By Guest Editor Rick Viall firstname.lastname@example.org
A good friend of mine who is a claims adjuster is seeing it over and over. People have lost their business data in hurricane Sandy. Even if they can dry out their place of business and get restocked they will not be able to file a tax return and have no clue who their customers are much less all the vendor contact information that they rely on every day to conduct business. They are very much starting from scratch.
I would not hold myself out as perfect but I’ll tell you my story in the hope that it will help you and maybe prompt you to share something I am missing. I have a network attached storage device that backs up the entire 50 gig of data every weekend. I could grab that and mostly rebuild in a pinch. I have daily work going on a cd everyday at the end of day. The daily work accumulates for half a month and is burned to a cd in a zip file in an archive fashion. One copy for home and one for the office. Then the daily file starts over.
Another measure I have adopted is mirrored hard drives even in work stations. The second hard drive was $56 on a computer I just ordered. Of course you have to be buying something at the upper end which is already raid capable but I am still at the $1,000 level. If a hard drive crashes it is a small matter to identify which one crashed (it is the one flashing in red on the screen.) You go buy one at the office supply that has similar or better capablilities and pop it in. The computer asks you questions at a really simple level such as “Do you want to fix the RAID array?” What I have dodged is the cost of the computer guy to reload windows, sit through hours of updates and then reestablish the settings which usually costs $300 to $400. Replacing a raid array drive takes about a half an hour. You do it at the end of the day and the computer reestablishes the mirror over night.
CD’s are a terrible medium from which to rebuild your data. We had an issue once and it took a day per year because of the mechanical aspects of CD’s (DVD’s). So I follow on with an external hard drive that has downloads of key software packages from which programs are installed and I copy my half month archive files to it about once a quarter. If I had to go, that external would fit in my shirt pocket. I keep it at home.
Getting the download package on that drive solves another issue. The server program and the security program took four hours each to download from the vendor back when I had my issue. A USB connected drive is only so fast.
What I need to figure out is how to make that daily file back up off premises every day after we leave, automatically. I sure would like to hear about economical suggestions. You can leave comments below on what has worked for you in rescuing your data. -RV
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