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.
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.
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.
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