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Home Users and Data Backup

data backupHome users should also backup to protect against drive failure, theft, and viruses, Data backups aren’t just for companies! There are many inexpensive backup solutions on the market today geared towards home and small business users depending on their needs. Investing in a backup solution can save you hundreds in repair costs and thousands in data recovery charges.

The first questions to ask are:

  1. How much data are you backing up?
  2. Is your computer stationary or mobile?
  3. How sensitive is your data? 

Online Backup services

If you don’t have much data (less than five gigabytes) and your data isn’t sensitive an internet backup service might be right for you. Most services offer monthly or annual contracts ranging from $5/month to $50/yr. After joining they provide you with an application that lets you choose which folders to backup. Most services will monitor for file changes and automatically backup files as needed.

Advantages:

  1. Data is stored offsite protecting you against fire/acts of god
  2. No extra hardware required
  3. Good for specific folders (my documents, email, etc)

Disadvantages:

  1. Slow backups, performing a full backup can take upwards of a day.
  2. Services have surcharges depending on bandwidth usage.
  3. Doesn’t backup the entire hard drive. 

Offline Backup Solutions

Unlike online backup services, offline backup solutions store data on an external hard drive or DVD media. These solutions make an image of your hard drive, meaning you can return the computer to exact state of the last backup, not just restore individual files, this is good if your drive fails or you’re infected with a virus. You can buy an external hard drive for under $200 and the software for between $50 and $99, some software will create a recovery partition so no external drive is necessary. Most programs will create a monthly full backup and daily incremental (what’s changed) backup, full backup’s take about an hour to complete and incremental backup’s take a few minutes. As the drive fills up it will delete the oldest full and incremental backup’s to make room for the new.

For stationary laptops and desktops its best to automatically backup to an external hard drive as it protects against drive failure and data loss. If your computer is mobile you can create a recovery partition on your hard drive for backups however it doesn’t protect against drive failure. If you don’t want to carry an external hard drive it’s best to manually run a backup to an external drive when you have a moment.

Advantages:

  1. Fast, secure backups
  2. Ideal for users with lots of data
  3. Allows for full system restores

Disadvantages:

  1. Backups are stored onsite.
  2. Requires an external hard drive.

 

Computer Repair in Perry Hall Maryland

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Backing Up Your Business: Data Where To Begin.

Baltimore Computer Repair ServiceA disaster recovery plan is critical for the health of every small business but, only 25% of the businesses I encounter have a plan in place. Personally, I Feel this is because business owners don’t have a clear idea on what needs to be done; not knowing where to begin, they put off building a disaster recovery plan. A good Plan starts with backing up Business Critical Data.

 So Just What is Business Critical Data?

Business critical data includes information your business could not recover if it were lost. Any small business disaster recovery plan should focus on keeping this irreplaceable data safe. That data might include:

  • Customer information
  • Email correspondence
  • Financial records and information
  • Sales and shipping records
  • Insurance, vendor and employee contact information
  • LAN and WAN Network diagrams and IT vendor service level agreements
  • Telephone service level agreements
  • Drawings or Specification documents
  • HR records
  • Video or audio records
  • Procedures and Policies
  • Quality and product tracking records
  • Inventory records
  • Certificates and Licenses
  • Security information
  • Manuals, books and other products created for and by your business
  • Offsite storage indexes which include what is stored off site, where it’s stored, and when it was update.

Now you have a idea of what Business Critical Data is you can begin putting together your Disaster Recovery Plan.

