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November 14, 2016
Your data - information contained on your computer can be more important and more expensive to repair or restore than the actual computer itself, and yet I estimate only 25% of the people coming into the Computer Corner Service department actually have a reliable data back-up plan.
The fact is, if YOU don’t have a back-up plan you could lose all those pictures of the family, all your business documents… everything. Sometimes a local computer shop can recover the data, it depends how far “gone” the data is. The drive can be sent off to a large company to dissect the drive and recover data (also not guaranteed to work), and that may cost you thousands of dollars for a single hard drive.
The biggest factor here though, is that we all don’t seem to understand that you can lose your data from many things other than a hard drive failure.
Here are a few factors that could cause you to lose your data:
When a hard drive failure occurs, the most common issue is that people are not prepared. Here are some sources of back up options:
Our top recommendation? The best solution for most people is an external hard drive solution accompanied by a cloud backup solution, one of which should include a mirror image back up, not just data backup.
Special IMPORTANT notes:
WITH ANY BACK UP PLAN YOU CHOOSE, TEST IT FREQUENTLY TO BE SURE IT IS WORKING. The #1 comment from people coming into the Computer Corner service department with a virus or failed drive, “I thought I had a good back up of my data, but…”
A mirror image backs up your entire hard drive, not just DATA, it backs up your applications and operating system. The downfall of “data back up only”, is that if you have a drive or device failure for any of the above reasons, you will have to reload your operating system, and your application software (like Microsoft office (word, excel, etc.)) AND you will have to have the disks or the license key to do so. BUT, a mirror image can typically only be restored EASILY, back to the original device it that the operating system was licensed to.
For full protection, an external back up device or the drive or cassette should stored in a separate location from the computer itself, in case of catastrophic event (recommended a fire-proof, water-proof location). Many external storage devices have removable hard drives, or storage media for this reason.
Back up’s can be set for full or incremental back, or both. A Full back up will take longer, so many people choose incremental data/file backup during the set up, which will only back up the files that have changed since the last backup session.
YES, if you have a virus or spyware, or damaged files… this will also be part of your back up, so make sure you are using the “Tremendous Trio” of products recommended in my previous blog.
If you have fallen prey to “Ransomware”, data backup restoration is the ONLY way to get your computer back without paying the perpetrator a ransom to decode your encrypted drive. A mirror image back up would be extremely beneficial in this situation. Please see my blog on “Ransomware”, too!