Lisa Leonard Designs

i need back up.

December 4th | older posts



my hard drive crashed yesterday.  i think it might be gone completely.  and i didn’t back anything up.  all my photos are gone.  our good friends are also mac specialists and they are trying to recover my pics.  i’m hoping and trying not to be too sad.  i found this pretty pinecone pic in my picnik file.  and i’m so thankful i have so much documented here on the blog.  do you back-up all your photos and documents?

59 Responses

  1. amy kirkland says:

    This has been my very fear for about 6 months now. Have I done anything about it? Not really. Thank you for the reminder. I would be so sad if I lost all my pictures. I hope that everything works out for you!! I will be praying!!

  2. Jenny says:

    We try to. We have macs as well. I have to let you know that my husband ordered one of your necklaces for me for Christmas and I could not be more excited! I can’t wait to see which one he picked!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Oh,, my heart goes out to you. I back up on an external hard drive. We have a friend who is a computer guru who has always told us to plan on our comuter failing–that way if it does, it is an aggrevation, not a disaster.

  4. Kylee says:

    I am terrified of losing my photos so I just got an external hard drive. I hope they can recover your files and photos!

  5. Robin says:

    My sister-in-law has a great idea for preventing this. She buys thumb drives for each year and each month uploads all new photos to that year’s drive. Then she puts them in her fire proof safe. I need to do that.

    On our trip to Europe, I formatted the disk in my digital camera accidentally and lost all pictures of Italy, France, and Monaco. I cried and cried. Luckily, my dad was able to recover about 90% of them. I’m so sorry this happened. I hope you can get them back! I also upload a lot of photos to Shutterfly just in case my computer ever crashes.

  6. laurie eller says:

    not like i should. you’d think by now that we would be smarter, right? knowing how vulnerable we are to these sorts of things happening? and all our wonderful photos just stick inside these machines? ugh.

    last december i fell (going up the stairs, btw) with my old laptop and lost everything. with the new computer i have been better about saving things to an external hard drive. i keep all my photos in a file and every few months i move everything to the external. it’s not that difficult or time consuming to do, and it’s a good peace of mind.

    good luck lisa. you’re photos are absolutely priceless indeed and so beautiful, that it makes me sad just knowing you might have lost everything. i hope you get them back. :)

  7. Deanna says:

    definitely “empathizing” with you. my laptop crashed a few years ago and I thought I would lose so many photos – from my college grad to scanned “heritage” photos. after some MAJOR tears, sadness, heartache, lecturing myself about needing to back-up – a wonderful tech retrieved everything under my documents. (but I have not learned my lesson – I need to back-up about 2 years of data now. your post is a much-needed reminder.) i sure hope your photos are recovered.

  8. kelly says:

    CARBONITE! It backs me up automatically and I don’t even have to think about it. Please consider it. It’s only about $50 a year. A very small price to pay for the peace of mind. I’ve had external issues in the past so I like having it done offsite and knowing that it’s just done. :) I hope they get some of your stuff back… :( I’m so sad for you.

  9. Jenifer says:

    I don’t have any back-ups and that was on my list of to-do’s, to go get an external hard drive to put everything on.

    Hope they are able to recover everything, I would be crying. :(

  10. lori says:

    yes every few weeks I try to move stuff, mostly pictures billing info to my external hard drive. Hopefully they can find all your stuff. About 2 mos ago my computer crashed ( or something) but luckily I was able to retreive all of the info – that was scary though. good luck

  11. Kathy says:

    Every time I unload my camera card I make a cd and put it in a notebook. I also make my daughter a copy of the cd. I would be crushed if I lost all the pictures of my grandchildren. My husband also back up the computer. Good luck!

  12. tiffany says:

    Oh man! We haven’t backed-up in probably 2 years! Yikes! I would be beyond devasted if we lost all our photos – fortunately you do have the blog! I will say a prayer your friends are able to recover your hard drive. So sorry Lisa – what a lousey thing to be dealing with especially this time of year.

    Guess I will be getting some flash drives tomorrow and backing up this weekend.

    Take care!

  13. Our home was broken into in April, and my laptop was stolen. All of our pictures — from our wedding, to the birth of our son, our first home — GONE. Thank God for what I had on FB and my blog. But it as a hard, hard lesson to learn.

    Now, we back up our photos weekly.

  14. I got a virus on my laptop last week and have a new hard drive on it’s way now. I hope hubby can save my photos. Such a wakeup call. Sigh.

    Good luck with it.

