Tag Archives: data-recovery

How to Keep Your Data Secure

Things happen. Hardware fails without warning. Natural disasters occur every day, wiping out homes and businesses. Data gets lost forever, because someone didn’t think they needed a backup of their information. Life happens. This is why using a product like Acronis True Image 2011 just makes sense. I’ve written about previous iterations of this software, and were more than happy to take a look at the newest offering. I’m definitely not disappointed in any way.

Acronis True Image is a backup program that’s been pumping iron at the gym for several years. Most simple backup programs only allow you to archive your files onto another location. True Image qualifies as a full-blown disaster recovery solution. In addition to backing up your personal files, it has the capability to revert your entire Windows install to a previously working – healthy – state of being.

If you’re hit with some nasty malware and need to go back back in time, True Image can DO that. This is not a normal “system restore,” folks. The software will revert your entire PC to a state when everything – all programs and files – were in perfect working order. Seriously. I’m not kidding. And yes – the malware will no longer be present.

Some of the top long-time features of this program are ones that will make you sit up and take notice:

  • Full, Incremental and Differential backups. – Acronis True Image Home 2011 gives you alternatives to performing full backups every time by offering incremental and differential backups. Both capture changes only and save disk space with Acronis data compression.
  • Disk Imaging and Clone Drive. – Backup the entire system on the fly with our patented disk imaging technology. It ensures the recovery of your operating system and applications without reinstalling any software. Copy your entire Hard Drive and replace it with a new one without reinstalling operating systems and applications, saving hours of effort.
  • Smart Scheduling. – Run backups automatically at preset or elapsed time, when the user is idle, on user logon/logout, on system startup/shutdown, or in coordination with other events.
  • E-mail backup. – Acronis True Image Home 2011 allows you to back up messages, accounts and settings for Microsoft Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, Microsoft Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Windows Live.

However, it’s the newest goodies found inside of True Image 2011 that will convince you this is the software solution for you:

  • Complete Windows 7 Integration – Enhancements include Acronis integration within the Backup and Restore section of the Windows 7 Control Panel; the ability to view and restore previous file or volume versions from the Context menu; backup and restore of Windows libraries; and the ability to launch Acronis True Image Home 2011 backups.
  • USB 3.0 Standard Support. – The software supports the new USB 3.0 standard. If your motherboard can work with USB 3.0 hard disk drives, you can use the high data transfer speed offered by the new standard to make your backups run much faster.
  • Predefined Backup Schemes. – Use the program’s predefined backup schemes designed for specific user needs – from a disk space-efficient scheme suitable for users with limited backup storage capabilities to a scheme for those users who need higher security for their data and system. The program offers different backup schemes for disk and file type backups. You just select a scheme and the program automatically manages your backups. In addition, you can create a custom backup scheme which will exactly suit your needs.
  • Check Points for Acronis Backup Explorer. – The Acronis Backup Explorer timeline shows Windows and software installation and update dates. Moving your mouse over a check point opens a balloon with information about the update or software. With check points you can check the changes to your system and recover the system to a specific backed up state.

Sure, you can back up your pictures and documents onto some random external hard drive… but can you then use that hard drive to completely restore your system the way you want it? Isn’t that peace of mind worth just about any price?

Data Backup Has Never Been This Simple

Experienced computer users harp on this, and we have for years. Do a backup of your data. Do the backups often. It just prevents so many disasters.

Think for a minute and consider the dilemma in which you would find yourself if everything on the hard drive was gone. Absolutely everything can be inaccessible if there is a hard drive failure. It becomes a ‘situation critical’.

Think also if your laptop, netbook or even your desktop were stolen. It would be another disaster situation.

The time and possible money lost could be considerable. And we are trying to prevent these sort of disasters from happening to any of our readers. There are some things on your computer, like pictures, that simply are irreplaceable. You want to protect those files and you do so by doing a backup of your data. What would happen if you lost all those class lectures notes on your laptop?

Disasters happen to all of us who have spent much time on the computer. Hard drives do fail – and will fail. It doesn’t matter what brand it is. And the manufacturer’s guarantee will be meaningless because you just want your data back. The manufacturer’s guarantee will be the last thing on your mind because you will be focused on retrieving your data. That can be an expensive job, if it is even possible. You will want your data files, all your music, all your pictures, all your software… everything back.

All that aggravation can be prevented. For your own security, prepare for a hard drive failure now. No, don’t wait. Really, don’t wait. Do the backups now; do copies regularly. Some people do a daily backup. And if the information on your hard drive is really important, do multiple backup copies. Here is a program that will do this for you. It is the well known Acronis True Image Program. The backup can be done easily:

“Acronis True Image Home 2010 meets home user needs with a simple, yet comprehensive, backup and disaster recovery solution. This is a unique consumer software, providing a full set of advanced features in an affordable and easy-to-use solution.”

