How to Be a Moron…Then a Hero

Welcome to Tuesday…where it’s not always about marriage. :-)

So all of you know that I’m an IT geek. At my job I’m careful and fastidious to make sure details are covered and things are not overlooked. I teach this stuff so I had better know what I’m doing. But sometimes I’m the moron at home.

machinenobrain Photo By HeatSync Labs via

Setting up the Moron Story

Many years ago I set up a local backup of our primary home computer. It was set to back up to a local external USB hard drive so I could quickly recover lost or deleted files. In addition I expected the backup to protect us from a failure of our computer. One day the computer would not boot up. After extended diagnosis I determined that the hard drive in the computer had failed. No problem! I had it backing up to the external drive, so just reinstall Windows, recover the files and it’s all good. Three hours, max.

Here is the Moron Part

Apparently I had a “set it and forget it” mentality. Even though I taught others to check their backups regularly, I wasn’t doing it myself. After re-installing Windows I discovered that the backup had stopped working…SIX MONTHS AGO! We didn’t lose a lost of pictures, but we did lose ALL of our financial data from the previous six months. Even worse, Sally was the only one who had any idea what to do. So she painstakingly reentered as much as she could from receipts and bank statements. Much data was unrecoverable. she was kind and forgiving, but I caused her a great lot of trouble. Fortunately our marriage weathered this storm.

Lesson Learned

After this debacle I purchased an annual subscription to Carbonite (referral link), which is an online backup service in the cloud. That way even if the local backup failed I knew we could recover. For $59 per year it’s cheap insurance against disaster, or my stupidity.

The Hero Part

Some time later we were out of state visiting family. As sometimes happens there was a computer with an issue. Lo and behold the drive had failed. But THIS time we had already made sure that Carbonite was installed and functional. So I restored Windows, installed Carbonite and started the recovery process. Since it was a LOT of data coming across the Internet I knew it would take a while. So while we spent the next two days riding jet skis, playing in the water, enjoying games late into the night the computer was faithfully pulling down the files. After the two days I spent just a few minutes tweaking some items and it was as if nothing failed.

Moral of the Story

Make sure you practice what you preach…and keep more than one backup of your computer!

Have a great day!




  • David Mike

    Wow! I’m sure that was a fun conversation! Most of my important stuff I keep in Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive. I also have an external hard drive. Thanks for the lesson!

    • Troy

      Sounds like you have it under control. :-). Thanks for the comment.