How to lose backed-up data (Or: How to have a disappointing day)
I'm pretty thorough about backing up my data. Here's my typical routine:
- Any school-related files are in Dropbox, so they're available everywhere and backed up.
- A rsync script cron job makes a new "snapshot" of all my data to an internal 2TB drive inside my computer. The script runs every 8 hours and keeps the 3 most recent snapshots.
- The same rsync script run manually copies to an external, encrypted 2TB drive that I take to my office.
So that's three copies of data in two different physical locations. Good strategy, right? But here's where things go wrong:
- Remove original boot drive and replace with SSD and fresh Ubuntu installation.
- Copy old files into /home on new drive. (Now I have 4 copies of data!) Instead of copying everything, directories are moved one-by-one to avoid importing cruft and unnecessary hidden files.
- Set up rsync script cron job again. (In 24 hours, all the old snapshots are gone. Now I'm down to 3 copies of data again.)
- After making sure everything works properly, format old boot drive and use for something else. (Now down to 2 copies of data.)
- Realize that a (rather insignificant, thankfully) subdirectory of my home directory wasn't copied. (So there's now only 1 copy of that data, on the 2TB drive at my office.)
- Arrive to office to find out it's been broken into and the drive was stolen. (DATA LOST!)
That's certainly not the way to have a good day, but thankfully (a) the files weren't important, and (b) the data was encrypted, so I don't have to worry about identity theft. (Well, except for all the other ways identities get stolen.) So far it doesn't appear the thief took much, and I'm glad I didn't leave my laptop in my office over the weekend.