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How I Basically Threw $1,700 Out Into The Street

Photo Storage Tips

I have 3 words for y’all, ready?  Back. It. Up. And I’m not referring to dance moves, or rewinding a video tape (do they still have those?). No, I’m talking about photo storage. Let me “back it up” (PUN INTENDED) and start this story a while back, when I began following my good friend Jennifer’s blog, Baby Making Machine. She blogs about many things, and is quite spectacular. But I love her for the many, MANY tips on making and preserving memories with your family.

How I Basically Threw $1,700 In The Street

It didn’t take long after starting to follow Jennifer, that I realized I was totally unequipped in the photo storage department. It never used to matter too much because I would just empty photos onto a CD and throw them into a drawer to do… probably absolutely nothing with. But now, I’m learning to really utilize my camera and take good photos. Not to mention, I have a kid now… so those pictures mean a lot more. AND I have a blog, so I really need pretty easy access to all those photos on a very regular basis. So, I was a good girl, listened to Jennifer, and bought myself an external hard drive. I began using it to back up my computer and move photos over when I started to run out of room on my Mac. <big sigh of relief> Photos are safe. All is well.

NOPE. All was not well.

You see, somewhere along the line, I thought “Gee, wouldn’t it be easier to just save everything straight onto the external hard drive, rather than having to move everything over when it gets full?” The answer is yes, yes that is easier. But what I failed to realize, was that I unwittingly turned my back up into… well not the back up. So now it wasn’t being backed up anymore. Whoops.

One very recent evening, (can’t remember which because I’ve been in a hysterical haze since the “incident”) I was sitting in my bed, writing well into the night. So you know, my bum was getting sore because let’s face it… I’d been sitting for quite a while. So I made the life altering decision to shift positions. And that little box full of every single picture I’ve ever taken of my son… FELL off my bed. My back up hard drive crashed. Frantically, I plugged it back in and crossed all my fingers and toes hoping everything was fine. It wasn’t. It wouldn’t register at all on my computer.

All the lessons Jennifer taught came flooding back to me, and I suddenly realized that I had started using that as a hard drive and not a back up… and I never went and bought NEW back up!! How can I be so silly??? Tears y’all. So. Many. Tears.

external hard drive

Anyway, I called my IT guy and he recommended a data recovery company in San Antonio that he liked and recommended I send it in for a diagnostic to see what they think. I had to fill out a form, mail it in, and wait for a an email. The email would either say, “Yes we think we can fix it, and all we want is your first born child.” Or “No, we can’t fix it and now all the memories of your first born child are gone forever.” ……Do either of those sound like happy emails to you?? More tears.

As I was talking to my friend at work, I just kept saying… “I know its going to be expensive, but what am I supposed to do?? Just let those photos disappear forever? I mean, you can’t put a price on ALL the photos from the first 3 years of your child’s life!”

Then my cell phone buzzed with an email, and it turns out you CAN put a price on all those photos. It’s $1,700.

So listen up friends. Please learn from my mistake. Don’t do what I did. BACK IT UP people. Because it will happen to you, just when you least expect it! I had to get myself a whole new external hard drive too, since I killed mine. The (affiliate link: –>) Western Digital My Passport Ultra. With 3 terabytes, I have way more space than I’ll ever need and my favorite part? It can back up automatically to the cloud, so technically you’re getting 2 backups in 1. Pretty awesome.

Western Digital My Passport External Hard Drive

I wish I didn’t have to learn this costly lesson the hard way… Don’t make the same mistake I did. If you’re not already backing up your photos in at LEAST 1 extra place. Jump on it. Jennifer has amazing tips to back up your photo storage, so if you need ideas – she’s your girl.

Leah Sannar Blogger for Crohn's Disease

Find this and other great posts at my favorite link parties: The Shabby Nest

PS: I’m in Chicago this week for Younique Convention! Having a great time, but I just have one question. Where have THESE been all my life? I hate public restrooms… and I know we all do. But I have never seen these anywhere in my life. Have you??

toilet seat cover directionstoilet seat covers

22 comments… add one
  • Eric August 7, 2015, 6:15 am

    Ahhhh, backups.

    I also learned a hard lesson about data preservation years ago. In my case the only “backup” I has was in the cloud and I accidently lost those files. I now have copies of my copies of everything. I also use external drives (many of them) plus a service called Crashplan – for all the PC’s in my home.

  • Leah Sannar August 7, 2015, 10:45 am

    Yes! I love how prepared you are! It’s no fun that you had to learn the hard way (like me), but at least you’re prepared now. I’m going to be that super over the top crazy lady now. :o)

  • Liz Joiner August 7, 2015, 11:59 am

    Ugh!!!! you are so very right. i need to be smarter. I’ve been using my back up as the only source….oops. I need to make sure everything is there as well. So I have two copies of everything. All of my photos are there too…except i just don’t have enough space on my computer. I have over 50GB of pictures.

