Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

The Cost Of Failure*

Loyal friends of this site, and those who dropped by my biz site, will have noticed that I have been missing in action. This is due to the fact that this week has presented me with several scared and desperate clients and I have been doing rescue work. Had they read and followed the advice contained in this article…

Loyal friends of this site will be able to tell you that I have a couple of “pet” topics which I return to, and will remember that once a month, like clockwork, I would run an article on the Windows disk cleanup and defrag tools, (such as, Revitalize Your PC With Windows’ Utilities*) and say that this is the proper way to “speed up your PC” and make it run like it did when it was new. (Or, add RAM.)

Sad Also once a month – like clockwork – I would polish up and re-post some article describing how many fewer unpleasant conversations I would have as a computer tech (my real job) if – repeat, IF – the person had made a backup copy of their files.

Once a month, I would remind people that perfectly good hard drives will occasionally up and die for no apparent reason.

Once a month, I would remind people that some of the “infections” they can get hit with are now so nasty that the only trustworthy “cure” for them is to erase the hard disk and start fresh (called a “reformat”) which is much less of a big deal when you have a clean backup copy of your stuff.

But about six nine months ago, or so, I gave up that monthly reminding.

Those articles didn’t get reads – real ratings bombs, they were – and… well, let me put it this way: about a year ago I mentioned that in all the while I’ve been running Aplus Computer Aid, only one client had answered “yes” when I asked if they had a backup.
Yesterday I finally had a second. But he is a noted Computer Security expert, and I would have been !!shocked!! if he hadn’t.

Once a month, like clockwork, I used to ask people if they didn’t have irreplaceable photographs, music they had paid for, tax records, etc., on their machines, and that was their only copy? Hard disks die, you know!

Sometimes I think I managed to write so convincingly that at least two readers said to themselves, “he’s right. I really need to burn some CD’s”. But did they actually ever get around to it? I don’t know. I wouldn’t bet on it.

So, folks, what about it. Have you made a backup copy of your hard disk in the last .. oh.. say, two weeks? Two months?
Yeah. I know. There aren’t enough hours in the day…

Maybe these articles will help.
* How To Use Windows Backup Tool
* Enable ShadowCopy On Home Editions / XP
* Save Thousands With a Free Tool (You Already Have)
* Backup, Backup, Backup With Free DriveImage XML

Because, perfectly good hard drives will occasionally up and die for no apparent reason, and you may surf to the wrong site and have to do a reformat.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

Share this post :

November 12, 2009 - Posted by | advice, computers


  1. “perfectly good hard drives will occasionally up and die for no apparent reason”

    Words to live by, and words people can’t seem to comprehend. I build custom PC’s for many of my home and business clients, and when we get to the discussion on backups, and I tell them that the hard drive in their brand new computer is subject to failure as soon as it was installed, I get an incredulous stare. Most don’t fail, but one customers did after 6 months (due to the famous Seagate firmware issue, which I was unaware of at the time). The customer of course had no backups and blamed me for the failure, and shelled out almost 2 grand to recover her data. The same model hard drive was used to replace the defective drive, after which I learned about the firmware problem, I promptly called the client and advised them to bring the PC in so I could update the firmware in the drive as the possibility exists the new drive could suffer the same fate as the old one, that was 8 months ago, haven’t heard from her. So it seems even getting bitten once doesn’t mean a lesson will be learned.


    Comment by Dave Brooks | November 13, 2009 | Reply

    • Dave, thank you.

      Folks, you have now heard it directly from two real life computer technicians — drag your “My Documents” and “My Pictures” (etc.) folder onto the CD/DVD icon (inside “My Computer”) and insert a blank disc when prompted. Please? Pretty please?

      PS — Please resist the temptation to blame your Tech.


      Comment by techpaul | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. Paul,

    Thanks for these reminders… I currently have a drive pulled from a person’s (now dead PC) with the hope I can retrieve data. No backup plan was in place whatsoever…

    Thank you for your “real world” examples and continued advice…



    Comment by Ramblinrick | November 13, 2009 | Reply

    • Rick,
      Thank you for your support. All I can do is repeat the warning and the advice.

      It is absolutely a waste of my time and energy however. And it hurts my “ratings”, too! Yesterday set another low for daily site visitors.


      Comment by techpaul | November 13, 2009 | Reply

Post your Comment/Question

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: