Forgetting Backups can be Disastrous

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One of the YouTube channels I follow, Life Uncontained, just posted that their Apple Macbook suffered a fried mainboard, and since that Macbook has the SSD soldered to the mainboard they lost everything on there.

It is probably pointless to say this to hardcore Apple fans, but this is in part Apple’s fault: why solder the SSD? An M.2 SSD slot and SSD hardly takes more space, and the SSD is replaceable. I have a couple cheap mini Windows computers and netbooks which have the main storage soldered, but even Apple’s cheapest Macbook is pricey enough to make this inexcusable. When I originally posted this on Facebook someone commented that recent Dell notebooks also have the SSD soldered — they’re also more pricey than cheap netbooks. Shame on both manufacturers, and any others that do not at least provide an M.2 slot as well.

Apparently the “Life Uncontained” folks do backup everything on external hard disks, but not frequently enough, so they lost about a month’s worth of work. I would strongly encourage anyone in this situation (any computer with soldered storage) to use an external USB SSD to work on, rather than storing your stuff on the soldered storage — with USB 3.x this should be fast enough to work; and I would encourage everyone to get into the habit of leaving the computer on overnight with your backup drive attached, and when you are done for the day, start the backup job. By the morning everything should be backed up. A backup job, once set up, should run unattended while you sleep. And considering the minimal physical size and weight of an extra SSD, this should be possible even while you are travelling.

Apple provides TimeMachine to set this up with either external hard disks or SSD, or network shared storage. Windows has a similar feature called File History, and both programs can be set up to either more or less continuously back up files, or once a day, by setting the backup interval. Or you can simply start a copy job from your external work SSD to your external backup SSD

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