I just dealt with a client who kept all his photos, from the past 6 years, on a single external harddrive.
Suddenly, that harddrive died. This is not an unusual thing.
I sent the drive to DriveSavers, as far as I know, the best in the business, with a world-class cleanroom for data recovery. Sadly, they were unable to recover anything from the drive, as it was too badly damaged from head crashes.
It’s not difficult or expensive to back up your data. TimeMachine is built into Mac OS X. You can use an external harddrive, TimeCapsule, or an NAS like a Synology Diskstation.
Additionally, there’s automated online backup services like BackBlaze and CrashPlan. (This is what I personally use - kg)
It’s cheap to replace computer hardware. Even if you’re broke, a new Mac isn’t that difficult to afford.
But data can be irreplaceable. Please, please back up your data, and keep it safe. Always have a regular backup locally, and another off-site, stored safely elsewhere in case of fire, theft, etc.
I really felt obligated to share this.
Please, anyone and everyone, make sure that your data is backed up. Check the backups and make sure they’re actually running. Pretend your computer was lost and try to get some of your data back from whatever service you use. You don’t want to be in the situation of losing your computer in some way, and then realizing that it didn’t even back up, or that your back ups weren’t complete.