Friday, March 25, 2011

Creating a First Aid kit to Your PC

For many computer users, troubleshooting individual issues can be very time consuming and wasteful. If you value your time, you need to have a plan in place that will fix bugs quickly and efficiently.
The simplest way to accomplish this would be to create a fast “full reset” process for your system. The moment your computer starts to show signs of trouble, you can just wipe it clean instead of spending hours trying to fix malware, viruses or other obscure bugs.
This post is intended for people who’ve either:
  • just bought a new computer,
  • or who have just recovered from a major crash.
In order to do this properly, you’ll need to set up 2 different tools:
A fresh, fully-functional system image
The first thing that you’ll want to do is set up a fresh copy of Windows, with all of the latest updates. Next, you’ll want to install all of the programs that you might need. This may in include Firefox, MS Office, Adobe Suite, or any other applications you’ll use on a daily basis.
Once you’ve installed all of your applications, you’ll want to create a snapshot or “system image”. Backing up a system snapshot with pre-installed applications will allow you quickly reset your computer in one easy step, without having to spend hours manually loading these programs again.
Next, you’ll need to make several copies of this system state image. Keep one on-site, and one off-site.
This can be as simple as burning 2 DVDs and mailing one to a friend. Or, you can also try keeping one copy backed up with an online storage provider for easy download… or on another computer via FTP.*
A recent and up-to-date file backup
Of course, a good system image is just a time-saving tool. It isn’t enough to keep you protected. For that, you’ll need an automated backup process.
Automated backups are especially important because manual backups just don’t cut it. Just like starting a diet, backing up data is a habit that gets neglected and eventually dropped over time.
Another disadvantage of manual backups is that they leave a large “data-loss window”. Most home users will back up once per week or once per month. This leaves 7 to 30 days worth of your most important data at risk at all times. (Your most recent files are usually the most critical)
Compare this to an automated backup system that can copy files over every few minutes… and never forgets. It’s almost impossible to lose any data with these types of applications.
An off-site NAS box is good for remote backups. But the best solution would be an online backup service, since it’s much more resilient, secure and maintenance-free.
Once you’ve got a good system image and backup process in place, you now have a fast and convenient solution for 90% of your computer problems. If you start to notice your machine acting strangely, just reinstall your system image, then download your latest file backups on top of it.
This will help ensure that your machine is always fresh, clean and running smoothly.
* I’d strongly advise against storing any backup data with your web host, since it may be against their “Terms of Service”. Violating this agreement could get your web site shut down without notice.
About The Author: Storagepipe’s archiving and online backup are designed to help keep your system well-protected and ready for restoration on a moment’s notice.


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