Last update: 2010-11-11

Crash Plan - a Quick Online Backup Plan - Audio

2010-11-11 ::
Angela is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

So, what's your Crash Plan?

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You never really know when your precious data may be lost, and this can be devastating, especially if these files consist of your different projects or your own personal memories. What you need is an effective system that can solve your problems. These involve file management and even data backup in case of any untoward accident you don't want to happen!

For anyone's cup of coffee, here's insight on why you should try out Crash Plan and the benefits that come along, especially with a neat 30-day free trial available. When it comes to data backup systems, then here's what I found out.

How to Get your Online CrashPlan Backup Rolling

To get your backup system in action, simply download the file and install things as you would do with any other software. The 30-day-free trial is available for you check out, especially if you want to learn about the program tweaks. But, before that, here's what I've learned from Crash Plan.

Crash Plan Overview and Offerings

Before I even downloaded the program, I just checked that the program updates itself whenever there is a new release. Now, that is appealing, especially since you won't have to go through all that trouble finding the website and downloading all over again.

Installing the program was relatively smooth to do, especially with the eye-friendly graphical interface. Everything was straight forward, and I was already itching to try out this back up program.

The interface was straightforward, so to speak. The menu buttons you see allow you to back up your files either on a local drive or online (supported by the paid plans). You can try the online feature with the 30-day free trial once you've downloaded the file.

Interface Impression

Once opening the program, I immediately know what to do because I can conveniently find the buttons placed in the side, as you can see from the screen-shots. This accessibility makes the program friendly to use and accessible for those new to the whole system.

Overall Usability - Basic but Effective

The panel is basic, with all the options available for you to check out. As you can see, I can easily back up my folder with the streamlined interface. Including that, I have other options to choose from that makes Crash Plan a powerful back up software for my files.

Cross Platform Flexible

The one thing I noticed about Crash Plan is its functionality. I tried downloading the program on my Mac and I witnessed the same quality it offered for my PC. This convenience really provides me with the satisfaction that Crash Plan is indeed multi-platform functional.

Three Plans You Can Try Out Yourself

After trying out the 30-day free trial, the other offers of Crash Plan are as follows:

Crash Plan - this service comes with no cost at all where all your files are stored on a separate local disk in your computer. The benefit of this form of Crash Plan is that the service is light enough to maintain your file management through data encryption that effectively stores your personal files. This is downloadable through the website and it has around 50 megabytes of free space!

Crash Plan Central - An upgraded form of Crash Plan, your files are stored online, on dedicated servers that ensure your data is kept safe and sound. At a low cost, you can maintain your files as you update them and back up your important data every now and then. A cool feature is the 30-day free trial where you can enjoy the many features existing within this data backup system. This service offers you the amenities of an online backup system with ads on the management interface.

Crash Plan Pro - A more sophisticated version of Crash Plan Central, this premium version offers you a wide array of services such as 448-bit encryption. Also, this service is ad-free and conveniently stores your files with the highest security measures taken.

Which Plan Works for You? CrashPlan vs Crashplan Pro

After checking out CrashPlan, it seems to have the potential of being a complete personal backup system or even a business-based one. The off-site security (for the paid plans) really helps a lot, especially if you need information kept safe.

For those of you that really wish to go serious with online storage, especially for business owners, you can buy the premium service, which features 448-bit encryption and dedicated servers. Your files won't be easy to crack, especially when these are confidential business information.

Whatever floats your boat, Crash Plan gives you exactly what its name says. Crashing can cause unwanted effects for your computer files, whether they are personal photos or critical projects. Your files may become corrupt or even deleted altogether. With Crash Plan, you have a friendly interface that is easy to navigate yet powerful enough to back your files up in a very streamlined fashion.

Zen and the Art of Computer Backup - Audio

2010-09-04 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Computer Backup

Computer backup involves the process of storing data in a location apart from your hard drive, on any possible medium in order to ensure that you always have a copy of that file. We all know that damage can come to a computer resulting in a loss of data, and having proper backups can greatly ease the pressure off of us in the event that such a thing does occur. If you have a loss of data on your machine for any reason, you can easily restore these files through the use of your previously made backups.

Zen and the Art of Computer Backup

Zen is an ancient Asian philosophical system which arose in China and then traveled to Japan. It is a combination of the teachings of Siddhartha Gotama, the Buddha (enlightened one) from India and the Taoist philosophies which had grown up in China from the teachings of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching.

One might wonder how Zen could play any part in the modern technological world of computers, especially such a seemingly mundane task as computer backup. However, zen can play a great part in computer backup. Zen is the art of becoming one with that which you are doing. It is a form of meditation that puts you in a state where you are sure of exactly what is going on around you. It is a way of life, and can become a part of all aspects of your life, especially something as essential as computer backup.

Practicing Zen and the Art of Computer Backup

When you are backing up your computer, do not just consider it a mundane task that must be performed. Allow yourself to become one with your data, and with your computer. There are many different methods of computer backup, and you can practice zen with any different method of computer backup.

Traditionally, floppy disks were used in the performance of computer backup. However, floppy disks are becoming increasingly obsolete. After all, a floppy disk can only hold 1.4 megabytes, while a CD-R can hold 800 megabytes. It is easy to see why such a method would be seen as ineffective.

Zen is all about effectiveness, and living properly. While computer backup is a very important thing, and a practice that should be performed often, it merits us nothing to take much more time and disks to backup on floppy disks than to backup on a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or other medium which holds a great deal more data.

Another form of backup that is becoming very popular is the use of what are called key drives. Key drives are tiny drives which can fit on your key chain but can still hold up to a gigabyte or more of data. You then plug these drives into your computer, and on most newer machines your key drive will automatically be read by your computer, without the need for any device drivers, the perfect conception of plug and play technology.


Wonderful Ways to Have a Handy Backup of Your Files - Audio

2010-09-03 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Wonderful Ways to Have a Handy Backup of Your Files

Do you always want to carry a handy backup copy of your website, photos or music collection? Let's face it, some users want to have the ability to have a backup copy of their files so that they can show their friends their latest photos wherever they maybe. Whether it's at an internet cafe or the local library, a lot of people wishing they had their files don't because carrying around a large CD-R just isn't very handy. Especially now that everything is being digitized or delivered digital. When is the last time you shot a picture with film? Those who still have a lot of old media are quickly moving them to digital with services like "Scanning Pros" (a slide scanning service).

Luckily, the recent years have lead to an explosion in handy little ways to allow you to always be able to carry a backup of your files.

First off are the little flash memory sticks that are being produced by literally every computer company on the face of the earth. Most are smaller than a pack of Wrigley's chewing gum, but have the ability to store tons of data. Talk about handy!

Handy flash memory based keychains starting at around fifteen dollars are perfect storage mediums for backup files.

Starting at around fifteen dollars, a user can go out and buy a 128 megabyte memory keychain. Plug it into your computer's USB port and boom; easy access to your files.

Since the memory keychains utilize the USB port for their power, users do not need to worry about carrying a power pack, or replacing batteries. The small flash memory units are extremely handy because you can literally take your backup files anywhere you go. If you are saying to yourself that 128 megabytes is simply not enough for your backup file, then continue to read on.

The handy size of the keychains allow users access to gigabytes of space for their backup files.

In under the size of a pack of gum, flash memory keychains exist that have the ability to store gigabytes of data. Not just megabytes, but gigabytes. Although one gigabyte units start at fifty dollars, they are extremely handy when compared with large CD-R discs.

Business card sized CD-Rs are another handy media for transporting backups of your files.

If you are against the whole flash media brigade for whatever reason, and wish to stay with good old CD-Rs, then business card CD-Rs are for you.

Business card CD-Rs are handy little CDs that are kept in a small protective case the size of a business card. While they can easily be stored in a wallet, they have a limit of around fifty megabytes for your backup files.

Also, users utilizing the handy sized CD-R discs for their backup needs should also be very cautious about using the media in their CD drives. A lot of CD burners, as well as normal CD-ROM units do not support the disc. Always check the manual of your CD-ROM drive to see if it supports business card sized CDs, otherwise you may loose your disc in the unit.

While business card CD-Rs ultimately look cool, they just aren't as handy as flash based memory keychains. While the keychains are more expensive, they are more durable, have much more space for your backup needs, and are supported in a lot more computer systems than the card CD-R counterparts.

Why Do I Need to Backup My Files? - Audio

2010-09-02 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

What is Backup, Anyway?

Backup should be an essential part of your computing experience if you spend great amounts of time on your computer and/or use your computer for important personal or business dealings. There are too many stories of people who have lost all of their files due to system crashes or computer viruses to ignore. When you backup your files, you are storing your files separately from your computer.

In this way, if your computer crashes or is infected with a virus that results in a loss of files, you will still have access to your files on backup disks or whatever other backup program you choose to use, such as online backup. You can then restore your files to your computer proper from these backup sources.

Why Do I Need to Backup My Files?

Don't fall into the old paradigm of "it will never happen to me." While there is certainly a chance that you will never have a need for the backups you make of your files, if something does happen to your computer you will certainly be glad that you have them. And you do not have to backup your entire computer, although this is certainly something that many people do, but only the files that are of the most importance to you.

Some things are easily replaced, and there is no need to backup these sorts of things, but those irreplaceable documents or files that are yours and yours alone should be saved in a place where they cannot be damaged. That way, no matter what happens to your computer, you can have security in the fact that all of your files are available in backup.

So How do I Backup My Files?

There are many possible methods for backing up your files. Floppy diskettes are a very common way, although this is somewhat falling by the wayside as computers are using floppy drives less and less. It is not uncommon to not see a single computer with a floppy disk drive on display when you go to the computer store to buy a new computer. CD-Rs are an excellent method for backing up your files.

CD-Rs and CD-RWs allow hundreds of times more storage space than a floppy disk could ever hope to have, and with increasingly faster CD burners they are becoming faster and easier to use all the time. It is possible to save 800 MB of data onto a CD in only minutes, and for many people they can backup every file of import on their computer onto a single CD.

This is far easier than have stacks of floppy disks lying around your computer desk which you must dig through any time you are trying to find a particular file that you have saved in backup.

Online backup is another excellent method for the backing up of your files. This allows you to store your files online, where there are no need for disks or CDs, and you can simply download your files back onto your computer whenever you want.

Whatever method you choose, remember that backing up your files is very important, and make sure that you do so to protect against the worst.

Why Do I Need to Backup My Data? - Audio

2010-09-02 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

What is Data Backup?

Data backup involves the storing of files from your computer in another location. In this way, if there is ever any loss of data on your primary machine, you still have your data in backup in order to restore those files. In the world of computers loss of data can be devastating, and while there are possibilities for recovery of data after a disaster it is far easier to restore your files from backup than to attempt to find your data on a crashed hard drive.

Why do I Want to Backup My Data?

Data backup is easy to do and can save you great amounts of time as well as ensure that your data is secure in the case of disaster. Data recovery is a very difficult, time consuming and expensive process, and it is not even assured that you will be able to recover your data from a system crash.

Backup does not take much time, as it is easy to put your files onto another medium, and is not too expensive, depending upon what mediums you use to backup your data. There are many different options for data backup, and you will have to choose the one that is best for you.

What is the Best Data Backup Option for Me?

The traditional floppy disks of a few years ago have become essentially obsolete, and it is not surprising considering the limitations of that medium, and the new technologies that have become available in the meantime, such as CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, online backup and key drives. These are all very powerful tools which can hold far more data than a 3.5 inch floppy could ever dream of holding.

One of the most powerful new data backup utilities is the key drive. These key-chain sized drives can hold up to a gigabyte more of data, depending upon the size purchased, and will not scratch or damage as easily as a floppy disk or even a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. You can purchase a key drive for as little as $20, and it will plug directly into you computer and be able to be immediately be used.

CD-R, DVD-R versus CD-RW, DVD-RW

CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVD-Rs and DVD-RWs are also very powerful tools for data backup. CD-Rs and DVD-Rs are very inexpensive, costing less than a dollar a disk oftentimes. However, these devices do have the limitation of only being usable once. Once your CD-R or DVD-R is finalized, it is finished. You can access data from the disk, but you cannot write any more data onto the disk.

This is not the case with CD-RW and DVD-RW. CD-RW stands for CompactDisk-ReWritable, and unlike a normal CD-R they can be rewritten any number of times. However it should be pointed out that they are not as manipulable as a traditional floppy disk, where you can save and take off files very easily. Each time you want to rewrite your disk, you must rewrite the entire disk and go through the entire burning process.

However, this is still an excellent way to backup your data as a CD-RW or DVD-RW can hold hundreds of thousands of megabytes, respectively. You need to backup your data, and there are many ways that you can do so.

What is an Online Backup? - Audio

2010-09-01 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based software for online data backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is an Online Backup?

An online backup offers an alternative to optical or tape backup solutions. While traditional methods can be very effective, they require capital to set up and staff to operate them. An online backup system avoids these problems.

Online Backup Works Like This

The online backup provider supplies a software agent to be installed on the computer to be backed up. This busy piece of software allows the user to select the files to be backed up, manages the internet connection, encrypts and compresses the data before transferring it across the internet to a secure, remote location, and allows the user to view and restore the backed up documents.

The Benefits of Online Backup

Online backups offer several advantages. The main one is the disaster recovery offered by offsite storage but there are also several advantages in terms of ease of use.

No capital outlay is required for purchasing new equipment. There are no ongoing media costs or staff costs, running costs are limited to paying a monthly fee. Setup and installation is a simple matter of downloading the software, and takes only a few minutes to set up. Data recovery is equally fast, as there is no searching for the right tape or waiting for IT staff to recover lost data.

The backup process itself is completely automated which ensures that it gets done, and the backed up files can then be accessed by anyone with permission, allowing file sharing with traveling colleagues, clients, or home PCs.

The Limitations of Online Backup

An intrinsic characteristic of online backup is that it relies on an internet connection. For smaller data volumes a dial-up connection may be adequate, but permanent broadband connection able to handle significantly larger volumes is a necessity in most cases.

Whatever type of connection is used, the initial backup will take a long time. A complete copy of the data must be encrypted, compressed, and copied. This initial copy could possibly be unrealistically long if a large amount of data is being sent over a dial up connection, although most online backup providers will allow the user to break off and resume the backup later. Once this initial backup is complete, subsequent backups will only backup files that have been changed, making them a lot faster.

Security of Online Backups

Though some may have understandable concerns about a third party holding their most valuable data, in reality online backups are very secure. Before being transferred, the backup data is encrypted to 128-bit level - military grade - making it effectively impossible for any one to intercept or decrypt the data. The user is the only person who can read it.

Another common concern is about the security of the data storage center itself. These are invariably class-A facilities equipped with fire suppression, security cameras, personnel access controls, backup electricity generators, using multiple ISPs, high-end firewalls, and clustering and mirroring techniques to ensure the stored data is always available to clients. Except in exceptional cases, the storage premises will be more secure than the client's own premises.

What to Look for When Choosing Backup Software - Audio

2010-09-01 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Choosing Suitable Backup Software Does Matter.

Choosing suitable backup software is as important as choosing the right house or the right car - you will have to live with it daily. Choose a good backup software package and you will get regular and reliable backups, with the wrong one you will get unreliable backups or none at all.

Why Buy Commercial Backup Software?

The simplest answer is that you only get what you pay for. Freeware is available, most operating systems have some sort of backup software, and most backup hardware bundles some basic backup software package. This is frequently a stripped-down version of a commercial package tempting you to upgrade to the full version. They work, but are much less full-featured than the commercial package. You can always try free software to see if it meets your needs.

Backup Software Features to Look for.

Media Spanning: Seen by many as the definition of 'real' backup software, media spanning is the ability to backup large files onto multiple pieces of media.

Backup Verification: Any decent backup package must have a verification mode. To ensure that the backup is correct and viable, the software compares every file that it backs up to the original file on your hard disk.

Scheduling and Automatic Operation: A helpful feature found on most commercial software. The backup will run automatically at a preset time, so you don't have to be around to do it.

Wide Device Support: How many hardware devices does it work with? As a rule, software support for new devices is less common than for established ones. Check if they provide updates as new drives hit the market; some do not.

Operating System Support: Does the package support all the features and requirements of your operating system?

Backup Type Selection: Even basic software should provide full, selective and incremental backup options, good ones allow the use of search strings or patterns to select files and directories.

Disaster Recovery: An important feature mostly limited to more expensive products, with names like one-step recovery, single-step restore, or similar. With this, a disk is created with a special recovery program that lets you restore your system without reinstalling the entire operating system. This can save a lot of time and trouble.

Compression: Software compression is very useful, saving space on your backup media.

Media Append and Overwrite: You should have options to always append to the existing files on the backup media, always overwrite, or prompt the user.

Tape Tools: If you backup to a tape unit, will the backup software allow you to format, rewind, retension, or view the catalog on your tape? The tape drive manufacturer often supplies software that does this, but it is more convenient if the backup software supports it.

Security: Can you password-protect your backup set?

Backup Configuration Profiles: You will probably want to do different types of backups for different situations, better software packages allow you to avoid changing the settings every time by saving different profiles.

What Exactly are Online Backup Services? - Audio

2010-08-31 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

An Overview of Online Backup Services

Online backup services are perfect for users who are answer yes to the following questions. Do you have several small files that you need to always have access to? Perhaps you have important documents from your work, or school assignments that you need to have accessible on every computer?

Online backup services are better than traditional backup media such as CDs, because you always have access to them.

Several options exist, as you can put the files on a CD, floppy disk, or one of those little flash drive key chains. But what happens when you forget your CD, floppy disk, or key chain at home?

Enter the world of online backup. Thanks to the internet, there are now several online services that offer free or low cost backup services. With these such services you can easily upload your files to a server, and later access the same files from literally any computer that has internet access.

Online backup service providers offer users the ability to gain access to their files from literally any computer, anywhere.

Most online backup providers have really simple yet powerful services. Not only are the services simple, and powerful, but they are also easily accessible in any web browser window. What this means is that you can do all of your sending and receiving of your files through a web browser. You do not need any special software, or drivers installed.

What's more is that several online backup services have some really nifty features for their users. Features such as the ability to email anyone a copy of your files can really come in handy in a work environment. Other really nice features include the ability to password protect your files, and the ability to share your files with anyone.

Online backup is not for everyone. It is made primarily for small files, unless you are going to be connected to the internet with a really fast connection. Also many online backup service providers also give their users a limit on the amount of space they may use. So even if you have a really fast internet connection, you still won't be able to use the services to create an online backup of your three gigabyte file.

Remember to consider all of this information when you use a online backup service. Each service provider has their own policies, along with their own amount of space given to users, as well as their own pricing plans.

Be sure to shop around to find the best bang for your buck service. Also make sure that each service you look into offers a service which fully fits your needs. It's not a wise move to use an online backup service to store digital video, when the service provider only gives you fifty megabytes of storage space.

Free trials often exist for many online backup services.

Be sure to try them out to see if they meet your needs. Finally see if the online backup services that you are interested in offer a free trial. Some services will offer a seven day trial, while others (such as .mac) will offer you a sixty day trial. Be sure to use the trial to see if ordering a subscription to the service would be worthwhile.

