Tag Archive for Backup

External Drives vs Off-site Backup Service

Object lesson today. He had backed up about 2 weeks ago to the nice, sleek, 2.5: external hard drive. Yesterday a virus ran amok and the advice (from another source) was to restore the laptop to a factory new install condition.

When we go the email account data set back in place, and then went looking for the backup files, there was a time warp of those two weeks. Net result: 2 weeks of lots and lots of quotes “out the door,” no longer present.

You’ll pay about $100 for a decent sized (320GB and up) for an external drive. One time cost. All of them come with backup management software. One time cost and you’re covered….well, maybe.

Why only maybe? The rest is up to you. Up to your to plug the external drive in, up to you to set up the backup management software on your computer. Two mighty big “ifs” in my experience. And “if” you do do it the first time, when it’s a new “toy,” most people forget to keep the process of regular backups in place. That can be a result of setting the backup time to run in the middle of the night, so you don’t interrupt your work, and then you turn your system off at the end of your work day. if the system isn’t on, the data isn’t backed up.

Another “fail” in this process is the people using Outlook for their email, contacts, calenders and tasks, don’t know Outlook doesn’t store the outlook.pst file (the database of all your information) in the “My documents” folder, and it never gets backed up. That’s some inside baseball knowledge which can save your hind end.

The better way? pay for a service like Carbonite. !st: i’m not now an affiliate, but I have seen some of my clients using the service and it’s well worth the current $55/year (get two more months for free using the the offer code “kim”). It knows where your Outlook.pst file lives, it knows where your main storage is, and it works whenever you have a net connection and are not making the machine work. Your first set up is all you need to do, it makes sure the rest is done, so long as you get hooked to the net regularly. It’s efficient because once it gets a full backup of your files (about 2-3 weeks, depending on how many files you have and how often you are connected to the net, then it only has to back up the files that change. It keep working right behind you, day and night.

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