I entered the office this morning to be greeted by my disk array bleeping and the drive that holds ALL my images for 1998 through 2007 giving the ‘click of death’ sound. After several attempts to revive it, my sad conclusion is that it is beyond recovery.

I had zero warning of it’s failure… no time to pull any data off the drive. It is a dead HDD the only use I can put it too now is as a paper weight.

This would be devastating news had I not got up-to-date backups. For me it was just a case of renaming the back-up drive to be the live one and I am up and running again.

Next job is to check to see if I have lost anything.  And here’s a useful little trick for all Adobe Lightroom users.  In the Library Module, from the Library Menu select select “Find All Missing Photos” – Lightroom will go through your entire collection and check that it can find all the images that exist in the catalog.

After about 10 minutes Lightroom creates a collection in the “Catalog” panel called “Missing Photographs” – in my case it confirmed what I thought I knew the only thing I have lost are the PSD files for two eFlyers that I created at the weekend but hadn’t yet backed up.  Even those aren’t a big deal as I have resulting JPG versions already on-line.

So here’s the challenge, when was the last time you backed up all your photos?  How wold you cope if you woke up one morning and discovered the hard disk containing 10 years of photography was unrecoverable?  Hard Disks fail.  It is not a case of if it will fail, but when it will fail.

It’s a lesson for all of us…. backups are important.  You never know when you will need them.