    I’m glad you got another back up, but I’m so sorry you had to learn the hardway, I’m going to learn from this and be smarter about backing up.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

    • Leah Sannar August 7, 2015, 1:48 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Liz! And yes, make sure you’re in good hands before something catastrophic like this happens to you! It was awful! Still not sure if my photos can be retrieved. Waiting to hear … Cross your fingers for me.

  • Aishwarya S August 7, 2015, 1:01 pm

    I’d have totally freaked out if this had happened to me. I usually store some photos in my mobile & all others arr backed up on my hard drive.

    • Leah Sannar August 7, 2015, 1:52 pm

      I know, it was awful! Just make sure you’re double (or triple) protected. :)

  • Brittany August 7, 2015, 4:04 pm

    I have one of these and I love it!
    Brittany recently posted…7 Powerful Images That Show the Beauty of BreastfeedingMy Profile

    • Leah Sannar August 7, 2015, 4:06 pm

      Oh good!! Then that means I bought a good one. I’m new to using it, but am LOVING it so far. :)

  • Cynthia @craftoflaughter August 7, 2015, 5:05 pm

    I am terrible about backing up but we actually pay for a daily back up service and it has served us well… on a number of occasions. I’m so sorry this has happened to you!
    Cynthia @craftoflaughter recently posted…Top Ten Crumbs: Easy, Frugal Ways to Date YourselfMy Profile

    • Leah Sannar August 7, 2015, 5:18 pm

      Thanks Cynthia! I learned my lesson well, don’t worry. :)

  • Mickey August 7, 2015, 7:45 pm

    This is a scary story! This is good information to have. To be honest I still print the photos that are most important to me. You have a very powerful personal story as well. I am a new follower on google+ I blog at mybashfullife.com, it would make me so happy if you had the chance to stop over to say hello. Have a great weekend!
    xoxo Mickey

    • Leah Sannar August 7, 2015, 9:16 pm

      Thanks Mickey! I’ll hop on over and check it out! Keep in touch. :)

  • annabelt @ geeks diet August 7, 2015, 9:28 pm

    Nightmare :( Sorry that happened to you. I can sympathise with the money side, since I totalled my car a few months ago. Not the most fun ways to spend money!
    annabelt @ geeks diet recently posted…Is Housework Exercise? Review of The Stepford Wives and ClairobicsMy Profile

    • Leah Sannar August 7, 2015, 11:37 pm

      You are definitely right about that! I’ve totaled two cars in my lifetime… that’s no fun either. :/

  • Auntie Blues August 8, 2015, 11:29 am

    Oh what a bummer! I’m quite a bit older than you, so my kids’ photos are actually paper–can you believe that??? LOL! I have been thinking about getting a personal hard drive, though, and this one looks pretty awesome. As a Chicago native, I’m glad to see you love the O’Hare potties as much as I do–is that not the coolest?
    Auntie Blues recently posted…Everyone’s an Artist with a Gelli PlateMy Profile

    • Leah Sannar August 8, 2015, 11:37 am

      It seriously is!!! Why isn’t every public toilet in America doing this?? It’s basically genius. And yes, so far I am loving the hard drive I bought. I would definitely recommend it. (That’s why I recommended it. :) Haha!

  • Rae August 8, 2015, 11:55 am

    I learned that lesson in law school. A project I had worked on alllll year was gone in an instant. After that, I started using Dropbox, iCloud storage, thumb drives… it’s excessive but I will never (hopefully) losing something I’ve poured my heart and soul into ever again.

    • Leah Sannar August 8, 2015, 11:58 am

      Agreed! I wish I had learned it before it cost me so much! :/

  • Hannah@SeeingtheLovely August 8, 2015, 8:21 pm

    What an awful feeling that is! My husband is a professional photographer, and is QUITE careful about backing up our photos as well as all of his clients’ photos. He has triple copies of everything, just in case, because how do you tell a bride you lost her wedding photos?
    Sorry you had to experience that, but thanks for reminding all of us! Thanks for a good post!
    Hannah@SeeingtheLovely recently posted…What I Learned from The Piano Guys about CreativityMy Profile

    • Leah Sannar August 8, 2015, 9:03 pm

      Oh my goodness, no! That would absolutely be the worst thing ever. Yes, I’ll be MUCH more careful next time. Believe me. :)

  • Emily @ The Innovative Mama August 10, 2015, 9:42 am

    I had a computer die on me with tons and tons of pictures that I had not backed up. Many of a dog I had that had just passed away shortly before the death of my hard drive. I was absolutely crushed, not just to lose all of those pictures but especially the pictures of my beloved pup. Worst feeling in the world! Now I back up my photos on Facebook, Snapfish, Flickr, etc. so I have them several places online as well as we have an external hard drive now too. So this way should electronics fail us, at least they’re backed up in all kinds of places on the internet. ;)

    • Leah Sannar August 10, 2015, 9:44 am

      Agreed Emily!! This has been such a nightmare for us. So sorry about the pictures of your dog! We are dog lovers in my house and that would be absolutely devastating. :/

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