Backup Reminder

August 4, 2011

This week we got 2 reminders why it’s so important to back up your computer.

One of our customers had a hard drive failure. The vast majority of the time, we are able to recover data from failed hard drives, but sometimes we can’t. There is a good chance a data recovery specialist could recover the data in this case, but that generally costs anywhere from $500 on up to thousands of dollars depending on the size of the hard drive and what’s wrong with it. This particular customer did not want to pay that much. With no backups, all of his documents, pictures, and so forth were lost.

In this situation, we can put a new hard drive in, install Windows and return the computer in good working order back to the customer, but it won’t have any of the personal data (pictures, documents, music, videos, etc.) that it had before. It won’t have any of the customizations or specialized software either. It will be like it was when the computer was new.

With hard drives, it’s not a matter of whether or not they will fail, it’s a matter of when. That’s because hard drives are mechanical devices with moving parts and at some point, they will fail if you use the computer long enough. The thing is, you never know how long a hard drive will last. It could be 2 months. Or it could be 15 years. But the most likely scenario is that your hard drive will last 3-5 years. In this particular instance, the drive was about 5 years old. But trust me! A brand new hard drive can fail when it’s only a few months old. A brand new drive can be DOA as well. We recently ordered a batch of hard drives for our inventory and 75% of these brand new drives were defective and had to be returned. This is the second time this has happened to us in our 6 years of business.

Hard drive failures are not the only reason to back up. the other reminder I got this week was when I accidentally deleted a bunch of files. I didn’t just delete them, I permanently deleted them, so I couldn’t go to the recycle bin and get them back. But since I have a backup that runs every night, I just went to the backup that had run the night before and restored the files from backup. Crisis averted.

So now that you have been reminded of how important it is to back up, I urge you not to put it off. If you plan to backup tomorrow, something will happen today. The easiest way for residential customers to back up is to sign up for Carbonite. Carbonite backs up your important data over the internet. The great thing about this type of backup is that even if your house burns down, your data is safe. There are also lots of ways you can backup your data locally. You can backup to an external hard drive. If you don’t have a lot of data, you can back up to a flash drive or even a DVD or CD.

If you need help setting up a backup, please contact us. Whether you need our help with it or not, please do not put it off. Implement a backup strategy today!


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.