TV Erases backup tapes
It's 7am on a Saturday morning and the phone is ringing off the hook. The caller ID shows it's my parents phone number. It's my dad. His computer has failed.
"Ok, Dad, no problem. Remember those backups I've had you make every week? Load back in the last one."
"That's the problem", Dad tells me. "The tape is blank, unformatted! So is the previous one, and the one before that as well!"
We spent the next month rebuilding his hard drive, re-installing software, files, and all that. We also investigated why his backup tapes were all blank.
As it turned out, he was storing his tapes in his home, in a portable "fire safe" which was stored in the rafters of the basement.
Directly above where he was storing the fire safe was their TV. The electromagentics from the TV penetrated the wooden floor it sat on, and magnetized the fire safe. Putting his tapes in that safe had become the same as putting them inside a speaker.
Lessons learned: 1) NEVER ASSUME where you're storing your backups is safe. Test, Test, then test again.
2)Magnets don't need to look like magnets to ruin your tapes.....
Dad and I now swap our backup tapes once a week. He keeps mine (not in the fire safe anymore!) and I keep his. Since we both have the same equipment, we also check to make sure we can read the tapes on each other's machines.
Copyright © Ross Williams 1997. All rights reserved.