31 March, 2012
User data – what is it? In the IT industry we refer to this term quite regularly. It is basically all of the information that the computer user has created. So it does not refer to windows system files, program files or user settings. What constitutes ‘user data’ are documents such as Word, Excel, Power Point and Publisher files, Photos, Emails (both sent and received), Address Books, Calendar Entries, Bookmarked Internet Sites, Databases such as MYOB, QuickBooks and Phoenix and other accounting packages. For a home user it usually also includes music and movies (which can take up a lot of space) but are sometimes very valuable to the user.
All of the above information is stored on your hard drive (a metallic platter) inside your computer, whether it be a laptop or a desktop. It is your hard drive that stores all ‘user data’ as well as windows system files and program files (application files) for all of the software that you run. When we supply a backup system most often it is only the ‘user data’ that we are worried about however in the case of a ‘server’ computer we are also wanting to back up the system files, application files and their respective settings as this can take many hours of programming in the first place. With a server the backup of these extra things forms the basis of a good disaster recovery plan.
In all cases – as long as the customer has kept all of their software disks and registration keys then we can always recreate / reinstall their operating system and application software. However we can never recreate their ‘user data’ if their hard drive is dead or stolen or at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and it is essential that a good backup system takes this into account. On the flip side, we often have new customers joining with us to recover their user data files because a computer (laptop or desktop) has stopped working.
If the computer has stopped working because of a faulty motherboard, ram or power supply or a windows corruption, or a virus or malware or even if the hard drive has some bad sectors and the error message is saying something about a missing system file – we can still recover all or most of the ‘user data’. Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.