Is Your Artwork Backed Up?

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Leslie Nicole | 3 Comments

Learn from my recent data loss scare and think about your backup situation.

Last month, my iMac bit the dust. It was 8 years old, so I knew I would need to replace it soon, but was trying to hold out a little longer. Fate decided differently!

iMac with floral artwork.

iMac mockup with artwork I almost lost. Mockup by Purple Visions on Creative Market.

It Looked Like I Lost 7 Years Of Work

Something I hadn't anticipated was that it turned out I didn't have a backup of one of my internal hard drives. This hard drive only had most of my final artwork as well as design elements from the past 7 years, all my shop graphics, my business identity, nearly finished texture collections, finished designs... You get the picture. When it looked like I had lost all of this, I sat down and cried. Several times. I felt ill.

What About My Backups?

I know what you're thinking, what kind of idiot doesn't have backups? Well, I did. Except that not long before, my external backup hard drive died. OK, so I also had things backed up in the cloud. Except that it turned out that even though it looked like things were backing up to my cloud service from my end, when I actually checked the site, it hadn't been backing up. I won't bore you with the details, but when I discovered this the week before, I switched services, but less than 10% of my drive had backed up so far. I was also in the process of backing up files to another hard drive when my computer died. To be really honest, I didn't replace my backup hard drive as soon as I should have. I waited. I just assumed I had other backups and didn't realize until too late that that was not the case.

The first local repair shop I took my iMac to told me the iMac was not worth repairing (graphics card and luminosity) and they said they would copy the files to another hard drive for me. When I got the hard drive home, there was only 98 GB out of 1.7 TB copied - and the hard drive had been formatted for PC! I was told that was all they could get off the drive. We decided to take it to an Apple certified repair shop an hour away. 

A Happy Ending

The happy ending is that I got all my files back! It took about a month and a half, around $500, and a lot of anguish though. I hope I never have to go through this again.

Moral of the story

  1. Take a moment this week to look into your backups! I regularly get emails from customers saying they need to get their downloads again as their hard drives crashed. I'm always happy to resend the links, but there could be some day in the future when they will no longer be available. Also, when I posted my story to Facebook, there were two other people who had lost all their artwork. I really hope you will never have to face the anguish of losing your artwork. Also, have at least 3 backups! More is better.
  2. Go to a reputable repair shop. I didn't think to verify if the first shop was certified for Apple. It said they repaired Apple products. Their misdiagnosis and poor service cost me a lot of time, money and heartache.

The silver lining of this experience is that I'm now sitting in front of a beautiful, new, fast iMac.

What about you? Are your files backed up safely with several backups?

Posted in backups


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3 Responses

Leslie Nicole
Leslie Nicole

March 15, 2019

Thanks, Rebecca!

Les Cornwell
Les Cornwell

March 15, 2019

Use Apple’s own TimeMachine to continuously backup your internal drive(s). Use software like DriveGenius (Prosoft) or TechToolPro (Micromat) to continuously monitor all online drives. Invest in decent external drives as well. Not all of them need to be online all the time, but contain precious clones of your data. I use CarbonCopyCloner (Bombich) to make clones of my drives at regular intervals. I have been working with Mac since 1987, have experienced a couple of failed hard drives, but never really lost anything that I did not have a copy of.

Rebecca Cook
Rebecca Cook

March 15, 2019

I’m sorry you had to go through that, but boy do I know the feeling! I got most of mine back, but some are lost forever because an external hard drive died. One back up runs continuously and I have an external hard drive backup, and another that I move most of my photos and finished art pieces into which also gets backed up when it’s plugged into the computer. I am considering iCloud for another backup.
On another topic – I used a brayered clipping mask on a piece and it turned out beautifully – thank you!

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