Backups: Blame anyone but yourself

Posted on by Mike Evans

A Canadian customer is suing Apple for $25,000 compensation because his Time Capsule failed and he lost his photographs, including the shot of the birth of his first child. 

This is another sad instance of the current odious culture of blame. Ther word accident has been written out of the language and replaced by blame. Whatever happens, however improvident you are, someone else is always to blame and must be sued. 

I know nothing about Canadian law, but I would be surprised if this claim is upheld. Apple is definitely not at fault as far as I can see. All disks can fail and there is absolutely no way Apple can be blamed if this happens and there is consequential loss. The simple, highly unpalatable conclusion is that you have to look after your own backups and make absolutely sure you are covered whatever happens. 

This means that one disk, whether it be a Time Capsule or a portable USB stick, is not enough. You must have at least two backups of vital material, ideally with one of those disks stored in another location.

Apple’s Time Machine is an admirable built-in feature and its crowing glory is the ability to “go back in time” and find files that have been deleted or incorrectly updated. It isn’t a be-all-and-end-all backup solution.

In addition to Time Machine I have a separate external disk backup, with sequential daily updates, and rely on Dropbox for cloud storage of current data and media. Archive material, including photographs, is stored in a separate backup off-site. I reckon I am pretty well covered.

If all this fails I have only myself to blame. I would not even think of trying to blame Apple, Seagate, Western Digital or Drobo. 

∞ Permalink