Ready for a Computer Disaster?

A “Computer Disaster”…

A hard drive will die, your computer get’s zapped by a power surge, one of your kids spills soda all over your laptop. Or a soon to be ex-employee wipes years worth of data from their hard drive before walking out. No matter the cause somewhere down the line “something” bad may happen to your computer. Are you ready for a “Computer Disaster”?

If not, I’ll show you now how you can be. And if these steps are taken ahead of time what could be a major disaster costing you lot’s of time and money might just end up being a minor inconvenience instead. Below is my list of tips to avoid your “Computer Disaster”….

1. Backup, backup, backup and backup!
Having current backups on hand can make the difference between just a few hours of work restoring the backups or trying to replace months or even years worth of work on documents or losing your music and photo’s for good.

Backups are your number one defense and best route to recovery from any kind of major computer problem. And if your a business or have lots of data you “Can’t” loose make two copies and put them in different locations. And while the cloud may seem like a great place to backup your files, I would never count on it as your primary backup solution. I have already seen a number of instances where a cloud service has gone offline or out of business without notice. While cloud services maybe OK for a secondary backup, never under estimate the value of having your data where you can always get to it.

2. Hire your computer technician today…
Most people don’t wait to bring their doctor, baby sitter or other important support into their lives till the last minute. Don’t wait to find a computer technician. Call around and talk to a few that your friends and family have already used and like. Check them out on the BBB and local business license office. Then call them up and tell them your planning ahead. They should be helpful and even offer you some advice. This way you will know ahead of time if you can work with them. Having already chosen the person that will help you when everything goes wrong with your computer will save you hours of time and have you feeling ready for anything.

3. Have all your software ready…
Many people toss their software all over the place. And when it’s time to re-install everything they have no idea where “that” program is. Find your software now and put it in a safe place.

4. Have a product list…
Make a list of all the software you have and include things like the product install codes. The email address you used to register the product. Support phone numbers. And any install or account passwords you may have. It is much easier to do all this now then wait till you “HAVE” to have it and can’t find it.

5. Backup your web browser favorites and online user names and passwords.

Yes, this is just another kind of backup so may belong with #1. But I find many people who might even be “religious” about regular backups often forget to backup their online user account names and passwords. And while it may seem minor right now, it will be a big deal when you can’t get your email or into your bank account. Make a list now and keep it with your backups. Also backup your email contacts. Most email clients will let you do this. Ask your technician to show you how.

6. Keep a spare…
Many people today will toss their old used computers into the trash when they get a new system. I suggest you keep one of these old computers handy. Being able to stay online and have a way to download programs and documents you need while you wait for your computer to be fixed or a new one to come to you after you ordered it can be a lifesaver.

7. Tell somebody…
When your computer dies it will always be the wrong time and the reason it dies maybe part of a bigger, ongoing disaster. Telling others what your disaster recovery plan is may give them enough information to help you out when you need it. Or remind you where you left your backups, software or lists you’ll need. It can also be helpful deterrent as others may be less likely to try and harm your computer or it’s data if they know it will have little effect on you now that your ready.

If you take to heart and really use the steps I have listed above then any major computer problem that happens to you in the future should end up just being a minor hiccup when all is said and done.