Weaknesse in Computer Forensics - Audio

2010-08-31 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based software for online data backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Weaknesses in Computer Forensics

Within the field of computer forensic science, as in any relatively young discipline, there are weaknesses to be found. In computer forensics the main culprits are training, operational standards, and international standardization.

Computer Forensic Training

There are many private organizations offering computer forensic seminars and classes. With the growth of computer crime, computer forensic training is a worthwhile investment for any organization - but who should receive it? Computer forensic evidence is very volatile, to preserve it law enforcement personnel should be trained to handle it. Network operators should also be trained, to improve their abilities in intrusion detection, and lawyers should receive some training to give a basic understanding of computer evidence.

Operational Standards in Computer Forensics

Computer crime, perhaps more than any other, can be international in scope. There is a need for basic guidelines for the evidence collection process to be established worldwide. This ranges from broad principle that apply to nearly every investigation, through organizational practices so that a minimum standard of planning, performance, monitoring, recording, and reporting is maintained, to recommended procedures, software, and hardware solutions.

International Standardization of Computer Forensics

Different countries each have their own computer forensic methods, standards, and laws. What is acceptable evidence in one country may not be in another. This is a serious problem when dealing with international crimes, as computer crime often is. The Internet may have no boundaries, but law enforcement does. Investigations that leap from server to server, from country to country, crossing many borders on the way are complicated not only by evidence handling differences, but also by political differences and legal differences.

There are some countries in which the networks are owned and controlled by government agencies, who may have little or no reason to cooperate with foreign governments investigating a crime. What is considered to be hacking in the US is not considered to be a crime in other countries, protecting the individual that committed the crime. Fortunately efforts are being made to bring some standardization to procedures regarding digital evidence. The G8 group has recommended six principles for digital evidence gathering:-

1) All standard forensic and procedural principles must be applied.

2) Upon seizing digital evidence, actions taken should not alter the evidence.

3) People accessing the original digital evidence should be trained to do so.

4) All activities relating to the seizure, access, storage, or transfer of digital

evidence must be completely documented.

5) Individuals are responsible for all actions taken while the digital evidence is

in their possession.

6) Any agency that is responsible for seizing, accessing, storing, or transferring

digital evidence is responsible for complying with these principles.

This is a start in standardizing computer forensic evidence gathering procedures but there is still a long way to go. Many countries have not adopted these recommendations, and probably will not if they do not have the necessary training resources. The sting in the tail is that these are the countries that pose the greatest computer crime threat.

Using Windows Backup Software - Audio

2010-08-30 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Windows Backup Software

The Backup programs in Windows 98 and Windows Me where originally created by Seagate Software, now Veritas. They are relatively simple but, not surprisingly considering their origin, work well with removable magnetic media such as tapes and floppy discs. As these programs come free with Windows 98 and Windows Me, they are ideal for a low-cost data backup strategy.

Although these backup programs were developed before the widespread availability of CD-RW drive and are incapable of media spanning, they can be used for CD-R and CD-RW backups if you do not need to backup up more than about 600MB at a time.

Using Windows Backup

To run Backup in Windows98 or Me, click Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, then select 'Backup'. Alternatively right-click the hard drive icon in Windows Explorer, select Tools, then 'Backup'. To actually backup your files, select 'Create a New Backup Job', then 'Backup Selected Files', and select the folders you want to backup from the list. If this is first time you create a backup job, select 'All Selected Files'. For subsequent backup jobs choose 'New and Changed Files Only' .

If you are backing up to a CD-RW drive, you should first format your disc with DirectCD or similar software, but do not enable compression during the formatting. When you select files for backup, make sure that they will fit on the media and specify a File on the CD-RW drive as the target for the backup.

Your selection of settings under 'Options' can make a big difference to the completion time of your backup. You can opt to Never compress the data, Compress to save time, or Maximize compression to save space. If time is an issue you can turn off the 'verify' option during the backup. Verify compares contents on the hard disk with the backed-up data, which doubles the time taken without a measurable improvement in the backup integrity.

Possible Drawbacks with Using Windows Backup

The first possible drawback with Windows 98/Me Backup is its lack of media spanning ability. Backing up a large folder to CD-R or CD-RW means that you have to create multiple backup jobs no larger than the capacity of the discs. The second is if you upgrade from Windows 98 or Windows Me to Windows XP. The backup programs in Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional are not compatible with Windows 98 or Windows Me, this can cause problems if you want to move data backed-up by Windows 98 or Me to a system running Windows XP.

If this all seems like a bit too much work then you should probably just download one of the freeware tools we review at our backup software roundup where you can find a buch of great tools like EaseUS Todo Backup Free reviewed.

Transferring Windows 98/Me Backups to XP

As Windows 98 and Windows Me Backup were both developed by Veritas, it is possible to use the commercialy available Veritas Backup Exec software to restore your Windows 98 or Me backups to a Windows XP system. The latest version sold for home or small office use is called Back Up My PC, and it supports Windows 98SE, Windows NT 4 with SP 4, Windows 2000 Workstation, Windows Me, and Windows XP.

Using the Undelete Command in Windows 98/95, DOS - Audio

2010-08-30 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Using the Undelete Command in Windows 98/95, DOS

Early Windows users, as well as DOS users have a really great undelete tool built in to their systems. A lot of computer users are still running Windows 98, or below. While Windows XP has been on the market for more than three years now, some people have been hard pressed to make the upgrade, while others have found themselves completely happy with their Windows 98 setup.

Undelete is not available on Windows XP systems; only DOS and Windows 95-ME.

A really cool program that was in previous versions of Windows, as well as certain versions of MS-DOS is not available in Windows XP. The tool, Undelete is a DOS command prompt program that allows users to literally undelete the files that they had previously deleted.

The major limitation of the software is the fact that is can only recover files if no new files or changes have been made. So, basically the undelete command will allow you to recover files if you accidentally delete them, but it will not be able to recover files that you deleted a week ago.

Users should be experienced, as the undelete utility does not have a graphical user interface, and relies on text commands.

Undelete isn't a flashy program. There are no graphics, and the program is not very user friendly. To start the program, you'll need to activate a DOS prompt in your Windows operating system.

To do this, click the start button and select "Run". Type in "command" and press enter. A black box with white text will soon be visible. This is the DOS prompt, and you will soon be able to use 'Undelete' to undelete your files.

In order to use Undelete properly, you will have to learn the options for the program. As mentioned before, Undelete is a text based program, and does not have any spectacular user interface.

Undelete offers the user several different options to help recover your deleted files.

To gain access to the commands of Undelete, type in "Undelete /? " at the DOS prompt, and press the enter key. The following text will be displayed on your screen;

/all - Automatically recovers all of the files you specify.

/list - All available files are listed (but files are not recovered).

/DOS Restricts recovery to those files that meet the file specifications (filespec) in the disk directory table.

/DT - Restricts recovery to those files found in the Delete Tracking File.

/DS - Restricts recovery to those files found in the SENTRY directory.

/load - Loads the Undelete memory-resident program into memory using information defined in the UNDELETE.INI file.

/unload - Unloads the memory-resident portion of the Undelete program from memory, turning off the capability to restore deleted files.

/purged[d] - Deletes the contents of the SENTRY directory.

/status - Displays the type of delete protection in effect for each drive.

/S[d] - Enables the Delete Sentry level of protection and loads the memory-resident portion of the UNDELETE program.

/Tdrive[-entries] - Enables the Delete Tracker level of protection and loads the memory-resident portion of the UNDELETE program. The optional entries parameter specifies the maximum number of entries in the deletion-tracking file (PCTRACKR.DEL). It must be a value in the range 1 through 999 with the default value determined by the type of disk being tracked.

After you have read through 'Undelete' program options, you will need to goto the specific directory of where you wish to undelete the files. Below is an example;

C:> cd Downloads <- cd "change directory"


Once you are in the appropriate directory, rerun the 'Undelete' program, only this time fill in the correct options. For example, if you wanted to restore all files in the directory, you would use the '/all' command. Below is an example;

C:\Downloads> undelete /all

The above command will allow the undelete software to safely recover your deleted files.

Now that you have an understanding of how the undelete software works on your operating system, the next time you find yourself worried about deleted files you can simply remember what you learned about the undelete command.

Using Divx Technology to Backup Your Dvds - Audio

2010-08-29 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Using Divx Technology to Backup Your Dvds

Most DVD players incorporate some kind of protection against playing backup copies of DVDs, as well as DVDs from other regions. However what are you supposed to do if you want to make backup copies of your movies, but you do not have a DVD burner on your computer?

Users without a DVD burner on their computer system are still able to make backups of their movies.

A lot of commercial DVD players will play Video CDs, and Super Video CDs which are just regular CDs encoded with video. While a lot of software exists on the internet that allows you to backup your DVDs to these formats, you sacrifice quality, and instead of just one disc the movie is split into several discs; a real hassle for most users.

Divx technology allows users to make near DVD quality backups of their DVDs on normal CD-R discs.

Luckily a technology known as Divx is starting to be incorporated into DVD players. Divx is a compression format for movie files that allows DVD quality movies to be stored on normal CD-R discs. Because of the hardware demands of Divx (to uncompress the video) most standard home DVD players are unable to play movies that are backups of this format.

While the bargain priced DVD players ($30-$50 price segment) do not have the abilities to decode Divx movies, several players are now available at prices well under $100.

With this being said, anyone who wishes not to deal with all of the backup hassles of DVDs can now easily utilize a Divx supported player and easily create backup copies of their favorite movies, as well as download Divx content off of the internet.

While the number of Divx compatible players is still relatively small, an interested consumer can easily find a unit on the internet at a bargain price.

The Denver DVD-438 is an excellent DVD player which allows the user to watch backup movies in the Divx format.

One of the best deals around for a Divx compatible DVD player is the Denver DVD-438 from Denver Electronics. The DVD-438 is not only cheap in price, but also plays a wide variety of different formats as well as supports subtitles for Divx discs!

The Denver corporation also supports the DVD system very well, as they have released several new versions of the firmware allowing users to have access to several new features with every release.

While you may have a difficult time of locating this particular unit at an electronics store, you can easily find one by using your favorite search engine.

So any computer user who does not have a DVD burner, or is uncomfortable with making backup DVDs, the option of Divx is an excellent choice. Even if you have a DVD burner, CD-Rs are a lot cheaper in price than DVD-Rs, and if you create a bad burned disc, it is always a lot better to throw away a few cents (for the CD-R disc) than a few dollars (for the DVD disc).

Update and Refine the Disaster Recovery Plan - Audio

2010-08-29 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based Online Backup software -- Back2zip. This resources is also available at

Disaster Recovery, a race against time!

Data keeps changing with passing time, which makes keeping pace with the changing data one of the most important challenges before data security/disaster recovery officials. In the case of any enterprise, logical environment is something that is in a state of constant flux, being changed and redefined with the passage of every hour depending on the various requirements of time.

One of the important aspects of any disaster recovery plan is a sensible backup plan for making redundant copies of all critical files of the company database. Apart from making constantly updated backups, the disaster recovery plan should also take into account all the critical changes in the logical environment as it might be of supreme importance at the hour of reconstruction after a tragic disaster and data loss.

Backups can become obsolete, making disaster recovery impossible

The fact that logical environment composed of various bits and pieces of data are ever changing means that there is all the possibility of backup becoming obsolete unless extreme care is taken. This problem of obsolete backup marring the prospects of successful disaster recovery can be avoided only if there is a real time backup. This calls for the right installation of right infrastructure in place, which everybody can afford to, especially small business houses that is willing to set aside only meager sums for data security budget!

Take for example the common scenario of new software being installed at the instance of a particular department in the enterprise for a specific purpose. It could be new accounting software or new human resource management software. With the installation of such a new software the logical environment undergoes a critical transformation and the backup plan may need to be updated and refined to take into account the new development. Only such a refined and updated backup that accounts for the changes in the logical environment will be useful in a picture perfect disaster recovery.

Not just the backup but also the entire disaster recovery plan needs refining and updating

Like in the instance of backups, the change in logical environment as well as other relevant factors, the disaster recovery plan needs to be constantly updated and refined to be of any constructive use during crises. More often than not, what happens is that once bare bones disaster recovery plan is in place, those concerned with it tend to push it to the freezer and get on with things of "greater importance"!

But know this now, and without any delay that a workable and up-to-date disaster recovery plan is as important as any other work in a logical environment consisting of large amounts of critical data. Considering the mere existence of a disaster recovery plan to be enough can prove to be a costly mistake in the event of a disaster. Even a seemingly successful disaster recovery may not be able to reconstruct the logical environment as it was before the disaster struck, unless the disaster recovery plan was reviewed frequently to incorporate necessary changes.

Undelete Your Files Now - Audio

2010-08-28 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Undelete?

Undelete is any data recovery program which will allow you to restore files onto your computer that have been deleted in any way, shape or form. If you are a Windows user you already have a minor undelete program on your computer: the Recycle Bin. This program allows you to restore files that are in your recycle bin before they are permanently erased from your computer. However, recycle bin has its limitations, and cannot restore files that you have deleted from the recycle bin.

Types of Undelete

Undelete is a general term, and there are many different forms of undelete programs that you can use on your computer. Executive Software has an undelete program which replaces the recycle bin on your computer. This recovery bin is far more powerful than the normal recycle bin which comes on your computer. It will hold all files that are deleted from your computer, even ones that the recycle bin would not normally get such as large files to big for the recycle bin to handle. You can then undelete any file that you wish from the recovery bin.

This software also has features to allow you to recover files that have been previously deleted from your computer. This is a very powerful tool that can allow you to regain files that you thought you had lost forever. As an added bonus, if there are sensitive files that you want removed from your computer forever, there is a secure delete function which will allow you to permanently remove any file that you wish.

Most undelete software will either perform a function similar to that of the recovery bin of Executive Software's undelete software, or they will allow you to search through your computer in an attempt to recover or undelete files that have been previously deleted from your computer.

How do I Get Undelete Programs for my Computer?

There are many different undelete programs on the market, and even many freeware programs which are available to you to use for free. One excellent source for undelete programs as well as a variety of other utilities is You can search through their database for undelete programs, and see what they have to offer. They will offer reviews, information about using the programs as well as a download of the program right on their site.

It is important to remember that while all of their downloads are free, not all of the programs will be freeware to you. Some are time trial versions, others are simply demos which have only a few features included, some are shareware. However, even if you do not find a freeware utility that you believe will solve your data recovery needs, you can still find free downloads of programs that will allow you to try them before you buy them.

Undelete programs are expensive utilities, generally costing 100 dollars or more, and you will want to make sure that you are getting a quality program before you spend this sort of money on undelete software. It will also allow you to download your software immediately and start undeleting your files today.

Undelete Software for Your Business - Audio

2010-08-28 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Undelete?

Undelete is any software utility which allows you to essentially undelete or recover deleted files from your computer. This is the most basic form of data recovery, as it allows you to recover files that you thought that you had lost from your computer. If you work with Windows or other similar operating systems, you most likely already have a basic form of undelete on your machine. The recycle bin is a program which allows you to recover files that you have deleted.

When you delete a file, it is first sent to the recycle bin, where you can then permanently delete it manually or wait until the recycle bin cycles itself and deletes the files for you.

Why do I Need Undelete for my Business?

Undelete is a very important utility for any business. In this computer age, data can be as precious as gold and if you need access to a file that has been deleted for any reason, you will want to have your hands on a powerful undelete utility that will allow you to recover your files. Data can be lost for any number of reasons: accidents, viruses, system crashes, etc. Anything that causes a loss of vital data can be harmful to your business, and you will need to be able to restore it if the case requires it.

How do I Get an Undelete Program?

There are many different undelete programs in existence, made by many different companies. There are two basic forms of undelete software. One, like the recycle bin of Windows operating systems, must be installed prior to the deletion of a file. Executive Software makes an excellent undelete program of this variety. They replace your recycle bin with what they call a recovery bin.

Unlike the recycle bin, every single file that is deleted from your computer will be placed into the recovery bin, from which you can undelete it if necessary. It is a very powerful tool, and one which could greatly help your business.

Other undelete tools may be installed after the event of deletion. When you delete files, even if you cannot necessarily see it, it is oftentimes still within your system somewhere. These undelete programs will search out the likely places that your file is, and if they can find it will restore it to your computer so that you can access them and manipulate them as normal.

There are many different sources of undelete software. You can try the web site of Executive Software, found at You can also try, which is another powerful undelete tool. If these do not suit you, however, another excellent source is They will have information on a number of different undelete utilities, as well as trial downloads and even freeware versions of undelete programs. This will allow you to get a free undelete program or try an undelete program before making the monetary investment to purchase it for your business.

Typical Data Recovery Scenario! - Audio

2010-08-27 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based software for online data backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Why would I ever want Data Recovery!

Data recovery can be your headache when it is the last thing you want. A typical scenario leading to you scrambling around for data recovery experts could be something like this: One fine morning, you start your system to work on your tax worksheet. You are adding the data about the current month's tax returns on your database of tax payment. Out of the blue, there is a power failure, when you least expected it.

In fact, you were almost done with the data entry part when the power blacked out. Now after an anxious wait for the power to come back, you switch on the system only to be informed by the operating system that a certain part of your hard disk has become inaccessible. So not only is your current month's tax data lost, but the whole tax database has become inaccessible.

So how to go about data recovery

Ok, so data recovery can be your share of worry any time of the year! So how do you go about it? What do you need to do? Do you recover the Data? Questions start crowding your agitated brain. Here are a few simple things you can do. Immediately stop using the problem hard disk as any further use of the disk can jeopardize data recovery. Don't even try to run the basic scan disk or disk check to see if you can fix the corrupted part of the hard disk. Look up a simple Data Recovery software from the internet. Several of them are available and some of the are even free to try.

If you are comfortable working with it then try and let the software scan your hard disk to evaluate whether data recovery is possible and if possible how much of it can be recovered. If you think you can safely recover the data you want from the problem hard disk, then try doing it without further disturbing the files on the disk.

If you think, it is beyond you, or if you think data recovery is an expert's job, then look up a data recovery expert from the yellow pages or with assistance from your hardware supplier.

What to expect from Data Recovery Experts

Well, so finally you managed to get hold of a supposedly good data recovery expert. Now the question is can you blindly trust your data recovery expert to wave his magic wand and come up with all the lost data like a magician produces rabbit from his hat! Well, to be frank, you are best advised to take the data recovery expert's claims with a large pinch of salt.

How much data can be retrieved and the accuracy of recovered data depends on how much writing/over-writing activity has happened on your hard drive after the data loss. Another important factor is the nature of the damage that has happened. If all the relevant factors are favorable, then you can safely expect your data recovery expert to come up with your entire tax database intact! Good Luck!

Undelete and Data Recovery - Audio

2010-08-27 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based Online Backup software -- Back2zip. This resources is also available at

What is Undelete?

Undelete is the most basic form of data recovery. It is exactly what its name implies: the restoring or undeleting of files that you have previously deleted. One of the most basic undelete programs is recycle bin, which is included with Windows operating systems. Normally when you delete a file, it is not actually removed immediately from your computer, but is placed into the recycle bin.

