With hurricane Irene approaching the Mid-Atlantic area, MacMedics clients and friends should un-plug their computer and remove and store back up hard drives in a dry place if you’re not going to be around when the rain and wind hits us.
Power surges via power lines and lightning hits via Comcast’s network seem to be the leading cause of damages to our client’s Macintosh computers. Don’t count on your Surge “Suppressor” to protect you! You really want a Surge “Protector”, and if you paid less than $50 for your’s then chances are, all you have is glorified extension cord with an outlet, a switch, and a little fuse that will do nothing to stop a real surge. Unplugging your gear is really your best first defense. If you have Comcast or DSL, those should also be unplugged during the storm. For Comcast, at the very least unplug your Mac and other computer gear (gaming system) from your cable model, so there is no physical connection via EtherNet. If you really want to be safe and you’re leaving your house, unscrew the cable TV connection from the back of your cable modem. It’s not a bad idea to disconnect your TV as well. In the case of DSL service, just unplug the telephone line from the back of your DSL modem or router.
Also, if your computer is in the basement, get your computer, power supplies, and related hardware off the floor in case there is flooding.
This might also be a good time to enhance your back up plan by adding an off-site back up. MacMedics is now a Mozy partner, so click here if you’d like to sign up for that. We are also a CrashPlan Pro Partner as well, so the link for that is here.
For our friends everywhere, who might be impacted by Irene, MacMedics recommends that you back up your hard drive via a “clone” use Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner, as that way you can “test” your back up to insure you have a good, bootable copy. Storing a back up at your office an another way to ensure that you have easy access to your data should your community be in an evacuation zone, or not accessible due to flooding or downed trees.
Take that back up put it in a Ziploc bag and have it ready to go with you, if you should need to evacuate. Also, hurricanes bring the rain with them, so plan ahead to protect your computer AND your back up. If you have to leave it behind, put a garbage bag over your computer. If you have a light roof leak, that might be enough to save your computer. And, don’t forget to keep stuff off the floor.
The important thing is to PLAN AHEAD. Your back up is not complete if it’s not:
We have tons of posts on Time Machine and we even have a free White Paper on it If you’d like a copy, let us know. We love Time Machine, but for planning ahead, there is no real way to “test” a Time Machine back up, unless you have a scond computer that has enough free space to retire your “user folder”. This is why we like having Time Machine AND a “clone” backup.
If you’re not using an automatic backup, your data is at risk!
P.S. If you are going to be where the hurricane is, then you DO need to go get a Ziploc bag right now, and put it with your iPhone. That way if you get caught outside in the rain, or you’re checking out the surf at the beach, your iPhone is protected. Take my word for it, and you’ll thank me later!!
P.P.S. If your computer or other electronic device gets water in it, don’t turn it on to see if it still works. Just bring it to us. Same for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod if it gets wet leave it off and don’t connect it to power. Put in in a Ziploc bag with one cup of rice and then force all of the air out of the bag. That might help save your device until you can get it into our shop.