Column

The day my laptop died

Shane O'Neill

As a storage news writer, I hear chilling tales of backup failures all the time. But recently, I had my own little dance with data loss when the hard drive in my laptop suddenly, and unexpectedly, died.

Yes, my number was up. It happens to the best of us.

At first, I felt the stomach-turning anxiety that comes with having your important files go bye-bye. But I simmered down when one of our IT guys here at TechTarget said he could restore my e-mail from our Exchange server, and that any files saved in our shared network drives would be fine.

But here's the thing: I keep my most pressing files on my desktop and in personal folders not backed up on a server. They're gone now.

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At least none of the files were important to my company and all could be restored from old e-mails, the Web or my own memory. End -users are infamously lazy about backing up their own data. But what about the engineer with airplane designs on his laptop? Or the project manager with a presentation vital to the company's success? Can they afford to be lazy about their own backups?

Ironically, my hard drive crashed while I was writing a story about companies backing up remote laptops and desktops. Were the backup Gods sending me a message?

In any case, most laptops these days exist outside the data center, and are frequently neglected. Based on my conversations with users, analysts and vendors, desktop protection software and the outsourcing of laptop and desktop protection will gain steam in the next year.

I hope so, because although the death of my laptop caused me no irreparable harm, can the same be said of your laptop or the millions of company laptops traveling around the world?


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