Byte Me Article 195 – Copy this: have a back-up plan

Copy This: Have a Back Up Plan

This week has seen a mixed bag of IT problems arriving at our shop and it is worth looking at some of them.  We had several new customers that had failing USB memory sticks – which wouldn’t normally be a problem, as they are getting as ‘cheap as chips’ to replace now-a-days.  However they had stored their only copy of important data on these same devices and therefore it became a potential catastrophe for them.

It remains to be seen whether our specialised data recovery service can retrieve all of their data but once again this demonstrates the importance of keeping more than one copy of your data.  If your current laptop / PC has enough space then use it to keep a ‘master copy’ of your data and also use something else like a USB memory stick or external hard drive to keep a second copy.  If your PC doesn’t have enough hard drive space for all of your data then you should be keeping two copies on separate backup devices.

I am often bewildered by customers telling me that they have very little data to worry about – but in the next breath saying that it would be a disaster if their hard drive died?  If you have ANY user data that is important to you – whether it is business related or private (such as photos) then you need a backup system.

2014-10-11 Byte Me Article 195 - A Mixed Bag

We have also seen the first cases of heat related problems for this summer.  In particular a PC that we sold 2 years ago returning for the first time because it was shutting down after about 30 minutes of work.  Successive restarts then only yielded around 5 minutes of running time before another shutdown.  Pulling the lid off the PC revealed that the fan & aluminium heat sink assembly responsible for CPU cooling was in fact completely blocked with dust and fluff.  After a professional clean with an air-compressor the PC ran like new again.

We are also still seeing a large number of Windows 8 / 8.1 users coming to us frustrated with how difficult they find there new PC is to use.  Mostly they are not readers of this column and they don’t realise that Windows 8 / 8.1 can be made to ‘look / feel / drive’ just like previous more traditional versions of Windows – such as Windows XP & Windows 7.  They leave very happy after we install a traditional windows ‘skin’ at the same time retaining all of the great new security and speed features of Windows 8.

This week another common theme is that of “Where can we get good training and support for the operation of a new PC”?  This is a good question and one that I can easily understand when I see the setup state of a ‘typical brand name PC’.  It has prompted me to write the next few articles more specifically focused on what we uninstall / change / tweak / update and install when we prep a new laptop to be ready for sale.

It is an unfortunate fact in today’s world of fast changing technology that children, grandchildren or even the friend from across the road often have little time for explaining the intricacies of IT, yet fielding a question about fishing, golf or cooking will often get many eager responses!

For a handy source of IT advice, keep in mind that I have accumulated all 200 of these Byte Me Articles in an easy to search format on our website at , so until next week – happy computing. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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