Really? You Don’t Need A Website Disaster And Recovery Program? Why?
If you answered YES to that, you’re dead wrong my friend. Let me prove it to you by giving you real true-to-life examples.
Recently, I asked this question to one lady webmaster named Dorothy and she said quite simply,
“Well, why should I do that? My webhost said that they guarantee 99.9% of the time, my website will be OK. Besides, I don’t know how to do it if that’s technical stuff. So why should I care?”
That is the mindset of many people like her who really believed that the 99+% uptime guarantees found on the promises page of their webhosts is already their website insurance.
First of, what’s a “Disaster and Recovery Program”?
It’s all about a business owner’s plan of actions, systems and procedures that ensures business continuity when disruptions and disasters arise in the normal course of business.
Every major corporations and businesses worldwide have this on their yearly agenda as part of their risk management assessment. It’s also known as the “Business Continuity Program” in the corporate world.
I know your online business and your websites are important to you. So why then should it not apply to your online business as well?
You know that many times, disaster strikes us when we least expect it. Sometimes it even happens when you have a major product launch or a full-blown advertising campaign when, all of a sudden, your websites went down and boom, all your efforts and investments went down the drain as well.
If hackers happen to pick your site for fun and notoriety, managed to break in to deface it or release worms, Trojan horses, DDOS attack bots and the likes that damage your websites as a result, what will you do after?
What about fires in the datacenter where your server is located or maybe a hard disk failure on your web hosting server? There are even cases of errors in technical configurations, substandard server hardwares, overcrowded hosting servers, technical incompetence of support staff and other problems your host wouldn’t tell you about.
These disasters have ruined too many online businesses in the past. And my websites are not spared as well. Believe me when I tell you that it happened to my websites many times even on my own dedicated server! It only shows that disasters do happen and even your webhost sometimes cannot do anything about it.
Website hacking and defacing, viruses and worms, server crashes, server hardware failures, datacenter fires, network failures, electrical faults, technical support errors, long recurring service downtimes and other website disasters can immediately put you out of business. And that’s just one of the effects. Not to mention loss of face, loss of opportunities and loss of time.
Because downtime is just not acceptable these days. Your customers and visitors can’t wait all the time for you to be back online. If they can’t find you, they can’t buy from or trade with you and going to the competition is easy as a click of a mouse. Your advertising and promotional campaigns are put to waste because of your dead websites. Lots of money are lost in recovery and restoration as well as in lost opportunities that you will surely miss out.
That’s why we all need to make the planning for disaster and recovery a high priority item in our online business especially if you are seriously making a lot of money from it.
By the way, I’m not scaring you at all. But think about it for a moment. Imagine a situation wherein you and your websites are in total chaos, you don’t know what to do because you don’t have a website backup, you don’t have a restoration plan and you don’t really know who to run to or talk to about it.
You see, each webmaster should have a comprehensive plan of action. Your disaster and recovery program should not only target your webpages (html, images, photos, audios, zips and other files). You should know that there are other website components that you need to take care of too.
For example, many websites nowadays have MYSQL databases installed to store and manage their customers, sales, products, files and visitors data among other things. MYSQL is free to use so many people naturally are using it for their website scripts. There is a good chance that you are using or have used it too, right?
So when disaster strikes, not only are your webpages at risk, your precious MYSQL databases are also at risk. Most of the time, webmasters have local backups of the webpages, files and scripts on their hard drive which can be easily restored. But MYSQL databases need a special backup procedure for you to extract it straight from your website control panel. You can’t easily create it and upload it like your html, pdfs and zip files. Your web hosting server creates and grows these databases for you real time. So if you’re not technically inclined to know this as a webmaster, you might disregard it and face the risk of loss in the future. Yet losing your business data is like losing your business continuity. Once it’s lost, you’ll find it hard to recover.
Another website component is your website scripts. They need a disaster and recovery plan too. Say for example you purchased a PHP script that has an auto-install auto-update feature from the seller. Most often than not, you have no copy of this script on your local harddrive (since the seller might have installed it for you for free) much more the version updates that are automatically applied to your website each time the seller releases a new one.
If you fail to backup your whole PHP script configuration, then it will be very hard for you to restore this script to its last state. Imagine getting back to version 1 or older version of your scripts. You’ll end up paying the seller or a top programmer lots of money to restore this for you if you’re even lucky enough to have the script from the seller again for free. If not, you have to pay for it again.
What a waste of money just because you don’t have a disaster and recovery plan. Not only that. You will lose face, customers or visitors, momentum, opportunities and most of all, time to recover and restore everything to its last working condition.
You sure wouldn’t want to go back to where you started, would you?
So here are five (5) simple steps you can easily do to setup your own Disaster and Recovery Program for your online businesses:
1. First, REALIZE that your websites and all the other components are always at RISK. If you still believe your webhost that nothing can happen to your website no matter what, you won’t be able to know until you’ve lost everything. I know this and I speak by experience. If you can sleep at night well knowing that as a webmaster, you’re in control, then it really pays to do it yourself. If you’re still not convinced, answer this question: “Would you really put on some stranger’s hands the fate of your online business?” Remember that, most of the time, you’ve never even met or talk to your webhost.
2. Second, BACKUP ALL your website files, scripts and databases on your local hard drive, another remote server or another offsite media. This means you’ll download, store and update these files from time to time. You have to do this patiently on schedule (better once a week or best daily if you have high traffic database-driven websites). You will use these backup files to restore your website to its latest state when disaster strikes. Usually, web hosting control panels like Cpanel, Plesk, Ensim and Webmin have a backup and restore facility page where you can do this. Please check your control panel manual for details.
