Why even the best Backup Plans Fail - CHECKLIST for SUCCESS

backup@cibeo.com backup at cibeo.com
Wed Sep 4 22:12:46 EDT 2002

Why Even the Best Backup Plans Fail
by backup at cibeo.com

We all know that we are supposed to do it. We all learn our lesson someday -- when we don't do it. "If it was easier, I would do it." Data backup is important to a business of any size. Large business even have staff with "backup" in their job description. Regular and dependable backup is not difficult. Learn from these common mistakes...

Wrong Backup Data
Don't regularly backup your software files. Just backup the data. If you want an additional copy of the software, make a copy, mark it clearly with its version number and any license key, and take it off-site. Making copies of software, program files (or .exe files) as part of your regular scheduled backups is a waste of time and backup space. Remember...we want to make this easy. Be sure to understand where your data is being stored. Do a little research...Program Files...My Documents...the System Registry...PST files...Favorites, etc. Hint - Look at the file dates or do "incremental" or "differential" backups.

Old Backup Data
As the information stored on your computers is integral to your business, it is important that your backups be up-to-date. A backup is only as good as its vintage. In this case, newer is usually better. Schedule the computer to run your backups regularly (daily if possible). If your backups are cumbersome, identify those files that are most important...accounting...email...and back them up separately.

No Off Site Backup
Assume the worst...overnight your building has burned to the ground. What is your recovery plan? Run to Staples...buy a PC...set it up in a hotel... then what? You can replace your software at the store or install from your extra off-site copies. But where will the data come from? Be sure to get backups off-site regularly (weekly if possible). Also, it is not uncommon to recognize a less tragic data need (like missing files) after your nightly backup has been overwritten. Keep that in mind as you plan. 

Wrong Backup Format or Media
Have you noticed that your backed up data is being compressed? This is why you can get so much information on a floppy disk. Who cares, right? "It restores just fine. I tested it in the backup program." All backup formats are not created equal. Assuming the worst, you will be trying to restore this information to a new PC in a new environment. Will you have the same backup software? Will you have the same nbackup hardware? Will the PC have the right kind of drive for the media? Floppy, CD, Tape. By making use of the backup utilities built into the Windows operating system, you will increase your odds for a good data recovery. 


Many of today's versions of Windows have a built-in backup utility. Some can be scheduled to run automatically, overnight for example. Some, like Windows 98 and Windows ME can NOT BE SCHEDULED. To easily schedule backup jobs on Windows 98 and Windows ME and get reminders to regularly take backup disks, tapes or CDRs off-site, use Backup Scheduler v4.51. This software utility works with the built-in backup programs that you already have. For more information on scheduling backup jobs or to try Backup Scheduler for FREE,
  -Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition (98SE)

  -Windows ME
- backup at cibeo.com

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