Bob Fearnley - Random Ramblings

Random ramblings about computers, computing, etc as and when they occur to me, plus an occasional post about the courses I am involved in.
1 minute reading time (299 words)

Computer Backup - A Salutary Lesson


  • You are backing up your computer, aren't you? 
  • Photos, special and valuable documents, etc?
  • You have more than one copy of anything really important?

We have my daughter living with us during lock-down and yesterday her external backup drive fell from the bed onto a carpeted floor. Not so bad you may think, but it no longer works, probably because it was in use at the time.  When turned on you can hear it start to spin, there are a few clicks and the spinning stops - Oh dear. 

On this drive are all her photos: world travel photos, sailing photos while working on super-yachts (the Med to Caribbean, South Africa to Malta and many, many more) holiday pictures and, recently, most of her baby & toddler pictures - all irreplaceable.  In the past I have managed to recover files from many problem hard drives but this one is far beyond my facilities and experience.

We have contacted a recovery company who have quoted  a minimum of £395 for any recovered files although they do offer a 'no find, no fee service'.

There are several morals to this story:

  • Always back up and keep at least two copies of valuable files.
  • If really concerned then copy files to DVDs and keep them sealed up and in the garage.
  • Don't, as so many youngsters do, work with laptops and backup drives on a bed or any other unstable surface!
  • If you get into this situation don't keep trying the drive as every attempt to get it going can cause more damage.


I have three copies of my photos, one is the 'live' copy on my computer.  The others are on two more hard drives in a separate box that sits on the shelf in my office.


Ambling in the time of Corona
Ambling - February 2020 - Hankley Common (South)


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