  15. Kathy Cox says:

    Oh, Lisa, I am so sorry…I know how you feel. I had my laptop and my Nikon D300 stolen a few months ago and I just cried and cried. Now, everything goes right onto a 1.5 TB external hard drive the minute I get home with pictures. And I am thinking of getting another to rotate out and keep one off site. Hopefully, they will be able to get some of your stuff off your old computer. If not, I bet you have lots of friends and family that will make copies of all they have and give to you.

  16. Trina Walker says:

    Lisa, I am so sorry. Ironically, I am going through the same thing right now because this very thing has happened to me TOO many times to count and I have lost photos after photos. It is so heartbreaking. So as I type, I am doing one massive back up. I don’t want this happening again. I have learned to at least save all of my photos onto Costco. com in albums. Keep us posted on if you can recover your files. xoxo

  17. Kristin says:

    I’m so sorry! My DH is a computer guy, so yes we do back stuff up, but I know most people don’t. It’s one of my husbands biggest pet peeves.

  18. Melinda says:

    I am so sorry. Hopefully some of your documents and photos can be recovered. I invested in an external hard drive, on which I back up the contents of my computer (photos, music, documents). It is also handy for me when I want to transport documents to work. The drive is small enough that I can pop it into my fire safe just in case the house burns down or something.

  19. ginny says:

    I back up with and LOVE it. It is the fastest online back up service I have ever used. $5 a month per computer and great / fast restoring. Plus it is off site so you don’t have to worry about theft from your office. Good luck getting your data/images back!!

  20. Jenn says:

    Most of my favorite photos get put into Facebook albums, so the pictures wouldn’t be such a big issue, but I should definitely back up documents.

    I really hope they can recover your stuff!!!

  21. Erin says:

    Oh no!! I am so sorry- the same thing happened to me this past year.. I lost all of my pictures of my baby girl’s birth this past February and we have no pictures of Christmas ’08! I cried for weeks (seriously)- I was sick over it and so mad at myself for not backing up. I was thankful that I had pictures on my Facebook page b/c otherwise I would have had no pictures of about a one year time frame of our family. I still have the hard drive (several people have tried to recover, but haven’t been able to). My husband’s still confident we’ll get them back, but I think he just says that to keep me calm!! :)
    I hope that you can recover your photos.

  22. Kristi says:

    Yes! I have an external hard drive that i back up to. I use a free shareware program that does it automatically on schedule, I just had to set up what I wanted it to backup.

    My photographer friend said you should always have your photos in 2 places. An external hard drive is a great idea, but what if that suddenly won’t turn on? Burning DVD’s is often a good plan….

  23. Jen says:

    I do now! I finally got an external hard drive (it was a birthday gift from my parents) and I have now backed up all of my pictures (athough I did think I lost some of my pictures but they somehow made it into another folder?) and my music. Other docs that I don’t need all of the time, I’ve permanently moved to the external drive. Prior to getting my external drive I was concerned that if my computer crashed (and with all of the stuff on it, it might!), I would lose everything.

    That stinks about your pictures but I think there is a way for you to be able to recover the pictures and any other docs you lost. It will take someone who knows macs though so luckily you have friends that do! :-) Good luck!

  24. Dena says:

    We do have a big external drive hooked to our mac that backs up several times a day. I also upload all my pics to Flickr so if anything were to happen I know I have all of them there.

  25. Misty Matz says:

    1) So sorry!!! 2) I thought macs didn’t crash? 3) I second Carbonite, although I don’t personally use it.
    I have an external hard drive (which is a must with any business), and I copy everything onto disks for my business…EVERYTHING from clients pictures to all my templates and label lists.
    A crash is a pain no matter what; but the peace of having everything in another place takes the edge off.
    Another thing to back up is your blog, because they can crash too.
    And finally, sooo sorry…chin up, little guppy!

  26. Corinne says:

    Oh Lisa! My heart just broke for you. It happened to us once, before we have kids. We now have everything on our server, and just hope and pray that something doesn’t happen to it. But that is one good thing for blogs :)
    Good luck! I hope they can recover some.

  27. Tiffany says:

    Argh. Not like I should!! And this post just reminded me that I really, really need to. So sorry Lisa. I hope they are able to recover your files! :(

  28. wendy says:

    no, but I should! Good luck with your recovery!!!

