Category: Backups and Data Integrity

Trust technology, but always verify!

In the computer world, we take to heart a former President’s phrase of “Trust, but verify”.

Too many times we’ve come into situations where computer users believe one thing, but further examination reveals another.

That’s why at Computer Wrangler when we set up backups for instance, we take the time to verify that what’s supposed to be getting backed up is actually getting backed up.  You can pay a zillion dollars for backup but if it’s not selecting the right files, it’s not worth much.  Or that antivirus you paid for, but it’s now a half year out-of-date because it was never activated and your PC is infected.  Perhaps your new, supposedly-fast laptop doesn’t seem much faster than the old one just because one check box wasn’t checked.

We get the big picture, the bonus is we’re also about the details.

That’s why when we troubleshoot any particular issue, we methodically take the time and extra steps to make sure that all will be well when we walk out the door.

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Backups and Servers

It’s end of year, good time to get your ducks in a row.

$2700.  Twenty Seven Hundred Dollars.

We recently were called into a new client, their custom-built server had crashed.  (Inexpensive custom-built vs. brand name servers we’ll go into at another time.)  So sparing all the technical details, they were running without backups.  Not even an inexpensive external hard drive, and no online backup.  Kind of a precarious situation.

We did triage on the server to little avail and determined any further intervention posed too great a risk to losing all data.  If there were reliable backups we could have done a lot more.  But the hard drives had to go to deep level data recovery.  $2700 later, we were able to start rebuilding their server.  This client actually got lucky though, many times the data is not recoverable at all.

Don’t let this happen to you.  Computer Wrangler can assess your backup system and advise if it’s working right and if not, what can be done to get it there.

Happy computing!

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UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply

So we just had some pretty good storms.  How does this relate to computers?

Energy.  Electricity.  The friend and foe of computers.  Too much electricity and your circuits fry.  Too little energy and the computer shuts off.  The thing to know is that your computer opens files as you work and keeps them open until you’re done.  Not just documents and emails, but critical system files that make your machine run.  Not always, but enough times that it’s serious, a power outage or spike can corrupt these files.  And so you end up with a PC that won’t start or keeps crashing on you.  If time is money, that’ll cost you.

A UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply (battery backup) smooths out the spikes, grey outs and power outages.  Ditch the surge strips.  It’s like a guardian to your ever-so-important connection to all things digital.  We won’t even mention servers which absolutely MUST have a battery backup.  Yes, they only last a couple years but it’s the best investment next to antivirus that you can make.  Oh true, backups are just as important so let’s consider this the holy triad.  UPS, Antivirus, Backups.  If you never take any other steps, make sure these are all in place.

We could tell you the horror stories from the trenches but we’re hoping you’ll trust us on this one.

Happy (Uninterrupted!) Computing!

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