Saved By The Elephant

I have a spreadsheet I keep on my laptop with which I keep track of my billable hours for work. The company has a tool, but I like to keep an independent check on it with my own records. Just in case, right? I click on the desktop shortcut I have setup for it and to my chagrin, it says “file not found”. This is not good. I search my laptop and sure enough, it’s gone.

All is not lost, however, since I have Windows Live Sync keeping copies of all my data from the laptop to a share on my server. Of course, the program works flawlessly by replicating the deletion and thereby removing the server copy of my file.

Not to worry, I think. I know that not too long ago, I set up Shadow Copies on the server, which keeps snapshots of changed files. The only problem with this is that it only goes back as far as when I turned it on, which was 2 weeks ago – AFTER the file in question had already been deleted.

My last hope: my online backup system – Elephant Drive. This, like Mozy and other online backup services, has a desktop client [or in my case a server client] that runs and copies files and changes up to the Internet for backup. This is exactly what happened shortly after July 2nd, which was the last time I changed this file.

A simple browse and right-click later, I was saving the file back into its old place on my laptop.

I like Elephant Drive for the main reason that all the other services wanted to charge me MUCH more money just to be able to install their client software on Windows Server. If I have a server, I must therefore be a business and be made of money or something. This is not the case – I’m just a geek with a server or 7 at home and want to keep all of my data and files in one place. So, for $4.95 per month, they let me run it.

It’s now proven its worth. While that particular file might not be worth the $35 I’ve spent so far, the experience I’ve just had certainly gives me a degree of comfort that my files are safe.

My recommendation to you is this: find a backup solution that works for you, but be sure to include automated off-site [or Internet] backup as part of it.

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