3. Third, LEARN how TO recover and RESTORE your websites to its latest state. Since your online business is important, you must be able to quickly recover from any disaster. A quick restoration plan should be in place and rehearsed during the “good times” so that when “bad times” come, you’re well prepared for it. Remember, if you know how to build your websites, you must also know how to rebuild it too. This is needed not only during disasters but also if you’re transferring to another web host or web server.
4. Fourth, COLLABORATE, if you’re not a programmer or technically knowledgeable about websites, scripts and MYSQL databases, with someone who has that knowledge. When disaster strikes, you should be able to quickly pull someone who can do the technical stuff for you if you don’t know how. My suggestion is to get someone from Elance.com or Scriptlance.com. Since these sites are working on a project bidding system, you’ll get better service at lesser price. There are risks involved here also but that’s another matter. What’s important is for you to know the places where to get help when you need it.
5. And lastly, STICK WITH YOUR PLAN and do it DILIGENTLY. You can never tell when problems will occur so you have to be ready all the time. And this can only be achieved by being serious to the above four (4) steps.
Remember, this disaster and recovery plan is your own insurance for your online business. You don’t have to pay someone to do it for you. You can do this if you’ll just realize that your online business is always at risk and it’s important that it continue so that you will benefit from it in the long term.
As you become triumphant over any online disasters you will be facing, you will know how good it is to be in total control.
And that, my friend, is a great feeling.
5 Simple Ways To Speed Up Your PC According To Microsoft
By following a few simple guidelines, you can maintain your computer and keep it running smoothly. While most people would not think of skipping preventative maintenance on their automobiles, they do not apply the same care to the machine that holds their business and banking data, pictures, music, and important communications.
The majority of this article was first published in segments by Microsoft demonstrating how to use their tools available in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows Vista to more efficiently maintain your computer and safeguard your privacy when you’re online. The Computer Man in conjunction with the Remote Helpdesk 1 Team decided to add it to Remote Helpdesk 1’s Online PC Repair Articles and Web Based Computer Repair Blogs because most problems the Tennessee Mountain Man and Computer Man see are caused by a lack of simple preventative computer maintenance by users.
1. Free Up Disk Space
By freeing disk space, you can improve the performance of your computer. The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk. The utility identifies files that you can safely delete, and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files.
Use Disk Cleanup to:
• Remove temporary Internet files.
• Remove downloaded program files (such as Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java applets).
• Empty the Recycle Bin.
• Remove Windows temporary files.
• Remove optional Windows components that you don’t use.
• Remove installed programs that you no longer use.
Tip: Typically, temporary Internet files take the most amount of space because the browser caches each page you visit for faster access later.
To use Disk Cleanup
A. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup. If several drives are available, you might be prompted to specify which drive you want to clean.
B. In the Disk Cleanup for dialog box, scroll through the content of the Files to delete list.
Choose the files that you want to delete.
C. Clear the check boxes for files that you don’t want to delete, and then click OK.
D. When prompted to confirm that you want to delete the specified files, click Yes.
After a few minutes, the process completes and the Disk Cleanup dialog box closes, leaving your computer cleaner and performing better.
2. Speed Up Access To Data
Disk fragmentation slows the overall performance of your system. When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it back together. The response time can be significantly longer.
Disk Defragmenter is a Windows utility that consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer’s hard disk so that each occupies a single space on the disk. With your files stored neatly end-to-end, without fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk speeds up.
When to run Disk Defragmenter
In addition to running Disk Defragmenter at regular intervals—monthly is optimal—there are other times you should run it too, such as when:
• You add a large number of files.
• Your free disk space totals 15 percent or less.
• You install new programs or a new version of Windows.
To use Disk Defragmenter:
A. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
Click Analyze to start the Disk Defragmenter.
B. In the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, click the drives that you want to defragment, and then click the Analyze button. After the disk is analyzed, a dialog box appears, letting you know whether you should defragment the analyzed drives.
Tip: You should analyze a volume before defragmenting it to get an estimate of how long the defragmentation process will take.
C. To defragment the selected drive or drives, click the Defragment button. Note: In Windows Vista, there is no graphical user interface to demonstrate the progress—but your hard drive is still being defragmented.
After the defragmentation is complete, Disk Defragmenter displays the results.
D. To display detailed information about the defragmented disk or partition, click View Report.
E. To close the View Report dialog box, click Close.
F. To close the Disk Defragmenter utility, click the Close button on the title bar of the window.
3. Detect And Repair Disk Errors
In addition to running Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter to optimize the performance of your computer, you can check the integrity of the files stored on your hard disk by running the Error Checking utility.
As you use your hard drive, it can develop bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing (such as file saving) difficult, or even impossible. The Error Checking utility scans the hard drive for bad sectors, and scans for file system errors to see whether certain files or folders are misplaced.
If you use your computer daily, you should run this utility once a week to help prevent data loss.
To run the Error Checking utility:
A. Close all open files.
B. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
C. In the My Computer window, right-click the hard disk you want to search for bad sectors, and then click Properties.
D. In the Properties dialog box, click the Tools tab.
E. Click the Check Now button.
F. In the Check Disk dialog box, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start.
G. If bad sectors are found, choose to fix them.
Tip: Only select the “Automatically fix file system errors” check box if you think that your disk contains bad sectors.
4. Protect Your Computer Against Spyware
Spyware collects personal information without letting you know and without asking for permission. From the Web sites you visit to usernames and passwords, spyware can put you and your confidential information at risk. In addition to privacy concerns, spyware can hamper your computer’s performance. To combat spyware, you might want to consider using Microsoft Windows Defender, which is included in Windows Vista, and is available as a free download for Microsoft XP SP2. Alternatively, there are other free anti-spyware software programs available.
