Back Up Your Data And Save A Thousand Dollars

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2006-11-0612

So you’ve set up your home office — but what about your remote office?

Computer crashes happen. So make sure you also set up a regular data backup process and have a plan to perform data recovery when the need arises. I wasn’t so prepared, and it cost me over a $1,000 to restore the data I lost from a computer crash. Here’s my story.

The unthinkable happened to me a few weeks ago when my computer crashed. Now we were not completely hosed here because we do backups, however we don’t do it regularly enough. The last backup we had was 6 weeks prior and funny how it turns out I had most of my business and financially related work done in those missing 6 weeks!

So off I went to get some quotes, and I couldn’t believe how much it actually cost to restore a crashed disk drive — the service guy shrewdly gave me a quote that ranged between $200 to $1,500. I thought to myself: who wants to bet that it’s going to be $1,500 or thereabouts? It just seems to me that whenever you get a quote for a service job, it always ends up costing you the maximum. Funny how that is.

computer crash
I promptly sent my disk drive over to see the medics and after a couple of days, I was incredibly pleased that they eventually restored it to 95% of its former self. And the damage? As I predicted, $1,450. That’s what it costs to restore a busted disk drive here in lovely San Francisco. The mixed emotions I felt from the whole experience were quite confusing to say the least.

What could I do but swear up and down that it would never. happen. again. No more being lazy and thinking it’s just never going to happen to me since I upgrade my computer before it has a chance to croak and I archive every month. It’s just not good enough — not if you’re trying to run your house and your business on this thing. It’s like any other accident that happens in life, whether it be in the thick of traffic or a glitch of nature in the doctor’s office, you know how we always think, hey it won’t happen to me, I’m just too careful! Yeah sure I was.

When you’re in a serious pinch and your life is on the line, then I guess money is no object.

So $1,450 lighter (how that did a number to the holiday budget), I immediately searched for a way to do regular backups that would be reasonable. Seems like I found it in the Carbonite Backup Service.

  • Pros: fully automated, stores your data in a different location, no need for DVDs that may cost more than the monthly fee, no media storage requirements, no fuss no muss
  • Cons: monthly fee of $5 per computer, theoretical possibility that Carbonite could peek at your data, the initial backup takes longer to complete versus a manual backup (you just need to wait it out), only works on Windows, requires broadband

I found this to be a great service for personal and small business users on a PC. The best part is that it runs in the background and you never have to worry about it or feel nervous that you haven’t done a backup recently. Other good services exist as well such as Mozy, which you can evaluate.

Tip: For a more detailed comparison between backup services, do check our Carbonite vs Mozy article. You can learn more about these backup tools from that review.

Unfortunately, knowing how to do all this is one thing, but actually doing it is another (just like visiting the dentist or getting a physical or writing a will?): another chore to be done in order to avoid unnecessarily forking out money or wasting energy you’d rather use for more enjoyable pursuits.

If you’re still wondering where to start, for helpful information about computer data backups and archiving, you can check this article or this other article out.

Copyright © 2006 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim November 6, 2006 at 3:27 pm

Ouch, that stings!

I have been lazily reminding my friend to check out backup services for our web server… after reading this, I think I’ll go remind him again 😛

Ravi November 7, 2006 at 9:25 am

you have an awesome blog! This is too funny…..but the hard drive on my computer blew not too long ago. The first time this had every happened to me….and on a 1 year old Mac no less!

I rebuilt my system, but still need to salvage the photos that I hadn’t backed up!

Were you happy with the service the folks you used provided? Would you mind sending me their contact info? Thanks!

DigitalRich December 22, 2006 at 12:00 pm

Data restoration is big business. I recently had a problem with my Sony Handicam (the one that burns right to DVD). The disc became corrupted during finalization, and our entire vacation, with tons of great stuff captured, was inaccessible. I searched around and found a couple firms that MIGHT be able to restore the data. Cost? About $1000.00. Insane. I ended up passing and using the disc as a coaster.

I back up data simply by attaching an external drive to my wireless router, setting up the files as a Windows Briefase and setting it up to sync files each day.

Paolo November 19, 2008 at 11:53 am

Very nice post, if you’d have sent that to Europe you’d have saved at least half of that 1.450$. Here there are company charging less thatn 500$ for physical data recovery.

recupero dati June 18, 2009 at 6:47 am

Yes Paolo, but they recover not even half of the hard drives they attempt to repair…

Computer Backup Solutions August 5, 2009 at 9:31 am

I guess I’m in the minority in that I recover data from crashed hard drives for family members. If only I realized how much they charged.

Anyway, I’m glad you found out about online backup. I currently use Mozy, it find it very convenient to use as it automatically backs up my data. I looked at Carbonite, but at the time they didn’t backup from external hard drives. That was the only thing that stopped me from going with them.

Cool Mad Hav August 29, 2009 at 1:50 am

this tells the need of updated backup of data. If you lost your data from any reason and you do not have backup of data you can suffer a lot. Then you have to go for good clean rooms labs with experienced data recovery professionals.

Fun Anku September 18, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Yaa it’s really true.. that we can manage our system by taking proper backup of all the data but sometimes we suffer from a condition that we can’t solve without the use of data recovery experts. The success rate of that data recovery is totally dependent upon the expertise of data recovery professionals.

Lawrence October 10, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Back up, back up, back up! People never take backing up files very seriously until something goes wrong. It doesn’t cost much at all to get an external drive to daily or even weekly back ups to.

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