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Why You Need a Home Back Up and Storage Solution

I’m going to apologize in advance.  This post may make you uncomfortable.  I try to keep things relevant and useful in this little space.  And, that’s exactly why I’m telling you why you need a home back up and storage solution today.   Learn from my mistakes, grasshoppers.

Disclaimer: This post contains shopstyle/amazon links that may earn me a few pennies towards a future purchase if you click on them.  I only link to products that I personally recommend.  You’ll notice that Seagate isn’t included. 

journey of doing - Why You Need a Home Back Up and Storage SolutionP I N I T

Before our trip to celebrate my mom finishing radiation, my husband picked up a portable Seagate hard drive for me to take.  I typically use the larger WD external hard drives (that require external power) so I was excited to have a more compact option.

The Seagate drive worked beautifully while we were gone.  I had no problems downloading my pictures onto it, accessing them, and I even used it a few times after we got back.  A few months ago, I sat down to start editing them. My computer wouldn’t recognize the drive.  It would click but nothing would happen.

I reached out to my computer genius friends to troubleshoot it.  No luck.  I took it to Best Buy and MicroCenter, both of which needed $2,000 to try to recover the files.  I decided to pay $50 to send it to Seagate Data Recovery Services for a diagnostic test and hopefully ($750) recovery.  No dice.  They sent me a replacement drive (thanks but no thanks) and a note that said sorry (not sorry).  We can’t help recover your priceless pictures.

I was really upset; I was the only person who took pictures on this trip. My mom was counting on me to share our  amazing pictures with her.  I dropped off the drive with Ace Data Recovery on a Saturday. They called by midday Tuesday to let me know they could recover NOTHING from the drive.

You know what the worst part is?  Seagate is in class-action litigation over this exact external hard drive because they fail at a higher than usual rate.  I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT BEFORE I USED IT.  Seriously, HOW and WHY are they still selling these drives?

Why You Need a Home Back Up and Storage Solution

Anyway.  Now that I’ve given you that PSA about Seagate, let’s talk about why you need a Plan B.  Simply put, technology fails.  And, if you’re anything like me, you’ve stored all your memories on a piece of equipment that absolutely will fail.  Eventually.

If you work in an office, you may or may not know that your files are (likely) backed up by a redundancy of systems.  When I set up my husband’s office, I put in a system with multiple mirrored hard drives and the entire server is backed up to the cloud.


Because I’m stupid?  Possibly.

Because I thought it was too expensive and unnecessary?  Definitely.

Either way, I needed to change that and back up all of my files before all my external hard drives failed.  (I live in a worst case scenario mindset.  It comes from being married to an attorney.)  Instead of opting for the Windows Server license set up, I decided to grab a QNap personal server.  I installed two hard drives (for mirroring purposes) and backed it up to the cloud.  No more catastrophic failures for me!

Why You Need a Home Back Up and Storage Solution: Setting it Up

  • The QNap system was SO easy to set up.  The hard drives were plug and play; screw them into the trays, pop them into the box, and plug it into the wall and the internet.  Done in less than 15 minutes (which included locating a screwdriver).
  • Once everything is connected, you login to the admin page, install the software, and let the system restart. This took me about 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • I chose to mount the server in my favorites on my computer.  The QNap software has several apps to help you copy your music files, organize your photos, etc., but I just went for organizing everything into folders.  I started with the Seagate drive (which took over an hour) for obvious reasons.  I haven’t backed up my music yet, but I’ll get to that eventually.

journey of doing - why you need a home back up and storage solutionP I N I T

I’m really hoping this system will keep me organized and prevent any further technology glitches.  It REALLY sucks that we have no pictures from our Christmas trip to Europe.  And, it sucks even more because Seagate KNOWS they are selling a defective drive.  Buyer beware.

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - I’m seriously so sorry that you had to go through this and that you lost all of your pictures from your trip with your mom! I always correlate my pictures with memories which is why I’m such an avid picture taker. Thankfully my husband has already done the redundancy backing up stuff with our pictures at home, but I swear I still find myself worrying that I’ll lose some of these priceless memories. Maybe that means that I need to get better about actually making our photobooks from our trips and our family yearbooks…ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - Aaaand I will be backing up my pictures today. On my WD external hard drive – SO THANKFUL that I didn’t go with a Seagate now!!! I’m so sorry that this happened!ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Green Fashionista - Oooooh no! I’m so sorry that happened! We recently backed up all the pictures on the home computer in fear of losing everything if the computer crashed or someone broke in, etc… Now I need to check to see what we saved them to 😛
    Green FashionistaReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Oh no! That is indeed a cautionary tale. I’m so sorry that happened to you 🙁 pictures are very important to me too so I’d have been absolutely devastated to lose such important ones. Having a decent data setup is something I always put off but this is making me realise I need to do it! Thank you for the reminder and sorry again about your photosReplyCancel

  • Mandy - In April, I bought another drive to backup my files. Finally. You’d think I’d have already done this since in 2013, both my computer and backup hard drive failed on me at the same time and I lost all of my files from years before… I, too, did everything possible taking my computer to Apple and my backup drive to a small computer store … yet nothing. Same conclusion as you received. For $2000 I could get my files back. We replaced my computer hard drive (it was under warranty) and gave up on those files and never felt it was worth the $2000 to get my backup files back. *sigh* Even though I don’t have the mirrored setup you have, I have two small compact hard drives that have the same files on them, some of those files have been uploaded to the Amazon cloud, and my actual computer has its own backup drive it automatically backs up to in my home. Phew! Even though I’m not as “backed up” as I could be, I think, for most situations, I’ll be in the clear if one drive (or even two) dies. Hopefully, once I get more of my files uploaded to the cloud (which I’m currently working on), I’ll be even more protected! 🙂

    Did Ace Data charge you the $2000 for the files they couldn’t recover? Is the hard drive just dead or do you have any other options for obtaining the files? Your new backup system looks great! I love that it helps you to organize all of your files. 🙂ReplyCancel

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