5. Use Ready Boost
If you’re using Windows Vista, you can use ReadyBoost to speed up your system. A new concept in adding memory to a system, it allows you to use non-volatile flash memory—like a USB flash drive or a memory card—to improve performance without having to add additional memory.
intenet based pc repair by computer man
Windows ReadyBoost improves system memory and boosts performance.
Adding system memory (typically referred to as RAM) is often the best way to improve a PC’s performance, since more memory means more applications are ready to run without accessing the hard drive. However, upgrading memory can be difficult and costly, and some machines have limited memory expansion capabilities, making it impossible to add RAM.
Windows Vista introduces Windows ReadyBoost, a new concept in adding memory to a system. You can use non-volatile flash memory, such as that on a universal serial bus (USB) flash drive, to improve performance without having to add additional memory “under the hood.”
The flash memory device serves as an additional memory cache—that is, memory that the computer can access much more quickly than it can access data on the hard drive. Windows ReadyBoost relies on the intelligent memory management of Windows SuperFetch and can significantly improve system responsiveness.
It’s easy to use Windows ReadyBoost. When a removable memory device such as a USB flash drive or a secure digital (SD) memory card is first inserted into a port, Windows Vista checks to see if its performance is fast enough to work with Windows ReadyBoost. If so, you are asked if you want to use this device to speed up system performance. You can choose to allocate part of a USB drive’s memory to speed up performance and use the remainder to store files.
Computer Data backup
It’s occurred to the majority of our team; we’ve shed a documentation or even a directory considering that there was no computer system data backup. Whether you lost a couple of lines you were actually typing because of power failing or even your whole entire crash, computer system back-up is actually the only means to avoid such accidents coming from damaging your reports. Computer back-up may be fundamental or even innovative, costly or just the cost from your typical minifloppy. Depending on your necessities and the significance of your data, you are going to need to have a computer backup body that demonstrates your finances and also your lifestyle.
Lots of personal computer users like to keep that straightforward and also back up their records along with a floppy or through duplicating and pasting files. This is the most standard type of personal computer backup, but that is not adequate for everyone. Floppy disks usually wear, and also you can have files stashed on floppies for years that may be not carry out if they are actually held on old disks. On the other hand, if you use your files fairly often, your flexible disk might break, which develops one more problem for your microfloppy storage. If you simply stash your document in other places on your personal computer, it might certainly not survive a total computer system crash, although small inconveniences ought to not interfere with your data. Because of complications along with infections, computer crashes are becoming a much more regular occurrence for numerous COMPUTER individuals, and as a result, computer backup software program is the best alternative for several consumers.
There are numerous data that cost the moment and also investment engageded in acquiring really good pc back-up program. Instances from such data are:
· Banking company reports
· Personal records
· Digital photos
· Software application downloads
· Unique tasks
The greatest personal computer data backup software program certainly not merely generates a duplicate of your records immediately, yet that uses file encryption protocols to defend your relevant information off unwarranted accessibility and also spyware. Your filename is going to likewise be secured to shield from intrusions. Most pc backup program is very user friendly, and brand-new data can be added promptly at the click of a mouse.
Along with several great functions, many personal computer backup software are going to allow you to:
· Produce brand-new backup courses
· Select documents and folders for back-up
· Define compression settings
· Pick aim at from data backup
· Retail store backup details in various locations
The most ideal pc data backup systems are actually not inflexible, but enable the individual the versatility to decide on where and also exactly how their files will certainly be actually stored. You can prefer to possess whatever copied automatically, or specify which files you wish to possess a backup. If you have a big quantity of material to outlet, you could pick squeezing setups, which are going to minimize the size from your records as well as will certainly allow you to save even more info. You may additionally decide on where you want your data backup details to be stored, as well as you could put the records in a variety of areas instantly, for example, in your disk drive, USB stick, Network folder, Compact Disc, DVD and Remote Control FTP Server. You can likewise make a concurrent backup communication in between a remote control hosting server and also neighborhood storage.
Your personal computer data backup software should supply easy interface, the choice to save your information in a number of models and the capability to repair your files to their initial folders. Many programs possess a very easy to use aid food selection, and also numerous have company series to help clients that wish to connect with an assistant. You could likewise secure special features for your computer system backup software application, like a catastrophe rehabilitation CD or even VIDEO, which will acquire your personal computer back up and also following a system crash. You can possess colleague to peer data backups for extra defense and infection checking abilities that will protect your valuable data versus meddling.
Pc data backup software differs in costs, as well as this is worthwhile to buy the very best course you could manage, especially if your service depends upon beneficial documents. Don’t let an unforeseen computer system crash destroy your useful data, however acquire computer system backup software application today.
CyberScrub Privacy Suite Testimonial
Did you discover every photo, video, live discussion and also internet site handle you went to is written to your hard disk drive. Simply opening up an e-mail can place you in a weakening situation. Your deleted data are quickly bounced back utilizing simple software program devices. Delicate data, including security passwords, financials or even health and wellness records are at risk. Don’t allow exploration by a snoop, pc expert or unapproved individuals.
CyberScrub Privacy Suite takes out all documentation of your online activity. That eliminates records beyond rehabilitation, protects your documents with sturdy security and also improves total device efficiency. This award-winning program features over FIFTY new functions and also enlargements.
