How To Properly Back Up Your Computer And Loops

Featuring Loops In Worship Posted on May 9, 2011

At least once a week I hear a horror story of someone who just lost their files because their computer or hard drive just crashed. It happens way too often, and way too many people are unprepared when it happens. If you use your computer for your job, or in our case for music (that is also our job!), then it’s important to make sure we back up all our files properly. It’s not the most entertaining subject ever, but it’s worth chatting about. Here’s a few thoughts to get us started on the discussion:

Start now!

Whatever your doing right now, start backing up. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just start backing up your info now.  Grab a harddrive and start copying your data to your hard drive. Murphy is a reliable guy. If you’ve got a computer it will fail. If you’ve got a external harddrive, it will fail. It may not be today, it may not be this month, but it will fail. What are you doing to prepare for that moment? I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times I’ve seen people mention their computer failed and when asked if they backed it up, the answer tends to always be no. Instead of hoping for the best and when your computer crashes blaming Satan, and claiming it’s Spiritual Warfare, take steps now so that when that does happen you’re prepared. Instead of all your hard work and effort being ruined, simply say.. Oh crap, my computer crashed, I’ll just grab that file from my backup drive.

Create Redundant Backups

Readers that work in the IT world are already familiar with the term redundant backups.  It’s essentially the process of backing up multiple times and using multiple sources.  This way if your backup fails, it’s okay because you’ve got another backup source that you can go to as well. Here’s a really practical redundant solution:

1) Use an “In-house” backup solution. Pickup a terabyte hard drive. They are incredibly affordable. Plug in your harddrive and start backing up your files. Having an harddrive that you can quickly backup to is crucial. If something fails on your computer, just plug your drive in, and you’ll be able to get any files you need, just like that.

2) Use a “cloud” based solution. A cloud based backup solution usually consist of a small program that runs on your computer and automatically backups new files to a server over the internet. If your initial harddrive fails then you can grab your files from your “cloud” drive.

Some of our favorite cloud based solutions-



Crash Plan

Amazon s3 + Arq app

Schedule Automatic Nightly Backups

Having a redundant in-house and cloud based system is great. But that’s not enough. Once you have your system in place, you’ve got to make sure you’re actually doing the process of backing up. If backing up your files relies on you remembering to transfer files or click okay, then odds are they aren’t going to actually backup. Make sure whatever solutions you use, they are on a scheduled backup system. Make sure every night your computer is set to backup, or every time you plug your harddrive in, have it back up for you. Don’t leave the process of backing up to your memory. Put it on autopilot!

Save your Samples

When working with music files, make sure you’re saving all your samples in the proper place.  Keep track where all your files are. If you’ve worked with software like Ableton Live or Photoshop you know that your Live files, or Photoshop files, use reference files. This are either audio files ( in Live’s case) or photos (in photoshop’s case) that are “referenced” in your original file. If you give someone a Live file, but don’t include the samples needed or used in the file, they won’t be able to hear what you were doing.  So make sure you use Live’s “Collect All and Save” command to always collect your files into your Project Folder. There’s nothing worse then thinking you’ve backed up your Live files, to find you didn’t backup the samples needed as well, and now you’ve got a Live file sitting around without the samples your file used.

Whatever you do..start backing up your files now!

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