Backup plans – continued

December 29th, 2009

Well, I still didn’t get my garage cleaned out, but I did have a terrific Christmas with my family.

Since I am really serious about each person getting a good computer backup plan I am going to share a few more thoughts on this topic. ¬†It doesn’t really pertain to taxes but today that’s beside the point.

First, ask yourself what would happen if right now your computer would fail. ¬†Let’s suppose that everything on your computer was wiped out, and could not be recovered. ¬†Do you have a backup plan that would restore your important information? ¬†If not, I encourage you to take a few minutes to review your options. ¬†While I am certainly far from an expert on computer backups, I’m going to share some tips anyway.

1.  Web based backup service.  If you have high speed internet, you can choose to backup your data to an online service.  These services are automated, so you can set it and forget it (although it is a good idea to check in once in a while to make sure it really is working!)  They are also secure, using encryption services to protect your data.  There are many options to choose from, but one good one is

2. ¬†A portable hard drive. ¬†Another option is to get a portable hard drive that plugs into your USB. ¬†Portable hard drives typically hold 250 GB of data or more, and you can pick one up for around $130.00. ¬†You shouldn’t need more space than that for the average user, and backups are super fast.

3.  USB Flash Drives.  These compact little drives have been around for a number of years, and are continually getting more affordable.  If you only need a small amount of space for your backups, these may be the way to go.  For about $25 or $30 you can purchase a flash drive that holds around 4 to 8 GB of data.

4. ¬†An IT Professional. ¬†If your backup needs are complex or you don’t trust yourself to set things up correctly, call a technology professional. ¬†People like Nick Gunn at Scotia Systems ( can talk to you about your needs and set you up with a cost effective system.

These are just a few options. ¬†Whatever you do, don’t delay. ¬†I encourage you to make this an end of year priority.

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Create a data backup plan

December 22nd, 2009

Do you ever get tired of being nagged about something? ¬†Like, a reminder that you haven’t upgraded Windows lately? ¬†Or a reminder that it’s almost spring cleanup week and you still haven’t cleaned out your basement/garage/attic/closet/whatever?

Well, today I’m going to join in the fun and nag you. ¬†Don’t have a secure backup plan for your computer? ¬†Get it done now. ¬†No, I mean it. ¬†Even if you’d rather spend the next three hours cleaning out your garage, trust me on this one. ¬†It’s more important that you get a back up plan for your computer.

Why am I suddenly harping on this topic? ¬†Well, it probably because I just did a restore of a file that became corrupted during a routine software upgrade. ¬†If I hadn’t been diligent with my computer backups I would have spent a few *very* unhappy hours redoing some work. ¬†As it was, I was able to restore a backup and am pretty much back to where I was.

I’d like to provide you with some backup options, and I’ll do so shortly. ¬†Unfortunately I don’t have time right now. ¬†My garage really needs cleaning out!

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Back-up your data. Safely.

August 17th, 2009

Picture this: ¬†You are one of those people who are diligent about backing up your data. ¬†Every day you carefully backup your important files, knowing that if something goes wrong you’ll be back in business in a few minutes. ¬†And then it happens. ¬†Your hard drive is lost in a power surge. ¬†No problem, right?

No problem, as long as your backups are *not* on your hard drive.

Too many people still store all their backups on their local hard drive. ¬†I don’t have any statistics to go by here, but I’m guessing that in a majority of cases, if you need to restore a backup, it’s because you are having problems with your hard drive. ¬†And if you are having hard drive problems and your backups are on your hard drive, well then you’ve REALLY got problems!

There are a number of solutions out there, for storing backups off of your computer. ¬†I’m not a tech guy, so I’ll leave all the details to people like Nick Gunn at They love such stuff. ¬† But I suggest either getting a portable hard drive and setting it to automatically backup your main hard drive on a regular basis, or better yet, subscribe to an online backup service like iBackup, or Data Deposit Box.

In short, be sure that your backup plan is a good one.  Nasty things really DO happen to computers, so prepare yourself.

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