You can then delete the files from there so that they will be removed from your computer, or the program will automatically empty itself at certain intervals. This allows you a chance to restore files that you might realize that you actually need or deleted accidentally.

What is Data Recovery?

Undelete is a part of data recovery. Data recovery is the process wherein you recover data that is seemingly lost from your computer. This can be caused by a variety of different catalysts: system crash, physical damage to the disk, computer viruses, etc. Undelete is a basic form of data recovery, but there are far more advanced methods for recovering lost data.

What Programs Are Available for Undelete Data Recovery?

There are many different undelete programs out there, beyond the recycle bin. They come in two fundamental kinds: some, like the recycle bin, must be installed prior to the deletion of a file, and will allow you to recover deleted files from the program. Executive Software makes a very powerful undelete utility that works along these lines, and replaces your recycle bin with a recovery bin.

Unlike recycle bin, which only accepts some files that you delete, the recovery bin will hold every file which you delete from your computer, allowing you to undelete them easily and quickly. It also has a secure delete function which will allow you to delete a file and know that it is no longer on your computer.

Other undelete programs may be utilized after data has already been deleted. Oftentimes when we delete files, these files are still in existence somewhere on our computer, we are just not able to access them. More advanced undelete programs will allow you to search your computer and find these files to restore them on your computer, if they are still there and accessible.

How do I Find an Undelete Program For my Personal Data Recovery?

As mentioned before, there are many different undelete programs out there. One of the best ways to find undelete programs for your personal use is through Many undelete programs are actually freeware utilities, which cost you nothing to use. You will be able to find these on They will have reviews on different programs, and you will be able to determine which you think is the best for you.

If you would like to work with a more advanced, non freeware program, you can also find trial and shareware versions of many programs on This will allow you to try a program prior to making the monetary investment to purchase one for yourself. This is an excellent way to make sure that you buy the best program for your undelete needs.

Top Ten Disaster Recovery Tips - Audio

2010-08-26 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Disaster Recovery is 'make or Break'

Research shows that most firms hit by a catastrophic event, without no disaster recovery plan, go out of business within two years. Even a basic disaster recovery plan will increase the chances of recovery.

Disaster Recovery Tips

Store your system passwords in at least two separate secure locations. only one of which is in the same building as your IT equipment. At least two staff have should have access to them.

Document, document, document! Make sure that the whole recovery process to get you up and running again is documented, and includes the locations of system recovery and other critical discs. Make sure that key key staff are familiar with with these.

Establish an automated system to notify critical staff of disaster by text. These staff should be thoroughly trained so that they can perform basic disaster recovery/back-up tasks unsupervised. You may be able to do this through an arrangement with a third-party service provider.

Practice your disaster recovery plan on a quarterly basis or more. This not only hones your disaster recovery team's skills but it will also familiarize new staff with the procedure, and ensures that your disaster recovery strategy is kept up to date by revealing any issues with new equipment or software.

No matter how good your disaster recovery plan, it cannot recover data if you neglect to back it up. Make sure there is a routine for backing up data regularly, and ensure it is done. Using at least Raid Level 5 (Raid Level 10 if the budget allows) to ensure data duplication ensures fault tolerance. Build as much redundancy in your system as possible to remove any single points of failure. This includes a multi-path data route to the system, so that you can still access your data if one path fails.

Arrange to have spare hot hard disk drives already in the system, or at least physically available in the same room as your storage system.

7.A tape archive strategy is crucial. Tapes used on a daily basis should be replaced every six to nine months to avoid deterioration - backups are no use if they cannot be recovered. Other tapes should be replaced on a regular, less frequent, schedule based on the frequency of use. Being able to back up to a remote location is worth almost any price, a fireproof vault is not an alternative to an off-site location.

Get yourself the best, longest-life, most uninterruptible power supply you can. Then get an additional battery back-up for your cache to go with it.

Don't neglect to protect yourself from random theft, vandalism and employee malice, they can be just as disastrous as anything else. At the very least ensure that the door to your data/server room is locked, day and night.

An automatically closing fire door to the data/server room will keep fire and smoke out of the room for a surprisingly long time

Common Faults in Disaster Recovery Plans

Most disaster recovery plans that fail do so from lack of backups, lack of practice, or lack of documents. A basic but documented plan with recent backups and practiced staff will work better than a grandiose scheme let down on any of these points.

Three Reasons for Online Remote Backup - Audio

2010-08-26 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Three Reasons for Online Remote Backup

Online remote backup has risen in popularity the last few years. For a reasonable fee all types of businesses are entrusting their data to travel across the Internet and storage of that data in a remote location. Whether this is because of the rise in terrorist threats or the further developments of encryption and security is debatable. For whatever reason, online remote backup services are popping up all over the technology landscape and for three solid reasons.

Online remote backup has advantages over traditional backup solutions, its security features are often better than most in house data security and it can mitigate risks and threats to your critical data.

Online Remote Backup Advantages

Backup and recovery plans can be expensive to invest in. There is the cost of hardware, the cost of the software, and the cost of hiring trained employees to handle the process. In addition there is the time, which equals cost, of performing the backup process. Depending on the amount of data your company warrants as critical to backup and the amount of data you generate on a daily basis the time for backup can be extensive. Online remote backup can reduce this cost dramatically.

Through its automated process, its need for little or no additional investments, and the quick and easy availability for data recovery, you should see immediate results in your bottom line.

* Online Remote Backup Security

In house backup plans can sometimes overlook the obvious need for security. Many do not see the need to secure the backup data when the data is kept inside their own walls. There are statistics that speak to the need to do so. Employees often perpetrate damage, destruction, and loss. Curiosity or revenge can push people to enter an arena they normally would not go into. Data can draw this type of response. Protecting and securing your data has a lot to do with protecting your employees.

When one employee has committed a crime, everyone is subject to questioning. It does not make sense to leave the door open and online remote backup can close that door.

Online remote backup sends your data encrypted with a key only you hold. The backup process cannot be initiated except through authentication. You will know who requested the backup because you have identified and authorized certain people to do so and a log will tell you who performed the backup. In addition, once the data has arrived to the remote location, You should have the added security any online remote backup service would provide along with trained staff and a 24/7 customer service policy. Can you say the same for the backup data located in your office?

Online Remote Backup Mitigates Risk

Online remote backup data is sitting on a server in a far away place. Your connection is the Internet and only through authentication and authority can someone download or retrieve the data. The data is not open to your network, therefore technical disasters cannot affect the data. It stays clean and trouble free until you solve your technical issues, human disasters, or natural disaster. When you see the need to recover safely your data is waiting for you, unharmed and clean from the risks and threats at hand.

The Principles of File Recovery - Audio

2010-08-25 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Why File Recovery is Possible

File recovery is nearly always possible, if you spot the mistake and do something about it fast enough. Luckily, if you do mistakenly delete a file, the file has not been physically removed, the operating system just doesn't know where it is anymore. This is easier to understand once you realize that there is more to storing a file on your hard drive than just finding space for the information and writing it there.

The operating system must also keep track of where it put the file, without this it would be unable to find it again. When a file gets deleted, this record is altered and the disk area containing the information is marked as free space. The information itself remains intact until some other information is written over it.

The effect is similar to rubbing out the name of a video tape - you know you can use that tape now, but the original film is still on there until you do it, and should you change your mind you can do your own 'file recovery' by writing the name on the box again. Commercial file recovery programs do exactly the same trick with computer files.

File Recovery Programs

There is no shortage of file recovery software to help you out if you delete the wrong file. There are numerous commercial file recovery programs, DOS has its own 'Undelete' command, and Windows has the familiar Recycle Bin. Except for Recycle Bin, they all work on the same principle of searching the hard drive for files that have recently been marked for overwriting. More advanced ones will also tell you how much of the file is recoverable by checking how much has been written over.

The seemingly simple Recycle Bin has one advantage over any third party file recovery program: it doesn't allow any overwriting of deleted files stored in there. This means that files from here are recovered in their entirety, and will function exactly as before once they are restored.

Obstacles to File Recovery

The biggest obstacle by far is time. The longer you wait, the higher the chance of a deleted file being written over, unless it is safely in the Recycle Bin. Once this has happened file recovery is still possible but it will take a lot more than a bit of commercial software to do it.

Operating systems are continuously creating files, every web page you visit does the same, and so does every application you open. With this in mind, the time to start your file recovery process is the instant that you realize you needed that file.

If you are extremely security conscious enough to be running encryption software this will also reduce your chances of file recovery, as the majority of file recovery programs need to read the file to know it is there. If the encryption utility doesn't offer its own built-in undelete function then file recovery is going to be very difficult and very expensive.

The Power of Undelete - Audio

2010-08-25 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Undelete?

Undelete is exactly what its name implies. It is any program which allows you to restore or undelete, files that you have previously deleted. It is the most basic form of data recovery. While you might not realize it, there is a good chance that you have used undelete software before. The recycle bin included in a Windows operating system is actually a very basic form of undelete.

If you have deleted a file and it is still in your recycle bin, then you will be able to restore it from that program back to your primary computer. However, once you have deleted it from the recycle bin you will be unable to recover them again with this program.

More Powerful Undelete

While the recycle bin can be a very useful tool, there are for more powerful undelete programs in existence. Some are basically more powerful forms of the recycle bin, while others will allow you to actually explore your computer in order to recover files that have been deleted from your machine in any way, even if it did not go through the recycle bin, and restore it to your computer. This is a very basic form of data recovery that can greatly help your computing organization.

There are many different forms of undelete, and there are many different companies which make undelete software. Depending upon your skills and what exactly your needs are in undelete will determine what sort of undelete is best for you. Most companies who create undelete programs try to make them as easy as possible to utilize, so that you do not have to be a skilled programmer to recover your deleted data. However, this is not always the case and you will want to look at that as well as what exactly the undelete program will allow you to do when choosing an undelete program for your use.

How do I Get an Undelete Program?

There are many different undelete programs for your use. Executive Software, found at, has an excellent undelete program which has many features which can greatly assist you in your undelete data recovery. Another excellent program can be found at

If you would like to find out a number of different undelete options for your computer, one excellent source is They will have many freeware undelete programs which you can utilize on your computer absolutely free of charge. They will have reviews of these programs, so you can determine which one you feel will be the best for you.

If you feel that there are no freeware utilities that you feel will work for your undelete needs, you can also download demos, trial and shareware versions of paid programs. This will allow you to try these utilities out on your machine before deciding which one is the best for you. Undelete programs can be expensive, and before you make an investment in such software it is a good idea to know exactly what you are paying for and that it will work well for your computer.

The Importantance of Computer Backup - Audio

2010-08-24 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

What is Computer Backup?

Computer backup is the storing of data on your computer onto other media besides your hard disk to prepare for the event that data is lost or destroyed on your computer. Everyone who works with computers knows the difficulties that computers often cause, with program malfunctions, system crashes, computer viruses and the like. If you do a lot of important work on the computer, then computer backup is something that you will want to pay particular attention to.

If anything happens to your computer or the data on your computer and you do not have proper backups of the data that is important to you, then it is a very difficult process if not impossible to recover your files. Having proper backups of all your important files can make your computing experience all the easier and more safe.

How do I Backup my Computer?

There are many methods available to backup your computer. Any time that you store a file both on your computer and on another disk or drive, you are backing up your files. The traditional medium for computer backups is the floppy disk, but these are in the process of becoming obsolete. It is already difficult to purchase a new computer which contains a floppy disk drive on it, and soon it will be almost impossible to purchase one, or even to purchase floppy disks.

The newest technology for computer backup is the keydrive. This is a tiny drive which fits on a keychain which can hold up to gigabytes of data on a single drive. This drive is then plugged into your computer through a USB connection, where it operates as another drive on your computer. You can edit, save, delete, or add files directly onto the key drive just as if it were your hard disk while it is plugged in, then remove it and have your data safe and secure. This is a very powerful tool for computer backup.

Online Computer Backup

Another excellent form of computer backup is online backup. Unlike traditional methods, which require the use of other media such as a floppy disk, a CD-R or keydrive, online backup stores your files online and you never have to remember where you put a disk, or worry about physical damage to your backup mediums. Because the files are being stored online, they will always be there online. You can access them at any time that you want as long as you are online and restore your files to your computer.

There are many different places to store your files online. Two good ones to use are and These are both excellent sources of online computer backup that you can utilize for all of your backup needs. You will be able to access your files from any computer in the world, and even if your entire computer crashes irreparably, you will be able to gain access to your files on your new computer from your online backup source.

The Importance of Testing Backup Software - Audio

2010-08-24 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Reasons for Testing Backup Software

How confident are you in your backup software? If you really believe that your entire backup system works, would you be happy reformatting your hard drive right now, and restoring it from backups?

If not, you should be asking yourself why not. Your backup system may be very sophisticated, well planned, and extremely comprehensive, but you will never know if it works unless you actually test it.

Reasons for Backup Software Failing

Your backup software may simply fail, and though you used the 'verify' option you find that when you try to restore from the backup media many files are missing or corrupted.

You could discover that your backups are incomplete, and your reassuring collection of backup tapes are all of one directory because the backup software was wrongly configured.

Encryption may seem like a good idea, until you find that nobody knows what the password is.

You try to reload an old backup tape, and find that it can only be read by an earlier version of that backup software that you recently upgraded.

How good is your media? Have you ever tried to get data off it after six months?

You tested your backups, and everything appears to be working. Then you decide to upgrade your operating system, and find a previously dormant bug in the backup software that causes backups to fail.

It is not unknown for a backup tape to break during backup, and get sent offsite without anyone noticing.

You run a routine backup overnight, and as usual the tape is on your desk next morning - but nobody tells you that they found the machine rebooted. The system had crashed in mid-backup and the tape drive automatically rewound the tape.

These lighthearted examples are to get you thinking about the numerous things that can go wrong with a backup operation. Some of these will be with your backup software, some will be intermittent, others will be system problems, but they all your render your backups useless.

The only way to find these problems in your backups software is to actually perform a trial restore from a backup. For many users, who have completely filled their hard drive, this may be difficult but testing your backup is important. Reduce the clutter on your disk to less than half the capacity or find another hard disk so that you can .

The Ultimate Backup Software Test

Even when you have run a trial restore of a backup, and the data is on your disk, are you sure that the restored data is sound?

Now you need to perform an integrity check, using a data integrity tool such as Veracity. These work by taking a snapshot of the directory tree before making the backup. These snapshots are very small, typically around 1/200th of the size of the tree itself, and get backed up along with the other files in the tree.

When that backup is restored, the integrity tool will read all the files in the restored directory tree on the hard drive, and compare the signatures to those in the snapshot file and warn you if anything changed. The advantage of this is that the snapshot file is part of the backup itself, so this method can be used even for old tapes.

The First File Recovery Website - Audio

2010-08-23 ::
Amanda Wood is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Definition of File Recovery

To define the term file recovery, you'll first need to know what a file is. A file is a collection of data or information that has a name, called the filename. Nearly all information stored in a computer must be in a file. Different types of files are data files, text files, program files, directory files, and so on. These different types of files all store different types of information. Data files store data, text files store text, program files store programs, and directory files store directories, and so on.

The File Recovery Website

File-Recovery Net is a website based on services to help consumers recover their lost data. Their company was founded in December of 2002. They offer services and programs to help assist in recovering data, whether it has been accidentally deleted or erased, or if the data is missing due to a virus or malfunctioning software over an Internet connection. File-Recovery Net prides themselves in being the first online file recovery service available anywhere.

Other available data recovery utilities require that the user purchase a license outright before they can use it. All these utilities work the same way, differing only in the user interface. Therefore File-Recovery Net's company services are less expensive by far, then having to purchase a license for an application they'll probably only use once.

Their programs can recover deleted files and folders on a user's local drive, and even files from deleted or damaged partitions and drives not accessible by the operating system. Their services and programs operate in all Microsoft Windows environments from Windows 98 to Windows XP. With their intuitive Microsoft Explorer style interface, complete folder and file information is displayed for all drives, thus allowing drag and drop operation to help in the aid of file recovery.

How File Recovery Works

When emptying the Windows Recycle Bin, file recovery utilities take advantage of the fact that the actions are reversible. When files are deleted, they aren't really deleted. The operating system changes the attribute of the space used by the file. The space of the file is considered in an "occupied" status until deleted. Once it is deleted the status changes from "occupied" to "available." The file's information is then hidden until it can be unlocked by a recovery utility.

File-Recovery's programs include support for IDE, ATA, SCSI hard drives and floppy disks, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5 file systems, long file names and local language file names, including non-English. They also specialize in the recovery of compressed and fragmented files on NTFS, detection and recovery from deleted or damaged file partitions, exact file name or partial file name search, disk image restoring. Disk image restoring restores a backup file that represents an entire hard drive.

With the continual advances in operating systems, their web service utility will always be current with updates installed automatically. They also have a trial version of their program, Active@File Recovery, for free that you can obtain from their website.

The Dummes' Take on Data Recovery - Audio

2010-08-23 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

A low down on the Data Recovery mumbo-jumbo

Here you will read about data recovery in all its technicality, but in lay man's terms! The discussion is about how is it possible to recover your data even after the hard disk has been accidentally formatted or important files are unintentionally deleted. Most of these interesting aspects about data recovery are in fact present on the net but the language might be highly technical. This article is for those who consider technical portals to be beyond their comprehension.

Some of the questions that we will deal with include how are files stored in common forms of storage media like hard disks, what happens when you delete a file and what makes data recovery possible even when operating system claims that the disk is not accessible or is damaged beyond repair.

Understanding fundamentals of File Storing makes data recovery simple!

There will be several thousands of files saved on any computer at any given point of time. To make the retrieval of these files easier, there is a systematic way of storing these files, which is called the File System. Common file systems are File Allocation Table (FAT), NT File System (NTFS) and CD File System (CDFS).

All these file systems have distinct ways of keeping a record of the files stored on the computer. It is this record which sometimes makes data recovery easier. For each file stored on the hard disk, the File System will have a unique entry containing details regarding the region of the hard disk where the file stored. If the file is scattered at different regions of the hard disk, then the entry in file system will have details regarding that. It is this information that helps majority of the data recovery software in tracing the lost data from a damaged hard disk.

So how does Data Recovery work?

When you delete a file, it is taken off the list of files that the user sees. The file system writes at the beginning of the file that the region where the deleted file is stored could be used for storing other files. This means that the file continues to exist on the hard disk but under the label "free space". If you understand this concept, Data Recovery becomes simpler to understand. For those of you who did not understand the concept, let us try explaining this concept through an easy-to-understand example.

Consider the hard disk to be a classroom, the files to be students and the teacher to be the file system. Teacher has a register that has a separate entry for details regarding each of the students in the class. Deleting a file can be compared to removing the name of a particular student from the register but not actually forcing him to physically vacate the classroom. The modified entry in the register in fact informs the admission officials that there is a vacancy for another student.

This means that the student continues to be present in the class until the teacher makes another student take up his position.

The same applies to deleted data, which continues to be present on the disk but under the banner, "free space". Unless new data is physically over-written at that same location on the hard disk, the successful data recovery is possible. All the data recovery software needs to do is look analyze the file system information and locate the file.

