Back in November I found out about an online backup service called Mozy. For $5 a month, you get unlimited online backup. The software is easy to use. The intitial backup did take an extremely long time to run (I left it running overnight and even then it took a few days if I remember correctly) but since then the backups have been fairly quick and I have been able to run them in the background.

I realized that with all my photos, I really needed something that was idiot proof (i.e. automatic). I had been doing manual backups to an external hard drive when I remembered (maybe once a month?) I realized that this was extremely risky (and time consuming to do) so the idea that Mozy would take care of all that for me was appealing.

Over the past month or two, my computer has been acting really sluggish. I kept getting disk full errors and it did not matter how much clean-up or compression I did, I could not consistently get enough free disk space. This is not surprising, as my photos take up a lot of room and I have been playing around with Photoshop Elements editing features more lately. This means that I eat through a lot of hard drive storage. I was outgrowing my computer.

To get more room, I moved 4 years of photos (1998-2002) off my hard drive and onto my external hard drive. This worried me, because they would no longer be included in my Mozy backup. But I figured that I did not do much with that drive, so they would be ok. However, I was soon getting Disk Full errors again.

Yup. Time for a new computer, and with my 40th birthday coming up in June, an early birthday present seemed a perfect way to rationalize it. But what kind should I get? I have always been a PC person. No particular reason, probably because that is what I used mostly at work and what I was comfortable using. But back in February (in time for his birthday), Jeff, the ultimate PC and Microsoft guy, came home with a Mac. Seeing as how most of what I do is photography related, I decided to make the switch.

So two days ago, Jeff brought home my very own MacBook. I have been having fun playing around with it, figuring out how to transfer licenses, getting everything set up, moving files. And then disaster struck.

I was using my external hard drive to copy files between my computers and I unplugged it instead of "ejecting" it (this seems to be a mac thing). When I connected it again, it had an error saying that it was not readable! I tried rebooting, connecting it to other machines, to no avail. I have no idea what happened. But it seems to be dead.

Now this would not have been too big of a deal except for the fact that I had not copied over those 4 years of photos yet! Those photos for which I did not have another copy! Jeff said that he would take the drive into the office and see if he could salvage them, but I had no idea if that would work.

But then I remembered Mozy. I was not sure how long they kept copies once files were deleted from your computer, but I figured it was worth checking. And lo and behold, all the photos where there! It was easy peasy to restore them to my PC where they are now sitting while we try to figure out how we are going to transfer the rest of the files. Whew!

Needless to say, I strongly recommend Mozy, especially if you have irreplaceable files like photos. Don't wait until something crashes.

And now I need to get back to setting up my Mac. It is taking a bit of getting used to…some things are definitely different but so far I like it. And can I say how awesome it is to have a HUGE hard drive again?

Stephanie (who has not copied over her signature file to the new Mac yet!)

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