It seems apropos with all the recent chatter about our country’s Constitution to discuss a well known bon mot from an eminently quotable founder, Benjamin Franklin.
Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.Benjamin Franklin, 1789
I make no claim on being nearly as clever or influential as our esteemed
sixth president founding father, but I can say with some confidence that we should add a third certainty: hard drive failure. If my thirty-odd years of working in technology has taught me anything, it’s that devices can and will fail. Whether it’s a device that is spinning magnetic platters at thousands of revolutions per minute, or tiny bits of metal and mineral pushing millions of tiny sparks around an object the size of your thumb nail, the laws of nature say that at some point, chaos wins and your orderly world of ones and zeroes turns into a lot of, “Oh no’s…”
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
You can probably guess who said that, right? I’m pretty sure Mr. Franklin would have felt right at home with today’s technology. This week alone I’ve seen more hard drives fail than feels comfortable, and in at least 2 of those cases, the individuals did not have a backup of their data.
Mechanically, all hard drives will inevitably fail. Even though most models are supposedly built to run for years of non-stop operation, statistically, we are seeing that the average life span of a spinning hard drive to be between four and six years. Just because you’ve got a hard drive that seems to have beaten the odds and is still performing like a champ, the opposite is way more likely – you are working on borrowed time. And the same goes for drives that are younger – just because they haven’t hit their expiration date doesn’t mean something can’t go wrong.
Instead of planning to fail, why not plan for failure by backing up your data? For less than $100 a year you could be backing your data to the cloud with essentially zero effort. It almost takes more effort to not back up your data given how pushy Microsoft is with OneDrive, so why aren’t you you backing up your most important digital assets?
Image courtest of Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net