  29. Jackie says:

    I am soooooo S-A-D for you. I am a teacher and I kept EVERYTHING on this cute little flash drive thing. Back in September, I somehow pulled it out of my computer too hard and BYE-BYE files! It had three years worth of “teaching stuff” on it–I was sooooooooooo, soooooooooo, soooooooooo upset. I’m feelin’ for you! I will say a prayer that the “techy” guys are able to recover some photos–


  30. Susan Bowen says:

    Oh – how frustrating and sad! I think I’ll take advantage of an unexpected evening in to back up my photos….

  31. Elizabeth says:

    oh no! I also use an external hard drive; I dread the loss of photos; hope yours can be recovered!!

  32. Jennifer says:

    Oh no, I hope you can recover them all.

  33. Stephanie says:

    We have something called a Time Capsule – which is by Apple. It automatically and wirelessly backs up all of our info – documents, photos, music… and it’s smaller than a dinner plate. You should check into it. Any Apple store would have it. =-)

  34. denise says:

    i am so sorry.

    we back up now on a additional external hard drives (michael being a photographer) using a time machine (time capsule by mac).

    our hard drive crashed in 2005. we lost everything from 2003-2005 (josie ages 1-3, birthday parties, first days of kindergarten…so much. never recovered). and no one else has pix because michael is the “photographer.” and so i sweetly hope that when i get hmoe to jesus, in my place he has prepared for me, he will have my pix in my albums, on my walls.

    i know that picassa also automatically grabs the photos i have on my blog and places them in an album there. have you looked to see what you have there?

    and i’m so sorry.

  35. Yes, I almost lost everything when I had a computer virus about a year ago. I was able to backup my computer before the had to reformat my computer. I back it up to an external hard drive. I’ve since had to reformat my computer again, so I do backups about once a month. If you use Windows Live Writer to do your blog writing and then upload that to your blog, it will copy automatically copy the pictures to Picassa, even those that are stored in other places on the web. Sorry you are having this problem. It’s very frustrating. Karen

  36. kristen says:

    I feel your pain! I had my external drive crash this summer. It was my only place I had stored photos…thinking I was safe if my computer crashed. Duh, the external drive crashed. Several months later I am happy to report that I was able to have all my photos recovered and they are sitting on DVDs waiting for me to decide how to back them up. I’m not quick to learn, am I? Grrrrrr…I think we’ve decided to get another external drive but also add some online back up as well as have a back up external that my dad and I will share…backing up each other’s computers. Sheesh…this digital age is confusing. I’m so sorry…I know exactly how you feel right now…it’s fresh in my mind!

  37. Tara Telford says:

    Most definitely. Here’s a little blog my Apple loving husband wrote this year. We’re all Mac all the time in this house.

    Also note, that in this year alone we have lost both our internal HD (see my husband’s blog post) as well as last month we lost our external drive (time machine). Lucky for us it did not happen at the same time.

    Basically, if you have two copies of everything at all times and you should be safe.

  38. Una says:

    Wow.. that’s dreaadful. I take loads of photos, and have them all on a USB-stick which is in a different town, in a safe! But.. I only just recently did this! You might say I’ve been a bit lucky in the past, just managing to save what I had RIGHT before the PC up and died on me.. Hope you’ll be able to salvage most of it!

  39. angie says:

    OH NO! I had the same thing happen to me last year. i was devastated. I was able to salvage photos from my boyfriend & various other photo hosting sites. Needless to say, I purchased a external hard drive…
    Hoping all will work out for you!

  40. Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear your computer crashed. I did what many commenters have done; transferred pics to CDs or one of those little removable hard drive thingies.
    Here’s hoping your friends will be able to recover most of your information and pictures. :-)

  41. Amy says:

    This happened to us once…lost the pics for the 2nd six months of our son’s life. We sent our drive to a company in CA that specializes in retrieval. The outcome was not good:( We have since bought a home server and an external drive….so worth the money. Good luck to you…the best memories are locked within our minds eye.

  42. My husband and I back all our files up on and it costs us about $50/year, which gives us enough space to backup all our photos, videos, music and documents. My heart goes out to you, though. It’s one of those things we tend to put off until something like this happens. The only reason we’re so on top of things is because my husband is a computer programmer and has seen systems crazy way too many times.

  43. Melanie says:

    I have Carbonite. It backs it all up offline. It is worth the $50.00 a year.

  44. Kristin says:

    We bought a external hard drive because I was so nervous about losing pictures. We uploaded our photos at that time (probably need to do it again soon too) and then we store it my mother/father in laws in case of a fire. I also use Snapfish for ordering pictures so all my favorites are uploaded there too. PRAYING that you get your pictures back!

