As computer users and technology consumers, we’ve all reached that terrifying moment in our lives at one point or another. We try and convince ourselves that it will never happen or that when it does we’ll be prepared for it. Hard drive failures are inevitable, they are designed to fail. The larger the hard drive storage volumes become the bigger the margins for error. There is simply no doubting the fact that like death and taxes, loss of data happens to us all at some point. The only question is – How much data will we lose? I’ve been backing up my iMac regularly to an external Seagate hard drive since 2009. All of this is being done automatically for me thanks to OS X’s trusty App, Time Machine. Prior to that when I was an exclusive Windows user I used to manually and painstakingly archive data to external drives, DVDs and other PCs.

In spite of my best efforts I have still occasionally dropped the ball on my backup regime and lost the occasional important file. In 2002 I lost tons of home movies when I accidentally formatted my Windows NT server that held several years worth of personal memories. In 2008 I was writing a pretty important work-related document and had forgotten to connect my Time Machine backup drive. I accidentally deleted the file from my desktop believing I had taken a copy of it to my external disk. A costly mistake that I have never repeated. This error came about because Time Machine currently does not allow users to schedule backups. So I like to sometimes leave unplugged and only connect it when it’s absolutely needed. That’s the problem with backup drives, you never know when your going to absolutely need them until sometimes it’s too late. Overall however I’ve been extremely lucky and beyond these two isolated incidents I am yet to suffer a truly catastrophic data loss. Hard drives have died on me in the past but I’ve always kept safe copies of most of my data somewhere. However I’m interesting in hearing your data loss sob stories, so please feel free to leave comments below.

In today’s Tech Poll I’m asking you: How often do you backup your hard drive?

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