Connected PC SolutionsLaptop and Computer Repair in Baltimore Maryland

Advantages of Cloud Based (Online) Back Up

Baltimore Cloud Storage

  1. Anytime, Anywhere Access. Having data in the cloud allows your customers to have access to their data anytime and anywhere. As long as there is access to the Internet, through a computer or a smartphone app, all files are readily available. There is no need to have to travel around with a laptop or go back to the office to see that important file.
  2. Simple. Cloud backup solutions have made ongoing management and restoration easy. With just a few clicks of the mouse, backed up files can be easily found and restored.
  3. Automatic. Time is one of the most commonly stated reasons people aren’t backing up their data. Cloud backup doesn’t require an additional time commitment for you or your customer. Computer files are backed up to the cloud automatically and continuously, whenever you’re connected to the Internet.
  4. Off-Site. It’s important to keep a copy of files offsite. Even if important files are backed up on a file server, or external hard drive, a hurricane, flood, fire or theft could destroy the computers… and backups. Keeping backed up files in the cloud ensures data is safe no matter what is going on at your office.
  5. Affordable. Small businesses don’t have unlimited budgets. It’s important to use a solution that makes sense and won’t require your customer to incur a huge expenditure. For as low as  hundred dollars per year, your customers can have all of their data backed up to the cloud.

The advent of cloud storage has created an affordable disaster recovery option to backup critical data for retrieval after a data loss event or other disaster.  Here at Perry Hall PC Repair we are a firm believer in Backing up your data. With an Online Backup program in place once set up your data will be constantly backed up safely and securely.

Baltimore Data Backup Solutions

 

Real Life Disaster Scenario- Pre-Loaded Software and Your Restore Disc

 computer-repair -baltimore-county-pc-crashScenario: A Customer will call him “Bill” purchased a new computer 3 years ago and had the option to get Microsoft Office pre-loaded for $95 no disks or purchase Microsoft office for $199 of Microsoft Office with the disks and install it himself.  “Bill” went against the advice of his pc technician and ordered the pre- loaded version saving a few bucks. Fast forward 3 years and his system has suffered a severe crash before calling for support decides to use his system restore disk and restore the system to day one.  “Bill” had a backup of all pertinent files but since Microsoft Office wasn’t included on the restore disk “Bill” was without a way to use Excel, and Outlook two essential tools for his business.

Pre –loaded versions of Office is basically a version that is installed from a OEM cd and assigned a valid product use license key. They are not included on any restore cd because they are an option not typically included on a system by default.

It is important to have a backup of your system not just a restore disk. One way for this to happen is to have a system image created on a back-up hard drive.  By doing this you will have another option if the system crashes and you have installed programs such as Microsoft Office, QuickBooks etc.. It makes a system crash like the one “Bill” suffered a lot less painful.

 

Connected PC Solutions has been providing affordable computer repair since 1999

Computer Repair : Replace my PC or Repair it? Let’s Explore

We_Can_Help_Nottingham_PC_RepairSo what’s the real cost of replacing my old computer with a new one?

While up front a couple hundred dollar repair bill for your computer may look less desirable than spending a few hundred more for a new computer, take into account all the things you don’t know about your current computer that you just assume will be the same in a new one.  When you lay it all out with some real dollars applied, the cost to repair will almost always be less expensive.

Software

A great example of this is Microsoft Office.  We see hundreds of people a year come into our Perry Hall Computer repair shop and have no idea if their version of Microsoft Office came with the computer or if they bought it afterwards.  Most of the time, if your computer came with software pre-installed you are not legally allowed to transfer that software to another machine.  Some software that you bought separate of the computer will allow you to install it on more than one machine.  Do you know what software you use to send email, create documents, organize and edit photos, or perform other tasks you do on a daily basis?  Also, keep in mind that some older software won’t run on newer machines, so even if you’re legally allowed to install it on more than one machine that doesn’t mean you will be successful in doing so.  How long might it take you to learn how to use the new version of whatever software you use? The learning curve from Office 2000/2003 is huge when switching to Office 2010. Estimated Cost$100-$300

Your files and settings?