Personal privacy Collection eliminates all web tracks featuring photos, video clip, record, internet sites visited, store and also short-lived data, World wide web Messenger (IM), chat, e-mail, as well as others. That immediately eliminates newsgroup pictures and also binaries, eliminates signs coming from preferred Peer2Peer uses. This even removes Actual as well as Windows Media Player, Photoshop and also some others media. You may also generate your personal personalized locations to clean. Bear in mind, merely deleting is insufficient. – “Delete” carries out certainly not mean, “Eliminate”.
You perhaps already understand deleted reports may be gotten making use of easy rehabilitation tools. CyberScrub Personal privacy Set works with erasure procedures that surpass criteria established due to the U.S. Division of Self Defense. Federal organizations, the US Army and Navy, and also the United Nations use personal privacy Collection. Privacy Set additionally allows you to safeguard your documents with powerful security to prevent finding by unauthorized individuals. A highly effective brand new Scheduler runs features at fixed opportunities or even unit activities, (such as cessation, startup and even “when abandoned”).
If you are actually an organisation individual, you will enjoy the Permissions module that restricts attributes to Customers or Teams. Other brand new attributes permit the automated removal of Thumbs.db as well as alternate records streams, as well as the capacity to preserve Rejuvenate Aspects when cleaning free space. CyberScrub Privacy Suite also supports Net Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, and also Opera. This Set features outstanding documents and support.
CyberScrub Personal privacy Set’s New Specs are lots of. Here are actually a number of the significant enlargements: Over 50 brand-new features and also enhancements; Full scheduler, which enables the versatile administration from activities; Operate any type of component at body (shutdown, launch, internet browser closing, and so on) or even planned occasions. You can easily also clean free space “when abandoned”; Capability to retain Restore Details, newsreader help; New User Interface; New Accept Screen; Quick Launch Image; Secure Files along with Sturdy Security; Loyalty from Restore Points; Secrecy method; Personal privacy Personnel Automobile Reboot; Destruction of file attributes off earlier “removed” files; Automatic Updates; New Personal privacy Personnel style; Panic key; Allot system sources outward the program; Produce as well as submit Support Tickets straight coming from Personal privacy Set; Improve protection preserves your prior CyberScrub plan settings; and also Task Faster Way Keys.
Computer Body Requirements to function CyberScrub Personal privacy Suite:
– Microsoft Window 98/Me/NT/ 2000/XP
– At the very least 16 MB RAM
– Pentium Cpu
– At minimum 14 MEGABYTES from free hard drive area.
CyberScrub LLC, a worldwide developer of safety and security Functions Business based in Atlanta ga, Georgia, is the creator from CyberScrub Privacy Set. CyberScrub lately acquired a Dun & Bradstreet Open Rankings score from “94” from an achievable ONE HUNDRED for providing superior customer service. Generally, CyberScrub gives exceptional security using its own numerous functions as well as is actually a superb worth for Internet Privacy Protection.
5 Steps To Back Up Your Digital Lifestyle
Increasingly more, our lives have gone digital. Our team’re quickly filling up our disk drives with digital pictures, music, video clips as well as files, as well as in accomplishing this our company’re teasing with electronic catastrophe.
Think of that: Exactly what would certainly occur if you dropped everything records on your hard drive? In a millisecond your family members photos, house flicks, years of job, and also digital songs collection can vanish for good. That can set you back hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars to possess an information- rehabilitation solution effort to get the lost data back, yet there’s no promise they will be successful.
This is actually a disaster that doesn’t have to take place.
Along with today’s developments in outside storage and back-up remedies, backed-uping your digital possessions could be done effortlessly as well as instantly. Along with an exterior hard disk drive including the Maxtor OneTouch™ ™ solution, you won’t be actually compelled to rummage via a stack of CDs/DVDs if you need to rejuvenate something. That is actually all held in one place. Merely offer electrical power to the drive, connect it in to a COMPUTER or Macintosh using a USB or FireWire slot, appear the consisted of hard drive, and also follow the easy setup occultist. In just a handful of mins, you’ll be able to immediately backed-up your whole entire hard drive every evening. If brand-new records cannot wait, press the radiant button to begin an urgent data backup.
If you’re attached to a property or local business system, seek a common storage, such as the Maxtor Shared Storing Plus service that links into a wired or even wireless modem as well as could immediately support every person’s computer system data on the local area network to one place.
Fortunately is that starting on a backup course is straightforward.
• • Create a back-up schedule-back up information everyday or, at a minimum, once a week.
• • Back up everything-no must sort by means of every documents and also folder. Invest in a storage space remedy that is actually twice the dimension from your internal hard disk drive to provide your body area to increase.
• • Perform that automatically-set it and also overlook that. Utilize a service that’s very easy to establish and also supplies automated back-ups.
• • Rotate backups-for included defense in case of theft or even natural catastrophe, make use of two travels and revolve one off-site.
• • Do not hold off.
Sadly, the have to back up data is commonly a session gained from an unsweetened expertise. Do not relent to you.
Modern modern technology can help you ensure your electronic loved ones memories are actually safe.
Regional Vs Remote Data Back-up – The Benefits And Drawbacks
Backed-uping your records should be an important part of your regular regimen. Sadly for several businesses this just isn’t really the case. The only opportunity records backup crosses their thoughts is actually when they possess a hard drive system crash or even a major spyware or even virus infection. Unfortunately through this phase it’s actually too late to carry out just about anything regarding it – the records is gone as well as you’re therefore considering numerous hundred, if not many 1000, dollars to possess the information saved and brought back.
The idea is actually simple – opt for a record back-up program and follow it.
