14 Nov What if Your Hard Drive Crashes?
What If Your Hard Drive Crashes?
I know it is something no one wants to think about. Like everything else, it won”t happen to me, especially during this time of the year. Well, even if you have a relatively new computer, and try to be aware, sometimes things just happen. How prepared would you be if (or when) it happens to you?
That is what happened to me.
Late Friday night a week ago a strange noise began (after a couple of weeks of what I thought was simply an Outlook problem). The next morning, when the computer was turned on, the dreaded drive read error was displayed. No Windows, no nothing.
To make a long story short, amazingly I only lost two files (both of which there may still be hope). There are three things I recommend everyone do (even if you do not have the time right now):
1. Make a list of all the software on your computer (including user names and passwords). In fact, my notebook of this information now even includes the web sites on my favorites in Explorer. The trick will be trying to keep it current.
2. For any products or services that you use or have purchased that are downloads, make an archive copy (zip disk, CD, etc) or at a minimum include where to go to download them on your listing from number 1 above.
3. If you do not have good back up procedures regularly in place, start immediately. I use connected.com (for $14.95 a month it was definitely cheap insurance). The software automatically backs up my system at least once a day, and asks me each time I shut down the computer if I would like to back up. As soon as the noise started, I started my back up procedures. When it crashed I had no idea if the back up was successful or not. All I knew for sure was that it was backed up at least within the past 24 hours. Luckily it finished before the crash so I did not loose any of my work. The two files being lost were because they were not in the folder I regularly back up. (Just as an aside, connected.com keeps the last 10 versions of the file so you can also go back in time if you need to).
Other possible solutions for back up procedures can include mirror drives, automatic back up procedures from a work station to a server, USB drives, zip drives. For clients who use accountants that have signed up with Remote Accounting Solutions a nightly transfer of the working data also works well (with the added benefit of “off-site” storage).
What started out to be a very stressful situation, actually turned out OK because of planning done ahead of time. Although I preach back up, back up, back up, this was one time I was extremely glad I practice what I preach!