The ActiveRain Stuff You Won't Find Anywhere Else on the Web

Computer Fail - Moving To The Cloud

Everyone has heard this phrase "it's not a matter of IF, it's a matter of when" and unfortunately this is so true.  This past week at NARdiGras in New Orleans, my computer hard-drive crashed and I lost all the data that was stored on it.  Luckily I have backed up many of the folders and items, but not everything.  I'm disappointed in myself for not making sure ALL my files were backed up, thinking that I might be exempt from this ever happening to me.

The process of getting my computer fixed in New Orleans is a story I'll save for another time since the experience and adventure were extraordinary, but the outcome wasn't so bad since eventually, I was able to get a new hard drive installed and have my computer finally working again.  This can and will happen to you too.  Your motherboard will go out, your hard-drive will fail, the video card will fry, your computer will crash. 


Unlike previous computer "fails" that I've experienced where I would reinstall a bunch of software apps, files, and plug-ins etc.,  this time I'm going to create and try to do almost everything on the web instead.  There are enough resources and apps on the "cloud" that will make this easy and possible.  Obviously you can't do everything on the web but with all the online tools and resources, it's time to consider the options available? 

I'm all about trying to minimize the damage from hardware and software failures in the future.  Now that there are companies like the ones mentioned in this video, moving to the cloud is even easier than ever and might be the best option for folks like me looking to take their software, hardware and even server issues to a worry-free environment. 

Yep, Today I'm moving to the cloud!



"Learn More. Get More. Do More. Be More."

Comment balloon 45 commentsBrad Andersohn • November 09 2010 11:30AM


Brad ~ That's pretty cool and sounds like a great idea. My first question is, how are secure files protected from the general public? I'll have to look in to it. Thanks for the info.
Posted by Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365, Specializing in Carroll Co., MD (Frankly Real Estate Inc.) almost 10 years ago

This is something that always worries me - I know it is not a matter of if - it is a matter of when.  Thanks for the reminder - it's time for me to back up all of my data again - I haven't done it in a few weeks.

Posted by Terry McCarley, REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL (REMAX Trend - Cape Coral FL) almost 10 years ago
Brad, Interesting sites to check out. I really like the idea of everything being in the cloud!
Posted by Susan Brown (Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too)) almost 10 years ago

How secure?  Well I wouldn't store my bank account info and social security numbers on there, but the files and information I would create and store on the cloud are definitely as secure, even more secure than my own crashing hard-drive.  Look at the online banking institutions, eBay, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. they seem to be extremely secure and encrypted.

I think it's harder to hack these larger companies like Google and Salesforce than it is my little laptop and mobile wireless connections. :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

I had never heard of actually using the the cloud to work on, but had considered storing my files on a cloud service for cheaper than the regular sites on amazons3. Great information.  

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) almost 10 years ago

Here comes the cloud and it looks like a bright future for computing. I look forward to not having hard drive problems in the future. Thanks, Brad.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) almost 10 years ago

Using Cloud tools like Google Docs, Youtube, Flickr,, Slideshare, 4Shared, Adrive and many others will make it easy to prevent data and file loss in the event of Hardware failure in the future.  Once you lose a wallet or a purse, you learn to keep a minimum of important items in future wallets and purses.  That's been my experience anyway. (with wallets that is, I don't carry a purse!) lol~

These 15 sites also offer FREE online storage as well

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for sharing this Brad. It is tough when you have a hard drive fail. It's happened to me more than once.

Posted by Debra Davis, Realtor - Atlanta, Decatur, Snellville, Loganville (Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners) almost 10 years ago

Brad ..You are a wiz if ever a wiz there was ..Thanks for the info

It is very Helpful


Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) almost 10 years ago

Brad, unfortunately we almost always wait until disaster strikes before we get serious about it. Won't happen to me, no way....Thanks for the info

Posted by Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida (Glasswork Media Arts) almost 10 years ago

Brad- thanks for the reminder , and if it can happen to you....well it's just a matter of time for all of us. I've had my computer crash on more than one occasion and back up my data as well as my photos.  I've been using Carbonite and am just getting into Google docs.  I'll check out the sites you mentioned as well.  (I have a framed fried mother board along with a signed note from by husband that before touching my laptop he will make sure I have every thing backed up!)

