Backup, Backup, Backup

Backup, backup and backup again must be the definite rule for safety in data retention, including your browser bookmarks.

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

I am speaking here rather from bitter experience having recently had a crash of Firefox – during the installation of the latest update/new version, e.g. – where none of the settings were retained and all bookmarks therefore were wiped. Please no one ask me how and why this happened and what happened. But, each and every single bookmark of mine was lost when Firefox restarted. It was like if this Firefox was a complete new and clean installation and in fact it behaved just like such.

And no, before you now all ask, I had not exported the bookmarks, as I indeed used to do some years ago. Why not? Because, I must have thought that nothing would happen and it also was one of those “I'll do that later” things. The “later” never happened.

Suffice to say, and you all will have guessed that by now, that I was not a happy bunny when I found out what had happened. The sad fact is that I lost thousands of website links, amongst those many that I used to visit and to a degree have to visit on a regular, even daily, basis. Now I must slowly rebuild those most important ones before I can even begin to think about finding the others again that I lost. Some, in fact, will be irretrievably lost as I cannot even remember what they were.

One of the most annoying parts of this story is that I have yahoo My Web 2.0 and Yahoo Bookmarks where I have a great number of pages stored, but none of those important ones that I lost in the “crash”, though a lot of the pages that are store online were also on my browser on the PC. So, some little restoration is possible that way.

I had always intended to put all my bookmarks for online access onto Yahoo Bookmarks but never have gotten around to it. Why I never did it beats me as many others were saves to My Web 2.0 on a regular basis.

While this is a hard and painful lesson to learn this incident has more than definitely taught me the importance of back up my data but not just all documents, photos; that is to say, all general work, which I keep stored off the main drive of the PC and on a secondary USB network drive in case of a PC crash, but every bit of data including all my browser bookmarks. I do not want to lose those ever again.

Your settings are not as important as the like of important links, you address book (this reminds me that I have not backed that one up for a while either) and your work.

Settings can be relatively simple and easily be rebuilt in a few minutes to maybe an hour or so at the maximum but the rest can take a lot, lot longer to restore and reestablish and some stuff may never be gotten back.

I feel utterly devastated – or at least felt thus – having lost all my web links, some of which were very important indeed in business terms and are a loss that cannot even be estimated. But there is nothing that can be done ofter such an even except making sure that it cannot happen again, that is to say that backups are being kept, off-line and online, if possible.

The most annoying part, as I have indicated already is that (1) I have bookmarks, for instance, stored online with Yahoo Bookmarks where all could have been and which can so easily be exported and then reinstalled into the browser and (2) that with Firefox it is so simple to do regular exports of bookmarks that can be saved on the hard disk.

Lesson learned, however. So, take heed and always back up your data, including your bookmarks.

© M Smith (Veshengro), May 2008