You’ve been using your current computer for years.  Do you remember all the passwords and settings you used to configure email accounts and other software when you first got it?  Do you know the location of any files (documents, pictures, videos, etc) on the old computer so you can transfer them to the new computer?  How long will it take you to transfer the data from the old computer to the new computer?  How much will it cost if you pay someone else to do it?  How will you know if everything has been transferred correctly?  Those are just a few of the questions you should ask before assuming everything is going to magically move from your old computer to the new computer. Estimated Cost $65 and Up.

 

Above all, before going forward with computer repair or replacement, be sure to get all the facts first. Our Nottingham, Maryland Computer Repair Shop will give you an estimated cost of repair and include both labor and parts. Then you can decide whether repair or replacement is the best route.  

Note: Typically it is our recommendation that if the cost of the repair exceeds 50% the cost of a replacement computer the client should consider replacement while factoring in the cost of software, data transfer ect..
Computer repair
Connected PC Solutions – Offers affordable, Flat Rate computer repairs in Baltimore, County Maryland

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Examples of our Flat Rate Pricing:

In Shop Repairs – $79.00 + Parts /  In Shop Virus Removal $89.00 /

www.BaltimorePCFix.com

Don’t Lose your Data Back it Up

Backup-perry-hall-pc-repairImagine losing all of your precious memories stored on your computer. All of your photos, videos, music, movies, data and important documents are gone – forever. That feeling has happened to many people all over the world. If you don’t have a backup in place, you’re begging for it to happen to you. Regular backups save hundreds and even thousands of dollars in data recovery costs. Both residential and small business customers should always have a data backup in place.

If you don’t have a data backup in place, or even if you do but can’t find the time to perform backups, we can surely help. We offer anything from one-time backups to complete hard drive image backups. We can store them on our server for you, place them on an external hard drive, or even set you up with a Cloud based backup solution.

Whether you’ve mistakenly deleted an important document, or your hard drive has completely failed, our skilled technicians can assist you in getting your data back.

About Back Ups

If you’re not backing up your PC, you should be. Every day in the shop we are working on trying to recover someone’s pictures, iTunes, resume, documents, etc…. If you don’t know how and or don’t have the equipment no worries,we can provide the right equipment and software for your needs. We have everything you need  in stock. We will setup the software, provide the appropriate hardware and teach you how to use it.

How Often?

A general rule of thumb is: people who use their computer occasionally (5 hours/week or less) should be backing up their data on at least a weekly basis. If you use your computer more frequently, however (more than 10 hours/week), doing it daily is probably a good idea. Another variable is the type of data you store on your computer. Obviously, the more important it is to you, the more important backing it up becomes.

For Data Back up,Recovery in Perry Hall, Maryland Connected PC Solutions –  Perry Hall PC repair

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Hard Drive Failure Symptoms and Signs of Failure- Perry Hall PC Repair

data recovery-perry-hall-marylandSooner or later, all hard drives crash So you are worried that a hard drive failure is just around the corner? The truth is, even if you are not worried about it, it is! It is not a question of if it is a question of when.

When a hard drive fails it is typically because there is a physical problem with the mechanics of the drive.

Early warning signs include:

  1. Computer freezes often. When it happens, the mouse cursor is unmovable and keyboard input is ignored. Nothing works and a restart is required to recover the computer.
  2. Files Mysterious disappearing.
  3. Frequent lock-up during booting. When I say “frequent” because all computers will freeze every now and then and it doesn’t necessarily mean the drive is failing. You’re looking for a pattern here.
  4. File access mysteriously slows to a turtle’s pace. Saving files or open files simply takes forever.
  5. Your Hard Drive is no longer recognized by your computer.
  6. Clicking, Grinding, Whirring noises.

Too commonly people lose a hard drive that had data on it that was not backed up. n These are the people who are then scrambling for ways to recover the data from a crashed hard drive. In some cases, this can be done. You should know up front, though, that it is going to cost you some money.

Connected PC Solutions offers Data Recovery and Hard Drive replacement as well as Back-up solutions.

Hard Drive upgrades, Data Back up and Recovery in Perry Hall, Maryland