Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No, I will not fix your computer

Being known within my circle of acquaintances as a geek tragic, I am usually the first port of call when something goes wrong. I think anyone who can tell one end of a SATA cable from the other knows exactly what I'm talking about - it means spending Sunday evening trying to sort out Uncle Bob's email problems when you could be watching Battlestar Galactica.

What strikes me every time is that I have yet to see anyone running backups on their computers when I fix them. At home, my laptop gets backed up twice, once to an external hard disk using Acronis True Image 11, and then again to my Windows Home Server, which also takes care of all the other computers in the home (currently two media centres and two other laptops). The former backup gets done when I feel like it, the latter gets done every night. Two backups may seem a little paranoid, but I take a lot of photos, and would not like to lose 10 years of data to a crashed hard disk.

It's not expensive - these days, a 500Gb hard drive with an external enclosure and the aforementioned Acronis software costs less than AU$200. Backup can be automated, and restoring is incredibly easy. They're also usually contain tools allowing you to upgrade hard drives and migrate to new computers.

So, I've just made a new resolution. People who call me out also get the benefit of a small lecture on the need to run backups. I might even prepare a little hand-out detailing just how to set it all up, and would probably do it all for them at cost.

If they ignore my advice though, the best they'll get from me is a shoulder to cry on. Friends, you've been warned.


Sanson Lowe said...

Ha ha I know exactly what you mean. I am also the first port of all even for some friends who work in the I.T industry!!! Now that is sad. Whenever people ask "Can you recover my photos/videos/documents?", I say "got a spare couple grand for a specialist data recovery service?" "No? - well STFU".

Damana Madden said...

You've been tagged by Damana -