The Changing Face of Computer Forensics - Audio

2010-08-22 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

The Changing Face of Computer Forensics

In computer forensics, new methods are constantly need to be devised in order to keep pace with ever changing computer technology. When a new test for the presence of prohibited drugs, explosives, fibres, bodily tissues, etc. is developed, there will be ongoing development in which the test will be either changed for the better or proven defective, but the actual need for the test is unlikely to change. In computer forensics, newness on the one hand and obsolescence on the other is the norm.

Changing Media and Computer Forensics.

One of the fundamentals of computer forensics is the examination of data media. This is rendered more complicated because whole new forms, techniques, and methods of data storage occur at intervals of less than 5 years. Only ten years ago, the standard floppy disk really was floppy, constructed in a 5.25 inch format, and held 360 KB. The current equivalent, itself rapidly becoming obsolete, holds 1.44 MB on a 3.5 inch disk.

A typical hard-disk size for a PC 5 years ago was a few Megabytes, built in 5.25 inch form, and used MFM controller technology. PCs now have hard-disks measured in Gigabytes, constructed in 3.5 in or even 2.5 inch form, and use IDE or RLL technology. Minis and mainframes may hold data on RAID arrays, with individual files split and spread over 8 or more separate disks - a nightmare for computer forensics.

Computer Forensics and Hardware Changes.

Computer systems have also changed drastically in the same period. They have become far more powerful, to the extent that businesses relying on a large central mainframe living in splendid isolation are now a rarity, equivalent computing power is achieved using a multitude of smaller computers interacting over a network. Peripherals too keep changing, modems and routers have become "intelligent", scanners are everyday devices, and wide area communication, with its continually changing protocols, is becoming routine.

Computer Forensics and the Growth of Applications

Client/server applications, in which software on client local machines interacts seamlessly with software and data on a server mainframe, gets ever more popular. The problem from a computer forensics viewpoint is that in this situation documents are often assembled on demand on one computer that draws the required information from others. Evidence may only be provable by presenting records from all the computers involved, as well as an explanation of how the assembly took place.

Computer-based order systems such as EDI have very complex structures, with some files being held on the customers computers and some by the EDI supplier. The methods of writing and developing software regularly change, with more use of libraries of procedures. There are changing computer language models, object-oriented programming environments, and new methods of program development. The standards and methods used in testing also change.

The result of this is that computer forensic methods have very little time in which to establish and prove themselves. They never achieve the longevity, and resulting trust of the courts, that more traditional forensics enjoys.

Test the Disaster Recovery Plan - Audio

2010-08-22 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Having a disaster recovery plan is only the beginning.

So you have read up all about data loss, logical and natural disaster, data security, storage modes, backup strategies and have even come up with a disaster recovery plan that fits the business model of your enterprise. You can certainly pat yourself on your back for having thought about one of the important aspect of information security in the modern day enterprises where loss of critical data can very well spell doom for the company.

BUT, know that merely having a disaster recovery plan does not make things as safe as you actually would like them to be. Consider it to be only a tentative positive step in the right direction but something that is far from solving the real concerns regarding potential threats to data security.

Failing disaster recovery plans are not a rarity

The reason for saying, a disaster recovery plan is not the end of the story is that there have been several instances of high profile companies suffering from irrecoverable data loss despite having an apparently fool-proof disaster recovery plan in place. The reason: the officials concerned were contend with the existence of a plan and never bothered to have a trial run of their disaster recovery plan to see if it really stands up to the test of reality check.

The data security officials need to ascertain that what is envisaged in theory would actually work out in practice in a simulated disaster situation.

To say the least, testing a disaster recovery plan is as much or even more important than simply formulating a disaster recovery plan and leaving it at that. There are several aspects that can go wrong in an actual disaster situation, several unforeseen factors that could crop up rendering the whole plan useless or inadequate beyond imagination.

To avoid such a tragic failure of the disaster recovery plan, everyone involved in the business of securing critical data should realize the urgent need to test run the plans and ensure that they work like we want it to be in the time of crisis. If this is not done, then we run the obvious risk of a possibly failed disaster recovery plan which would mean that all the money and man hours spent on formulating such a plan is a dead loss. Mind you, such a dead loss is over and above the possible loss of critical data which could well mean the end of company.

So how do you test a disaster recovery plan?

On a system that closely resembles the actual environment where the critical data is stored, simulate all the typical situations that can be called a disaster.

A disaster need not always be a fire or a flood. It can also be an unexpected hard disk failure or a power failure or even a hard disk failure or an unexpected partition damage, or a virus attack. Needless to say during the trial run of the plan, you would come across several circumstances that you forgot to account for while formulating the plan. Make careful note of all such factors and reformulate the plan with due consideration for the new factors.

System Restore and Computer Backup - Audio

2010-08-21 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

The Importance of Backup

Backup is one of the most important things that any computer user can do. Computers have become ingrained into our daily lives, and there are things on our computers that we need or want that can never be replaced if lost. This is why backup is so important to us. Family photographs, stories, business papers, tax documents, whatever you keep on your computer that cannot be replaced: this is what you want to backup.

We have all heard stories about people whose computers have crashed and they have lost everything, and you never want this to happen to you. Always keep your files in backup, because you never know when it will come in handy.

System Restore and Computer Backup

One of the greatest utilities in newer versions of Windows (Windows 2000 and Windows XP) is that of system restore. This is a backup system built into your computer that will allow you to restore your computer to a previous state in the case that something happens to your computer making it inoperable or greatly limiting your computing abilities.

If you are infected with a computer virus or have other problems with your system, using system restore to revert to a backup setting for your computer can greatly assist you in restoring your computer to normal in the event of damage to your system.

Operating systems which allow for system restore will usually automatically save settings periodically to ensure that you always have a working system in backup, and will also allow you to backup your settings yourself if you feel that you are doing something which might damage the system.

Having Backups of Your Files in Case of System Restore

One problem with system restore that any changes made between the time of the last system save and the time that you lost use of your system will be deleted in the system restore. If you have important files that have been created in the meantime, it will be important to have separate backups to ensure that you can restore those files as well as your system.

You should also not depend completely upon system restore, as some problems with your computer might prove too difficult for system restore to handle, or the entire system restore system might fail. It is a wonderful utility, but it is not a total replacement of traditional backups using disks or CD-ROMs.

It is not difficult to create backups for your files. CD burners are faster and easier to use than ever, and with CD-RWs you can even use the same disk to create multiple backups of your files, something not possible with the original CD-Rs. CD-RWs are a little more expensive than CD-Rs, but they will save you money in the long run as you can create multiple backups with a single disk rather than having to purchase a new disk every time you want to create a new backup. They are wonderful tools to help you ensure that your files are safe and will never be lost.

System Administrators, Buckle up and Backup! - Audio

2010-08-21 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

System Administrators, buckle up and backup!

Backup! Now! Don't waste time, for you don't have any.

If you are not convinced, then consider these facts: Every day hundreds of new viruses are let loose on the internet by over enthusiastic amateur programmers, even more malicious worms find its way around the cyber world, scores of modified and updated Trojans are 'deposited' on the net by 'wanna be' hackers. Not impressed about the need for backup?

Here is some more for you: Every other day, many big software houses admit gaping security holes in their software that make a sitting duck of any online system where the software is installed. Popular software like internet browsers, operating systems, file sharing software, download managers and mailing software are fraught with security holes leaving the system where they are installed vulnerable to data loss. So backup, now!

Security threat? Gimme names! Convince me about backup!

Need names? Here they are!

Internet Explorer, (the most widely used web browsers) according to several reputed online computing communities, is one of the most vulnerable Internet browsers available! Several popular versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system has numerous holes that makes it possible for Trojans to access a system without the knowledge of the user. Kazaa, the popular file/mp3 sharing utility comes bundled with spyware, leaving the system prone to take over.

Do you hear yourself asking, what does all this mean? It simply means that, a system administrator needs keep himself updated about what is happening in the field of Internet security as it has a close relationship with data security. Agreed, it is impossible to keep oneself abreast of all the security related developments. So all you network/system administrators out there please backup all the important files on the system/network or be prepared for a total wash out, however cruel that might sound!

So, How should I backup?

Hmm... There you are, asking the right questions! Here are your options for a safe backup of files. Allot a system on the network exclusively for backup and make sure that the 'backup system' does not have access to the internet and vice versa. Before you start backup of files, install the best anti-virus software that you know on the system to be doubly sure. Also, ensure that your backup system is connected to a dependable uninterrupted power supply system.

Now, if you are not sure as to which files on the network are important, then circulate a note among the network users asking them to give list of files that need to be included in the backup list.

Remind yourself every day to backup all the important data on the network. Even if it sounds funny, make a to-do-list and add the item "backup files" right there on the top of the list! Since data can be a continuously changing variable, it is important to ensure that the files in the backup are updated to the hour! If you have done all this, then rest assured that the day is not far away when the CEO would give you a special performance incentive!

Restoring from Your Outlook Express Backup - Audio

2010-08-20 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Backup Outlook Express First

Before you can restore your Outlook Express Data, you first have to have a backup. Previously we discussed how to make this backup in "A Few Simple steps to an Outlook Express Backup". Unfortunately most people don't think about making a backup of their outlook express data until they have suffered data loss and of course then it's to late. Since you are reading this I assume you are one of the smart / lucky ones who made a backup in time and now needs to make use of it. Well you are in luck since it is actually even easier to restore your data then it was to back it up!

If you haven't made a backup, and have suffered data loss in outlook express, then you will probably have to go to one of my other articles that covers third party tools and techniques for recovery of lost data. Be warned however that even the best of these tools will often only partially recover your data. The only real protection against loss of your Outlook Express Data is a reliable backup.

How to Restore from the Backup of your Outlook Express address book:

From the File menu, click Import, and then choose "Other Address Book".

Choose Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then choose Import.

Choose Browse.

Browse to the "Mail Backup" folder on your desktop (or wherever you choose to store it), choose the address book Backup.csv file, and then select Open.

Choose Next, and then choose Finish.

Finally choose OK, and then choose Close.

How to Restore from the Backup of your Outlook Express mail account file:

From the Tools menu, click Accounts.

From the Mail tab, click Import.

In the Look In box, locate the "Mail Backup" folder on your desktop(or wherever you choose to store it).

Click the mail account that you want to restore, and then click Open.

Repeat these steps for each mail account that you want to import.

Finally select Close.

How to Restore from the Backup of your Outlook Express news account file:

From the Tools menu, choose Accounts.

From the News tab, choose Import.

From the "Look In" box, browse to the Mail Backup folder on your desktop(or wherever you choose to store it).

Click the news account that you want to restore, and then choose Open.

Repeat these steps for each news account that you want to restore.

Finally select Close.

Some Things to Know about Ps2 Backup - Audio

2010-08-20 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Can I Backup My PS2 Games?

Everyone loves the PS2, but can we backup our PS2 games so that we will always have a copy of our favorite game? While the process has not been perfected yet, it is possible to backup your PS2 games. In order to do so, however, you will need to have the right software and the right hardware.

Requirements for PS2 Backup

It is possible to backup your PS2 games both onto a CD-R or a DVD-R. It is easier with DVD-R, as PS2 works with DVDs and a DVD-R has the size required to hold a complete PS2 game on it. If you work with CD-Rs, you will first have to compress your video game in such a way that you will be able to run the game, and this can be quite difficult. There are programs in existence that will allow you to do this, but it can be quite difficult and might not always work for your PS2 backup.

It is far easier to work with the DVD-R format, but this will require you to have a DVD Burner, as well as the required software.

One of the most powerful software tools for PS2 backup is DVD Wizard Pro. You can also use this program to backup your DVDs, but it has a special interface developed solely for the backup of console games such as PS2. It is a very powerful program as well as easy to use, and can prove to be a very useful program for you and your PS2 Backup.

In order to play your PS2 backups on your PS2 machine, you will also need to modify the hardware of your PS2. In order to protect against piracy, PS2 manufacturers have developed a system which makes it impossible for you to play your backup games. However, if you install a mod chip into your PS2, you will be able to circumvent this programming and play your PS2 backup games. The mod chip will also allow you to play games and DVDs which contain different regional encodings.

Regional encoding is a process built into PS2 and DVD technology which allows DVDs and games bought in certain regions (such as the United States and Canada, which is Region 1) to be played only on machines with the same regional encoding.

How Much Does It Cost to Backup My PS2 Games?

The cost of PS2 backup is expensive, but most of these expenses are first time expenses. You will require a DVD burner, or at least a CD burner, and these can cost 100 dollars or more. You will also need the software which will allow you to burn your PS2 games, a program such as DVD Wizard Pro costs about 40 dollars. However, once you have bought these things, you never have to purchase them again.

You will only need to pay for the actual DVD-Rs on which you are burning your game, and you can purchase these for less than a dollar each if you buy them in bulk. It has never been cheaper to backup your PS2 games.

Online Storage and Remote Backup - Audio

2010-08-19 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Online Storage and Remote Backup

Online remote backup offers advantages to businesses of all types. Many businesses find that their remote locations provide an extra challenge when it comes to protecting critical data. Every location needs to have data protection for the sake of business continuity and productivity. Without this protection a single remote location could cause harm to the company data and the reconstruction of that data.

As your company grows and remote locations are added include every new site in the backup plan. This means revising and monitoring all data and sites and being prepared to make changes as needed.

Online and Remote Backup Difficulty

Many remote locations are managed by a small team of employees often holding down the fort with two and three job descriptions. This is usually doubly so for the IT department. Full time staff is often asked to be responsible for and maintain everything from the backup to troubleshooting printers and applications. In larger IT departments the daily duties are divided up and the person responsible for the backup is generally not dealing with the users application issues.

It is a daunting task to be in charge and manage all of the IT issues. So is it any wonder that there may be data issues when data recovery time arrives? Whether the backup is done online or kept remote there can still be data issues.

Online or Remote Backup - What Works?

Managing and controlling data from a central location seems to work the best. A backup plan that involves the online backup from remote sites to a central repository allows for the data to be managed centrally. When remote locations are small this option seems to work the best because the amount of data is small and easily transmitted online.

Locating the final destination to an online remote backup service for everyone is also an option. If the main office and the remote offices all transmit to an online remote backup service then the data can be assessable to everyone. This may work in cases where shared data is important. It is also an ideal solution when there are remote locations consisting of one employee with a laptop.

Data from a laptop can be easily downloaded to an online remote backup service and the employee can feel good that they are not stressing the data flow or possibly risking loss of data if the laptop is stolen or damaged.

Online Storage and Remote Backup Options

What happens when a company begins to outgrow their online remote backup plan? Growth of data is a hot topic of discussion all over the world. How to control it and how to store it more efficiently is being discussed in boardrooms as you read this. How do you solve this problem in regards to online remote backup?

The expensive answer is increase bandwidth. Some companies can't justify doing so just for online remote backup processes. Usually if there is a growth in data then there has been a growth elsewhere in the daily routine and often this is in the form of communications. Putting the two together, the need for bandwidth for communication and online remote backup can take the sting out of the cost.

Rapid Growth in Online Remote Backup Services - Audio

2010-08-19 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Who Starts an Online Remote Backup Service?

Online remote backup is fast becoming an alternative to traditional backup procedures. Most businesses do not rely on online remote backup as a single source for storage of critical data, but instead use it in addition to traditional backup solutions. It affords them a third storage area and data recovery source in the event of a catastrophic disaster. As a result, remote backup locations are appearing in many locations.

Often business might look at data storage in another state as additional protection against data loss, especially if the original area is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. Online and remote backup is gaining in popularity for the safety and perceived security of the data. The idea is you download your data through an online process to a remote location that stores the data in a secure environment. Your company has access to the data 24/7 for recovery needs or further backup.

Online Remote Backup Services

Who are these people offering an online remote backup solution to you? Well, frankly, they could be anyone with some space for servers and an Internet connection. Take a look out on the Internet and search for remote backup service software. You will find many products available and many of the more robust products and companies pitch adding the product to existing services or starting an Internet-based business providing a profitable online backup service.

The truth is you need to know who is providing the remote online backup service to you. You need to understand where your data is being stored and if the person storing it is trained to do so. ISP's that handle Internet connections may sound like a safe bet when contracting for an online remote backup service. They already have servers in place and should have safe Internet connections but are they as secure as you would want them to be?

Online Remote Backup Service Security

Security is the name of the game when it comes to your critical data. Is your online remote backup secure? Does your service company use authentication and encryption for your data? Do they have a security policy for the building and location the data is housed in? Do they have a security policy that includes their storage of your data? And just who is it that handles your data, are they qualified to do so?

Online Remote Backup is a great idea but make sure you have a backup stored in another location as well. Putting all of your data eggs in one basket could come back to haunt you at a later data. Research any service you are considering before making your final decision.

Online Data Backup on Networks Without Boundaries - Audio

2010-08-18 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Online Data Backup Provides a Network without Boundaries

An online data backup system will give you a network without boundaries. This becomes possible with the combination of secure authentication, data encryption, and a high speed Internet connection. Managers have grown to expect the ability to provide their employees world wide secure access to their networks systems. Allowing them to work from almost any location and make decisions the latest and most up to date information. With ever increasing speed of corporate bandwidth connections, CIOs are discovering that they can extend many elements of their network into third party networks. One of the first areas to take advantage of this situation is to provide offsite backups.

This use of online access to network resources, and online backup of network resources, gives a network administer the ability to both backup and restore lost data from a remote site with speed and ease at any hour of the day. No more driving into the office at 3:00 AM to restore a mission-critical database, when you can just log in from home and make it happen. Aside from the definite convenience it also reduces downtime as a result of transportation required for physical access to the system.

Getting Online Data Backup up and Running

Online data backup is usually a fairly simple process to implement. The specific steps involved could be as simple as zipping a folder and e-mailing it to another location, or as complex as scheduling incremental backups across the local network to a central location which is then encrypted and uploaded to another, or several other networks' storage system. Before you even begin to look for a provider of online data backup solutions you first need to make a fair evaluation of how much you real need to backup, how often, and by how much your needs will grow over time. Finding a provider who's capabilities can accommodate your expanding needs is just as essential as getting the best price on meeting your current needs.

You will also wish to consider the physical location of your online data backup service's storage. Is it really enough to have your data backed up accross town? Or would you prefer to have it across state, out of state, or overseas?

Online data backup is a fairly simple process to understand. It's not much different than attaching a file to an email and sending to another location. Deciding on the online data backup service you are comfortable with will mean deciding on whether your service needs to be local but on the other side of town, out of town or out of state and how far away that state can be, or choosing to go really way out and have your online data backup service located .

Several other decisions will need to be made before you begin to research price and storage amenities. You will need to know how large a volume of data you will be needing to backup and what the growth rate is for that data. You will also need to know what your recovery process involves and what level of access do you need to your data. Some companies identify the critical data as top priority with several groups of data following the priority data.

Online Data Backup Tools

The tools used for Online data backup are vary from provider to provider and will depend upon the complexity of the of the service required. The simplest may only require a data compression tool to compress the date into a file, followed by an upload using either e-mail or FTP. The more complex may require a client software running on one of your servers that is in constant contact with the remote network; compressing, encrypting and uploading data on your local network and uploading these backups to online storage locations.

