Late last Tuesday evening, I shut down my main PC in order to conduct sound level testing for my GeForce Titan review. When I powered up my computer after testing, the system was very slow to POST. Eventually, it made it to the cusp of booting to OS, only to flash the dreaded error message about "no accessible boot device." I quickly realized and then confirmed it: the SSD that serves as the boot drive in the Damagebox had died.
Now, I had about 7K words to write about GeForce Titan the following day. I clearly did not have time for reinstalling and reconfiguring the OS and all of the applications necessary to produce an article. Not even close. A queasy feeling was festering in the pit of my stomach.
Fortunately, as you may recall, I asked about your recs for Windows backup software a couple of months ago. On the advice of many of you, I wound up choosing Macrium Reflect for the job. I bought it, installed it, and used it to make a full backup followed by weekly incrementals. I hadn't been 100% diligent about putting the drive into the dock for the scheduled jobs, but I did have a roughly two-week-old incremental backup.
So I downloaded and installed a trial copy of Reflect on a test rig, restored an image of my boot drive to a new SSD, and slapped that drive into the Damagebox. The system came up fine, and since all of my work data is stored on a RAID 1 array of 2TB drives, I had everything I needed. I did have to re-run a few Windows updates and such, but that was it. Flawless victory. The next day, I was free to work 14+ hours straight, crunching on the Titan review, with zero loss of productivity.
I happened to mention this episode in Twitter, and that following morning, I had this email in my inbox from the folks at Macrium:
Hope you don't mind me reaching out to you. I noticed that you mentioned Macrium Reflect on Twitter today and looking at your profile I saw that you are Editor in Chief of The Tech Report. So I had a look at the site and, after a quick search, I found the thread about backup you started last year:
We are really grateful for the support you website and community has given us and I wondered if you wanted to share a 20% discount coupon code with your readers?
This coupon code is valid for all purchases made until March 7th 2013. Please feel free to share it on Twitter as well!
Yeah, I'm only a little freaked out by that. More than anything, I'm grateful for backup software that does its job properly and without drama—and for a company that's engaged with its users. So, take my recommendation and the discount code and have at it. Reflect's UI isn't the slickest, but once you get the hang of it, the program works well... and it may save your bacon like it did mine.