Importance of Backing Up Your Data


Years ago, when I first started using the Internet I had been using virus checkers.  I considered myself lucky, since I had never had a virus infection or any of the other problems associated with viruses on a computer.

I diligently ensured my virus checker was upgrade, along with the virus definitions.

Then one day I had a discussion with a friend, who said he never used a virus checker and never had a problem.  “Besides,” he said, “They are all bloated and use up valuable system resources!”.  Remember this was at a time when we were still working with maybe 1gb memory on PC’s and running 486DX chips.

So I followed suit.  And you know what?  I never had a problem either!  I probably went for months without one single issue.  I was laughing!  All those poor suckers who were paying for their virus software and definitions – if you are careful you’ll never have a problem.

So I kept surfing.  And downloading.  And installing software.

Well one day, I started up my Quicken application and it was crawling.  It was sloooow.  I couldn’t figure it out.  Lots of space on the hard drive, big swap file – what could be wrong?  Jumped onto the Internet and did some queries and it all pointed to a virus.  Damn.

So I re-installed my virus checker (McAfee) and updated it and did a full system scan.

Only minutes — or seconds into the scan it reported virus, after virus, after virus.  It tried to remove the viruses, but it only made things worse.  The system slowed down even more when it tried anything.  I was getting desperate.

I tried to stop the application.  No such luck.  CTRL + ALT + DELETE were not working.

What next?

I ended up turning the PC off, then back on.  Then all hell broke loose.  Windows wouldn’t start, even when trying to boot in safe mode.  I was finally able to boot off of a floppy disk and check the contents of the hard drive – what a mess.  I got errors when doing anything.

So I did the only thing I could.  I reformatted my drive.  I lost resumes, other personal documents, applications — everything was gone.  It took me almost one month to recover my PC to the state it was originally.

The next thing I did was to install a virus checker, and started making regular back-ups of my important documents.

Do you make backups of your important data?  How about backups of your website?  What would happen if you went to upgrade your WordPress or any other application and you lost all the data in your MySQL database?  What if you could not recover anything?

I now make regular back-ups of my websites, especially this site.  It’s easy.  I’ve prepared a short PDF that you can download.  Click on the tab FREE ITEMS (or click on the link) and the file will be available to download.

UPDATE – February 08, 2008 @ 1:38pm PST

My apologies to anyone that tried to download the file and wasn’t able to.  I had tested several download managers, but when it came to move it into the production environment, it behaved much differently than expected.

Click on the tab FREE ITEMS (or click on the link) and the file will be available to download.

After downloading, and reading the guide I would welcome your comments and suggestions for improvements.  Simply comment to this post.



About Rob 'n Mo

I'm a man of mystery. I like anonymity, but on the WWW there is not much of it...
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