The more sophisticate versions of these applications allow for complex scheduling of backup tasks to avoid active use of the data, remote administration to increase the effectiveness of your network administrators, and fast, simple restores when it is necessary to recover after the inevitable loss of data.

Authorization to access or restore data can be tiered and specific to a file, set of files or folders and likewise authentication of the user or administrator can be enforced at several layers. To ensure the security of your data you must ensure that the online data backup software includes not only authentication but also encryption of your data. Encryption should happen before the data is sent out of your network and should be decrypted after it arrives back on your network.

A Simple Way to Save with Online Data Backup

Most online backup services will charge you a monthly fee for the loading and storage of your data. When you ask for a quote ask for a quote using the full, uncompressed size of your data. This gives you a little play in the numbers because you will be compressing your data before encrypting it and sending it. Compressed data, of course, is smaller in size that uncompressed data and will use much less storage media.

Network Backup: Right There, in Your own Backyard! - Audio

2010-08-18 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Use the network to backup files

If you have been thinking day and night about a viable backup option, then you might want to consider the possibility of network backup. Network backup is a good and viable option for all users whose systems are connected to a network with considerable amount of write-space available. Of course, users should have permission to use the extra write space available on the network to backup their valuable data.

If your office workstation is part of the company wide are network (WAN) with a server having lots of free disk space, then you might want to talk to your network administrator or the systems in-charge about the possibility of being permitted to backup files on the server. This is of utmost importance if you are handling data that is important to you and if the machine you are working on is vulnerable to threats like virus attack, power failure or hard disk crash.

The advantages of network backup

Network servers usually have a good anti-virus software installed and running continuously, a good firewall protecting the server from all kinds of malicious requests from the internet, reasonably good internet browsers with lesser number of security loopholes and a good power back up to safeguard against mischievous power failures. In short a perfect backup location!

If you backup your files on such a server, then naturally they are better protected against the common vulnerabilities. Similarly, you do not have to worry about the safe keep of all the removable media (read CDs, Floppy Disks) that you otherwise might have to use for backup of files. Network backup takes comparatively lesser time than backup on removable media. Further, network backup can be done as a background activity in a manner not to disturb your normal work schedule.

Network backup can even be scheduled during non-work hours as the process does not require user intervention and runs pretty much like an automated process.

Before you opt for Network Backup..

Make 101 per cent sure that your network server has a decent anti-virus software, that it has deployed a good firewall and that there is adequate power backup to bail out the system from unexpected power outages. More importantly, convince yourself that your network/system administrator is somebody who keeps himself up to date about network vulnerabilities and protects the server against all the latest threats.

Unless your network server have all these above said advantages, then think again before considering network backup as a viable backup option for you data. Rather than trusting your backup files with a lazy administrator who does not bother about securing the server, it would be better to look for other backup options. You might even be better off with burning all the important data on to DVDs or some other form of trusted backup routines.

Finally, even if you are not able to use the server for backup, you might want to consider another system on the network that is reasonably safer than your computer. After all, its your data and its in your best interests to keep it safe!

Microsoft's View of Window 2000 Backup - Audio

2010-08-17 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What Microsoft Says about Window 2000 Backup

Window 2000 backup is a topic that Microsoft discussed thoroughly on their Technet website. The deployment of Window 2000 systems and the backup of those systems is discussed as well as restore processes connected to those backup plans. Backup is the number one focus for most data centers and any data rich environment. Why? Because data is king and business revolves around the data it generates and the data it collects.

Data sells and the selling it needs to be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This requirement pushes the envelope of Window 2000 systems as much as any other operating systems. Detailed planning and effective process design are at the core of great data backup and restore plans.

The Need for Window 2000 Backup

An organization's operations can generate huge amounts of data to be stored electronically. Trends show this to increase continuously and to require more and more storage media and planning to contain the flow of data. Finding ways to protect this data effectively and not destroy the processes needed to acquire the data in the first place is a huge challenge. Regulations and insurance requirements call for the retention and archiving of much of this data.

These requirements stretch the capabilities of a data center system. Window 2000 addresses these issues with products to assist in the backup process.

The Challenge for a Window 2000 Backup

Traditional backup and recovery plans are not able to respond to the new challenges that require uninterrupted application access and no downtime for backup. To add an extra challenge, more and more data centers are being geographically dispersed creating a headache when it comes time to centralize the backup.

The frequent backup needed in order to protect data requires a juggling of needs and processes and brings even more challenges. How do you make sure your backup is in real time? And how do you get those files to backup when the application has them open at backup time? And how do you make sure only the latest updated files are being backed up and not the files that are already archived, shouldn't they be removed and stored?

And is everyone on the same page across the board or is someone harboring data that was removed from the current backup two months ago? Window 2000 backup suggestions are outlined on the Technet website with questions and backup outline to use as a skeleton beginning for a backup plan.

Assessing Window 2000 Backup

Assessing your own organization is the place to start. Consider all kinds of failure when you design your backup plan. Any system architecture you choose should be based on defined system requirements. Microsoft suggests that in a Window 2000 system this architecture should take into consideration the configuration and contents of every server and the capability each has. It should define very clearly what technologies are required for the successful use of the backup and restore plan created.

Managing Your Online Data Backup - Audio

2010-08-17 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Manage Your Online Data Backup

Online data backup is becoming more and more popular as data storage and service prices drop. Tape of course has always been the traditional choice of a well protected data backup. Its reliability and solid recovery process is key to dependable protection of your data. Being absolutely secure that your data is not corrupted, damaged, or lost is they key to surviving in a data rich business environment. Online data backup offers its own unique advantages as well as problems, and like using tape backups, managing your data is one of those issues.

Online Data Backup in a Nutshell

Online data backup is the ability to backup your data to an online server via a secure Internet connection. The idea of using an online service is linked to reducing the speed of backups and the security of knowing your data is offsite and disconnected from the daily abuses of your network. Incremental data backup can keep those files updated and ready for recovery.

Online data backup should happen in a secure manner that included authority, authentication, and encryption of your data so that your company information is safe from prying eyes and people who mean harm to your business, your employees and your customers.

Online data backup services charge a monthly fee based on the storage volume of your data. They provide you free software to make the secure Internet connection needed to complete the download and you pay them to keep your data safely stored until the time comes for a data recovery.

Online Data Backup Storage

Storing your data in a backup process can happen in any number of ways. Storage media is cheap these days and many company's, rather than assess and compress their storage needs, just buy more storage never knowing what amount of data they are truly working with. This may seem like a simple answer, to throw more money at the problem, but like so many other situations throwing money at an issue never truly fixes anything.

This is especially so in an online data backup situation and even more so if you are using an online data backup service to store your data. The reason? You are paying for your service according to the amount of storage you are using. Not only are you paying for the initial download but if you are archiving the data, which you should be doing, and your online service is doing that archiving for you then you are paying for double the storage.

Stop and consider what that means if you are not compressing your data. Consider again what that means if you are doing full backup every single time you download data online. And consider what that might mean when you need to recover the data.

Online Data Backup Storage Issues

The reason most companies have begun to gravitate towards the use of compressed online data backup is the reduction in time taken by the backup process and the increased speed at which a disk-to-disk backup occurs. If you are clogging the online connection with uncompressed files you will see a far smaller speed increases.

How to Backup Outlook Express Blocked Senders and Mail Rules - Audio

2010-08-16 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Outlook vs Outlook Express Backup

Unlike outlook, you don't have a handy menu option to backup the outlook express blocked senders and mail rules. This information is stored in the registry so you'll need to extract the information using regedit. If you follow the steps outlined here you will be fine, but be careful not to make any other changes to the registry when doing your outlook express backup. Changes to your registry can cause serious problems that may not be possible to resolve without re-installing your operating system.

Backup the Outlook Express Blocked Senders List

Click Start then Run.

At the Open box, type regedit, then click the OK button.

Go to the following registry key:HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities

You will see a list of Identity Numbers, when you select them there will be Username with the name of that identity

When you have identified the correct Identity Number that you want to backup, go to:

HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities(Identity Number)\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Block Senders

Select the Block Sender subkey,

From the Registry menu click Export Registry File.

Use the Save In box to change the location to your desktop.

In the File Name box type "blocked senders.reg" then click the Save button.

From the Registry menu click exit.

Backup the Outlook Express Mail Rules

Click Start then Run.

At the Open box, type regedit, then click the OK button.

Go to the following registry key: HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities

You will see a list of Identity Numbers, when you select them there will be Username with the name of that identity

When you have identified the correct Identity Number that you want to backup, go to:

HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities(Identity Number)\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Rules\Mail

Select the Block Sender subkey,

From the Registry menu click Export Registry File.

Use the Save In box to change the location to your desktop.

In the File Name box type "mail rules.reg" then click the Save button.

From the Registry menu click exit.

Restoring Backup of Outlook Express Blocked Senders or Other Mail Rules

If the Identity already exists your computer:

Right click on the "blocked senders.reg" or the "mail rules.reg"

Select "Merge"

If the Identity does not exist on your computer:

Open outlook express and use the Internet Connection Wizard to set up your Identity.

Click Start then Run.

At the Open box, type regedit, then click the OK button.

Go to the following registry key: HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities

You will see a list of Identity Numbers, when you select them there will be Username with the name of that identity.

Identified the Identity Number associated with the Identity you've set up.

From the Registry menu click exit.

Go to your desktop and hold the shift key down while right clicking on the "blocked senders.reg" or the "mail rules.reg" (whichever you are planning to restore)

Select open with > Choose Program

Uncheck "Always use this program tho open these files"

In the "Choose the program you want to use" select notepad then click OK

Replace the Identity Number in this file with the one you found in the registry.

From the File menu select Save.

From the File menu select Exit.

Right click on the file you just modified and select Merge.

How to Backup Outlook Express Block Sender and Mail Rules - Audio

2010-08-16 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Backup Outlook Express vs Outlook

Unlike Outlook, making a backup of your rules in outlook express is not an option on the menu. Instead you will need to extract portions of your registry where the rules and blocked sender list is stored.

Backup the Outlook Express Blocked Senders List

From the Desktop, click Start then Run.

In the Open box, type regedit then OK.

Locate and click the following registry subkeys (save each key to a different file):

HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities(Identity Number)\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Block Senders (note: there will be a different "(Identity Number)" for each identity on your system. To identify a specific identity you can click on each HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities(Identity Number) and you will see a "Username" value on your right with the name associated with that (Identity Number))

Go to the Registry menu and select Export Registry File.

From the Save In box, change the location to your desktop.

At the File Name box, type "Blocked Senders[date].reg" then Save.

Go to the Registry menu and chose exit.

Backup the Outlook Express Mail Rules

From the Desktop, click Start then Run.

In the Open box, type regedit then OK.

Locate and click the following registry subkeys (each key will need to be saved to a different file):

HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities(Identity Number)\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Rules\Mail

(note:once again there will be a different "(Identity Number)" for each identity on your system. To identify a specific identity you can click on each HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities(Identity Number) and you will see a "Username" value on your right with the name associated with that (Identity Number))

Go to the Registry menu and select Export Registry File.

From the Save In box, change the location to your desktop.

At the File Name box, type "Mail Rules[date].reg" then

Go to the Registry menu and chose exit.

Restore an Outlook Express Backup

Open Outlook Express on the computer you wish to restore the backup to.

From the file menu go to Identities > Add New Identity.

Set up your Identity and account information.

Close Outlook Express.

From the Desktop, click Start then Run.

In the Open box, type regedit then OK.

Go to HKEY CURRENT USER\Identities\ and locate the identity number related to the Identy you wish to restore the rules to.

Close regedit

Right click on the "Mail Rules[date].reg" or "Blocked Senders[date].reg" from the Outlook Express Backup you wish to restore and select edit.

Replace the (Identity Number) listed in the registry file with the one you just located in the registry.

Save and Close Notepad

Right Click on the "Mail Rules[date].reg" or "Blocked Senders[date].reg" from the Outlook Express Backup you wish to restore and select merge.

Repeat these steps for each Identity.

How Often Should I Backup My Data? - Audio

2010-08-15 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Frequency of Data Backup Depends on the Application.

If you are in charge of a network environment with mission critical data stored on your servers, then even nightly backups may not be enough. If, on the other hand, you are thinking about backing up the data on your home computer then the question becomes more complex. How much time do you spend working on your computer? How often does the information stored on the computer change?

If we are talking about a few e-mails and pictures of the grandchildren, then a weekly or even monthly data backup may be enough. If you are in the middle of a tax audit, then you will probably want something more often.

Simple Rule of Thumb for Data Backup

I usually recommend the following formula to calculate the weekly data backups one should do. Take the amount you figure your time is worth to you, multiply it by the number of hours per week you use the computer, divided by 100. So for example, if you estimate your time to be worth $20/hour and you spend 5 hours per week on your home computer, then a weekly data backup is about right. On the other hand if you figure your time is worth $50/hour and spend 10 hours per week working on the computer, a nightly data backup is probably worth your time to schedule.

A Basic Data Backup Schedule

The classic data backup schedule involved a backup to tape run at the end of each business day, so 5 backups per week. The 5th backup each week was saved as a weekly backup and was archived rather then being re-used in the next week. This pattern was continued until the end of the month. The last data backup of the month was likewise stored as a monthly backup and the last backup of the year was stored as the yearly backup. The total usage breaks down as follows:

Daily x4 tapes

Weekly x4 tapes

Monthly x11 tapes

Yearly 1/year

Of course you would need to modify this schedule if you were backing up less often or were not using re-writable media.

Even Window 2000 Requires a Backup Plan - Audio

2010-08-15 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Windows 2000 Requires a Backup Plan

Windows 2000 has become commonplace in today's business environment and with it a need for related backup. When considering a backup plan a company must take in to consideration the whole organization. Backup cannot center around just one set of critical data it must encompass all of the data. Outlining the flow of data and the creation of that data by function and department will give you a better picture of the inner workings of your business.

In order to restore a business and its data to its original work processes every detail must be duplicated. Many businesses ignore the need to create a disaster recovery plan and in doing so do not ever fully recover from a disastrous event.

Windows 2000 Backup Assessments

Every operating system and application introduced to the Windows 2000 environment must be critically reviewed as part of a good backup plan. For each of these consider the following: What could cause failure in these systems or applications? What scenarios come to mind? Within these systems identify the critical data, where is it located and what is it? What is time frame must the backup follow and how often should the backup be performed for each type of data? Are full backups really necessary every time a backup is performed or would incremental be sufficient? What media should be used to keep the speed of the backup high and the window needed at a minimum? Are there backup processes that can occur off-line or online with a Window 2000 backup? Can the processes be automated and to what extent? How will you test for validity? Where will you store the backup?

This is not a conclusive list but rather a place to begin the questions you will need to answer.

Avoiding Disastrous Windows 2000 Backup

Avoidance should really be its own plan because avoidance in a Window 2000 backup plan can ward off the need to restore more often than not. Anticipating possible scenarios that might affect a system and disrupt its stability and then providing ways to prevent the disruption is the core of an avoidance plan. Laugh if you will but the unplugging of critical systems has more than once caused major catastrophes.

Coming up with simple ways to avoid that possibility is what an avoidance plan is all about. Minor inconveniences to s single n=home user can spell catastrophe to a business. Component failure, software issues or Internet connection problems are good examples. Avoidance planning leads to the need for good maintenance and monitoring processes and redundancy of data and backup for reliable restoration.

Backup Windows 2000 Operates As Well As Your Business Does

A backup plan is only as good as the planning and implementation of it. A Windows 2000 environment requires the care and planning needed for any disaster and recovery plan. All planning must include the availability requirements of the systems, applications and data the network contains. Any way you look at it an organization must be able to recover quickly and easily form any disaster in order to survive and continue.

Design a Window 2000 Backup Plan - Audio

2010-08-14 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Design a Window 2000 Backup

Window 2000 is a popular system for a backup and restore plan. A good plan will involve the architecture of the system in the planning process. A disaster avoidance plan, recovery plan, procedures and tools needed for the recovery as well as standards for performing the backup and recovery should be included. Standards for the overall planning process are often overlooked.

In providing standards that fit with the business goals and ethics you can be assured of a full and well thought out plan centered around the business and not an off the shelf version of a backup plan that may or may not be complete or workable. Window 2000 systems are prevalent in the business world and there do exist templates for creating disaster recovery plans and data restoration plans. Use these as guides only and adopt the headings and topics special to your business.

Window 2000 Backup Best Practices

From the start of planning your Window 2000 backup involve the right personnel for the job. Always use the best resources for developing and testing your backup and restore processes. Using old and outdated organization charts, ancient departmental process outlines and equipment that is more than a couple of years old is not healthy to your system. Create new charts that include the correct personnel names and information and outline the responsible parties for tasks at hand.

Window 2000 Backup Begins Here

The first point on the Window 2000 backup plan should be a full backup of every single volume needing backup protection. Several copies of this Window 2000 system backup should be made and stored in different locations. This is your benchmark set of copies. The next order of business is an outline of the backup system for every server you are using making sure that a directory service in included for every domain controller as well.

As you move through the backup process you will want to include standards for checks and balances. These will identify any reckless or wayward backups that may occur and can be created in the form of backup reports that can be reviewed and studied for anomalies in your system. You can further your maintenance process by performing trial restoration of critical data. This will ensure that the files are truly being backed up and are not being corrupted or damaged or even lost in the process.

Window 2000 Backup Continues

Further Window 2000 backup planning needs to include security precautions. Using encryption to secure all files being backed up. Encryption prevents those without permission to view the data backup. Often management forgets that the data that is so well protected in the network is wide open when it is sent to backup. This data becomes vulnerable to attack and theft if left open. Using a good testing plan can assure you that in fact your data is secure and not damaged and able to be restored.

Testing should happen in both phases, backup and restoration, and should occur outside the original network in an environment created to mimic the Window 2000 system.

Database Backup and Recovery - Audio

2010-08-14 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Database Backup and Recovery

Although most database systems have incorporated backup and recovery tools into their interfaces and infrastructure it is a good idea to understand what the backup and recovery process involves, beyond the work flow of using the tools. With the growing dependency in the workplace on information and general, and the information in your database specifically, there has never been a time when safe backups and reliable recoveries were more important. Are you maintaining your databases properly? Do they participate in a backup and recovery routine that checks on the health of the data? If you are not 100% sure of this, then you need to find out.

Database Backup and Recovery Needs

It is not just the data files that need to be part of the backup process. You must also backup the transaction logs of the database as well. Without the transaction logs the data files are useless in a recovery event. How often you choose to perform these backup routines is really dependent on the data requirements of your company. If you do not know what those are then you need to find out either by referring to them or asking for them to be created through a research and investigation process.

Backup and Recovery and Database Failure

Failure can happen for any number of reasons. There are three main ones that recur enough to be worth incorporating into your backup and recovery plan. User error is the number one reason for data damage, loss, or corruption. Included in this type of failure is an application modifying or destroying the data on its own or through a user choice. Recovery and restore to the point in time before the corruption occurred.

This returns the data to a clean position at the cost of any other changes that were being made to the data since the point the corruption took place. Any lost work will need to be re-entered or processes repeated if necessary.

Media failure can also cause data loss or damage. Media failure can happen when the media the data files or transaction logs are stored on fail. Most databases will be stored on computer hard drives or across groups of hard drives on designated servers. Hard drives are mechanical devices, just like automobiles, and are made up of parts and pieces that work together. Mechanical devices are known for failure and will need to be replaced once, or if, the data has been retrieved from them.

Backup and Recovery and Disaster

The third reason for database failure is a disastrous or catastrophic event. This can be in the form of fire, flood, or any naturally occurring storm. It can also happen through electrical outage, a virus, or the deliberate hacking of your data. Any of these can corrupt or cause the loss of your data. The true disaster will be the lack of data backup and or the lack of a recovery plan. Without data backup recovery is impossible. And without a recovery plan there is no guarantee that your data backup will make it through the recovery process.

Backup Your Network Computer - Audio

2010-08-13 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Online Backup for Your Network Computer

Few things in the computer world are as easy as a backup on a network computer. One of the primary reasons for connecting you to the companies intranet is to give you access to the internet. If you have access to the internet then you can tap into a wide variety of online network backup solutions.

Online network backup is typically as reliable as your internet connection, which is a lot better then the 50% average failure rate from traditional backup methods. For most services the restore is also very easy and fast, and the cost of the online network backup service is usually a fraction of the equivalent non network backup alternatives.

An Example of a Typical Online Network Backup

Typically when you first start your online network backup service, you would do a complete backup of your hard drive. You would then schedule your nightly, weekly, etc... backups to occur late at night with the company bandwidth and your computer is not being used. These nightly backups would typically be incremental backups that only upload the files that have been added or changed since the last full backup.

Once a week, or once a month, depending on the volume of files that change, you would do another full backup of the entire hard drive. In a situation where you needed to restore the entire hard drive you would restore the last good full backup and then any later incremental backups.

Classic Backup Solutions Using Your Network

If an online network backup won't work for you, then there is always the shared drive solution. For years network administrators have had the practice of setting up a server with a large amount of hard drive space and making portions of that space available to individuals who need to backup data. The good thing about this is it usually requires very little in material costs. Usually the server is a retired file server with legacy hardware.

The bad news is that it is prone to failure, and even when everything is working well, maintaining this server take up valuable administrator time which could be better spend installing security patches and keeping viruses and hackers off your network.

Data Centers and Window 2000 Backup Considerations - Audio

2010-08-13 ::
M. Larose is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Data Centers and Window 2000 Backup

Window 2000 backup takes on a whole new meaning when it involves an entire data center. Data centers are popping up all over the country. They house the large amounts of data that is generated by many businesses especially those that are running 24/7 and those that have archiving requirements due to regulatory demands. Window 2000 operating systems and variations of that system are used in many data center environments.

The backup of the data held on these systems requires a slight of hand due to the high volume of the data being handled. A single point of failure can bring down the backup process quickly no matter what equipment of software is in use. The goal is to restore Window 2000 with an adequate and timely backup process.

Window 2000 Backup Architecture

The Window 2000 architecture was designed to provide flexibility while limiting the number of single point of failure areas. A complete backup is the key to enable data and the systems running the data to be restored in the event of a disaster or failure. Precautions can be taken in an attempt to prevent a disaster but Window 2000 backup is no different than any other system in that it is impossible to plan for every possible disaster that could damage your data center.

With terabyte sized data storage typical of a large data center, planning strategies become essential in heading off a disaster.

Window 2000 Backup and the Constantly Changing Environment

Data center data grows and grows. Users supported increase in numbers too. These two factors can cause change in a Window 2000 environment that will affect the way a backup is approached. Critical systems and data must be kept up and running and the applications must be available as well. All downtime has to be kept to a minimum and the creative solutions used to make this happen must be maintained and managed to a good effect. Planning becomes a required skill of every employee you hire. In the planning stages changes and adaptations can be made that can enhance your Window 2000 backup.

Window 2000 Backup Choices

The choice of backup for a Window 2000 systems environment is part of the backup strategies you consider in the planning stages. Some of these strategies might include choosing appropriate backup times, appropriate equipment, appropriate type of backup, appropriate storage media for quick restore times, and the avoidance of unnecessary backups.

Window 2000 backup as well as other system backup can get bogged down when unnecessary or poorly scheduled backups are performed. Indiscriminate backups such as always making a full system backup whenever backing up can slow your data center to a halt. Restoring data should stay focused on a handful of objectives. Backup is only done in order to restore, so Window 2000 backup should be created around the objective of the restore. Making the data easy to locate and quick to restore should be the main goals.

Creating a backup that contains only updated or new files to be amended to the original backup can make a Window 2000 backup perform smoothly.

Backup Your Entire Computer to Save for the Worst - Audio

2010-08-12 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Backup Today to Prepare for Tomorrow

Everyone knows about losing data in a computer crash or as the result of a virus, and backup is one of the most powerful ways to protect against this. While backup will not save your computer from crashing, or keep viruses from being able to infect it, it will ensure that no matter what happens to your computer you will still have access to the files that are important to you. Backup is a powerful tool and everyone who uses a computer should have at least some of their files in backup.

We all know that someday something will happen, and when that day comes you will be happy to have your files in backup.

Backup Your Entire Computer

While not always necessary, it can be smart to backup your entire computer in case of a system crash. In the old days it would be very difficult to back up much of your computer, as the only tools available were floppy disks which held just over a megabyte of data. While computers were themselves smaller, it was still very difficult to conceive of backing up every file on your computer onto these disks.

Nowadays, with ZIP drives, CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, among others, it has never been easier to backup your entire computer. ZIP drives even come with a special utility that is designed specifically for the purpose of backing up your entire computer onto ZIP disk. These formats can hold hundreds of megabytes and even more of information on a single disk, and can prove very powerful in the backing up of your information.

Moreover, the price of backup tools has come down to zero since many commercial companies producing high quality tools are now winning new customers by providing a lightweight but high quality free version of their backup products (such as EaseUS Todo Backup Free). They know that, if you have a good experience, you'll remember them should you later be in the market for a commercial solution.

Just imagine, being able to restore your entire computer from disk even if the worst has happened to your computer and your operating system. It is a beautiful feeling to see everything back to the way it should be after having a complete system crash on you.

Backup Today, Not Tomorrow

One thing to remember when you backup is that the sooner you backup, the better. If you have the time to backup your computer today, take it. You never know when something will happen. Time spent in backup is never time wasted, because you will appreciate it when the time comes. Backup has never been easier, and there is just no excuse not to have at least the important files on your computer backed up, if not your entire system.

Backing up your entire computer will take a little bit of time, but it is certainly worth it. There are programs which you can utilize in conjunction with your backup disks, whatever they may be, that will allow you to restore your entire computer from disk in case of a system crash.

Rather than having to reinstall your operating system and all of the programs and utilities which you have put onto your computer over the years, as well as all of the personal things that you have created yourself that can never be restored, restoring your entire computer from disk is fast, easy, and will include anything and everything that you had on your computer, even files that you had forgotten existed and haven't looked at in years.

It is a very powerful thing and a task that you should certainly look into undertaking.

Backup Your Data Today - Audio

2010-08-12 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

The Importance of Data Backup

For anyone who uses a computer on a regular basis, data backup is very important. When you backup your data, you are storing your files on a disk or drive separated from your primary computer. In this way, if anything occurs to your computer or damage comes to your file on the computer, then you still have your data in backup so that you can restore it onto your original machine or another machine. This allows you to keep your data even if great damage comes to your computer. No one wants to have their system crash and then discover that all of their data is gone because they made no backups.

How Do I Backup My Data?

There are many methods for backing up your data. All that is required is to store your information on a drive or disk separate from your primary computer. If you operate on a home LAN system, for example, you can transfer your files to the other computers on your network and in this way ensure that even if one computer fails you will still have your files on another computer. There are also online backup systems where you can store your data on an online server.

Then you can easily download your data back onto your computer no matter what happens. You can also put your data onto disks for easy recovery of your files.

CD-Rs, DVD-Rs and Data Backup

New technology is making it easier than ever to backup your data. CD-Rs can hold up to 800 megabytes of data, while DVD-Rs can hold up to 4700 megabytes. Compare this with the old 3.5 inch floppies which could only hold 1.4 megabytes, and you can see the enormous difference. It would take hundreds or even thousands of floppy disks to equal a single CD-R or DVD-R.

The only problem with these formats is that once you have backed up your data onto one of these disks, the disk can never be written on again. In order for a CD-R or DVD-R to be read by a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, the disk must be finalized, and once this has been done the disk cannot be rewritten. However, there are also new CD-RWs and DVD-RWs, the RW standing for ReWritable, which can be rewritten. This will allow you to reuse the same disks in order to backup your data.

While these disks are more expensive than CD-Rs or DVD-Rs, their reusability will make them more valuable to you in the long run, as you can continually reuse the same disks rather than being forced to buy a new CD-R every time you want to make changes to your backup or there is a mistake on the disk.

If you are using CD-RW or DVD-RW, however, you will want to make sure that you have the proper burner and that your computer can read this format. These formats are more difficult to read than the CD-R format, and it is not uncommon especially in older machines to not be able to read these formats. However they are becoming more and more common and this problem will disappear with time.

How to Backup Outlook Express - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based Online Backup software -- Back2zip. This resources is also available at

Two Ways to Backup Outlook Express

There are two ways to backup your outlook express. The first and easiest is to purchase software that does it for you. These software packages will usually give you a wizard interface that allows you to chose which parts in outlook express you want to backup: messages, rules, address book, accounts, and news groups. The second way is to manually backup the individual parts of Outlook Express.

Manually Backup Your Outlook Express e-Mails

From the Tools menu, click Options > Maintenance tab > Store Folder.

Select the folder location, and then press CTRL+C to copy the location.

Close the dialog box.

Click Start, then Run.

In the Open box, press CTRL+V to past the location of the Store Folder, then OK.

From the Edit menu, click Select All.

Press CTRL+C then close the window.

Right-click any empty space on your desktop, click New > Folder.

Name the folder Mail Backup, then press ENTER.

Double-click the Mail Backup folder to open it.

Right-click any empty space in the folder and select Paste.

Close the Mail Backup window.

Backup Your Outlook Express Mail Account

Go to the Tools menu > Accounts > Mail tab > choose the mail account > Export.

In the Save In box, locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop, and then click Save.

Repeat these steps for each mail account that you wish to backup.

Click Close.

Backup Your Outlook Express Newsgroup Account

Go to the Tools menu > Accounts > News tab > Select the news account > Export.

In the Save In box, browse over to the Mail Backup folder on your desktop, and then click Save.

Repeat these steps for each news account that you wish to export.

Click Close

How to Restore Your Outlook Express Backup - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Restore Your Manual Backup of Outlook Express

Assuming you've followed the steps in my article on How to Backup your Outlook Express, You should have a folder on your desktop called Mail Backup that contains the various files we will need to restore your backup e-mail messages, accounts, and news group accounts to Outlook Express. Obviously in the real world, saving your Outlook Express data to your desktop is not an effective means of backing it up. From there we would burn a copy of this folder onto a CD or save it on a ZIP drive, etc...

Restore the Backup of Your Outlook Express e-Mails

From the File menu click Import > Messages.

In Select an e-mail program to import from box, choose Microsoft Outlook Express 5 or Microsoft Outlook Express 6, then click Next.

Select Import mail from an OE5 store directory or Import mail from an OE6 store directory > OK.

Choose Browse, and then select the Mail Backup folder on your desktop.

Choose OK > Next > All folders > Next > Finish.

Restore the Backup of Your Outlook Express Mail Account

Go to the Tools menu > Accounts > Mail tab > Import.

Use the Look In box and locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop.

Select the mail account that you wish to import, and then use the Open button.

Repeat these steps for each mail account that you need to import.

Click Close.

Restore the Backup of Your Outlook Express Newsgroup Account

Go to the Tools menu > Accounts > News tab > Import.

Use the Look In box to locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop.

Select the news account that you wish to import, and then use the Open button.

Repeat these steps for each news account that you need to import.

Click Close.

Terrorism Sabotage and Your Data Backup Strategy - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Increasing Insecurity Effect Data Backup Plans

Since September 11th there has been a growing awareness that data backup plans built to avoid and recover from random mishap are probably not sufficient to defend against intentional disasters such as international terrorism, internal sabotage, or even destructive weather systems. Long gone are the times when your data backup could consist of a stack of tapes stored in a cabinet in the back of your server room. Even off site storage is no longer sufficient in its self.

Just because your data is stored safely across town doesn't protect you from a weather system that threatens your servers, could very well flood the warehouse storing your backups.

Data Backup Plans That Survive

The ultimate horror for a system administrator is the enemy within. No matter how thorough your backup plan is, an employee, ex-employee or malicious individual with access to inside information, can compromise it. If you are truly serious about protecting your mission critical backup data, there are steps you can take to minimize your exposure.

First of all, details of your data backup strategy should be considered proprietary information and not shared beyond those responsible for implementing the data backup, and their supervisors. Second, any sound backup solution should involve multiple backup methods to store backed up data in more then one location. Ideally each type of backup would be the responsibility of different people with each person having as limited as possible access to the other data backup.

Third you should take steps to not only have off site, but out of state storage for your backup data. This can often be achieved with one of the widely available online backup systems.

Data Backup Security, a Little Bit of Everything

Combining local data backups, with local offsite storage of data backup media, as well as outsourced online backups stored on multiple out of state servers, different people in charge of each method of data backup, and a policy of not disclosing details related to the backup plan, should serve to minimize your exposure to loss of mission critical data.

The Ideal Network Backup Software - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Playing with the Network Backup Software's Big Boys

When you backup your data at home or a workstation, with no network involved a simple zip software utility or CD burner is often enough. However when you are a system administrator, responsible for a large number of servers in a medium to large LAN/WAN you are needs are going to change radically. It's time to start shopping for a commercial network backup software solution that can make maintenance of your total data protection solution an unobtrusive process rather then a chore.

Choosing Your Network Backup Software Solution

There are a large number of commercial software solutions available to backup your network. Before you can even thing of considering one of them, there are certain features it MUST have. Your backup software must have centralized control across the network. There is no way you can afford the time to run from server to server to modify backup scripts or initiate restores. It absolutely must be reliable, or there is no point in using it, and it needs to be easy to use.

Finally it needs to be cost effective. Finally, it doesn't matter how good the network backup software solution is on paper, if you can't get it into your budget it's useless.

Other Nice Network Backup Software Features

Once we have the "must haves" out of the way we can focus on "nice to haves". For example, a good reporting package is very useful. Several available packages provide excellent reporting on how much data is being backed-up, how long the backups require, etc... all with full color trend charts that management loves so much. More important is good reporting on backup failures! In addition it's always nice to be able to do quick and unobtrusive restores.

The need for some features will depend on your network. Do you need support for multiple operating systems? Multiple drive types? SCSI attach devices, Storage Area Networks (SANs) and Network Attach Storage (NAS)? Will you need a scalable solution that works across WANs as well as your LAN? Especially nice, if you can get it, is support for software packages you may be using i.e. DB2, Oracle, MS SQL, SAP R/3, Exchange, Lotus Notes, etc...

A Few Simple Steps to an Outlook Express Backup - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Importance of having a backup of your Outlook Express data

Despite being one of the most, if not the most commonly used e-mail clients; outlook express was designed for non-professional use and does not have any built in backup. With its lack of protection against data loss one bit of corruption can result in losing all of your data. Nothing is quite so heartbreaking as losing your outlook express e-mails or addresses and not having a backup to restore to.

From the sentimental value of your birthday e-cards, to your business contacts' e-mail address, your e-mail account often has tremendous value. Luckily with only a small investment of time and smaller amount of effort, you can make a backup of your outlook express data.

Making a Backup copy of your Outlook Express e-mail message files:

From the Tools menu, choose Options.

From the Maintenance tab, choose Store Folder.

Select the folder location, and then CTRL+C to copy the location.

Choose Cancel, and then Cancel again to close the dialog box.

Choose Start, and then Run.

In the Open box, press CTRL+V, and then choose OK.

From the Edit menu, choose Select All.

From the Edit menu, choose Copy, and then close the window.

Right-click any empty space on your desktop, choose New, and then choose Folder.

Type "Mail Backup" for the folder name, and then choose ENTER.

Double-click the Mail Backup folder to open it.

From the Edit menu, choose Paste.

Finally, close the "Mail Backup" window.

Making a Backup copy of your Outlook Express address book:

From the File menu, click Export, and then click Address Book.

Choose Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then choose Export.

Choose Browse.

Browse to the Mail Backup folder that you created.

In the File Name box, type "Address Book Backup", and then click Save.

Choose Next.

Choose to select the check boxes for the fields that you want to export, and then choose Finish.

Finally, choose OK and Close.

Making a Backup copy of your Outlook Express mail account:

From the Tools menu, choose Accounts.

From the Mail tab, choose the mail account that you would like to export, and then choose Export.

From the Save In box, locate the "Mail Backup" folder on your desktop, and then choose Save.

Repeat these steps for each mail account that you would like to export.

Finally, choose Close.

Making a Backup copy of your Newsgroup Account to a File

From the Tools menu, select Accounts.

From the News tab, select the news account that you want to export, and then select Export.

At the Save In box, browse to the "Mail Backup" folder on your desktop, and then choose Save.

Repeat these steps for each of the outlook express news account that you want to backup.

Finally, click Close.

A Definition of Data Recovery for the Average Net Surfer - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Curious about data recovery?

Have you ever wondered what data recovery actually is? To answer this question, it is necessary to understand the basis of the need for data recovery. Have you ever lost data on your computer system? By data, of course I mean all of your important files that you have been saving over the years; photos, word documents, even your impressive MP3 collection. And by 'lost' I mean that the data was deleted from your hard disk, or lost due to a hard drive failure. In any case, it's data that you wish you could have saved, but ultimately it's gone.

Most computer users believe that once their data is lost, its lost forever. They often reload their system software and forget about data recovery, because most home users fail to even acknowledge the existence of the possibility of data recovery. However businesses, as well as many smart technical individuals have discovered many ways of recovering their lost data via processes simply known as data recovery.

Data recovery isn't as difficult as it may sound.

Services are offered by a wide variety of specialized individuals, as well as in the form of many software applications. While it may sound confusing, it is very easy to tell whether you are in the need of software to assist you in your data recovery, or if you require a specialized individual to help you with your recovery efforts. With either case, it is possible to retrieve your 'lost' data, and perhaps save you from the assorted problems that would be sure to arise if you had indeed lost your data, and failed to make any attempt at a recovery effort.

When is data recovery software used?

Data recovery software is often used whenever files are deleted from a computer hard drive, either by fault of the user or by automated actions initiated by the computer's software. The files may have been deleted from within your system, however by using the correct software it is possible to retrieve this deleted data. In the past few years, many advancements have been made in the development of this software. Data recovery software is targeted towards everyone, with emphasis on the home user and small businesses.

When is a data recovery specialist needed?

