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Surviving Backup Hell

It was 10pm after a long day working up a new client proposal. The future of the firm was in the balance. Jack and Jill were tired, they had let the others go home at 8pm, but had continued themselves on a particularly difficult passage. It had taken five people three weeks to work up this document, which came to over 100 pages.
They set the alarm. The key was in the door.

"Did you back up our work?"

"Oh no!"

"Let's go back in and do it! You never know!"

"I don't have the password for the security firm. Remember we have to call and authorise entrance after hours. It was Joe's turn to change the password this week."

"But we were just there!"

"I know."

"Can't we call Joe?"

"He must be in bed by now. Remember he worked all through last night. He is at his limits."

"Hmm! Perhaps we can let it go for this once. Let's do it first thing tomorrow morning!"

"OK. Goodnight."


Key was put in pocket. Jack and Jill left the building.

That night several things happened.

  • The computer on which the file - the only, original file - resided had a hard disk crash. There was no warning.
  • Jack and Jill had smoked cigarettes to keep awake. When they left they had emptied the ashtray into the bin next to the desk with this computer on it. The computer had partly melted in the small fire that had ensued a little later.
  • The office was equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system, so the flames had been put out, but the computer cabinet was full of water.
  • The IT forensic specialists had looked into getting the files off the partly charred and dripping wet hard disk. Four days later they called back to say they could not do it. The proposal deadline had passed two days earlier. Jack and Jill lost the opportunity. The firm folded six months later.

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