In an earlier post we described this automated data backup and recovery service that is available for all active A&S faculty to protect their files against hardware failure or computer loss.
CrashPlan recently delivered on that promise for Marcelo Gleiser, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Appleton Professorship of Natural Philosophy. Read his story in the Q&A below, and when you’re done, set up an appointment with your Academic Technology Consultant to have CrashPlan installed on your computer!
Pat Coogan: We’ve learned that CrashPlan saved you from a near data loss catastrophe. What happened?
Marcelo Gleiser: I was flying back from Paris (on the day of the terrorist attacks!) and after landing and going to a hotel in Chicago, opened up my laptop – a pretty new 15’ MacBook Pro, only 15 months old. I saw the dreaded folder icon with a question mark blinking. After diagnosis, I learned that my computer had a catastrophic hard drive failure - nothing could be retrieved.
PC: How did you restore your data?
MG: Fortunately, literally a few days before I had signed up for Donna White (Academic Technology Consultant) to install CrashPlan on my computer. And it essentially saved my life, as almost all my files were backed up safely and with Donna’s help were easily retrieved.
PC: Let’s say you didn’t have CrashPlan backing up your data. What would losing your files have meant to you and your work?
MG: Given how dependent we are on our computers, storing all our work, data files, lecture notes, scientific papers on our hard drive, losing everything can be pretty devastating. It would mean weeks and weeks of recovering effort, and some would be lost forever, from precious data obtained after weeks of running programs to old family photos.
PC: Is there anything that you need to do to keep CrashPlan running on your computer?
MG: No. It works silently in the background and doesn’t take much CPU time. (You can set that up in your preferences.)
PC: Based on your experience, what would you share with your colleagues about CrashPlan?
MG: I can’t recommend it any stronger, especially if you are a lazy back-up person as I am.
CrashPlan protects you from losing data in scenarios such as this or even if you accidentally delete a file, or if your computer is lost. You’ll never need a file search and rescue mission again. Your Academic Technology Consultant (ATC) will install CrashPlan on up to four of your Dartmouth-owned desktop/laptop devices.