Today I got a message from my Mac Time Machine that it couldn't verify my backup, and wanted to start over. Since all is working fine on my computer right now, no big deal, right?
Well, no big deal, comparatively. I lose all the versions of all my documents and files, dating back many many months. Not a killer, I guess. But what if something goes wrong (or is wrong but I don't know it yet) while that new backup is being made? If my hard drive dies or my computer crashes before I have a new backup, that would be a problem.
Think of your backup as a safety net. Think of your data as you on a high wire. There you are, a few hundred feet up in the air, when your assistant hollers up, "Hey! The safety net just frickin' disappeared! I'm going to go get a new one. I'll be back in a few hours, maybe a day or so."
It would be nice to have a spare safety net, no? You didn't even know your thesis, dissertation, priceless photos and rare bootleg recordings were engaged in regular death defying feats!
Hard drives are big and cheap these days. That's good and bad. Good because they're affordable, bad because they aren't as dependable as they used to be and because you can store so much stuff on one of them that the loss of a drive is almost always catastrophic.
Develop a daily backup strategy. On a Mac, Time Machine is good. Then, backup the backup on a regular basis. Carbon Copy Cloner, Crash Plan, and Mozy are all excellent ideas. And don't forget