System Recovery and Backup

Years ago a couple of floppy disks or a second hard drive was all you needed to backup your single computer. I remember using a 500MB Western Digital hard drive to do just that. We knew no full recovery was going to work and it was tested time and time again with always the same results.

  • Format, Reinstall OS, copy over files.

When third party software applications hit the market the reaction was "Can it truly be our backup issues have been answered?"

It was a Yes and a No. Full recovery was not going to happen but at least you could keep your active files and your databases seemed to backup better.

  • Format, Reinstall OS, Copy over Files.

Now let's skip the years when XP came out and Vista jumping to Windows 7 and Windows 8. Today we have what we call "Bare metal" recovery programs. Nearly all new computers come with a bare metal solution preinstalled. The Lenovo Laptops offer a Windows backup and a modified Arconis backup which can be updated as you add software. This now is what we needed 2 decades ago when drives hit 100GB.

Today a Format, Reinstall OS, Copy over files shouldn't happen as it did years ago. It's a "One Click" to "Recovery" plan for the most part.

If you setup your new computer and created your factory recovery disks on DVD you'll be able to return your computer to how you purchased it.

If you setup your new computer and create your base bare metal recovery image you would return your computer to how you setup your applications.

The tools are out there, so may cost between $50 and $150 or may also be included in your operating system. For me, third party software has always been my choice as primary solutions and then the internal OS backup software as my secondary.

Following the "3 Backups Rule".

How many backups do you need to make sure you have a backup?

I follow the 3 backup rule.

  1. Backup bare metal
  2. Backup drive image
  3. Backup documents and data.

Backups run depending on your usage.

  • I surf the web and check my webmail online.
    • One bare metal backup.
    • Monthly Documents backup.
  • I have a home computer that my family uses.
    • One bare metal backup.
    • Weekly drive image backup.
  • I use my computer for School.
    • One bare metal backup.
    • Weekly drive image backup.
    • Daily backup of documents and settings.
  • I use my computer for work.
    • One bare metal backup.
    • Weekly drive image backup.
    • Daily backup of documents and settings.

You might see the pattern here, bare metal backups, drive image or snapshots then standard file backups.

Schedule your Backup to run and LET IT RUN!

All CAPS here does not mean "Yelling" it means "Do IT".

Computers can not backup if they are not connected to a backup or actually powered on. Some need to have Hibernate and other power settings disabled to be sure a image snapshot is perfect.

Let me offer a bit from a story I tell business customers. You can ignore your backup plan until the day you need it if that is what you would like to do. I as a technican make more hourly service on a system that does not have a backup.

Test your backups, I know it's scary but you need to format a new hard drive and test to see if you can recover to that drive from your backups. I run 4 servers that are tested quarterly. I still hold my breathe when I do this process. But when it's all backup and running I know the plan works.

For Healthcare Professionals your Accountability Act covers Recovery of data. If you haven't transfered those old tapes over to a encyrpted hard drive and created a backup you might need to start. It's simple when you keep up with it but you shouldn't ignore patient information it's important to those that feed you. Read more from SeaBlueCloud.Com.

Next, how to store your backup data.

System recovery and backup operations. Some of us feel this is a stressful time while others click and walk away. What does recovery mean to you?