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The Worst Case Scenario: How To Protect Your Data
 by: Peter Stewart

Just another day, doing as you always do with your computer. Making documents, working on your finances, updating your family's website or conducting your home or online business.

Suddenly, strange errors start appearing, your computer makes loudscratching sounds and then, nothing.

A hard drive crash can mean much more than the loss of a part of your computer. Often this is the primary place for storage of your information, family photos, work related files, favorite mp3s and other things that have often taken months if not years to make.

The loss of an operating system like Windows is not as serious, you have the disk already, all your programs are on CD, but your personal information needs to be protected by you.

What steps need to be taken to make sure that such a loss does not occur?

The actual idea of data protection is not new, but still many people only face it's reality when it's too late.

The most essential basic steps are as follows:

  • Virus protection software
  • Personal firewall if you use the internet
  • Save personal files to CD or DVD

Virus protection and firewall software will protect you from attacks that can destroy software and your files. Saving files to another place makes sure there is a permanent record of all those things you need. The more frequent you save elsewhere the less you will lose in case of disaster.

All of the above protect you from loss of software due to some programming, but other things can cause data loss too.

The other things are hardware related, meaning that the actual place the files are stored is damaged or destroyed.

Some things that could cause hardware failure or loss are

  • Lightning strike
  • Theft
  • Hard drive failure

Lightning is very hard to protect from. The very fact that it is such a powerful force means that the most basic of lightning protectors could not protect from a direct strike. True protection for this costs a lot and is very often not preventable. If you live in a region with frequent strikes, take greater care in backing up frequently to a somewhere and perhaps even moving that informatino to another site.

Theft happens from time to time, once your computer is gone, there is not too much hope of getting it back.

Hard drive failures are when the drive itself fails due to some internal problems or any of the preceding physically harmful events.

All of these are quite horrible but what can be done to prevent it.

Backups have been and will continue to be the best way. If you have a copy of something in two places there is always another one if worst comes to worst.

Another option that is becoming more and more sensible and cost-effective is a RAID hard drive array. This basically means that two hard drives work together as a pair, mirroring the data, each being and exact copy of the other one. So if one fails, the other one takes over and the defective one can be replaced.

And finally, if you do face the loss of a hard drive, there are data recovery experts. For a fairly large fee they will open your hard drive and try to recover what was on it. Never attempt to open and fix yourself as the inside of the hard drive is a contaminent free space, with zero dust, even a few particles can make the drive unrepairable.

So make sure you're not the next one to get an unpleasant surprise and make sure that you are well protected from the loss of your all important information.

About The Author

Peter Stewart is a computer enthusiast, his interest in computers and focus on practical down to earth advice inspired his two websites. - Practical buying tips - Fair and honest reviews and opinions.

This article was posted on October 28, 2005


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