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 10 years ago

I am in the clouds for more and more of our technology. It seems a logical thing to do. This is not to be confused with my head being in the clouds when I see a lot of this new technology

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( almost 10 years ago

You just went through my biggest fear. I try to regularly back up my files, but it's impossible to do it every day. Cloud computing is definitely the way to go.

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) almost 10 years ago

Any thoughts about Apple's Mobile Me?  Dropbox?

Posted by Miriam Bernstein, CRS almost 10 years ago

The cloud is where it's at!

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) almost 10 years ago

Miriam - I have used dropbox as well, and Apple's Mobile Me is awesome from what I've heard.  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Nice seeing you again in New Orleans Brad, it is always a pleasure. The tough part is we are all so busy running around to meetings and classes that time just slips away. Glad you are up and running again.

Posted by Jay McGillicuddy, Real Estate Broker (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) almost 10 years ago

We learned the hard way and now use Carbonite to back up our files. I'll have to check out the sites mentioned in the video to see if they could help us as well. Thanks for sharing, Brad.

Posted by Dan and Amy Schuman, Luxury Home Specialists (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 10 years ago

A while back I subscribed to Mozy. A few weeks later on a Friday evening my computer crashed. I could tell it was going to. It was making that scary whiny noise I have heard before previous crashes. 

Since I am not patient enough to wait for something to be shipped I went to a few stores, compared and contrasted, did a little online research and by 8pm had a new laptop. Within a few hours I had all my software installed. In a single click I had all my files. 

When I woke up Saturday morning. It was business as usual on a brand new 17" screen laptop with Windows 7(Still hesitating about going Mac but I do love my iPad) that seemed to be faster and better than my antiquated year old 15" one. 

Mozy is the best $4.95  I spend a month.


Posted by Andrea Geller (HOT PROPERTY® The Chaz Walters Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 10 years ago
Hi Brad...Bummer . Not nice to lose your hard drive, never mind when you are away and need your lap top. I've used Drop Box for some time now for Duplicating my Files and Folders, Photos etc..but not software, that is important too. So Cloud could be an alternative. I suggest having more that one online back up and of course an external hard drive to back up too. Thanks for sharing :O))
Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

There are online options like CARBONITE as well as installed hard drive or external travel drives to use for backup so that when this happens, we are not totally out of business.

I have been fortunate to have an IT guy as a commercial tenant who is now a neighbor so I "call Dave" and he has been able to mirror crashed hard drives and rebuild files for me....better to NOT have it happen AT ALL

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 10 years ago

I have been using Mobile Me for some files.  Debe Maxwell had talked about Carbonite.  I am going to be looking into one of these this week since I cannot even imagine losing all that data. 

Posted by Larry Story, Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate (Total Care Realty) almost 10 years ago

I've moved a bunch of stuff to the cloud... but I still need to keep copies of more stuff... 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) almost 10 years ago
This is the way of the future, and really long overdue. I have heard of this coming. It is still in it's infancy, and I'm not sure if it's ready for prime time.
Posted by Joel Gwillim, Associate - REALTOR® (CIR Realty - Condo Specialist) almost 10 years ago

I think if I have 90% of my files back up I have done 2 things.

  1. I have kept 90% of my work
  2. I will be more diligent in the future

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) almost 10 years ago

Not to mention you could then work from any computer.  Most days I work in my office on a workroom computer and as it is now, I send a lot of the things I might store at home to myself in an email in case I need to access them while I'm here at work!  Thanks Brad!!!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) almost 10 years ago

I can relate, that's for certain. I once had my Seagate bck up crash and die on me after cpu did the same. The little fan stopped spinning!

I now use a jumpdrive with 18 gigs.. perfect for word docs/pdf files and a few thousand compressed photo's.

I don't like many of the online storage areas because of the firewalls, length of time to upload and even the costs. Why pay $150 a year for it? You need to ensure you can UPLOAD docs from multiple cpu's without being charged. Some companies only allow 1 cpu to prevent you from uploading your friends stuff I guess. dunno.


Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 10 years ago

Wow, if it happened to you...looks like something we should all be looking into. Thanks!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) almost 10 years ago

We are at the very beginning of the cloud.  I expect computers to have only flash memory and no hard drives in the not to distant future.  All programs and all files will be stored on the cloud which will make it much more convenient and economical.

Posted by Simon Mills (Mills Realty) almost 10 years ago

I'm still rebuilding and repairing and healing from this experience. 

Yesterday I had some unexplainable glitches and lockups with my new hard drive during a webinar I was teaching.  Technology really sucks sometimes (haha) but I will press on and prevail as this is all a learning experience and one that helps me grow and make me stronger.... if it doesn't kill me first!!! lol~

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

finally some answers, I saw the cloud on TV and never figured it out, thanks I needed that.

Posted by F U, Dead (nobody) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad,

so sorry about your computer.

The cloud, with its multiple back ups is great.

Of course, when you don't have, or can't get internet access, the cloud unleashes a storm upon you...


Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) almost 10 years ago
I happened upon this timely...I lost my outlook on Thursday and did a post on it. So, I feel your pain a bit...backing up is key. The whole cloud thing is beginning to catch my attention...but I don't trust the "man behind the curtain". For example if I could to gmail on Google...will they have access to my emails and target market me? Maybe I am just paranoid! lol Cindy In Indy
Posted by Cindy Marchant, "Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate (Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 almost 10 years ago

Hey Phil - I agree, but with the global access we have to the web nowadays with wireless and what not, seems unlikely that we'll ever be deprived of an internet connection.  I know people who actually travel to far and away places to try and disconnect from the Internet. 

I think they still call that vacation!!  haha~

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Hi Cindy - I saw a movie once that reminded me of your comment.  The "Wizard of Oz" so don't worry, the man behind the curtain is just a little guy and probably isn't interested in your email as much as he is your monthly payment.  lol~

Seriously though, here's a link to the privacy policy on Google email.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Brad, this happened on my desktop three years ago, and I was vigilent about backups for a while... now I am starting to slack off a lot... sometimes we never learn.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 10 years ago

Yep, I'm in the crashed computer camp now too. Thanks for the post, Brad. I agree that the cloud is where we'll all be sooner rather than later. And for a backup system, it makes a lot of sense. I back up (when I remember) to an external hard drive, but if my house burned down, or a burglar took everything, it wouldn't be much help.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 10 years ago

Brad, glad you could get your computer working again!   It is SO frustrating when you cannot work!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) almost 10 years ago
OK...I'm onboard. I purchased 2 new Windows 7 for my office this year. The cloud looks heavenly!
Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) almost 10 years ago

Lizette - I just got Win 7 myself, and I'm finally feeling like life is starting to get back to normal!!!  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

BTW - My hard drive has been in Emergency Data Recovery since last Wednesday, they say it is still trying to salvage files but they are making no promises what-so-ever.  I have pretty much let it go at this point. Data recovery and system restore are pretty much a miracle at this point.  :(  I do believe in miracles though!  :-))

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Hey Brad,


I feel your pain over this transition.  Made my move to the cloud 2 years ago and I'm not moving back.  The last time my Outlook crashed, it was July 2008.  In all my busy-ness I had a 2 month gap in backups, in other words I lost 2 months of contacts/emails and docs.

Hello GMail and cloud apps.  In fact we built our entire eXp Realty model completely on the cloud.  

Good luck with your miracle!

Posted by Dale Kreiser (Washington Broker - eXp Realty, Bellingham, WA) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad,  Very interesting.  I've heard that many web site providers are using this concept quite successfully.  Even spreading themselves between " clouds " .  Sounds amazing and way beyond my grasp !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 9 years ago

Hello Brad,

I have been using an online service to back up all my data to the cloud for over 2 years now, and belive that it is money well spent.

Posted by James Loftis, ( about 9 years ago

James - you are on it my friend. is a site that allows backing to the cloud for 4.95 a month unlimited.

Wise to always backup everything onto an external drive or to the cloud. 

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 9 years ago