  45. beth says:

    oh lisa…
    my fingers are crossed for you….
    and we use the apple time capsule/external hard drive thing for my mac….
    many of my photos are also on my blog and flickr….so I guess that makes me feel better too, but it still isn’t the same as having everything….

    I hope the mac specialists can get everything back for you….

  46. Lisa says:

    Yes, but not nearly often enough…

  47. Emma says:

    Oh Lisa, I hope you can recover something. Consider sending it to DriveSavers before you tinker too much with it. That was Mac Geniuses tell folks with failed hard drives.. DriveSavers are data recovery experts. Good luck.

  48. Roxy says:

    Ooh, what a horrible sinking feeling! But I’m hoping you will have success in reviving it enough to get what you need off of it – our tech people at work (we all use macs) are very good at getting information off crashed hard drives. I’m pretty confident someone will be able to get your good stuff back!

    (And I’m rotten at backing stuff up. Get an external hard drive and just hook it up so time machine can take care of your backing up.)

  49. michelle says:

    OMG that has almost happened and i cried and cried until i figured it out somehow they werent completely lost…but quess what i still havent backed up my files, i should of learned my lesson the first time….add to to do list.

  50. Laura says:

    Since my husband is a computer expert, he has learned a valuable lesson. He always has two back-up because one of the back-up had crashed on us. Thus, I know how have you felt this way. Wish you the best of luck on retrieving on everything you had in store.

  51. Lynn says:

    I am so very sorry to hear this has happened to you. It happened to me a year ago, and our hard drive was only a few months old at the time. My husband said he would pay whatever it cost to recover our photos. He kept his word and to this day I still have no idea how much it cost, but I am so very grateful. I store all my photos on an external hard drive as well as DVDs. Our laptop (excluding the external hard drive) is backed up thanks to Carbonite whenever we use the internet. Sending positive thoughts your way for a 100% recovery of your photos.

  52. Lynn says:

    I know I just posted, but I wanted to mention that I really think that having 2 backups is a good idea. I have not had my computer hard drive crash, but the external hard drive crashed only a few months after owning it. Apparently, it was a lemon. So now that I have a new external hard drive I am also backing up all my photos and files to DVDs. I know some people who use an external hard drive as their only backup. That was me as well until my external hard drive crashed and I was left with nothing until all was recovered. Double backups is the way to go. Wishing you the best of luck.

  53. lv says:

    we started using dropbox, it backs up on your computer, internet and on anybody else’s computer that has privileges to the folder. Its not a good solution for large amount of photos, but for important documents its not bad. We also have a drobo and a few portable hardrives (professional photographers). And majority of our work is sitting in Photoshelter. You can also set-up an image bank from there, if you want. Its a professional portal for professional togs. Feel you on the loss of family pics, i by accident did not copy my family images when moving overseas…Hope you can recover, they are pretty amazing at recovery these days.

  54. Melanie says:

    My iMac hard drive crashed this summer. Luckily, I had a little notice because it started misbehaving first and I was able to get a lot, but not all, of my data from the hard drive. Mine was a 2.5 year old iMac and the hard drive was gone. The Apple store said that nothing could be done. I got a new computer out of the ordeal (yea for the Apple Care program), but honestly, I want my old white iMac back with all the stuff on it that I lost. Now I back up to an external hard drive using Time Machine and I back up all my photos in two places manually. Good luck with the recovery.

  55. Cheryl says:

    Yes I back up everything – in two places actually I and I also put everything on a CD.:)

    I am sure they will recover them…so don’t be sad yet:)

  56. banannie says:

    Uuuugh, huge bummer! I use Carbonite, once you set it up, you never touch it again, and it backs up everything! I got it when a friend lost everything in a burglary. good luck.

  57. Debbie says:

    Oh no! You know, I haven’t backed up in a year or so. Should probably do that. I have uploaded lots of pics to online sites.

  58. I’m so crazy about backing up our pictures. I back them up on our computer, an external drive, I upload them to Wal-Mart and then I have them burned on a disc and I give the disc to my Mom. That way if something were to happen to our house then someone else would have our pictures. An external drive will only back up your computer, but you need to have a copy elsewhere besides your house. So sorry you lost your stuff, but you never know, a lot of times you can still retrieve stuff even when your hardrive crashes. Good Luck!

  59. Ros says:

    we use carbonite! we have had computers crash in the past and lost pictures and documents that we were never able to recover! after that, i had hubby back up everything. finally, he realized that something like Carbonite would do it everytime something new was saved on the computer and it is worth every penny!!

    so happy for you that he was able to recover everything for you!!!

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