The Importance of Back Ups

Last week I had a heart stopping moment.

I plugged a memory stick in to my computer’s USB port and… nothing. Tried a different port and received the computer equivalent of a raspberry accompanied by an error message saying that the stick was corrupted.

Had it been an empty stick then no problem, but this one contained all my reference photos of the six British deer species. Admittedly I’m a wildlife artist rather than a photographer so none of the photos were prize winners, but some were irreplaceable.  A few more were ones I needed to use for my next painting. All…. gone.

After the initial panic I realised some photos were on my old computer, so that was the Sika deer images retrieved. Then I remembered I’d backed up some of the images so the Roe, Red and Chinese Water Deer photos were safe.

Fallow DeerI hadn’t backed up recently though so the fallow and muntjac were gone. Fallow could be replaced with a trip to the local deer park, though the exact photos I’d wanted to use couldn’t be exactly replicated. Muntjac – difficult, they’re such a secretive species so are difficult to sketch or photograph.

So not as bad a situation as I’d feared, but bad enough. Bad enough to kick myself for not being more disciplined about backing up. After all, how many times have we all been told about the importance of backing up?

So now I add my voice to that message. Whatever images or information you have on your computer – can you afford to lose them? If not, BACK THEM UP.

My story has a happy ending. Once I’d re-booted the computer it recognised the memory stick again so apparently it wasn’t corrupted after all. I’ve made up my mind to be more conscientious about back ups in future though – next time I may not be so lucky.

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About Jackie Garner

Wildlife artist.
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