Minimizing Hard Disk Drive Failure and Data Loss/Case Study

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Backup — there is an easier way[edit]

Many people and small organisations skip the essential task of backing up the data files on their computers; often because the professionals describe this as a large, complex and difficult task. Well, it does not have to be.

Windows' own built-in backup program is not very good, but there are free and better alternatives; for instance Cobian BackUp.

At TransLogic we have a simple routine for backup copying. It is quick, efficient, inexpensive and safe, and you can do it every day without problems.

At about 12:00 noon (lunchtime) and again about 17:00 (end of day), we take an incremental backup (meaning a backup of all the files that have been changed since the previous total backup).

Once a week (typically on Friday afternoon), we take a total backup.

We copy these files onto a DVD (you can use a CD if you have a minor amount of data to be stored). You get 2–3 DVDs for one dollar, and we have space for 3–5 backups per disc (1 for a total backup). This means that each backup costs us less than 25 cents and takes us two–three minutes (we start the backup process when we leave for lunch and it is completed when we return to work). You can, of course, use a memory stick, or external hard disk instead of optical discs.

Once a month we put the total backup in the safety deposit box in the local bank.

This simple routine will give peace of mind, and you will never have to use the excuse that the files were lost because the computer failed or was stolen.