Computer and Network Support for Small Businesses
in the Greater Toronto Area

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Data Backup

We have written articles in the past about data disk backup and the costs associated with data recovery.  Our perspective is that it’s not if your hard disk drive is going to fail, but when!

To be more succinct, an excellent quote we read recently was, “there are only two types of hard disk drives, those that have failed and those that will.”

If you look at the cost of drives today, they are extremely inexpensive.  The smallest, readily available 3.5? drive that is currently on the market is 500GB and costs around $50.00;  1TB costs around $75.00; 1.5TB costs roughly $100 and 2TB costs around $125.00.  That said, they do (and will) fail.

If losing data is not a concern for you, browse other parts of our web site; this segment is not relevant to you.  If your data is important, read on.

Those of us who have experienced a loss of data in a computer as a result of a drive crash or as the result of a virus or other data corruption, backup is really the only effective way of protecting against this eventuality.

Remember that while backup will not save your computer from failure or keep viruses from infecting it, it will ensure that no matter what happens to your computer, you will still have access to the files that are important to you.

Data backup is the most effective tool to guard against data loss, so you will want to have some backup process in place.

Data backup processes and alternatives to consider:
1.  Copy your most important data to a second source – External drive, USB drive DVD or CD.
2.  Install a second internal drive and use a data backup schedule on a regular basis.
3.  Install a RAID controller with at least 2 drives in a mirror configuration (RAID 1).
4.  Use an automated on-line external backup solution.

We use, recommend and install On-Line Storage solutions for all our clients who are serious about business continuity.  These solutions allow the user or business to recover from a catastrophic disk failure to the same or different computer system within just hours. Talk to us about how we can give you “data peace of mind” and about a 30-day trial.

Did you know that a business that experienced a catastrophic data loss without an external backup source will likely be put of business within 1 to 2 years?

Why do we recommend on-line data backup?

It had been found that some of the reasons for other types of backup other than the automated on-line solution is that people don’t take the time to do the backup regularly.  They find it a chore, and it’s often difficult to verify the integrity of the backup.

You would be surprised at the number of times we have encountered a client who told us they were doing regular data backup but when it came time to restore the data, there was “nothing there!”

It’s also important to store your data in folders that are created as defaults when the systems are configured.  Avoid “hiding” folders in areas of the drive that people might not look.  You might forget about the location, too.  Think about your email folders as well when data backup is configured.  Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail use non-standard locations for these files.