Your business is running well or, at least, steady. You update a client record, make some notes, begin drafting a large proposal, initiate some client billing or perhaps just download some photos from your camera. Tomorrow you go back to the computer and discover the dreaded Blue Screen of Death!
If you have a routine backup of your computer, then nothing is lost. If it’s one of those tasks you planned on doing ‘one of these days’, it might wake you up to putting that task at the top of your list. Letting a computer professional examine your computer, you might be able to recover all or most of your data and maybe the whole drive which means not having to rebuild.
Your computer (or computers if you have multiples) is a vital part of your operation and needs to be given the same attention as the rest of your business. Whether you use an online backup service or an external hard drive, you need your data backed up on a daily basis. You should also have a complete image of the computer hard drive, especially if you have a server on-site that is hosting your medical or legal software and client records. As a safety measure, if you are using an external hard drive, you should have a second backup in case your primary backup drive fails.
Otherwise, whether you have your IT person handling it or you do it on your own, you can be looking at 1-2 days minimum for rebuilding the computer – from installing and configuring the operating system, adding and configuring all of the applications, configuring any special settings and finally, recovering and restoring your data if the old hard drive is accessible.
A solid image of the hard drive once a year should suffice as any updates to the operating system or software applications can be applied later. This will cut down on the restoration time by at least a day or perhaps bring you a restored computer within 2-4 hours, depending on the size of the hard drive and a few other factors. Make certain to label the drive where you captured the image with the date and the name of the computer. Also, make certain to include any usernames and passwords used to access the drive. In a year’s time, you may change your password and not remember the previous one.
The hard drive image and any backups you do locally (to an external hard drive) should be kept secured off-site as a safety measure in case something happens to your business location such as a fire, natural disaster, theft or property destruction. Think of it as business records insurance.
Who’s got you covered? You Do – if you follow through on these suggestions.