This is the latest version of the Acronis True Image Program. It was released just recently. It is fine with Windows 7. We have worked really really hard and secured a terrific discount for our readers. A twenty dollar ($20.00) discount is significant. That is a forty per cent discount! From now until January 31, 2010, you can save twenty dollars on this excellent, award winning program.

Use this program to protect your data. The backup can save you beyond a hard drive disaster. It can help if you have a bad computer infection. If you have a virus or malware problem, you will have an extra layer of protection. Restoration of a clean system can be simple. Just make sure that you are making a copy when your computer is free from malware, spyware and other infections. Otherwise, you will be replicating the problem. And you can find in our archives the security programs that we recommend. Don’t risk what you have on that hard drive. Acronis is an excellent layer of security and you want to make it a regular habit of using it. And this program is easy to use.

The time that you spend doing a backup is that “ounce of prevention”. It is well worth your time. Ask anyone who has spent time with a computer. Disasters will happen. You don’t want to start doing backups because you learned ‘the hard way’. Learn from other people’s mistakes. We have made those goofs. There are many experienced computer users with horror stories of lost data. That’s one computing experience that you do not want to have. This Acronis True Image Program will save you from having horror stories like that to tell.

Simple Backups Can Save You Time and Money

It should be a simple rule that every computer user should follow: back up your data. It is not a matter of “if” your computer will give you problems. It is a matter of “when.” This applies to everyone. Students, for example, should back up regularly. Your whole academic year, with notes, papers, presentation, lecture material and other necessary things are on that laptop and/or desktop. And of course, there are the music, games and other personal stuff there too. If a hard drive fails, your academic year can be put in jeopardy. This is only one example. Everyone has important material on the computer.

Disasters happen to all of us who have spent much time on the computer. Hard drives do fail – and will fail. It doesn’t matter what brand it is. And the manufacturer’s guarantee will be meaningless because you just want your data back. If you do not have a backup of your data, everything can be gone. This means all your data files, all your music, all your pictures, all your software… everything.

Imagine, for example, all the time, energy and frustration to find all the registration codes of that software that used to be working just fine. Recovering from a hard drive failure can be expensive. Salvaging data from a failed drive might cost hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of dollars. And even then, there are no guarantees that the hard drive recovery specialists can be successful.

All that aggravation can be prevented. Prepare for a hard drive failure now. No, don’t wait. Really, don’t wait. Do the backups now; do copies regularly. And if the information on your hard drive is really important, do multiple backup copies. Here is a program that will do this for you. It is the well known Acronis True Image Program. The backup can be done easily:

Acronis True Image Home 2010 meets home user needs with a simple, yet comprehensive, backup and disaster recovery solution. This is a unique consumer software, providing a full set of advanced features in an affordable and easy-to-use solution.

This is the latest version of the Acronis program. It was released just recently. We tried to secure a good discount and managed to have them knock off a few dollars. Since this is program is so new, even a few dollars off is a victory. From now until October 7, 2009, you can save a few dollars on this excellent program.

Use this program to protect your data. The backup can save you beyond a hard drive disaster. It can help if you have a bad computer infection. If you have a virus or malware problem, you will have an extra layer of protection. Restoration of a clean system can be simple. Just make sure that you are making a copy when your computer is free from malware, spyware and other infections. Otherwise, you will be replicating the problem. And you can find in our archives the security programs that we recommend. Don’t risk what you have on that hard drive. Acronis is an excellent layer of security and you want to make it a regular habit of using it.

And don’t think that doing backups is a waste of time. When you have a critical failure on your computer, you will pat yourself on the back for being smart and having a recent backup.

How to Save Money with Online Backup Service Discounts


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When is the last time you backed up your important data? I’m talking about things that cannot be reinstalled. I know people who have never done it at all, because they simply don’t know how or where to do so! I’m about to tell you about a way you can do offsite backups easily. These guys wanted me to do a video about their services, but I wasn’t too keen on the idea. Until, that is, they offered up discounts for our community!

Both Spideroak and BackBlaze offer excellent, encrypted backup plans. Both are also offering you guys a nice 10% discount by ordering through my link! Nice, eh?

Spideroak offers a different approach to online backup and sharing. This difference is not only measured in the zero-knowledge privacy policy. It’s also found in the flexible design in handling your data from all platforms and locations into one centralized account. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Windows, OS X or Ubuntu. And it doesn’t matter if you’re uploading data from your computer, a USB drive or an external drive. It will all be stored in one easy-to-get-to location for you!

