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Not Backing up Data properly is exactly the same as operating without insurance..if and eventually [when !] something happens the consequences are at least STRESSFULL at worst - well? ! You will probably get away with it, but it really costs in time money and stress, in the worst case you could spend many thousands of Euros, if you are an full time I.T. employee you at least deserve to lose your job !. Click Here for detailed information on Data Back up solutions.


Wilson Data has many years experience in building and maintaining computer systems for a variety of clients, from small office networks to high end multi processor web servers.

Up to 2/3 years ago data back up was mostly concerned with raw data, eg:- simple Accounts back up, and Word documents.

However as computer programs have become more complex (particularly Windows 2000-3 / Xp which are highly dependent on cumulative downloaded updates), and the number of programmes on each machine multiplied, we  have found  2 major problems  with simple back-up:-


Firstly, the amount of data to back up became bigger than the back up media, first floppy’s, and then zip disks became too small, now even cd writables, are often too small to hold enough data for even a small company.


Secondly, backing up of data alone was not enough, in the event of having to restore even a standalone computer, the time taken to reload Windows, Word, Excel, the Accounts package, all the e-mail settings, and perhaps several other programs began to exceed a working day, even when "complete", many more hours often were needed to get the upgrades and patches that had accumulated over time, the cost and disruption to our clients of even a simple virus, or hard disk failure, or a simple error, has become tremendous.

Even in the best case scenario, where a client has all the CD’s, (in a busy everyday office, this is not usually so), even with all the registration codes, all the updates from the software vendor,  +  someone remembers all their passwords, a restore is still a major job, in many cases it may be a week or 2 before full functionality is restored.

Few companies can sustain this without major loss in terms of Overtime, Lost Business, and the Anxiety and Stress on working relationships [by the time you have blamed everyone but yourself] may cause permanent damage to the fabric of your Company, quite apart from the cost of employing computer specialists for days on end.  

[Ps: we are not complaining now mind you].


Our experience , and that of many of our clients can be summarized as follows,

As the use and dependence on computers increases, it has become essential to back up whole systems including the Entire Windows Operating System, reloading from scratch has become too lengthy, complex, very costly, and is seldom really satisfactory, many settings and functions are lost.

The amount of data to back up has become very large, in many cases a complete back up and verification of that back up would take a competent operator a full day at the very least.


As more people use networks vital core data is spread over more than one machine, who knows what to back up ?, or how to check that it has been done , when it was done, and is it usable when needed ?. All too often we have found that so called back up's, particularly Tapes were a nightmare to restore, and in fact a mirrored hard drive would have got the client going in an Hour or less. In one case the Tape system was incompatible with Windows 2000, and the client had lost his Windows NT disks, when finally a set of NT disks were found they were SP1, the tape would not work unless originally loaded in SP4 or better, it took 5 hours just to download the Service Pack 4, and other updates tapes drivers on a poor telephone line 19200 bps, even at that we had issues with a QIC file.This type of incident which I call a "Micro-Catch 22 trap" happens a hell of a lot.

Many software programs are now updated, upgraded, and otherwise modified over the web, it can take many, many, hours just to re-update programs after a restore. Documents and accounts created after these “updates” usually will not work with the “original” program unless the upgrade path is followed for example a Word 2002 document may not load after restore to word 97/2000 on the original system disk. If the later programme is an upgrade it often will not load without the original disks, which may be no longer available!

More seriously in a busy work environment back–ups are often skipped, and very seldom does anyone check that the back–up actually will restore properly ! It normally takes a series of events to cause a disaster, usually along these lines:  Experienced Staff on holidays coinciding with a minor glitch, some junior genius attempts to correct a simple problem, gets in real trouble, in desperation re-loads the OS. and loses all the data, he swears its still there somewhere, or worse denies all knowledge of the event. ! Oh Dear.

You will probably get away with it............Click Here for detailed information on Data Back up solutions.

While horror stories of companies going bust over data loss are a favourite in the press, it is very, very rare for all data to be completely lost, however with even a simple pc system with a single operator, the loss caused by a virus, disk failure or simple operator error, usually runs to several thousand euros. That said we have seen several unfortunate incidents where a small business has been in the position of not knowing accurately either the Debtors or Creditors ledger, the Creditors Ledger usually sorts itself out !!

Lost quotations, costings, notes and general correspondence can take weeks of confusion to sort out, indeed if ever sorted out.

All this has led us to conclude that a complete back up of the Main computers, stored off site, verified and scanned, with no specific operator input or responsibility, plus the discipline of an external schedule is the only meaningful protection for any small business, many of our clients have their own in house I.T. person, and still depend on our system for cost effective sleep at night back up...

Computers make so much possible, but Data Loss when it happens is sudden, brutal and without precautions often final, no amount of pressure, imploring, crying, yelling or screaming will get it back - 

                                                                                                                      you really really do not want to go there - ever..................▲Top

LAST UPDATE,  Wednesday October 22, 2008 12:19.