In the closet, on the bookshelf,
in the drawer…somewhere not far from your computer you’re probably storing
the software diskettes or CD-ROMs for all of the application programs on
your computer. That’s good. If something goes wrong that damages or deletes
the programs, you’ll be able to reinstall them and get back to work. But,
if you’re like many PC users, you haven’t safeguarded the most important
thing on your PC — the data. If the data, the product of
your thought and effort, gets corrupted or deleted, and there’s no backup,
then you have to start your work from scratch. (The fear of this nightmare
alone should be enough to have you backup all your data now!)
Most PC users are pretty
casual about data protection—they are comfortable with the stability of
applications, operating systems, and the PC hardware itself, so they think
their data is safe. It is, relatively speaking, but why play the odds?
Anyone could experience data loss, and chances are good at some point,
you will. You could accidentally overwrite or delete a file; get shut-down
in the middle of work on an important document by a power surge; encounter
a quirk in a program that results in a “fatal” software error; or even
fall victim to a hard drive crash and lose everything. You also need to
think about “low-tech” problems such as fire and theft.
The best way to save your
skin is to frequently backup your data. If you have a recent backup, even
a hard drive crash is a fairly short-lived disaster. A backup doesn’t only
help you recover from data loss disasters—it can come in handy if you want
to revert to a prior version of a file.
Data-loss is very expensive!
Exactly how much does computer
downtime and computer data loss cost business? Are you ready for
the staggering statistics?
*A company that experiences
a computer outage lasting more than 10 days will never fully recover financially.
50 percent will be out of business within five years.
||Average Hourly Impact
Credit Card Sales Authorization
Home Shopping Channels
Airline Reservation Centers
Package Shipping Service
Recovery Planning: Managing Risk & Catastrophe in Information Systems
by Jon Toigo
How Often Should You Back
It depends on the volume,
frequency of change, and nature of your data. You may be working with a
huge volume of data that changes on a daily basis, or just writing letters
now and then on your PC. If you have high-volume daily change, you’ll most
certainly want to back up daily. If you just write an occasional letter,
you certainly wouldn’t back up daily, but might want to back up each time
you finish a letter-writing session. The key is, don’t leave anything vulnerable
that would be difficult to re-create. Examine your work patterns and what’s
on your PC to decide which data files to back up, and how often each changes
to the extent it would be difficult to re-create if lost.
What Files Should You
It’s easy to say everything,
but in reality, everything takes a long time. If you have your system the
way you like it, it would be great to have a complete system backup on
the shelf. Do it if you have the time and the disks. Software can be reinstalled
and the settings re-established, so the most critical element to back up
is your data. The typical PC will have some combination of document files,
database files, spreadsheets, E-mail, and maybe even game score tallies.
Data backup is easier if
you’ve set up your directory structure in such a way as to put all or most
data files into a specific area, a directory or subdirectory. This way,
you just back up one area in the tree each time. In Windows 95 (Win95),
the My Documents folder is a ready-made data holder. Use it or create a
directory that makes more sense to you.
At a minimum, plan to back up
daily using removable media. Rotate backup sets offsite weekly.
Get a backup device that holds
about twice as much as your hard disk so you can schedule backups for times
when you're not there. FolderClone supports automated backups!
Every hard disk contains critical
data, so don't just back up servers. And make sure you include portable
Don't limit backups to just
certain files-you'll inevitably need one that wasn't backed up. Good backup
software, like FolderClone, backs up only those files that are new or modified.
Backup more than just documents:
Make at least three different
sets of your data. Even an old copy is better than no copy at all.
You never know when a fire,
flood, theft, or earthquake makes your offsite copy your only copy. One
idea: Create a backup set weekly and send the previous week's backup to
a secure offsite location.
Keep a backup set offsite:
Far too many new customers of
backup software are people who recently lost data. Develop your backup
plan before a crash! For immediate peace of mind - Protect your files!