BackBlaze backs up your data online to their datacenters. Using military-grade security, files are encrypted on your PC, then sent and stored encrypted on their facility. You can restore from the web… or have a DVD or USB drive sent to you via FedEx! Now that is service.

So there you go. You absolutely should be backing up your data. Both of these options are an excellent resource, and now you can save money on them!

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Data Recovery Experts

Jeff Phillips has had it “up to here” with Data Recovery and Computer Repair Breakthroughs. He decided to write me this morning with his thoughts on the matter:

It really frustrates me that consumers are losing their valuable hard drive data from self proclaimed “Data Recovery Experts.” I just invented the world’s first universal tool to remove parts out of a hard drive without damaging the components – so I know a bit about data recovery.

I am a former computer instructor and I run SD Computers and Data Recovery. It bugs me that other firms tout themselves as experts, but do not even know the basics of static grounding when working with hard drives or that the drives are calibrated to individual specs and not meant to be dismantled.

Surprisingly, the majority of computer repair and data recovery facilities don’t even know that removing the cover of the hard drive prevents data retrieval in most cases. We also created a process of obtaining factory assembled calibration settings without opening the cover. This break-through application of technology utilizes high end lasers to evaluate the perimeter settings. We can often now repair even a electrically damaged drive without removing a screw or picking up a soldering iron.

I have been wanting to help educate the public so that they can evaluate a computer repair and data recovery shop and have a chance at salvaging their information; or at least be aware of the key warning signs that might indicate an eminent failure, so they can copy their data prior to hard drive failure. But also, there are several key factors to look for when taking your computer to a repair firm for basic repair.

Most computer technicians have less than 5 years experience, and they don’t even know how to properly handle a hard drive or understand the symptoms, to say the least about having the ability to educate the customer on how to prevent future data loss.

There is so much more to share and I can organize the documentation and graphics should you desire. True data recovery experts of a very elite group, but there seems to be a new data recovery guy popping up every day that is really just experimenting with customer data, and preventing the few expert shops from ever getting data.

Data Recovery Software

The other day, Veronica came to me with a problem: all of the files on her USB stick were no longer there – the drive had been wiped out. She’s not quite sure what happened, but I imagine it was related to quality of the hardware itself (it was one of those branded tchotchkes everybody gives away at conferences). I knew she hadn’t formatted the drive, as that would require jumping through a couple of minor technical loops. Happens all the time.

No matter, I had to figure out how to recover the missing documents and spreadsheets before anything else touched the drive (which, by the way, lived largely inside a MacBook USB port or her purse). I searched the Web for data recovery utilities, and discovered several free titles that would help people recover images from removable media (CompactFlash, SD, MMC, Memory Stick). They wouldn’t work in this situation, however.

I didn’t realize that Allume had just released a $20 version of MediaRECOVER – or I would have likely purchased it without question:

When you think about all the times your digital gadgets have gone haywire, or you’ve hit the wrong button and lost important files, you probably wish you had a way to undo those mistakes. That’s why anyone who relies on digital cameras, PDAs, MP3 players, Flash Drives, memory cards and other modern media should have MediaRECOVER.

Instead, I used a relatively clumsy, but free, application called PC INSPECTOR File Recovery. This utility is not very well designed (the options and labels are rather confusing, all the way through). Still, I didn’t plan on using the program for an extended period of time – and it did do quite well at recovering 90% of the files that had been erased from the flash disk. Too bad the only file we really needed was lost in the 10% that we couldn’t recover.

I guess I should start amassing a list of tools to use the next time this happens to me – so if you know of a good data recovery tool (shareware, freeware, etc.), please let me know your thoughts. It’d be good to have a semi-definitive list here for future reference.

How Not to Recover Data from a Vista Backup

I almost fell out of my chair when I read this. I trust Dave Methvin and anything he says:

Even though the Home Basic and Home Premium versions of Vista are backing up all files including user data files, users can’t access the backups of their own data. Want proof that the backups are there? Use Microsoft’s Windows Anytime Upgrade feature to upgrade from Home to Ultimate. When we did that, the Previous Versions tab appeared and revealed changes to data files that were made before the upgrade occurred.

My guess is that Ed Bott and the other Windows apologists will have a completely logical explanation for this “feature” before too long. After all, why would a Home Basic user ever want to recover data? It’s a well known fact that Home Basic and Home Premium files aren’t as important as Ultimate files.

To be completely fair, Time Machine only works in *ONE* version of OS X. Then again, there’s only one version for users to buy.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry?