Why do hard drives fail?
All things eventually fail. Initial “out of the box” failure rates can be high. However, if the drive performs beyond year one, it should continue to operate over time. As the drive reaches 4 or 5 years of use, the failure rate goes up exponentially. This is known as the bathtub curve.
The bathtub failure curve is applies to hard drives, workstations, laptops, and even servers, which is why we recommend planning for replacement as often as every 5 years – particularly if you must keep your data systems running without interruption.
For more information about the bath tub curve, https://www.backblaze.com/blog/how-long-do-disk-drives-last/
What is system imaging?
System imaging is creating a mirror image for backup and recovery purposes. The backup image is an exact copy of your system as it stands at a particular time. You determine how frequently a backup image is created (daily, hourly – or somewhere in-between).
Restoring your system using a backup image only takes a few minutes to an hour, depending on how much data has to be restored.
System imaging is far better than tape backups, as the backup image is stored on durable hard drives rather than fragile tape systems.
I save all my files on a flash drive – why do I need to back up my system?
When a computer system fails, the hard drive is usually the cause. When that happens everything is lost on the drive. Installed programs, the Windows Operating System, and data just to name some of the things.
It has been my experience, that many people do not have copies of Windows or the programs, let alone the program keys used to reload after a system failure.
While a flash drive may save the data, the biggest part of the computer is lost. The software installed on a computer is just a little bit more than a third of the retail price of the computer.
With out the software to reload the system, the usual decision is to buy another computer because, “the software will come with it.” – Trap However, if the user had an image backup, the cost of a new hard drive which is usually around $70.00 and about an hour of time, Arnold Consulting charges $80.00 per hour, would bring the old computer back into working order with all the software, data, and settings restored, a lot less than the price of a new computer.
The cost of computer backup should be factored in as the cost of ownership. People buy printers and do not hesitate to buy the ink – so should be thought about backup. It will cost less in the long run to have a good backup strategy.
Arnold Consulting can help your business or home develop a rapid backup and recovery plan for all your computer. We also offer system monitoring and management services.
How often should I backup my system?
No one knows when a hard drive will fail. We recommend backing up your system as frequently as reasonable, depending on how you’re storing and accessing the data.
For example, if you use a computer workstation in a corporate setting, but save all your files to a server vs. the workstation, backing up your system three times per day is probably OK . The file server, however, would require hourly backups.
Today’s data backup programs have the granularity to accommodate various backup scenarios, as well as manage the various images created by the program. The whole process is automated and requires little user intervention beyond monitoring the backup to make sure it happens daily.
I have a tape backup system, why can’t I use what I have?
You can use your tape backup, but be aware of its drawbacks:
- Tape backup is a fragile medium, subject to static electricity
- Tape wears out over time, and you will not know when the tape fails until a restore is attempted
- Tape has to be replace on a regular basis
- In order to disaster proof your business data, tape should be stored off-site
- Tape drives have high breakdown rates
Arnold Consulting provides system imaging for data backup and recovery. The solution is much more durable than tape and is not susceptible to the issues above.
If I get a virus, can I use my backup to restore my system?
Most of the time, viruses can be removed with your antivirus tools. If antivirus doesn’t work, you can use your backup to restore your system to a point in time before it was compromised.
Most new backup products use a continuous incremental feature. When configured properly, continuous incremental backups can restore your system close to a pre-infection state.
If you configure the backup product for hourly continuous increments, the backup will take a snapshot of your system every hour. If you know that you were infected at 1:00 pm, it’s possible to reset your computer exactly to the way it was at 12:00PM.
When the computer is re-imaged to the noon time state, the backup completely overwrites everything that was there previously and eliminates the virus.
Some viruses are so invasive, you can never be completely sure you got rid of them. At this point, we recommend you replace the hard drive and then re image your entire system.
I use Windows backup, why should I switch to your solution?
Arnold Consulting’s solution offers more features and benefits that Windows Backup does not:
- More reliable – includes a check sum file in the backup
- Faster backup – at least 100 MB a second for USB 3.0 protocol
- More flexible – Advanced Scheduling Options or continuous incremental throughout the day
- More secure – Cloud storage features with encryption to get data offsite
- Recovery CD/USB is separate from Window
- Does not require Windows restore partition or a Windows CD
- Outstanding, U.S.-based tech support
- Ability to restore to dissimilar hardware (re-image to a different computer)
- Ability for Arnold Consulting to monitor the backup state of your computer.
Contact us today for a free consultation: 847-464-5855 or email: email@example.com