Don’t backup your drive – do something more productive instead and absorb the risk.


Guy Kawalski is being WAY too hard on himself after losing his hard drive and failing to back it up. He cites the book “Why Smart People do Dumb Things” which suggests these ridiculous reasons for things like…failing to back up your hard drive:  Hubris, Arrogance, Narcissism, Unconscious need to fail. (!)

Guy! I certainly agree you are a really smart fellow, but you REALLY had to stretch to fit those silly criteria to a hard drive. These authors obviously are spending way too much time on the new age couch and too little down at the local hardware store where you’d learn that the reason you didn’t do it was simply….laziness plus a correct assessment of negative ROI.

Backup time is not *directly* productive, it’s insurance against problems. Thus you must balance your problem against the 2,000 people who did NOT backup and did NOT have a problem. They, collectively, saved a YEAR of time assuming, very modestly, only one hour of “work” needed to backup. Collectively the “no backups” saved an entire YEAR of time. You probably only spent a few days recovering stuff. Over a lifetime of such decisions you can expect a great ROI by maintaining the level of risk you *correctly chose* when you didn’t backup the drive.

Conclusion – do NOT backup due to poor ROI. There are some things that offer good insurance value for the time/money. Backing up in the normal fashion is not one of them for most users (banks excluded).

OF COURSE critical info should be backed up, and it would sure be nice to have better backup systems that were easy and automatic. But as long as it takes over an hour and the MTBF on your hard drive is tens of thousands of hours, I say you are smart to follow the Nike antimatter mantra: “Just don’t do it”.

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