Make every Friday "Backup Friday"

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

Many of my friends consider me lucky because I've only had one hard drive crash with my computers, and in that one I only lost about 10% of my data, none of it really critical to my operations.

I have my computer set to do automatic daily backups of just the new and changed files. On Friday, I have it set to do a ghost backup of my complete internal hard drive to an external hard drive.

Although hard drives are much more dependable than they were 20 years ago, and while you might think that a hard drive crash can't possibly happen to you, it can, and it will, probably at the most critical juncture of your involvement in that $5 million escrow where you represent both the buyer and the seller.

I have six 1-TB external hard drives, five filled with digital music files and one that is just for backup of the internal hard drive of my computer.

External hard drives are extremely inexpensive in today's world, and many of them are plug-and-play with USB 2.0 ports. You can get a 1-TB external hard drive up and running in just a few minutes, and the case design isn't half bad, although they could still use some designer colors other than black. Hmmmm. I do have some purple paint (don't ask!) in the garage.

Anyway, Fry's Electronics is currently advertising the following prices on external hard drives at our local brick-and-mortar store:

  • 1 TB - $154.99
  • 500 GB - $79.99

You can also get smaller hard drives if those are too big or too expensive still for your needs. I believe that every real estate professional (actually, anyone who does critical work at home, including personal work such as taxes, budgets, etc.) needs to be prepared, and prices for storage has never been lower.

If you don't have a Fry's Electronics, check online. You can find lots of bargains.

Buy one, plug it in, and sleep better tonight. I guarantee it. Well, maybe I won't guarantee that you'll sleep better tonight, but you sure will that night when your hard drive crashes and you casually say, "Oh, well, let's use the backup hard drive."

Gotta go. I'm on my way to Fry's.






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Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA

Hi Jim,

What a coincidence! Our office has just decided to back up our computers every Friday!

Don't forget me if you learn of anyone moving to "The OC!"


(949) 753-7900

Sep 26, 2008 10:56 AM #1
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes

I like the disclaimer. I try to do it every morning well it started out that way and then got down to every few days then once a week and now maybe a few times a month so I think I will go back up now. Thanks for the reminder.

Sep 26, 2008 11:02 AM #2
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist

Jim - I agree about backing up regularly.  About 15 years ago we lost our network server and it had a tape backup.  Well, we quickly learned that our tape hadn't been backing up daily like it was scheduled to do.  We no longer have our network backup in the middle of the night while we are away from the we backup before we leave for the day.  We have also taken other measures and have mirrored server drives, DVD backup and also offsite backup.  These systems are much cheaper than trying to rebuild years of data.

Sam Miller 

Sep 26, 2008 11:06 AM #3
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

good idea!  valuable info can be lost & frustration will overcome you.  kM

Sep 26, 2008 11:07 AM #4
John Mulkey - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

As a writer I understand the necessity of backup. I lost my hard drive earlier this year but fortunately had saved my files. It cost nothing but a little extra time. I back up almost everyday, but thanks for the reminder.

Sep 26, 2008 11:28 AM #5
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

You are so right -- one must set a plan to get back-ups done and then do them. You never know when you will need them.

Sep 26, 2008 11:43 AM #6
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

I don't ever back anything up.  I only do it when I have loaded too much crap on my hard drive and have to get it wiped.  My latest stint was with that widget.  I had to remove the thing and then I was O.K.  I just get so tempted by all of the cool stuff to download.

Sep 26, 2008 03:05 PM #7
Douglas Harland
Century21 J.C. Jones American Dream - Grants Pass, OR
Southern Oregon

good idea. I most likely will not do it until I have lost all my files.

I here people get tired of the sun in San Diego. Is that true?

Sep 26, 2008 08:17 PM #8
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Hey, Douglas. Yes, I think it's true. I was born in the sun up in San Bernardino and would rather be inside practicing the piano with my cat, Zoey, nearby, with just the occasional venture outdoors to the Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Scripps Aquarium, Sea World, Balboa Park, and a nice walk along the bayfront downtown. But as for living at the beach or any other place outdoors, that's not for me. I do enjoy always have a clean car, though. LOL

Sep 26, 2008 10:35 PM #9
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

Yes,it is a good idea to backup your files but not everyone does it.  Including me.  I keep telling myself I will get around to it.

Sep 27, 2008 11:08 AM #10
Douglas Harland
Century21 J.C. Jones American Dream - Grants Pass, OR
Southern Oregon

Hi Jim, Practicing the piano with your cat seems like a very pleasant way to spend your time. I digress from your post, is that ok?....Doug


Sep 28, 2008 04:27 PM #11
Sarah Eubanks
Hill Valley Financial Services - Oregon City, OR
Preferred Oregon Loan Consultant & Notary Public

Jim, This is a good common sense suggestion.  The kind we think about, but sometimes get too busy for because it is not on our schedules.  :)

Oct 04, 2008 01:10 PM #12
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I NEVER have backed up my computers and always PLANNED on doing it ONE DAY!.  Then our office was broken into and a colleague's laptop stolen.  That forced me into action and I signed on to  - a backup service:

"Carbonite installs a small software program on your computer that works quietly in the background looking for new and changed files to back up. It looks and feels like part of your computer, and is integrated with your desktop, so there's nothing new to learn.  With Carbonite, restoring files is quick and easy. If you accidentally delete or otherwise lose some of your files, it takes just a few clicks from your desktop to get them back. If your computer is damaged, stolen or "just dies" and you lose all your files, you can easily restore them to a new computer."

Nov 09, 2008 02:59 AM #13
Julie Chapman
DR Horton - Lakeland, FL
New Homes Sales Lakeland Florida


Thanks for this timely reminder....we are very sporadic with our back up and that is my fault.....

Nov 15, 2008 01:13 AM #14
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Jim Frimmer

Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist
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