Why Backups Are ALWAYS Critical…

Well, it just about happened this morning… I was able to show that walking the walk is just as important as talking the talk. In my book Just the Computer Essentials, I talk about the importance of backups and testing your backups. I also discuss some of the online backup services that are now available and some of the pros and cons of each. And today I was well on my way to proving things…

I turned on my laptop this morning at work, logged in, and was waiting for all the fun services to load in the background. Then suddenly the screen went blank. I looked and the hard drive activity light was solid green (not even a flicker). I just thought Windows was being Windows and figured I’d give it a little bit to do what it needed to do. Well, after about 10 minutes with the screen still blank and the hard drive still a constant green, I thought “uh-oh.”

As I powered off the laptop and then powered it on, I started to think about how if the hard drive was dead, the process of restoring data back onto my laptop after I got a replacement drive… but I wasn’t worried about it. Here’s why…

On my laptop, I am running Windows Vista and probably just about every application known to mankind. I am also running Mozy, an excellent online backup service (not the only game in town, but a definite, proven winner in my book). Once you’ve installed and configure it, Mozy sits there and keeps an eye on things for you. If I step away for a little bit (like to go to lunch), when I get back, Mozy usually says something like “Hey, I noticed you weren’t using you computer for a little bit there, so I took that as an opportunity to back up the new and changed files out there for you.” Alright, it doesn’t actually say that, but you get the point. Once again, this is a great service.

However, like I discuss in Just the Computer Essentials, backups lie. I’ve seen it happen too many times to count. The log files for the backup programs show that your files have been backed up. Then disaster does strike and you find out that the backups are actually no good. The only way to know you have a good backup is to do a test restore – PERIOD. And that will only tell you if that particular backup is good and only those files that you test.

In my case, I had just done a test restore of several important random files and they all restored fine. So, getting back to my story, this possible hard drive dying meant I would have a little extra work to do, but all my data was protected. THAT is why I wasn’t worried.

When I powered it on that second time, the laptop wouldn’t even POST, much less get to Windows. It turned out to be a bad system board, which I’ll have by Monday. Everything worked out OK. And if it had been a bad hard drive, I still would have been OK.

The question is, if your hard drive dies today on your computer, are YOU going to be worried?!

Just the Computer Essentials is probably one of the least expensive investments you can get that feeling of confidence that you’re doing the right thing in protecting the data on your computer. Head on over to https://www.booksbyjim.com/ and get yourself a copy today. You can also go to Amazon.com where you can browse through some of the book to see what a great deal you’re really getting!

Have a great weekend!

— Jim