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    Tuesday
    Aug092011

    Back Up Your Computer!

    I have helped many people solve their computer woes.  I don't have any official schooling in computer technology, but it has been one of my hobbies for the past 20 years.  I have built them, upgraded them, changed software and operating systems on them, and worked with wired and wireless networking.

    As family members needed help, they would call me.  A lot of times it would cause me to investigate and learn new things about computer issues.  Eventually word of mouth got out to friends of the family and I started helping them, too, for a very nominal fee.  This allowed me to make a little beer money, while getting to learn about computers and systems I didn't own.

    I haved learned a ton stuff from being a fan of Leo Laporte.  I first saw him on a cable channel years ago called TechTV.  TechTV was bought out and changed to G4 TV.  Leo and many others lost their jobs.  Leo does a nationwide weekend tech call-in show on the radio called The Tech Guy and he has spent 7 years building up his own internet network called TWiT.TV.  I continue to follow Leo on TWiT.TV and continue to learn about new systems, the latest tech news, and trouble shooting problems.  I am definitely a tech junkie!

    This brings me to the title of this post.  Back up your computers!

     

     

    They are machines.  It's only a matter of time before something breaks, and depending on what breaks, you could lose your pictures, documents, and other irreplaceable things.  Computers are no different than cars.  Just because you buy a new car doesn't mean it won't break down, or even catch on fire!  You wouldn't want your life's savings in the trunk of your car because only you have the key.  What if it's stolen?  Bye bye life savings.  I think you get my drift.

    I have been working on a computer since last night that had 2 viruses on it.  Of course, like most people, this woman had NOTHING backed up.  I managed to save 4 folders of her family pictures, but I couldn't save her geneology program with her data.  The viruses had wreaked havoc with her system to the point I had to do a full system install.  She knew that things could turn out this way before I brought it home.  She said she would be grateful if I could save her family pictures.  If she had only backed up...

    After reinstalling Vista on her HP computer, hours of Windows updates have been chugging along.  First, 86 critical updates and 4 optional updates.  Then updates to patch those updates.  Now it is 98% thru Vista Service Pack 1, and when that is finished, there will be updates to Service Pack 1.  It's been a while since I worked on a Vista machine, but I'm pretty sure there will be a Service Pack 3.  I hope not!

    I might get this done before I have to go to work at 4 pm, but if not I'll keep it until it's fully updated, virus free, has a good anti virus program, and her pictures reinstalled.  I'm pretty sure she won't take my advice and back things up, but all I can do is tell her.

    Any backup is better than nothing, but to be the safest is to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule.  Have 3 copies of important files, the copy on your computer and 2 backup files.  Use 2 different types of media for the backup file, like a copy on an external hard drive & a copy on DVD or in the cloud.  Then make sure 1 copy is stored offsite.  Either mail DVD's to your Mom, or use an online site to keep backups.  This will save you in case of a fire, flood, or tornado destroying everything at your house, or if somebody breaks in and steals all your stuff.

    The trouble with backing up is that it is a pain in the ass.  You do it for a while, then it becomes about as fun as keeping every window in your house spot and dust free inside and out 24/7.  I use a paid service called Carbonite because it is automatic.  Just please use something!

    Well, Service Pack 1 for Vista finished just now and a check of Windows updates says ther are 71 important updates and 1 optional update.  Let 'er rip boys.

    Anyway, to be honest, I haven't been using the 3-2-1 rule myself because I don't have that many important things on my computer.  I do have backups of things, but it's not well organized.  But if YOU run a business at home, are a photographer, or an author writing your next book, then seriously think about the 3-2-1 rule.  It's insurance, just like car insurance or health insurance.  You'll be glad you did.

    Reader Comments (2)

    You know I really have to to the backup thing. It's only been 2 years, no risk right?......

    August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGYSC

    I'd say you're getting close. :)

    August 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSovBo

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