Data recovery specialists are required whenever your data has been corrupted due to a failure of your hard drive. It is possible for data recovery specialists to actually extract data and other information from a hard drive that is even in non working condition. This practice is usually targeted towards large businesses, or individuals who have a high demand for their lost data.

Data recovery solutions allows you to have faith in your computer.

With both data recovery specialists, and specialized software available to help retrieve your lost data, the next time you loose important data you will have options available to you that will help you get your data back. From now on, you have options to retrieve your data, instead of just forgetting about it and moving on.

A Newbie's Approach to Ftp Backup - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based Online Backup software -- Back2zip. This resources is also available at

A Newbie's Approach to Ftp Backup

If you have a couple of small files that you wish to backup, perhaps you should consider storing them on an FTP server.

FTP has been around for over twenty years, and ever since its initial creation it has been used for backup purposes.

FTP, which stands for "file transfer protocol" has been used to backup files since its introduction in the year 1985. If you have a free website, or access to a web server, then you have pretty good chances of already having access to an FTP server.

Using FTP as a means for hosting your backup files is only recommended for small files. FTP servers have several regulations that pretty much prohibit users from storing their entire hard drive on the server.

To start out, putting backup files on an FTP server is only recommended for users who are uploading either a very small amount of files, or a large archive of compressed files. FTP is not really useful for users who wish to backup their entire hard drive, mainly because even with a broadband internet connection, it still takes some time to upload the data. Even if you have an ultra fast connection, the FTP server may restrict how much data you can upload, or how big an individual file can be.

Examples of things users can use FTP for to hose backup copies of their files include word documents, digital photographs, presentations, computer software, source code, etc. As mentioned before, it is not recommended for users to use FTP to backup their complete computer system, or operating system.

Remember that in order to use FTP as a means of hosting backup copies of your files, you are going to need a few things.

In order to have FTP as a viable backup option, you will need some particular things. The first is access to an FTP server. If you do not have access to an FTP server, then you can sign up for one of the many free web hosting providers and this problem will be solved. Along with having access to an FTP server, you also need an appropriate software package that allows you to access your FTP server.

This particular type of software is called an FTP client, and literally thousands of freeware and shareware clients are available. To find one, simply goto your favorite search engine, or software store and search for 'ftp client'.

Getting FTP client software is relatively easy, however using the software is a different story. In order for you to have complete success in uploading your backup files, it is highly recommended that you either read the documentation that comes with your FTP client's software, or download an FTP tutorial off of the internet.

Once you have access to an FTP server, and client software that actually allows you to connect to the FTP server, you are ready to go. All you need now is to connect to the server and upload the backup files to the server, so that you will be able to later retrieve the files.

A Trip into the World of Computer Forensics - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Computer Forensics?

Computer forensics is the investigation and analysis of a suspects computer, to uncover evidence of a crime. For instance, theft of trade secrets, theft or destruction of intellectual property, or fraud. Computer forensics specialists have an impressive arsenal of methods for recovering deleted, encrypted, or damaged files to reveal information stored in a computer.

Methods Employed in Computer Forensics

A computer forensics specialist has several targets in the process of identifying and attempting to retrieve evidence on a computer system.

He must first protect the suspect computer system from any damage or alteration, any corruption of the files, and the possible introduction of a virus during the forensic examination. The examination itself starts with a search for every file on the system. This includes not only existing normal files, but remains of deleted files, and any hidden, encrypted, or password-protected files.

Once these are found, the next step is to recover as much information as possible from any deleted files, reveal the contents of hidden files, and read any temporary or swap files used by applications and the operating system. If any protected or encrypted files are on the system, these will need to be broken into.

He will then analyze all the information that can be found in the usually inaccessible areas of the hard drive. This will include all the 'unallocated' space on a disk, that while currently unused may have previously been used to store information. Other areas to search are the 'slack' space in a file; this is the unused area at the end of a file structure, found in the last assigned disk cluster, that while it may be unused now is another possible region that may have been in use earlier.

When all this is done he will produce an overall analysis of the computer system listing all the possibly relevant files, and any discovered file data he has revealed. Usually he will offer an expert opinion of the general system layout, file structures, discovered data, and the authorship of files as well as any attempts that have been made to hide, delete, protect, or encrypt stored information.

Circumstances in Which Computer Forensics is Used.

There are many types of both criminal and civil proceedings that employ computer forensics specialists.

Computer evidence can be used in any case where incriminating documents are likely to be found on the computer: homicides, financial fraud, and child pornography to give a few examples. Civil cases frequently make use of business and personal records found on computer systems, mainly in fraud, divorce, discrimination, and harassment cases.

Insurance Companies too can mitigate their costs by using discovered computer evidence of possible fraudulent accident claims, arson, and compensation cases. Corporations frequently hire computer forensics specialists to uncover computer evidence evidence relating to sexual harassment, embezzlement, and theft of trade secrets or other confidential information.

Law Enforcement Officials often call for assistance in making pre-search warrant preparations and the handling of seized computer equipment. Though comparatively rare, private individuals may hire computer forensics specialists to support or fight claims of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, or age discrimination.

Advantages and Problems with Online Backup Systems - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Why to Have an Online Backup System

Having an online backup system will save your day should your premises ever burn down, or the fireproof box containing your backup disks get stolen.

The easiest means of backing up online is to set up a leased line to a remote server, and transfer data to it at whatever interval you think appropriate. This requires extra hardware and is an obvious non-starter for a company that works from only one site, but luckily there are various third parties

that offer an online backup service.

Features of Online Backup Services

They all work in basically the same manner. You rent server space and, subject to a few terms to keep obscenity out, upload anything they wish. You can restore online, or by paying for a CD of everything you have stored on the third party's server. Compression, wizards to help manage your backup files, and encryption are all standard services. The companies themselves are unable to unencrypt your data so your security is not be compromised. They usually employ military-strength encryption so that even if your files are intercepted in transit they remain indecipherable.

Most are able to upload only elements of a file that have been changed instead of the entire file. This is particularly important in corporate environments to avoid bandwidth problems. Many have virus checking as standard, drag and drop interfaces are becoming increasingly popular, and many online backup companies allow backups to be resumed if the connection is lost.

Things to Beware of with Online Backups

Some companies will only allow one initial complete backup of a hard drive, but as the time taken for the first backup of even an average PC can exceed 24 hours this may not bother you. Portability between systems can be an issue in some cases, and System Administrators may be concerned about bottle necking. So far, no online backup companies have found a way to backup files that are in use at the time.

Careful thought should be given to what is backed up. It is unlikely that application files will be retrievable from a backup, they usually need to be installed using their own programs. Some applications use their own archiving feature with a restore command that will not import data from another file. Basically any files that have been altered by an employee become unique to that individual computer

and as such should be backed up while files that are restorable through other means, from existing installation discs for instance, do not need backing up.

It is worth checking that the original data files to be backed up are filed in a logical way, because many online backup services duplicate the original file structure. A confusing file structure or files with obscure names can get in the way of a clean restore. This can be complicated when applications store information in files with unintelligible names or obscure locations by default; email programs seem to be the worst culprits for doing this.

Alternate Site Disaster Recovery - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Alternate Site Disaster Recovery Techniques

In considering alternate site disaster recovery, the two main issues are the reconfiguring or rebuilding infrastructure, and moving data between the primary site and the alternate site.

Continuous Availability Disaster Recovery

Continuous availability means real time data replication, and is arguably not really a disaster recovery technique as no recovery is actually made - the data is never lost. This approach relies on continuous data transfer, which can be achieved in several ways.

One way is to use a transaction router, usually a software-based solution that simultaneously routes transactions to both primary and alternate locations. The transaction routing server itself must be secure, and multiple servers are often used. While offering a very high degree of disaster recovery, it is not appropriate in all cases, is proprietary in nature, and does not work well on a large scale.

A storage controller offers disaster recovery by replicating data on a volume-by-volume basis, moving it from a storage array on the primary site to an identical array on the alternate site. Since this is simply data storage, it is suitable for large scale operations and is independent of applications and operating systems. It is a very popular disaster recovery technique, especially used in conjunction with hot servers.

Hot Server Disaster Recovery

Hot standby servers technique focuses on being able recover and reconfigure servers at a

remote site as quickly as possible if any server on the primary site fails. This is called a 'failover' and is usually done automatically. It must be supported by a good data replication technique, so that on restart the necessary data is present. This can be achieved by remote tape vaulting, where duplicates of tapes in the primary location tape library are housed in an automated tape library at a remote site. This has the advantage that no time is lost in locating or transporting tapes.

Warm Server Disaster Recovery

In this system, the servers at the alternate location have operating systems and applications loaded and running and established network connections to the production network, ready to take over from a failed server at the primary site. These servers can be used for non-critical tasks such as backups, application

development, or quality assurance, requiring only minor reconfiguring to switch to production support.

Cold Server Disaster Recovery

Cold server recovery is the most basic method, and involves staff, tapes, etc. moving to a recovery facility to begin the rebuilding process. This is slow, labor intensive and often unsuccessful. Firstly the servers have to be restored from tape, and once that is done data also has to be restored from tape, taking up a tremendous amount of time.

Because of this, cold server recovery can be used with off-site tape warehousing, in which duplicate backup tapes are physically moved to a remote warehouse. Should the tapes be needed, they are taken out of storage and transported to the recovery site. This is obviously a slow process, but as it can be done simultaneously with the staff moving and the servers being restarted it is acceptable.

Always Keep a Boot Floppy Handy for Hard Drive Recovery - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Expect the unexpected, as far as hard drive recovery is concerned

Well you have absolutely no idea when you might need a hard drive recovery because of a belligerent hard disk going south on you! One fine morning when you boot up, your BIOS might just refuse to detect the hard drive. These things happen for no apparent reason and the only thing you as a computer user can do is to be prepared. This does not mean that all users should prepare against all the permutations and combination of ways in which their system can hang up.

However, there are a few basic things that every user can and ideally should do. One such is to have a clean bootable floppy ready, always.

Bootable floppy in the context of hard drive recovery

Well, In the first place, if you do not know what a bootable floppy is, then it is high time you learnt more about what is the process of booting and what are the different ways in which it can be done. For starters, booting is the process of detecting all the hardware and loading all the required operating system files when the computer is first powered up.

There are several ways of booting, like from the hard drive (as is usually done) or from a CD or even from a floppy drive. Booting from devices other than a hard drive is usually necessitated by a non-functioning primary boot device (read hard drive). So a bootable floppy is the first thing you are going to need if you want to get into your system and take a peek at the hard disk to determine what is ailing your storage device and then decide on your hard drive recovery strategy.

You might be wondering how a system knows where to boot from when the power is switched on. It is here, the BIOS comes into picture. The BIOS has information about boot procedure and you can manually configure this to set a boot procedure of your choice. For example, you can set it first, seek the hard drive and if it fails, then try to boot from the CD drive and if that too fails, then seek the floppy drive. So even to start contemplating hard drive recovery, you should be comfortable finding your way around various SETUP options in BIOS.

So how do you make a bootable floppy, the first step towards hard drive recovery!

Frankly, it is quite simple. In most windows versions you can do a search in Windows Help with string, "boot floppy" or "startup disk" and you will get the exact procedure for making an MS DOS start up disk. If you are well versed with DOS, then all you need to do is insert the floppy disk and use the format command on the floppy drive. Do not forget to use the "/s" switch so that the required system files are copied after a quick format.

Now that you have a boot floppy is ready, you are better prepared to face a hard drive recovery scenario!

Backup Data - Consolidation: Some Data Backup Considerations - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Consolidation is The Key to an Elegant Data Backup Scheme.

With technical advances in both network speeds, dropping costs of hard drive space, and the variety of backup solutions available; it has become more and more cost effective to consolidate essential data to a handful of location on the Network. Not only does this make it easier to access the data from various locations inside or outside the network, it also provides for faster and more reliable data backups and restores when the inevitable data loss occurs. There are also security issues to take into consideration as it allows for a more centralized authentication scheme since you are defending only a single location, rather then hundreds or thousands.

Consolidating Your Data Backup Plans

Consolidation doesn't end with just moving your critical data files onto a single network file server. It also must include consolidating the various backup plans and methods typically found in any large oragization's network. Most networks have not come into existence in one well planned instance, but rather have evolved over time as each department came online and began using network resources to greater and greater degrees. Typically there is a wide variation between how much data is being stored on the system and what backup schemes are being used. Replacing each of these independent systems with a single data backup system and plan will often require greater diplomatic skills then the average network administrator possesses. Implementation of a consolidated data backup system and plan is the job of one or more network administrators, but selling it to the various departments and users is the job of management. This is where a CIO proves he is worth his paycheck.

Archiving vs. Data Backup

Not to long ago, data backup and archiving was one and the same thing. In this day and age it is no longer enough to know that you can retrieve older data. The modern decision maker needs to have access to archived data in a timely manner, without allowing so much to build up on the production server that response time suffers. Often separate systems are used to access current vs archived data and yet another system for the backup data. Obviously the primary concern for your production data is speed and ease of access. The archived archived has less emphasis on speed issues, but will probably require significantly greater storage space. Finally the data backup system will need rock solid data integrity above and beyond the numerous other requirements of such a system. Regardless of the differing needs of each of these systems, they each must work together seamlessly or the entire effort is a wast of every bodies time and money.

Backup Every Day, Keep Data-Loss at Bay! - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based Online Backup software -- Back2zip. This resources is also available at

Backup weapon, the ultimate anti-data-loss weapon

Simply put, backup means keeping a second copy of all your important files and storing them at a location which is relatively safe from perils like, unexpected power failure, hard disk failure, virus attack and the like. What every one needs to understand is the fact that backup is the only definite way of safeguarding against the reality of data being a very vulnerable entity, prone to different kinds of threats. Depending upon the relative importance of the data, it is imperative that users take adequate measures to backup data in order to avoid data loss.

Not just backup but frequent backup!

The best prescription for avoiding data loss headaches is to backup your important data, not just when you feel like it but on a regular basis. If you use one of those reminder services on your desktop, make sure that you schedule a backup reminder first thing every time you start the computer. The essence of backup is to have all your important data safe in the event of an unexpected virus attack or a hard disk crash. For the backup files to be relevant and useful, it is important to ensure that backup files are up to date.

This is especially important as time factor plays a significant role relevance of data. In the case of a banking sector company, what is the use if the system administrator forgets to back up the current year's retail banking data but has systematically done a backup of all the previous years files. In case there is a system crash at the bank, most recent data would be lost without a trace.

Backup makes sense, always, even money-wise!

Even though data recovery technology has improved vastly and is undergoing sweeping changes with each passing day, the cost factor may not always be encouraging, especially from an economic point of view. If you end up with signing up for the services of a data recovery company, then rest assured that you would be poorer by several hundreds of dollars. Hence, it is always a wise decision to protect yourself against data loss.

There might bankers or insurance companies out there who would be willing to insure your data for a humongous amount of money, but they can not insure you against the possibility of a potentially devastating data loss.

Only regular backup can do that magic! Experienced system administrators and home users swear by the simple fact that the best way to insure your important data against all kids of threats is to make regular backup of the files. More importantly, keep updating the backup files on a daily basis. In case of companies or firms, it would be a wise system administration policy to have a daily checklist of things to be done, with backup being listed up among the first things to be done.

Same backup rules applies for individuals handling important data and working on systems or networks, which are potentially vulnerable to data loss.

Backup for Computers - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Amanda Wood is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Defining Backup

The term backup, in reference to computer jargon, is defined as a second copy of files you may be afraid to lose if your computer were to crash. These type of files may include important personal, work, or financial information. Another way to describe backup is a disk or tape that contains a copy of data. Most people who have backups of programs or files, they store them separately from the original. That way there in a safe place and can't get confused with other tapes or disk.

Computer techs and anyone that knows anything about computers will tell you that one of the cardinal rules in using computers is to backup your files regularly. Even the most reliable computer is apt to break down eventually, no matter how careful you are. That's just one example of how your data might get lost. There are a number of computer threats out there that could result in the loss of data. Some for example are flood, fire, theft, accidental deletion, computer viruses, and others.

The loss of important data or files could mean hours of frustration, costly replacement, and even significant revenue loss for big businesses.

How to Backup Computer Files

You can backup your computer files by using operating system commands, or by buying a special-purpose backup utility. Special backup programs compress the data to save space, allowing you to have fewer disks to keep track of. The operating system is the most important program that runs on a computer.

Operating systems help run other programs, and perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices. Peripheral devices can be either external or internal and are not part of the essential computer. Commands are instructions that you give to your computer to perform specific tasks.

A good place to get started, if you plan on backuping your files yourself, and by using the operating system is On this website you find links to all kinds of computer websites that will help you with anything and everything from basic commands for your operating system to technical support, registry problems, and even online computer training courses.

Online Backup Assistance

With our vastly expanding internet, you can find plenty of websites focused on computer backup and how its done. There are even websites that will assist you in walking you through the steps to backup your own files. One of these is They sell web-based, automated data backup software with scheduled daily backup, data recovery, system repair, and data archiving. Another website focused mainly on businesses in the US is

They specialize in automated online backup and recovery solutions. They can backup local and remote servers and send data offsite instantly. One more popular website is www They provide data backup services, including complete PC backup, network backup, online backup, and full disaster recovery.

Backup on a Floppy? Banish the Thought! - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Choice of storage medium for backup

Decisions regarding the specific nature of storage media to be employed in backup should be made strictly on the basis of backup volume and the nature of backup (read short term backup or long term backup). If a few configuration files or registry exports are the only files that are to be stored in backup, then a removable storage media of limited space (read floppy disk! ) would fit the bill. If you are planning a temporary backup of such above mentioned 'slim' files, then maybe floppy disk could be considered an acceptable storage media for your backup.

However, be forewarned, data stored on floppy should be considered to be at as much or even higher risk of loss than your computer's hard disk.

Why not floppy, the oldest and loyal storage buddy, for backup

Oldest, yes, and by the same token, obsolete too! As far as loyal is concerned, reservations about the dependability factor of floppy disks have been expressed in thinking computing circles for a very long time now.

For majority of backup purposes, floppy can be safely kept out of the available basket of options, simply because floppy is ridiculously miniscule in terms of byte holding capacity. Consider it, a floppy disk can hold only 1475 bytes or 1.44 mega bytes of data. How can such a storage media be considered for backup at an age where even configuration files can run into several hundreds of kilo bytes of data and a whole registry back up might itself run into several mega bytes of data.

Coming back to the 'loyal storage buddy' aspect of floppy disks, it is common knowledge that data stored on floppy disks are very vulnerable to corruption.

Backup on floppy can be easily corrupted

Even if slightly bent, exposed to minor temperature changes or exposed to dust, the data stored on floppy disks can be damaged. That being the case, if we opt for floppy as our backup option, then would we not be subjecting the backup data to the same threats which we are supposed to protect it against? !

Anybody who have been using computers for four or five years would speak volumes about frustrating situations when floppy disks pulled the carpet from right under their feet! In terms of data security, maximum extent to which floppy disks can be allowed in a backup media discussion is under the head, "for temporary purposes".

