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Do Your Files Exist?

I don’t remember where I first heard “A file doesn’t exist until it’s in three places”, although it was years ago. Iit did a good job of summing up my paranoid backup plan. I went for three places (at a minimum) because I often lost backups in my early days. Tape and diskettes were fragile, but even today’s backup media can be just as fragile.

So what are the three places?
1. The active file, which you use.
2. A local backup of the file on another hard drive (or other storage media). This file must be quick and easy to restore.
3. An offsite copy of the file. This must be geographically separate from the other two copies.

So, do your files exist?