COMPUTER BACKUPS

From time to time, we hear about one of our clients had serious computer problems (sometimes thought of as computer crashes) which caused them to loose considerable data from their computer files. While this is certainly a major inconvenience, it turned out to also be a very major problem in these two instances. That problem arose because the clients had not made a reasonably current backup - from which they could have restored the data that had been lost.

While we realize that the need to make a backup on your computer is not something new, we have come to also realize that many people may be treating backups somewhat casually and not completing them regularly - if at all.

Please keep in mind that making a backup for protection purposes is not only important in the case of fire or theft. In fact, its biggest use is to restore data when there is a technical problem on a computer - and these technical problems can be somewhat simple or can be catastrophic.

It is our recommendation that all data on computers be backed up daily. We suggest that you have a few disks or tapes available so that the backups can be rotated over a period of a few days. An ideal situation would be to have one disk/tape for each day of the week and rotate them so that you would always have potentially seven different days worth as backup.

Some people may ask why we recommend multiple tapes - it has to do with the fact that occasionally a back up may not have been successfully recorded and if you should be using one disk and/or tape, you have no assurance that the backup will be good when you need it.

Furthermore, we recommend that you periodically restore from the backup that you have been making to see that it has been working properly from a procedural perspective. There have been times when people have been making backups, but having never checked them, did not realize that the very procedure that they were following was inadequate or incomplete - with the result that the backups were not useful.

It is not our intent to be a prophet of doom with this reminder, but we do know first hand the grief that can arise if data is lost and then has to be restored manually for any length of period of time. If you should have further questions about this, or if you need to have some guidance with respect to making the backups, you may feel free to call us. On the technical issues particular to your computer, you may also wish to contact whoever has assisted you with the set-up and programming of the computer.