Back up and secure your data! (Then test your back up system!)

MacMedics Locations in Severna Park & Lanham

One of the things we hate the most is to see folks who come into our shop with a bad data loss situation. We expect to see people with older Mac computers in situations where the data is lost, and no back up was in place. That happens pretty frequently, and sadly it often happens WITH a back up that was either NOT in use, or UNTESTED. As computers age so do their hard drives, so think about replacing your drive with a larger, faster, and more robust drive BEFORE your drive starts to fail. Just because your computer is newer does not mean that your hard drive is without risk, in fact you might be in even greater risk in the first 30 days of use with a new comouter. See our website: for more info
Now that Leopard has been out for almost a year, we’re starting to see customers who never set up Time Machine, set it up once then turned it off, or some how messed up the configuration. With Leopard and Time Machine it makes it really easy to have an affordable and reliable back up that really works in place. While in most instances it’s a case of set it and forget it, it is wise to test your Time Machine and/or Time Capsule back up. Pick a file at random from a few weeks ago and do a test recovery. See what happens and make sure you understand how to pull old files off of your back up system.
It’s also not a bad idea to make sure you know how to recover from a Time Machine back up and a total hard drive failure. We suggest testing your back up (Time Machine or any other back up program you may be using) and doing a test restore of your entire back up. It’s best to do this on a separate machine, and not tamper with your working machine, but you should know how to get back on your feet again if the unthinkable happens. If you need help getting a backup and disaster plan in place, call your local MacMedics office.
This week a nice lady with a 1 year old infant came to see us after being referred from the Apple Store in Annapolis (Thanks to the Apple Store for thinking of MacMedics again!!). She was in a really bad situation, as her drive that was installed in pretty new machine was making a terrible noise. We tried to recover her data, but the hard drive was too badly damaged to get a copy of the data. All she wanted was the pictures of her baby. Totally understandable. We’ll be sending her drive off for a clean room recovery evaluation.
Losing pictures is one of the things that hurts the most. One easy way to ensure you always have a back up is to “burn” a CD of your new pictures as soon as they are imported into iPhoto. As soon as they are imported, they are all right there, just highlight them and burn them to a CD right then and there. CD media is so cheap, there’s no reason not to use a CD and just make a back up on the spot. The mistake that people make, is that they will plan to make a back up later, or wait until they have enough data to fill a CD or DVD. Even if you DO have a hard drive based back up, pictures are too precious not to double protect. There is no reason NOT to have more than one back up. Use the extra CD or DVD you burn as a way to start an off-site back up, give them to your parents or to a neighbor for safe keeping. Trust me, it sounds over protective, but right here in Severna Park a close friend of MacMedics had his house burn to the ground, and he lost everything including all of his hard drives, and all of his pictures. We went though the pictures we took of our kids playing soccer together, and looked for any instance where we had pictures of his daughter playing with ours.
Also, this week we had 3 back-to-back cases of the Seagate 7.01 firmware failure. This type of drive failure make data recovery impossible. If you have this drive take steps to replace it now! It appears that as these drives age, they are even more prone to the failure they are famous for. MacMedics STRONGLY recommends proactive replacement of this drive immediately! If you have questions on the best way to do this, call or e-mail your local MacMedics office as soon as possible. A new drive can be as little as $119 and most come with a 5-year warranty.
If you need a system for designed for backing up your data (or help recovering lost data) get in touch with your local MacMedics office or give us a call at 1-866-MAC-MEDICS

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