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Backup Systems and Data Recovery

Practice Safe Computing!

If you caught the article in NY Times Circuits Section on July 14th, 2005, E.R. for Hard Drives, then you know that the majority of computer users do not back up their systems, and are usually in for a rude and expensive awakening when it comes to recovering their lost data.

The question isn't IF the hard drive on your computer will fail, but WHEN. The way to avoid this problem is by getting a backup system in place before info disaster strikes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Keep at least 2 copies of everything; 3 is optimum. One copy on your computer, One copy on a backup drive or tape on-site, and one copy on a backup drive or tape off-site.

If you have more than 3 people in your organization, get a server. If people are working from a server, then all your important files are stored in one centralized location.
CD and DVDs are great for backing up files, but once their written, their written. You can't write over them, or replace the files. Even "ReWritable" CDs do things in "sessions" where one session cannot overwrite another. Think of these as Archival Media

Probably a bigger loss to your business besides the data being lost is the TIME spent in restoring it, assuming you can get the data recovered. Get a system that can do fast and accurate restores.

Keep a copy of your data off-site, and we mean way off-site. Windows-on-the-World Restaurant on top of the World Trade Center had a great backup system. Multiple tape copies of all the computer data, etc., etc. However they stored their data in the basement of the World Trade Center. Moral of the story: store an extra copy of your data far away from your work. Like your home.