Everyone working in the IT knows that the most number one rule is to always create a backup before making any changes. This is not only something you should do when working in the IT, but be sure to do this with any digital form of data that you own. Trust me. Do this or else you will be sorry!
After 2 of my external hard drives crashed within 1.5 years I’ve learned the hard way what it is like to lose everything you’ve worked on so hard. It doesn’t matter if it’s your school essays, your precious vacation pictures or your favorite music, losing something hurts. So after having experienced that I basically back up everything I own digitally on more than one device. I think I have online backups, an external hard drive, my laptop’s regular hard drive and also everything burned on plain ol’ DVD’s. You can never have too many backups.
However…. No matter how precautions you are, you sometimes still slip up.
Let me tell you the story of how I lost a client of mine 2 months (or more) of hard work, with a simple click, which could have been prevented if I had made a backup.
For the past few months I have been working on revamping the website of a friend. It has been basically done for months now, just a few minor adjustments and it is ready to go live. The biggest task of this website that was holding up the Go-live date was the huge amount of pictures that needed to be uploaded. Since that part was up to my friend, I made sure I made the website ready so he could work in his own spare time and I simply would wait for his confirmation that he was finished and that the site was ready to go live.
Well that date was scheduled for today. Today I was supposed to the switch from the old site to the new one. And in the morning fix the broken links and make sure that everything was ready.
However yesterday as I was making some final adjustments to the website, I decided to also clean up some user accounts that are no longer needed when the website goes live. As I wanted to delete the user account of a freelancer whom I had hired to help me out with a huge amount of work, I realized too late what the system meant when it asked: “Do you want to delete the folder that user has worked in”.
I clicked on the check mark and clicked on delete.
As I clicked on delete I thought… wait, do they mean…. SHIT…. Noooooooooo!!!!
Those were the thoughts swirling through my head. Sadly, this action was irreversible.
I did manage to download the database that this site is linked to and was able to recreate the structure of the website images folder, but the actual images that are stored on the server were all gone.
I first tried to get some help with the help desk of the web host. They made it clear that it was impossible for me to get the files back. The only way they could do this was to do a disaster recovery, but they charge a fee of $150. I was of course not pleased by this and also asked what other options I have. They said I should make sure to do a backup on the site.
Yes, DUH. I could have figured that one out myself. I asked where the auto backup option was for the server, because there is a notification saying that this is not enabled. Of course they were not able to do this for me and each time I want to do something I need to backup. Well thanks for nothing.
I had no other choice than to tell the bad news to my friend, who happens to be in the role of client at this point. How do you tell someone that you’ve just lost 2 months of hard work that someone has done? Of course he was not pleased I cannot express how sorry felt and angry I was with myself. I cannot stand the feeling of defeat and don’t like to let people down.
Certainly not, because I didn’t think through what the effects of my actions would have been. And all of this could have been prevented if I had simply thought about creating a backup, before doing any other changes.
So readers please remember to always PRESS THE FUCKING BACKUP BUTTON!!!