The Importance of Backups- My Personal Story.

For 8 solid months, I have been creating databases, writing, taking photos, organizing and developing classes and more for Networks Unlimited. I was working on a database for an email blast to invite people to a lunch and learn. When I went to upload the spreadsheet into Constant Contact, my marketing folder did not appear in its usual spot. 

I opened the start menu, went to my computer, and searched for the lost “marketing” folder. Nothing. A  few documents with 'marketing' that were created before I came to Networks appeared. Other than those few results, my ENTIRE marketing folder had vanished. It was at this precise moment that I began experiencing the 7 stages of grief.


1. SHOCK & DENIAL- Surely someone was pulling a prank on me. “There is no way I deleted that folder!” I thought to myself. I immediately called the help desk and asked Sean if he could see my folder anywhere on our network. “It is nowhere on the network,” he told me.

2. PAIN & GUILT- “Ok, someone has got to be messing with me,” I told him, “I am going to go around the office and ask if anyone has deleted it.” I scoured desk to desk giving my unassuming co-workers “the eye” and asked if they were joking with me. All of them were clueless about what I was talking about. The guilt for accusing my innocent co-workers of such an awful prank began to sink in.

3. ANGER & BARGAINING- I began to slightly panic. How did my entire folder simply vanish? I consulted Sean again, and he still was not able to find the folder. “Please, Sean- can you continue to look?” I begged.

4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS- I will have to recreate everything. The thought of building, creating, and attempting to make sense of 8 months of lost data sent me to a stage of depression.

5. THE UPWARD TURN- I called Sean for another update. Immediately he could tell that I was upset, depressed even. He immediately assured me that it will be OK because we have backups and that we would just have to restore the marketing folder from the backups. I knew that we had backups in place- but it did not occur to me that it could be restored in the midst of all my panicking.  He did tell me that the last backup was done at 1:00am so anything I had done that morning would not have been saved.

6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH- I could handle re-creating a few documents if I had to from earlier that day. In fact, I had several documents still open from earlier, so those few were safe!

7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE- I have come to accept that I most likely (and I still do not know how) deleted the folder myself. I write about, tweet about and advocate backing up data each day with my job. However, with this scare, I have learned the importance of backing of files first hand. Had we not had backups in place, I would be missing 8 months of my hard work and data. Fortunately, within a few minutes all of documents were restored and all was right in the Networks Unlimited marketing world.

Losing this much data would be catastrophic to a business if the documents were QuickBooks files, or more sensitive financial documents or other company files. My marketing files are important to my specific job, but losing them would not end business at Networks Unlimited. Imagine how catastrophic losing very important data would be to your business. I am now, more than ever, a personal advocate for backing up data.