The burning question on a lot of THAT supervisors thoughts is actually should the records be stored regionally or from another location? To be fair this is the pivot factor from all information backup plannings. There are actually benefits and drawbacks to every method.
Citizen Data Backup
Most business count on either DVD, outside hard disk or tape drive data backup answers locally. These give prompt, affordable storage for a lot of little companies and also are actually additionally really easy for also the IT newbie to function. In the case of any kind of records being shed that is actually simply a matter of recovering the information off a previous data backup factor and also the customer could at that point carry on working.
The information, having said that, is actually just as secure as the structure this remains in. What occurs when it comes to fire, robbery, flooding or storm harm? That’s right you only lost all your data backups in the blink from an eye.
Remote Information Data Backup
As an arising industry distant data backup has actually taken off. The majority of frequently distant file back-up services enable you to log in to a remote drive and also by means of a web based user interface upload all your crucial reports. 5GB from storing space is the access aspect for a lot of the distant information back-up companies and also this is supplied at an economical. Knowing that your records is actually being stashed in a safe center that is actually purposely protected versus danger allows you much greater peace of mind.
The powerlessness listed here nevertheless is the data transfer velocity. Unless you are actually working a broadband LAN in your firm after that remote control data backup could be a comprehensive wild-goose chase as you’re connected to the max difficult velocity from your system – which may be remarkably sluggish relying on your THIS structure. Add in the problem from firewall softwares obstructing uploads on specific slots and it can promptly come to be a true THAT problem.
So just how perform accomplish a Win-Win scenario? Mixed back-up! Examine utilizing both from these types from data backup. In an ideal globe you will save a local copy from your information and afterwards upload a particular duplicate of that records to the remote control report back-up hosting server. If amount of money is an issue at that point save your majority information regionally yet copy your objective vital records to the distant data backup company. In this way in awful from calamities you’ll still possess the records you must really operate as a business. That’s not to point out that mass data like archived e-mail is actually not important but that old records could be bounced back in time by an information recovery professional whereas you objective essential information has to be actually offered at an instants notification.
How to Backup Your Computer Files
As I write this, it’s early December, and try as I might, I can’t remember what my new year’s resolution was last time around. One thing I can say with near hundred percent certainty is that whatever it was, I failed to keep it. Maybe you’re the same. Maybe you resolved to quit smoking, lose weight, or read more. We all make promises with ourselves, then fail to keep those promises. Worst of all, those promises might be exactly what we need most. Consider this: When was the last time you backed up your computer files? Last month? Last year? Never?
Let’s make a new year’s resolution together, you and I. Let’s promise to back up our computers. It’s important, I promise. Just yesterday the automatic backup feature in MS Word saved me about an hour’s work when my computer froze up. Given that I haven’t backed up my computer in almost a year, I can’t even imagine how much data I’d lose if I suffered a power surge or hard drive failure. It can happen to the best of us, and often does. Even high end hard drive manufacturers report an average failure rate of between five and eight per thousand every year. That may not sound like much, but let’s face it, somebody has to be those five to eight people. Feeling lucky? There are about 185 million household PCs in the U.S., according to Computer Industry Almanac, so that means about 150,000 hard drives fail each year. But even if your drive stays intact, about a tenth of all computers suffer minor data loss in any given year. A power surge, the magnets in your home stereo speakers, or even an accidental nudge can affect data storage. According to a report from the ONTRACK data recovery service, data loss can be caused by natural disasters (3% of cases), computer viruses (7%), software problems (14%), and plain old user error (a whopping 32%). Now, I’m sure you never hit a wrong keyboard button, but do you have a button on your computer that prevents a bolt of lightning? I didn’t think so.
WHEREAS our data is important, and disaster can befall even the most noble and undeserving of us, BE IT RESOLVED that you and I shall back up our computer files forthwith.
Amen, brothers and sisters. Now, where and how do we start?
STEP ONE: Choosing Favorites
Not all files are important enough to preserve for posterity. The most critical files on a computer are its operating system files. If you’re a good little consumer, you bought the operating system and kept those CDs handy and secure from data loss. If you’re not, then remind yourself to go stand in the corner later. The drones at Microsoft did not work for years just to watch you steal their work. It’s people like you that keep Bill Gates from buying his second planet. Now that you’ve been suitably chastised, either go buy a legal copy of the operating system, or include the necessary files in your “must back up” list.
The same principle goes for software applications. Maybe you bought an ad and spyware blocker you really like, but the company that coded it has since gone out of business (perhaps because other consumers weren’t as scrupulous as you). If so, include the files you need to run the app in your must list.
Now it’s time to look at the remaining files on your computer and prioritize. If you’re not a digital packrat like me, it may be possible to save everything. If so, congratulations. I don’t have ten gigabytes of portable media at my disposal, so when I back up my computer, I’ll be leaving a few gigs of MP3s and questionable Windows Media files at risk. One of the first things I will save is the folder I use to save my writing assignments, because that data represents money in my pocket. I’ll back up my email address book, plus my digital photography and fiction writing efforts. I can live without “Milkshake” (what was I thinking?), but the guitar piece my friend recorded and sent to me is going on the list. Your results may vary.
STEP TWO: In Which I Tell You Where You Can Put It
That’s right, this is the section in which I’ll tell you where to store your data. It’s not a good idea to put backup files on another drive on the same computer. That defeats the whole purpose. Duplicating your files on another computer in the same LAN is almost as risky, because computer viruses can spread as fast as an imaginary Anna Kournikova JPEG. You need to find a portable storage medium that can hold all the files on your must list. Your options include floppy diskettes, portable hard drives, optical drives, tape drives, and remote servers. We’ll look at each in turn.
