In case you ever wondered why you should worry about your files, here is a good reason:watch this short video done by the Library of Congress (3 minutes). It will remind you how fragile it is to be “all digital”.
If you started working on computers before the turn of the millennium, there is a good chance you have had thepain and panic joy to migrate valuable files from “floppies”, “ZIP drives” and other deceased mediums to safer grounds.
In most cases, this is an uneventful job. Unless you run out of compatible hardware, which happened to me when I tried to restore 2GB DAT tapes from 1998 on a newer HP DAT DDS3 streamer. Even though the device was supposed to be backward-compatible, this turned out to be not the case. I was lucky enough to have a friend that still owned an older device (and older SCSI controller) that was able to read the tapes.
After I recovered the files, my quest for a compatible restore program started – the backup was written in a format that is no longer commonly available (even though the company is still around). A job I intended to complete in one hour ended up taking three weeks, along with lots of anxiety and plenty of frustration.