MFDigital CD DVD Information Library
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Backup and Save your business!
Title: Backup and Save your business!

Author: Fred Farah

There you are busily typing away on your PC or your Laptop, and
all of a sudden the strangest thing happens. The screen goes
black, extinquished like a candle in the wind.

A message appears saying: "The file hal.dll is missing or
corrupt. Windows can not start." Well you know that 95% of
computer glitches are solved by a simple reboot, so click…oops,
can't click, no Windows. Ok then, you reset, and you think you
are sure to be OK when the reboot completes.

Wrong! The same error message appears "The file hal.dll is
missing or corrupt. Windows can not start." How is it possible
for one measly file to kill your system?

DISASTER…What to do now? Phone your tech friend and ask his
advice. He tells you the bad news. You are obliged to re-install
Windows from the original disc! Oh My God! Will I lose all my
programs and data? Yes, you will have to re- install all your
programs. No your data may be safe, but only if you don't have
to reformat your hard disc.

But, your friend asks, I hope you have all your backups.

DO YOU, because that is the key to saving your business. You
know that in today's business world, 95% of your business
information is stored on your computer. This applies not only to
online businesses, but also to offline ones. In this paperless
society of ours, business people are printing less and less of
all their transactions.

Think hard. Where the heck did I hide my original Windows disc?
Really, are you organized enough that you can easily find your
original installation discs, along with the code numbers they
need to re-install.

You own some programs you downloaded off the Net, but they are
stored on your hard drive. Are they backed up? When is the last
time you backed up your data, the lifeblood of your business.

What backup system do you use? Do you use the old- fashioned
tape systems, or do you backup to CD or DVD? Whichever one you
use, the key is that your backups must be frequent enough to
keep you out of major trouble.

Program backups do not have to be constantly repeated like Data
does. Programs do not change, unless you downloaded an update.
Then your update must be saved on your hard drive, and also
backed up.

Data includes so many different things that it's easy to forget
to back up some items. 'My Documents' contains much of the data,
but not nearly all. Do you know where your Favorite links are
stored? Where is your email that you saved? Along with your
email address book, Microsoft hides these files quite well.

It took me weeks to find, and then remember where they are
hidden in Documents and Settings. I never did find the email
settings, so have not saved those.

Bottom line: what should you back up, and how often?

Whatever media you use, you must have at least 2 current backups
of everything, and preferably 3. If you use CD or DVD, have you
ever noticed how some discs suddenly become unreadable, and for
no apparent reason. It happens oh too frequently.. I lose up to
15% this way. CDs have an expected shelf life of maybe 2 years.
Some will surely last longer, too many die prematurely.

Does that mean you should not use CDs or DVDs to back up? Of
course you should. It is the cheapest backup system I know
about. But you MUST have more than one copy. I prefer 3. The
proof of this comes when you save your business by being able to
start over because your backups are up to date.

Imagine if you lose all your programs and have to buy them over

Imagine if you lose all your emails that have your registration
codes for the programs you bought online. And what about all the
sales and purchase data in your emails. What about your contact
list, your email lists, etc.

Imagine losing all your accounting data that you must have for
year-end tax reporting!

Enough said. Programs already backed up on 2 or 3 copies only
need to be updated by adding new programs you buy, and upgrades
that come out.

Data should be backed up based on the frequency of your
transactions. It could be daily, or every 2 or 3 days if your
business is in the early growth stage..

Without backups…your business may be dead in the water! Don't
get careless. You may say I will save a disc or two by backing
up less often. Why? One CD-rom disc costs a buck. Big deal when
it means life or death for your business.

Why take chances. Can anyone predict when you will have a
problem, a computer crash, a new virus? Of course not. Don't
live dangerously, this is not a thrill ride, it is your life.

Fred Farah copyright 2004

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Fred Farah is a long time business man who is willing to share
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