Hard diskettes, the old familiar 3.5” squares, hold up to 1.44 megabytes of data. They’re cheap, but 1.44 MB is less than two percent of the ten gigs of data on my hard drive. Even if each of those files were smaller than 1.44 MB (and each weren’t), I’m not keen on the idea of buying, labeling, and storing fifty diskettes. Next idea, please.
Most computer experts rely on removable hard drives for memory backups. The most popular of these drives are the Zip drive from Iomega and the ORB drive from Castlewood. They’re relatively inexpensive and hold up to two gigs of data. Basically, you’ll save your data on a Zip disk, then transfer it from the disk to the portable drive. The catch is that removable drives fail about as often as regular hard drives. They may even be more susceptible to damage from dust and rough handling. A sub-option here is to use a permanent hard drive as a removable drive. At up to two hundred gigs, conventional hard drives are bigger than removable drives, and prices have dropped enough in recent years to make this idea practical. Whatever kind of hard drive you decide to use, make sure to keep it isolated from dust, magnetic charges, and static electricity.
Optical drives use a laser to store information, rather than a magnet. Even if you’re not a tech junkie, that’s probably enough information to give you a clearer idea what we’re talking about: namely, CDs and DVDs. Less common are EO (erasable optical) and WORM (write once, read many) media; they’re less common because they cost over $1000 per drive. CDs, on the other hand, cost less than a buck and can hold up to 650 megabytes. DVDs hold up to five gigs and cost about fifteen dollars apiece. Most computers nowadays have either a CD or DVD writer (or both), but write times can be slow. My CD writer, for example, works best on the 300 kilobyte per second setting—if then. I’ll be using the remote server option. At $250 and up, tape drives are more expensive and slower than hard drives or optical media, hence less common, but also extremely reliable.
Remote servers are third party companies that store data online for a fee. This is a great option for broadband Internet users, especially people like me who don’t own a reliable data writer. SkyDesk runs Backup.com, Back-Up Solutions maintains BackUpHelp.com, and Iomega hosts iServer (Iomega.com/iStorage). XDrive.com, once a free service, now charges ten bucks a month for up to five gigs of storage. Promotions and other rates change, so it’s a good idea to shop around before selecting a remote storage service.
STEP THREE: Git ’er Done
Now it’s time to put the files you want to save on the storage medium you’ve chosen. There are several ways to do this. Your CD writer, for example, may come with proprietary disk writing software. That application may even include a backup option. If it does, and you’re more familiar with that software than Windows features, then that’s the way to go. Otherwise, backup is still relatively easy on all MS operating systems since Windows 98. Windows 98, Windows ME, and Windows XP Professional include a built-in Backup utility. To run it, just click on Start, then Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, then Backup. How easy was that? If you’re using the XP Home edition, you may need to add the utility manually. If so, insert the Windows XP CD into your disk drive and wait for the “Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP” screen. (You may need to double-click the CD icon in My Computer.) Then click on Perform Additional Tasks and Browse This CD. In Windows Explorer, double-click the ValueAdd folder, then Msft, then Ntbackup. Double-clicking on Ntbackup.msi will install the utility. Once it’s installed, you can also run the program by clicking Start and Run, then typing msbackup.exe (Windows 98 and Windows ME) or ntbackup.exe (Windows XP) in the Open field. Click OK, and you’ll be off to the races.
Incidentally, the Windows XP Backup utility also includes a bonus application called the Automated Recovery Wizard. This creates a bootable floppy that initiates backup if the hard drive must be replaced. Other options for “disaster recovery” include BackUp MyPC from Stomp (StompInc.com, $79) and Norton Ghost 9.0 from Symantec (Norton.com, $69.95). Ghost actually allows users to duplicate the contents of their computer over the Internet. Both have earned stellar reviews from top PC magazines.
Don’t let another month go by without protecting the files you value most. My girlfriend justifies her messy car by saying she “lives out of it.” Well, I live out of my computer. It’s not just my office; it’s the home of cherished memories in the form of pictures, MP3, and other data files. I’m resolved to keep it safe.
Records backup Service!
Get your private data protected with the help of totally automaticed back up. Such automaticed back ups can deal with the requirement for standard tape located back up options. Data is actually kept in remote exemplified places for strength. If the back-up is extremely large to transmit over the readily available data transfer, a picture is actually developed and spared to a bodily gadget, which is actually after that published to the back-up system.
Information back up as well as Recovery!
The backup method begins after the setup and enrollment from backup software on the user’s system. The back-up procedure automatically spots essential information reports that lie anywhere on your hard drive and also develops a data backup set. You can fine-tune your data backup prepared through including and also dismissing data as well as folders.
Back ups fast and also reliable, even over a dial up relationship!
After the documents collection is actually produced you may launch the backup method any time. The initial back-up will be the absolute most time consuming because you have to transmit each one of your documents to the data facility. Online back-up procedure has features such as Send-Once technology and report squeezing to execute this transactions as properly as feasible. Easy data backup energy unlike the regular back up makes your data backup method quick as well as very simple to conduct. The Data backup Solution software program can easily keep a number of variations from each file backed-uped during the last 3 months. This backup restore electrical permits you to swiftly rejuvenate a prior model of a file if an incident occurs overwriting a file template without transforming the name.
Our arranged, untreated backup procedure assures that data backup develops consistently as well as along with assurance. Our backup software program is smart good enough to tune the backup method, this can occur instantly on a timetable, may be triggered by consumers, or could be configured to happen behind-the-scenes whenever a traveling pc is linked to the Web.
What happens just in case from emergency?
