As a business owner, your data is irreplaceable. You need to set up a redundant system of copies—called backups—that preserve your company's information assets and keep you functioning smoothly. You can lose data in a number of different ways, and you want to be prepared to continue to operate your business normally if this should happen.
For you best chances for a full recovery, you'll need to back up data on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You then need to take them to an off-site repository to protect yourself from the risk of losing data from hardware failure, viruses, theft, fire and acts of nature.
If you lose data, this can cause your business to cease functioning. In some cases, such as the loss of a document, it is merely an inconvenience, and results in lost productivity when the document must be re-created. In other cases, such as the loss of a customer database, it could put you out of business.
Failure can come from many sources, including hardware failure (e.g., hard drive failure or a desktop PC or server machine failing to boot), file corruption, operating system failure, accidental deletion by a user, or loss due to theft or destruction of equipment. Additionally, a rash of new viruses spread by email attachments (such as the Melissa virus) threaten to corrupt their victims' files or reformat their hard drives.
Reconfiguring data from a failed hard drive instead of recovering from a backup is expensive and time consuming.
- Never upgrade any computer system without a verified backup of your data.
- Use up-to-date hardware and software utilities for data security, such as firewalls and virus protection.
- Scan all incoming data for viruses, including store bought packaged software.
- Use ventilation, fans and/or air conditioning to keep computers and file servers at the proper operating temperature.
- Connect systems to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect against power surges.
- Power down and take extreme caution when moving computers.
- Avoid static discharge when touching or handling the media, especially in excessively dry environments. The easiest method is to use an anti-static mat in your work area. If you decide to open up a computer case, to expand memory for example, always use an anti-static wrist band that is properly grounded to the computer metal chassis.
- Invest in redundant backup systems
- Establish a structured backup procedure to make copies of all critical data files, using software compatible with the operating system and applications
- Periodically test the backups to verify that data, especially databases and other critical files, are being backed up properly
- Keep at least one verified copy of critical data offsite
When disaster strikes:
- If possible, back up the data immediately
- Do not use utility software if the drive makes scraping, tapping, clicking or humming sounds
- Do not power up a device that has obvious physical damage or is making unusual sounds
- Shut down the computer to avoid further damage to the drive and its data
- Do not attempt recovery yourself on severely traumatized drives (i.e., turning the computer off and on, using over-the-counter diagnostic tools). This may cause further damage or permanent data loss If you’ve lost critical data, a recovery service is your best and safest option. Never assume data is unrecoverable.
Nouri Data Systems is an Authorized Reseller for DriveSavers, a company that has successfully recovered data from hundreds of thousands of drives with extreme damage.
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