Yesterday I received a call from one of our clients asking if there is any way to retrieve data from a crashed hard drive. I asked her what had happened and she told me she is not aware whether or not their IT team has been backing up the computers or not; it seems they were not. A hard drive crash is very common and can happen on any computer or server.
I have been dealing with computers for the past 20 years. In the last 10 years, I have felt a strong need to do regular backups for home based PC’s and business based PC’s and servers. I have created a manual reminder in my cell phone and computer to check all of my critical data points and to back them up weekly. Regardless of whether I use an outsourced company or automated backups, I still check my own backups. If my memory is correct, I have had 4 or 5 incidents in last 10 years where data suddenly went missing due to either a virus attack or simple hard drive failures. This still happens despite the fact that I have been very diligent in taking the proper precautions in backing up my hard drive and using the latest Windows Patch Management software as well as anti-virus solutions.
We have tried several solutions in our businesses and home based computers. The most impressive and simple solution after the release of Windows 7 and Windows server 2008 is their basic backup utility. Nothing can beat the simplicity of that solution. We have tried Symantec, Acronis and several others in the past and none of them have worked as well. Believe me, the most dependable data recovery I have found is using the standard Windows system, especially when only data is important since applications can be reinstalled.
If you are looking for something more than just backing up data and have a strong IT staff or knowledge, I would definitely say that Acronis rules the data backup and disaster recovery world. One more thing I would mention here is that speed is the critical factor in determining the backup system. If you are looking for fast data backup and recovery, attach an external hard drive to your computer, secure it using BitLocker and use it regularly for Windows hard drive backup. BitLocker will save your data from potential security breaches if the hard drive gets lost or stolen. This simple process is the best measure to take and works on a regular basis. You may swap the external hard drive with an additional hard drive and take the backup home daily if necessary.
Happy Holidays and enjoy backing up your data daily!