How important is it to have a backup?

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Had an incident happen this week that gives me a good excuse to talk about one of my favorite subjects: setting up an automated backup procedure. (Sorry if this week’s post ends on a somewhat self-promotional note, but I don’t care – I know that many of you reading this are procrastinators and haven’t set up any kind of backup. You need to hear this.)

I got a call from someone here local to me here in the Tampa Bay area (I’ll call her Laura for this story). Laura was in a pretty desperate situation. Her laptop computer hard drive had died a few days ago. Not really knowing what to do, she took it to the local CompUSA store. They put in a new hard drive and reinstalled Windows so the computer is now running, but all of her data was on the old drive. This data is absolutely critical to her business, and it was a huge deal for her to get it back.

So CompUSA was assigned the job of recovering the data. Laura made it very clear to them that time was of the essence. She soon found out that her definition of “urgent” was very different from theirs. You have to keep in mind that these guys make about $10 an hour – maybe less – and they have no personal interest in your situation.

Complicating matters was the fact that apparently only one of their techs has any idea about how to recover data from a crashed drive. Of course, he doesn’t work 7 days a week. CompUSA had the computer for 2 days and it wasn’t even close to being done. Then the guy working on it was off on Saturday, so no progress was being made. Finally, Laura started looking on Google for alternatives and that’s when she found me.

We met at the CompUSA store and picked up her old hard drive. I was able to transfer the data from that drive to an external hard drive, then we put it all back on her laptop. I cannot figure out how CompUSA was not able to do that. But I have written about the big box stores and their shoddy repair work before.

Here’s the lesson: Set up an automated backup procedure!
Laura was lucky, because the data on her old drive was recoverable and not completely corrupted by the crash. This is not always the case. Your drive can crash at any time without warning, and your data could be permanently lost or corrupted. Don’t put yourself in that position!

No matter where you are, if you are on a high-speed internet connection, I can set up your backup procedure so you never have to worry about your computer crashing and losing all of your important data and pictures. Whether it is a local backup to an external drive, or an online backup, it will all be automated so you don’t have to worry about losing anything. Don’t put this off any longer!

Call me and we will solve this problem together: 727-254-9078.

This week’s video – Rowan Atkinson on stage with his invisible drums. Pretty clever.

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Anonymous
August 18th, 2009

Well, because of your post on backups, I thought I would check to make sure my Seagate Desktop exterior drive was doing it's job. Good thing I checked. The last few backups have evidently ran but nothing new was backed up. In the log file it gave the following error: could not create directory on destination or access denied." I have been all over the Seagate website with no luck in fixing the problem. Do you have a suggestion?

Scott Johnson
August 18th, 2009

It really depends on what files you have set to back up, what program you are using to perform the backup, and maybe one or two other factors.

Your backup program probably has an option to run the backup procedure manually. Try doing that, and watch while it does its thing. That may indicate where the problem is.

I also offer a Remote Access service, in which I can check this for you while we talk by phone.

Anonymous
August 18th, 2009

I did try doing it manually and it appears as if it's doing it as in the file names are flashing by but when it's done it says 0 backed up. It's supposed to back up the my documents folder and my extra internal hard drive that I also use as a backup. What is your fee for the remote access?

Scott Johnson
August 18th, 2009

This is probably an issue with the destination folder. Are you using Karen's Replicator, or the program that came with the external drive? Whenever I buy an external drive, one of the first things I do is get rid of the software that comes with it.

Remote Access is in 1-hour increments ($60). I do a full tune-up, which can include fixing the backup problem. Details are here:
http://www.computertutorflorida.com/tuneup.html

Anonymous
August 18th, 2009

I was using the software that came with it. I'm guessing Karen's Replicator is on the web?

Scott Johnson
August 18th, 2009

Yes – just Google "karen's replicator" and you will find it. It is free. It is the program I use for all my clients when setting up an automated local backup system.

Anonymous
August 18th, 2009

Thanks! I'll try that and see if that fixes it. If not, I will be calling you! 😀 Thanks a bunch for your input!!

Scott Johnson
August 18th, 2009

Sure thing. If the problem is indeed with the destination folder creation or access, you will probably have the same issue with Replicator. I am here if you need me.