting them off the SD card.  Which is probably more likely to be the cause than a new camera with malicious intent!  There were about 2000 photos on my SD card – mostly of the garden!  Frustratingly the properties function shows the card is almost full, but I just can’t get to them!

Backup plan A ~ Photo taken with Hubby the Un-Gardener's phone!

So now I have gone into back up overdrive, I have “very important files” backed up to two alternating memory sticks, a CD and an external hard drive and sent to a specially opened Gmail account.  Not so important stuff is backed up to CD and external hard drive.  Now all I need to do is to remember the pain of losing data and train myself to back up routinely.

Back up plan B ~ Photo taken with Hubby the Un-Gardener's phone!

I figure I have only really lost photos taken since January and while it is sad to think the birthday party photos and other memorable moments are gone, we still have the memories in our heads and hearts and I since we switched to digital I had never printed any out anyway!  The garden photos can be retaken next season and tales of the summer of 2012 can be like a good “the one that got away” fishing story:  You should have seen how fabulous my garden was that season – not a weed in sight (wink wink nod nod!)

And that old SD card, well I think I need to replace it as I don’t want to risk losing more memories, but I shall label it “stuffed SD card” and pack it way somewhere safe so that in the advent of a miracle it should start working again, I’ll be able to back it up.

Come again soon – but back up your stuff before you do!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

8 thoughts on “The importance of backing up stuff!

  1. Hey, Lynda from the Farmlet here (You visited me today. Thanks!) with a possible solution…
    Have you taken your full card to a photography shop? You may be surprised, but they may be able to retrieve the data from that card, and your shots may not be lost! I would call a few places and check before driving all over town, but I think that they should be able to do that, especially if the card is showing FULL. 😉

    1. Hi Lynda, thanks so much for your advice, we have a friend who has a computer business and has saved our bacon on many occasions so I might ask him if there is any hope next time he comes over. I bought a new SD card yesterday so I’m back in business! Enjoy your garden. Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. Sarah, the memory card internally stores stuff in banks of data. When you run out of room on one bank, it switches over to the next one. If the structure of the data on one of the banks is dodgy, it may not display the data in that bank, but everything is still there. Get your friend to look at the card with an application called “SwissKnife”. It should let you read any data on a damaged bank and save it on your computer. You also should get a new memory card because they don’t last forever and this one may be failing.

    1. Thanks heaps, I’ll get it checked out! I bought a new one yesterday so I’m good to go! This time I will be more diligent with my backing up! Cheers Sarah : o )

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