How to Ensure That Your Business Continues to Run in the Event of a PC Failure

By Tracey Lawton

Having a system in place for regularly backing up your important documents is crucial when you are a solopreneur. A hard drive failure can strike at any time, sometimes even new PCs can fail. Read this article to learn more about creating a back-up system for your computer, and follow my tips to ensure you have your back-up system in place.

Have you ever stopped to think what would happen to your business if your PC were to crash? Would you be able to continue to support your clients and/or generate income in the event of a computer failure?

If you run an online solo service business having a system in place that automatically creates a back-up of your PC's files and folders is essential. It's not just older PCs that are prone to glitches and complete system failures - it can happen to newer PCs too! Whatever age your PC and/or laptop is, you need to ensure that you have a system in place that will automatically back-up your critical files and folders should anything happen.

And to make the back-up process smoother, critical files and folder should ideally be stored in one place i.e. ALL files/folders relating to your business should be stored within the My Documents folder; downloaded programs should be stored in a downloaded programs folder; and any password and login data should be printed out as well as being stored within your My Documents folder.

So, what is the basic system you need? I recommend that you have two file back-up systems in place:

1. An external hard drive that you back-up to each day; and

2. An off-site back-up service, such as an online data back-up service, that backs up files automatically as soon as they've been updated.

Just stop and think for a minute how something like a hard drive failure would affect you and your business if you hadn't got a recent back-up of your work; not just your day-to-day work but all your software programs too?

I'll share a story with you about one of my clients who had some computer problems. Her laptop had died, and she said to me during one of our weekly check-in calls:

"I haven't backed up my desktop. So if this goes, as well as the laptop ... I'm sunk."

How would you feel if you found yourself sunk? If you don't have any back-up systems in place I suggest you take action now to avoid being in that same situation. Unfortunately I had an incident where my hard drive failed and needed to be replaced. Fortunately, I'd backed up all my critical work the day before on to CDs, but I still spent a lot of time recovering and downloading files and programs which I hadn't backed up. Lesson learned!

The system that I had been using involved backing up files and folders to several CDs i.e. one for clients, one for accounts, one for business etc. It was time-consuming and a bit of a fiddle; consequently I didn't backup as regularly as I should!

For a system (any system, not just back-up systems) to work it needs to be simple and easy to maintain, and once it's in place should run like clockwork.

As a result of the situation I was in I created some new backup policies. I needed a more reliable system - one that was simple and easy to maintain, and would run like clockwork once I'd set it up.

My back-up system now consists of:

1. An external hard drive that I back-up to at the end of each day;

2. An online back-up service that automatically backs up my files, offsite and that I can access from any PC with an internet connection if I need to.

In addition to having this back-up system in place I also have my desktop computer connected to an automatic battery back-up so that if the power suddenly goes out I don't lose the work I'm currently working on. I have four minutes to save and shut down the PC in the event of a power outage!

I recommend that you implement at least one of these back-up systems NOW! Both would be better. And get your desktop PC connected to an automatic battery back-up too!

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This article was published on 23 Feb 2009 and has been viewed 1102 times