If records from your computer system, laptop pc, PERSONAL ORGANIZER or even cellular phone is ever before shed, stolen or even corrupted, Data back up and rehabilitation ensures that there is actually constantly a present duplicate readily available for urgent retrieval. All you must do is simply decide on the data you wish to return, be this a singular documentation, digital pictures, popular music documents or your entire disk drive, at that point choose FINE and also view a duplicate promptly come back to your computer system. This’s that easy. Such information back up solutions instantly archives 30 previous copies of your records, therefore if you ever obtain a virus, you can return on time and also recover a well-maintained duplicate that was created before the attack. Make an effort online to learn just how you could obtain your data bounced back in a timely manner.
Hard Drive Crash? The Essential Data Recovery Report
Your worst nightmare just became a horrifying reality. You keep hearing that little voice in your head mockingly shout “you should have backed that stuff up” The voice keeps echoing throughout your head as you perform a quick inventory all of the important information that you just lost…..your client database, a years worth of e-mail, your entire inventory database, even your family photos. Even worse, you’ve got a deposition in two-weeks and key information needed to help win the case were also lost. You quickly call a service technician and have them come over to check the computer out, only to hear the worst news of all….your data has been lost. When a hard drive crashes, it’s too late to worry about what you “should have done.”
Today data recovery is a multi-million dollar industry. The number of data recovery firms out there seems to exceed the number of fast food restaurants for the entire planet. These companies specialize in helping their clients retrieve data on anything from hard drives to flash-roms. In the following report, we will discuss what data recovery really is; the different types, the costs, and what you can realistically expect when it comes to getting your data recovered.
What To Do In The Event Of Data Loss?
Around 44% of all data loss is caused by hardware failure. It’s important to make sure that you immediately shut your system down if you suspect that hard drive has crashed. Don’t even try to go through the shutdown procedure, just pull the plug from the wall. Do not try to run off the shelf data recovery software or drive utilities. Many times these applications will assume the drive is functioning properly and will increase the risk of permanent data loss.
Types Of Hard Drive Failure
When we discuss data recovery in this report, we will primarily focus on issues surrounding hard drive failures; since these types of failures are most common. There are really two primary forms of failure in a hard drive, logical and physical. Logical failures are usually a result of file-system corruption. This can occur due to a virus, accidental deletion of key files or registry components, and in some cases even electro-static discharge. In most cases where a logical failure has occurred, the drive is still recognized by the system BIOS, but it will not boot. In most cases, your data should still be intact on the drive, even though it may appear to be inaccessible.
If the system BIOS does not detect the presence of the hard drive, then chances are a physical failure has occurred. Physical failures can result from a wide variety of causes. There are really two sub-categories for physical hard drive failures; mechanical and electronic. Mechanical failures usually result from a failure of the spindle motor. Spindle motor failure can result from excessive heat due to a bearing failure. The increased heat resulting from the bearing failure will expand the drive shaft and therefore seize the spindle motor. Suddenly, your drive will become inoperative. Occasionally, you will get a warning that something bad is about to happen. You may hear a loud whining, a grinding noise, even high-pitched screeches. If anything like this starts to occur, BACK UP YOUR DATA IMMEDIATELY.
Another physical issue that sometimes rears its ugly head is an electronic failure. If you look at a hard drive you will notice a circuit board on the bottom. This board is basically the brains of the drive, and it is where the computer interfaces to the hard drive. An electrical failure can occur unexpectedly at any time. Even brand new hard drives are not totally immune to having electrical failures. Sometimes it’s just a faulty component, sometimes it’s improper installation (i.e. electro-static discharge, grounding out the board, damaging circuitry during installation). It’s important to also keep your system clean and well ventilated, since excessive heat can damage the electrical components on the drive. If you have a system that is in a somewhat contained area, you may look at adding an additional 80mm fan to cool the internal components of the system, especially the hard drive. No other component of a computer works as much as the hard drive, and therefore it is vitally important not to overlook it when cooling issues arise.
How Is My Data Recovered?
One of the most often asked questions that customers ask is, “how do you get my data back?” Well, it’s really not black magic or rocket science. It’s just a matter of having the right tools and the knowledge necessary to know what to do, much like a surgeon performing heart by-pass surgery. Many prominent data recovery facilities have a large array of hardware, software and tools for recovering data.
Generally speaking when a hard drive is received by a data recovery firm, the first thing they do is evaluate it, and determine what recovery solution will be necessary. If the drive failure is a logical issue as mentioned earlier, then a scan of the drive will be performed to try and repair the file system corruption. Sometimes a partition can be repaired and the drive restored to the status that it was before the failure. If this is not possible, then a very low-level scan will be performed that essentially searches every sector of the hard drive for files. Once the files are located, they can then be copied to the media of choice, i.e. a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or another hard drive. Logical recoveries can take up an enormous amount of time, especially if the drive is on the verge of physical failure. It’s not uncommon to allow for one day of scanning and a day for recovering the found files.
If the drive has suffered a physical failure, then the recovery procedure is quite a bit more challenging. As mentioned above, there are really two sub-categories of physical failure; mechanical and electronic. An important element in recovering data from a physical failure is having the necessary parts to get the drive functioning again. Unfortunately with hard drives if you have a 20GB Maxtor Hard Drive for example, then you will need another identical 20GB Maxtor Hard Drive for salvaging parts. In cases where the electronic circuit board has failed on the hard drive, then you have to have the exact same circuit board on hand in order to retrieve the necessary circuit components for replacement. Many times you cannot even exchange circuit board for circuit board. These repairs generally require soldering skills and a thorough knowledge of electronics to be successfully completed. You will most likely hear “Class100 Clean Room” thrown around a lot when talking to data recovery professionals. Simply stated, a Class100 Clean Room maintains exceptional air purity, and contains less than 100 airborne particles larger than 0.5 microns in each cubic foot of air. This is vital in protecting sensitive internal components of hard drives. Anytime a hard drive is having an invasive procedure performed on it, a Class100 clean room or better is needed.
The time frame for recovery is generally 5-10 business days for physical issues and 2-4 days for logical issues. Sometimes if components are not readily available, then it may take weeks to complete the recovery. Some firms offer expedite service and you definitely pay for this added attention.
What About Data Recovery Software
This is one area where you really do get what you pay for. Try to stay away from software in the $20-$60 range, since these utilities are generally very limited in what they can do. Also make sure that you NEVER and just to emphasize, NEVER EVER get data recovery software that writes anything at all to the damaged disk. You run the risk of overwriting data that may otherwise have been recoverable, but will be lost forever. If you are fairly computer savvy, then there are a few good data recovery software solutions available.
What To Look For When Shopping For Data Recovery
There’s an old saying, “you get what you pay for.” In most cases this is true. However, just because a company with a fancy website quotes you $3,500 for data recovery, does not mean that they are any better than a company that quotes you $1,500. Also, try to stay away from companies that want to charge $50-$300 for evaluating your drive. There has been a movement in the data recovery industry over the last couple of years to offer a number of free services. Most reputable data recovery companies will evaluate standard IDE drives free of charge; so don’t let the word “free” this or “free” that stop you. The data recovery market is quickly becoming saturated, and a company does not necessarily cheapen itself or lack expertise by offering free evaluations.
You will find as you shop around for data recovery that prices vary greatly. You will get quotes that range from $300 to $5,000 for standard hard drive recoveries. It’s not uncommon to literally get quotes that have at least a $1,500 high/low spread. We shopped one prominent data recovery company where we gave them specific indicators of a physical hard drive failure. We were eventually quoted a price range of $600 to $2,900 for the recovery. Many times this is a bait and switch type tactic. They get you to send in the drive with the low-end $600 price, then they let you know it’s going to cost $2,100 for the recovery. You end up being well under the $2,900 high-end price, but well over what other reputable companies would charge. Since most customers won’t go through the pain of having the drive sent back, only to have to send it out to another company, these bait and switch companies end up making huge profits off of unsuspecting customers.
Try to find a company that will give you an up front cost for either a logical or physical recovery. Most companies will be able to tell you within a couple hundred dollars the cost of a recovery. However, don’t misunderstand a company that gives you a price for two different procedures. For example, some companies will give you a price if the failure is logical and a price if the problem ends up being physical. We called one firm and were told that if the drive had a logical failure the price would be $400 and if it ended up being a physical issue the price would be $1,600. This is not a high/low spread as mentioned in the earlier example, this is simply quoting a price for two different types of recoveries.
On average you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $600 for logical recoveries, and $1,200 to $2,000 for physical recoveries on standard IDE hard drives. If you have RAID drives, SCSI, etc. depending on the configuration prices can be as high as $15,000. Remember, backup backup backup backup backup!!
Can My Data Be Recovered?
In most cases the answer to this question is yes. On average, the success rate for data recovery professionals is about 75-85%. However, there are times when the data is just lost, either due to extensive damage to the platter or unavailability of replacement parts.
How Do I Get Started?
If you have a hard drive that has crashed, the most important thing you can do is contact a data recovery professional immediately. Make sure you aren’t being charged an evaluation fee if you have a standard IDE hard drive. Most companies only charge evaluation fees for complex RAID and network server drives.
It is important to do your homework, call and talk with the companies. When you find one that you feel comfortable with, give them a chance. Your hardest job, may be finding data recovery firms that actually have someone available to answer the phones. Ask questions and be sure to have the following information available:
Size of the drive
Operating system (i.e. Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.)
Situation of failure (what happened just before the drive stopped working)
Is the drive recognized by the computer or not
Good luck in getting your data recovered, and make sure you always backup your important information on a daily basis.
Mac Data Recovery Explained
HPS and HFS+ are the Apple Macintosh systems for referencing stored data and hard drives. HFS and HFS+ data recovery methods are uniquely adept for Apple and are not to be confused with NTFS and “fat file” systems, used by Microsoft.
So what are some examples of errors that might require data recovery for Mac’s?
– Unreadable disks
– General disk errors
– No Volume (or Volume that isn’t HFS)
– An uninstalled drive
– Computer cannot find the directory
– Internal file system errors
– Flawed master directory block
– Non-Macintosh disks
– Improper file names
– Segment Loader Error
If you use a Mac, whether for business or pleasure, you must protect your valuable data from hackers, viruses, human error, power surges, hard drive failures, and other unexpected problems. The most essential step to keeping your data safe is to back up files regularly – you should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Files, databases, emails, spreadsheets, and all other important data can be easily salvaged if this step is taken.
Mac’s and PC’s both offer limited solutions for data loss. Mac’s are especially susceptible to data loss! But with data recovery, all bets are on.
When encountering data recovery problems, don’t try and fix the problem alone. A hard drive is complicated and repair requires special tools, a clean room environment, and expert technological know-how. If you attempt to take on this task by yourself, not only may you be unable to retrieve the data, but you may also incur further damage on the drive.
But that’s okay, because data recovery assistance and service is only a call away. Skilled technicians can evaluate the lost data and instruct you on how to solve the problem. But don’t expect the job to be done in one day. This kind of repair is challenging; it can take almost a week before your data is recovered.