Tech – for Everyone

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

A Good Guy Sings The Blues

Loyal friends of this site will tell you that I have a couple of “pet” topics which I return to, and they will remember that once a month, like clockwork, I used to 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.

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, and I 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 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. (I’m up to three now.. three!)

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 was that their only copy? Hard disks malfunction and 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.

Note: alert readers will notice that I missed posting yesterday. That was because I was busy with an “emergency call” for help. Can you guess? Yup. Vital files. Hard drive failure. I mean.. mission critical files. In the end, all I was able to do was refer the client to a data recovery service, which would disassemble their drive inside a clean room and use sophisticated and expensive equipment to try to recover the 1’s and 0’s… which you can guess doesn’t come cheaply. My guess is they are looking at very close to $1,000.. if not more.

Last week, I bought a 50 pack of blank CD’s for $4.99.

Automatic “online backup” services, like Mozy or Carbonite are quite reasonable too… under $100/year.

If you have read this far, thank you. As a reward, I ask you – have you made a backup copy of your files in the last .. oh.. say, two weeks? Wouldn’t you feel better knowing there’s a copy somewhere should your computer die, or get stolen? Yes! You would! Get busy!

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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April 24, 2010 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, file system, how to, PC, security, tech | 8 Comments