CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Feb 13, 2003
Ontario, Canada
Well my hard drive failed on me, unrecoverable. I wasn't too concerned as I backup my database weekly. That was until my backup failed. Lost 3 weeks. Was I ever upset with myself. It only took me two days, 12 hour a days to get everything back in.
The reason I am sharing this with you is that I learned something new.

1) Hard drives in computers only have a life of approximately 3 years. The circuit board then fails and it won't run. This info came from my brother-in-law who is a tech for a large insurance company.
2) He suggests having to drives. Putting info on both.

Now the best thing that I got out of this experience was I learned about a new product called Maxtor one touch. It is great. Any of my staff can touch a single button and my entire system is backed up. I can do it hourly if I want. It takes only second and even someone who doesn't know how to run a computer can hit the button. It is so much easier than the old process.

If you want to learn more about it check here.
Maxtor One Touch
Thanks for sharing! Another tip: keep an additional complete backup Off site.

Amy McCray
Backup daily is a must. My daily backup is read after it is done to confirm that all files were coppied successfully. It is an automatic "check the box step" offered by NERO CD burner software.
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. I can imagine what a nightmare this was, because computers play such a vital role in our operation.

We do daily on-site backups from within the POS system, which include its database files only. (12 zip disks to represent two weeks get rotated - we are closed Sundays) This is the only part of our operation that NEEDS a daily backup.

Monthly, we copy the wizard folder to the POS machine, and the POS folder to the Wizard machine. (both networked and in the shop together)

Every weekend, we do another backup from the shop to the house - through the internet. (pcAnywhere). In the online backup, we back up the ENTIRE pos program directory c:\lifesaver\, as well as "MY Documents" folder, Quicken, and the wizard program folder on the other machine. Once that completes (about 10-15 minutes), we burn it to a DVD and store it in the safe at home.

In the event of a crash, I could take the home computer in and be up with the previous weekend's full system - and restore data in a flash to be current as of the night before. (or restore the previous nights data to the wizard machine and work from the back room within 2 minutes)

Realizing a new/unknown virus could potentially wipe out all three machines, we keep the read-only DVD as a last resort.

Hard drives will certainly last more than 3 years, but replacing them every 3-5 years makes a lot of sense. It will minimize the likelihood of downtime, and keep you up to speed with technology. Turning the drives off and on puts a lot of wear on the motors, which can eventually fail.

Having two drives (standalone, raid mirrored, or duplexed) is a good idea, but not as an ALTERNATIVE to backups. A virus, power surge, fire, burglary, or bad power supply could easily take em both out.

This is a subject I take very seriously and once again I'm sorry to hear of the troubles you had. Glad you're back!