For all practical purposes, floppy disks can be considered as a dead option, to be considered only if nothing else is viable! Well if you have run out of your writeable CDs and you need to add a couple of registry exports or a few .ini files to your backup database, then you might want to consider using a floppy disk as a storage medium. But, at any cost, only as a temporary measure or a stop gap arrangement until you come up with a more reliable storage media where the backup data is considerably safe from common threats.

Backup Options for Every Taste - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

The Need for Backup

We hear about it every day, someone loses everything on their computer and they have no backup to restore their files from. Whether it be a system crash, a computer virus, physical damage to the computer or some combination, there are many things that can happen to your computer that can cause in loss of your data. Whatever you use the computer for, business, writing, personal affairs, photo storing, there are things on your computer that you just do not want to lose should the worst happen.

While ultimately you can almost always recover your files through data recovery or something of the like, this is a very time-consuming and expensive process and one that you cannot perform yourself unless you are an experienced computer programmer.

Backup provides an easy solution. Having your files in backup apart from your computer allows you to restore your files in minutes should the worst happen to you. Backup allows you to keep your important data in reserve in a place that is separate from your computer so that no matter what happens to your hard disk your files are all in safe backup.

Floppy Disk Backup Becoming Obsolete

It used to be that when you wanted to backup your files, you simply popped a floppy disk into your computer, saved your files then popped the disk out. However, floppy disks are becoming less and less common and will very likely be obsolete in a few years, if not sooner. It is not uncommon to walk into a computer store these days and not see a single computer that contains a floppy disk drive. While it is still possible to use floppies for backup these days, if you are just getting into the backup game it might be wiser to choose another option.

CD-Rs versus CD-RWs for Your Backup

CD-Rs and CD-RWs are becoming commonplace for the use of backup. While a floppy disk will only have 1 and a half megabytes of storage on it, CD-Rs and CD-RWs can have up to 800 megabytes of storage space, hundreds of times that of a floppy disk. With the increase of file size as computers become more advanced and powerful, it is easy to see why floppy disks are becoming obsolete for your backup needs.

CD-Rs and CD-RWs provide essentially the same backup service. They allow you to write data onto a CD-R disk which can then be read on any computer supporting a CD-ROM drive. However, once you have written data onto the disk and finalized it to be read by a CD-ROM drive, that is it, the disk can be used to store nothing else, as the finalizing process means that no more changes can be made to the content of the disk.

This is not true of CD-RWs. CD-RW stands for CD-ReWritable, and these disks allow you to rewrite the CDs. That means that once you have stored data onto the disk, you can then go back and rewrite the disk so that you have a new set of data. However, you cannot individually manipulate files, but must recreate the entire CD when you wish to make new changes to your backup files.

Backup Power and the Freelance Writer - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Backup Power?

Backup power is a power supply which will keep your computer operating in the event of a power outage. Most backup power supplies serve as advanced surge protectors which will keep your computer running for a few minutes, even an hour or more in the event of a power outage. They operate on a chargeable battery that will make sure that the power to your computer is uninterrupted, allowing you time to save any files on your computer which are currently in use and properly shut down the computer to protect it from crashing due to loss of power.

Why Does a Freelance Writer Need Backup Power?

Imagine that you are working on your current project, are almost done and then the power shuts off your computer. While you have been saving your work as you go along, there is an entire page of material you have written that is gone, and cannot be recovered when the power returns. You must now go back and rewrite that which you have already written, costing you time and anguish.

It is even possible that the entire system will fail due to a power outage and you will find that all of the documents on your computer are damaged, and can no longer be accessed. This is a great worry for any writer, and is one that you should not have hanging on your shoulders.

A backup power supply will insure that your computer never faces an immediate loss of power. No matter the weather, or problems with the power connection, your computer's power supply will continue uninterrupted. This will allow you time to save your work properly, then allow the computer to shut down as it should, ensuring that no harm comes to any of your work or your computer which is so important to your writing business.

How do I Get Backup Power?

There are many different backup power supplies available on the market. One of the best known companies is American Power Conversion (APC). You can find their web site at This company offers a wide range of backup power supply options for home computers.

When you are choosing a backup power supply for your computer, you will need to know how much power your computer uses, and how long you want your computer to run before losing power from the backup supply. Depending on the type of computer you own, the number of hard disks, any accessory drives installed on the computer, the processor and the monitor will determine how much power your computer uses in a given period of time. Because backup power supplies are limited, you will require a larger supply to run a computer that uses more power.

APC's web site offers a very easy to use tool that allows you to enter in the information about your computer, as well as how long you would like to ensure that your computer keeps running during a power outage, and then will show you the products they have available which fit within your range. Backup power supplies cost generally in the range of 50 to 100 dollars for home computers, although they can cost more if you wish to have a large power supply to keep your computer running for a long time.

Backup power is a very important thing for any freelance writer, and you should ensure that your home computer is protected from sudden loss of powers.

Backup Power for Your Small Business - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Backup Power?

Backup power is a power supply which will run the power for your computers or business office in the case of a power outage. This can include a generator, which will actually generate power for your company or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) which works essentially as a large battery that will keep your office online for a certain length of time, then shut down in stages to maintain the most vital elements of your business during a prolonged power outage.

Why do I Need Backup Power for my Small Business?

Power is vital to any small business, and damage can be great if you lose power for days, or even only hours. Having backup power means that you will be able to stay online no matter what happens to the power, and this can save your business greatly.

One of the greatest power outages to hit the North American continent hit the Northeast, causing power outages across the Northeastern United States as well as much of Southwestern Canada. This power outage lasted for days, and resulted in the loss of billions of dollars for small businesses. This is a big problem, and one that can easily be solved through the use of backup power supplies. However, 60% of small businesses do not use any sort of backup power for their business use.

If you are trying to keep your business ahead of the herd, you do not want to be one of the 3 in 5 businesses that will go down in a power outage, then you would be wise to purchase a backup power supply for your small business.

How Does Backup Power Work for my Small Business?

There are two primary types of backup power for computers. The first is a generator which will actually generate backup power for you. This mean that no longer how long the power is out, you will constantly be having new power generated to operate your business. Normally there will be a trigger switch which will connect you to backup generator power in the case of a power outage in your area. Having a generator can literally save your business in the case of a major power outage, such as that of 2003.

The other type of backup power supply is similar, but rather than actually generating power, this large battery will only hold power in reserve. The amount of power that this will give to your business depends upon the size of the backup battery. These systems are referred to as UPS systems, as mentioned above. While they do not offer as much as a generator, they can still greatly assist you business in times of need.

There are many different companies which offer backup power solutions for your small business. Emerson, American Power Conversion, or Energy Technologies Inc. These companies offer many different backup power solutions for your small business. While it is admittedly a large investment to purchase a backup power supply for your business or office, it can make a world of difference in the event of a major power outage in your area.

Backup Software for Larger Systems - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Backup Software for Larger Systems

For a systems administrator, one of his most important roles is backing up, and being able to restore, the organizations data. When he chooses his backup software, to ensure that they meet his requirements he must evaluate the product's backup features and also take a long hard look at its restoration and disaster-recovery capabilities . The size of his system, the platforms he wants to protect, and the existing of backup strategy he has deployed are the all factors influencing this decision.

Scalable Backup Software

For a large system environment, the chosen solution must be able to scale with the environment. Being able to handle networked and multiple storage libraries, both in shared and multihosted configurations, is important to companies with large amounts of data to back up. To gain the maximum throughput, some backup software packages exploit the multiple drives and media in storage libraries by sending multiple data streams, and interleaving the data from multiple sources to media.

This give useful performance gains for backup but is not so good for restores, so backup software with user-configurable features are necessary for choosing the best approach within an existing environment. If there is more than one administrator multiple concurrent consoles are available, backup software that supports browser-based consoles from anywhere on your network increases flexibility

Multi-Platform Backup Software

Any backup software has to supports all the platforms in use, and all the applications whose data is being protected. A lot of enterprise-class backup software offer add-on agents for back up and restore under a variety of operating systems, or performing database and messaging server backups live. For those backing up Windows 2000 servers, find a product with a backup and restore capability for Active Directory (AD) and the System State.

Backup Software with Integrated Disaster Recovery

An integrated disaster-recovery options is also worth considering, as it can help to quickly and efficiently rebuild a crashed system, though some RAID controllers do not support the use of disaster-recovery boot disks. Before investing in integrated disaster-recovery and backup software, it is essential to verify that it supports the hardware. Making sure that the software uses tried and tested implementations of the features required can avoid a lot of problems.

Fitting Backup Software into the Overall Strategy

The backup window, and the frequency and type of backup jobs need to be evaluated to find backup software that supports both the scheduling needs and the hardware required to meet the required throughput. If disaster-recovery and archive copies of media are kept off-site, the backup software must still be able to perform restores efficiently with as much automation as possible to minimize the opportunity for human error.

Time spent evaluating a product demo is never wasted, and reveals how easy it is to configure and operate. Not only for simple tasks such as installing remote agent software or configuring and scheduling backup jobs, but also for disaster-recovery scenarios that determine whether the product can handle a worst-case scenario - where the largest Return on Investment is found.

Backup Software Functions - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Backup Software Functions

It's probably true to say that most backup software applications available will do a reasonable job of making a backup. That does not mean that all backup software is created equal, and choosing the one that suits your requirements is worth spending a bit of time and effort on. Try to look deeper than the bells and whistles of the interface to see if the software offers flexible operation with all the functions you need.

Weigh the backup software's functions against your backup needs. Do you want to backup only critical files, or are you backing up your whole operating system too? Are you backing up one or two stand alone desktop PCs or a network of them? Do you want to take images of the hard drive?

Backup Software Also Restores!

All too often, shoppers evaluating backup software give lots of attention to the backup process, and very little to how fast and how easy it is to restore the system after it has gone down. This is understandable considering that backups may be a nightly operation, but it is when you need to restore a downed system that your backup software really justifies its cost. You want this process to be as fast and as painless as possible.

File-by-File Backup Software, Imaging, or Both?

To be competitive in today's market, backup software must offer both the more traditional file-by-file backup and "imaging" technology. An organization gets the best of both worlds by having both approaches available

In a file-by-file backup, the software goes through the operating system with guaranteed file integrity, while in an image backup, it bypasses the operating system and does a bit level backup of a hard drive. This is perfect for quickly restoring a failed hard drive, but file-by-file is better for backing up key files, especially complex ones such as a relational database.

Backup Software Compression

Not all backup software offers you file compression, but yours should as uncompressed backup files take up a lot more storage space, and this becomes increasingly significant as your collection of backup files grows.

Flexibility of Backup Software

Your backup software should offer you the options of manual backups or automatic scheduling, and both full and incremental backups. Another useful feature that is becoming more common is the ability to run backups in the background without interfering with other applications. This allows you to run backups whenever you want without waiting for downtime.

Backup Media Compatibility

Where do you intend to store your backup files? Make sure that your backup software allows easy transfer to a variety of media: CDs, external hard drive, tape drives etc. so that you have the flexibility to change your media in the future.

User Friendly Backup Software

Having Backup software that is so difficult and unfriendly that people won't use it is almost as bad as no backup software at all. Choose backup software that has a simple, friendly, intuitive interface and provides logs that don't need a manual and an IT degree to decipher.

Backup Solutions for the Busy Stay at Home Business Mom - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Backup and the Busy Stay at Home Business Mom

For any computer user backup is important, but for the busy stay at home business mom it can be vital. Business moms not only need to keep their family in order but also have a home business to run, and if they use a computer for their business it is vital that they have access to the files that are essential to the running of their business. Business moms have no time to waste with the loss of important data due to a computer crash or virus, and for them backup is of vital import. Fortunately there are many possible solutions to your backup needs.

Online Backup

One of the growing tools with the growth of the internet is that of online backup. Online backup allows you to store your files online in reserve apart from your computer in case the worst happens. Then, you will be able to download your files just as you saved them and restore your computer to normalcy with all of your files returned.

This is a very powerful backup method, and also has the bonus feature of allowing you to access your files from any computer in the world by downloading them onto whichever system you are currently using. With new features being added to online backup systems all the time, and with storage amounts and uploading ease increasing as well, online backup can be a powerful solution for all of your backup needs.

CD-Rs, DVD-Rs and Your Computer Backup

New technologies are being created all the time that can prove very powerful for your backup needs. CD-Rs and DVD-Rs are two of the most powerful backup tools invented yet. While it used to be that floppy disks used to be the most common tools for backup, they are quickly becoming obsolete. After all, why bother with a floppy disk that can hold just over a megabyte of data when you can use a CD-R or a DVD-R which can hold hundreds or thousands of times as much data all on a single disk?

It is not uncommon to walk into a computer store these days and not even see a single computer which even has a floppy disk drive on it.

CD-Rs have been a round for a while, and there are now even CD-RWs which allow you to write your disk more than once. One drawback to using a CD-R or a DVD-R is that once you have written information onto your disk, the disk is finished and nothing new can be added to it and nothing can be taken away. This is not true with CD-RWs or DVD-RWs, which can be theoretically rewritten as many times as you require.

While they have not yet advanced to the stage of manipulability that a format such as the floppy drive can boast, this is a great advancement and allows for the far greater storage space that a floppy drive can never hope to obtain. You will find that DVD-Rs and DVD burners are more expensive than their CD burner predecessors, but this price is falling all the time and in the future will come to overtake CD-ROMs, so it is a good investment to make if you are serious about your backup.

Backup to CD - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

The Importance of Keeping a Backup

If you have ever wondered about the importance of keeping a backup, imagine how you would feel if a virus destroyed the contents of your hard drive? Or a problem could only be solved by using a system recovery CD, wiping out all your data in the process? Or you run FDISK and accidentally remove a partition on the wrong drive? Or your hard drive dies, taking your data with it? Mistakes will always happen and all disc drives eventually expire. Without a backup it is a disaster, with a backup it is reduced to a very large nuisance.

Files That You Need to Backup

A private user only needs to back up files that they have created or modified themselves. Computers use both program and data files; programs can be reloaded from the original discs, but your data can only be reloaded from backup copies.

Making a backup is simpler if you store all your files in one place. Letting each program use its own default storage file results in you data being scattered all over your hard drive. If you are using Windows 98 or Me put everything into My Documents, in Windows 2000 and XP use Documents and Settings.

What is Needed to Make a Backup

There a choice of methods you can employ to make backup copies of your files. You can simply drag and drop the files you've created to a CD, copy them using the XCOPY command, use a third party CD mastering program to copy your files, or you can use Windows or a third party backup programs to create a backup to CD.

If you have software such as DirectCD drag-and-drop is extremely easy and you can use a CD-RW, but it is labor intensive if you have a lot of files, hard to keep organized, and you will need compatable software to read the disc.

Using the XCOPY command allows you to copy files from a specified folder made after a specified date, eg 'XCOPY "\Documents and Settings"*.* /s/d:03-15-02 K:\' copies everything from Documents and Settings created after 03-15-04 to the specified drive.

A CD mastering program, such as Nero, allows you backup your files to a CD-R. While this takes more steps than drag-and-drop, the resulting disc can be read by almost any CD-ROM, CD-R, or CD-RW drive without installing a compatible UDF reader program first.

The disadvantage with these methods is that they are unable to create a backup larger than the media it is stored on. If this is a problem, you will need a true backup program capable of 'media spanning'.

Backup programs differ from ordinary file saving by compressing files, storing many files in a single file proprietary to the backup program, and using the 'Archive' file attribute should you ask for a backup of changed or new files only. They often allow Backups to be stored as files for transfer to CD later, and a disk image to be made for disaster recovery.

How to Undelete in Windows Explorer - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Using the Undo to Undelete

One feature of any decent work processor is the Undo/Undelete function. It allows us to quickly roll back our previous action and correct mistakes. This has saved us all untold amounts of time and hassle. Wouldn't it be nice if we had the same feature in Windows? Some thing that would allow us to undelete deleted items? and reverse mistakes? How often have you dragged and dropped a large number of files into the incorrect folder and would like to undo the move? How about deleting a file or folder and you would like to just restore it?

Recycle Bin Allows Undelete

Of course you can always use the Recycle Bin to undelete items can't you? This is yet another nifty idea that windows has borrowed from the Apple. On the old Macintosh systems when you deleted a file or folder instead of actually deleting it, the file was moved to a Trash Can folder and were you could either retrieve (undelete) or empty it from the trash can, which truly deleted it.

When working on a PC with windows 95 or later operating system, you would do exactly the same steps, just replacing Recycle Bin for Trash Can and Restore for the undelete function to give the absolute minimum claim to originality.

The problem is, this won't help you if you've made a mistake moving a file or folder to the incorrect location. And for undelete, you need to close out of the folder you were working in, open the Recycle Bin, find the file you deleted, and then restore (undelete) it. While it's often better then re-creating the file, it's not very handy.

Using Ctrl-Z to Undo/Undelete

An extremely handy shortcut is the CTRL-Z key combination. If you have just deleted, renamed, or moved a file then this key combination will undelete, restore the name, or location to the last filed touched. Be careful though, if you held down the shift key when you deleted (which makes things delete much faster) then the undelete won't work.

The reason that holding the shift key is so fast is that rather then changing the location of the files, it removes the reference to it from the file system. This is very fast but blocks all means of restoring the files without third party file undelete/recovery software.

Undelete from the Menu

An alternative method to undelete that is often available is to go to the File menu. Often, but not always, the Undelete, Rename, or Undo option is available right from this menu. The Microsoft designers who built Windows do pride themselves in allowing you to do any task several ways. And I agree with them that this is a good thing.

Separation is Critical to Your Backup Strategy - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Thinking about Backup during a Recovery

For some reason, most people don't seriously consider forming a backup strategy until they have experienced a significant data loss. A this point they are willing to consider all sorts of methods to protect them from data loss, but are quite put out that the new backup strategy will not help them recover what has been lost.

Failed Backup, a Double Disaster

The only thing worse then having to restore to your backup after a data loss is finding out that your backup has failed as well. This is why most experts advise your backup strategy include multiple backups and backup methods with a degree of separation between them. Without well separated and multiple backups you will often find the same issue that took down your live data will effect your backup as well.

Three Types of Backup Separation

In order to limit the number of single points of failure that can take down all your backups, it is important to separate your backup strategies in three ways. First and most obvious is the location of your backup media storage. Having a the library of backup data tapes in your server room may be convenient, but it does you little good when the fire that destroys the original also destroys your library. As many people find to their dismay, fireproof safes are often not. At a very minimum you should store copies of your backup tapes offsite and update the offsite backups regularly.

The second type of separation is method. In our previous example, storing copies of your tape backup offsite is a good first step, but if your tape backup software or hardware fails you would still be left with multiple copies of a failed backup. A more secure alternative would be to mix they backup methods, for example a local copy of your tape backups, with an offsite online backup.

With this strategy, even if the online, or tape backup were to fail due to problems with the internet connection, or other software/hardware issues, their is an excellent chance that the other backup will still be available.

The third and final type of separation we will discuss is that of time. A common problem with failed backups is that when the backup is taking place, one of the files that needs to be backed up is locked, or in use. The ideal cure for this is to monitor your logs and reports and schedule the backup to occur at a time when the task locking the file is not running. In the real world however, this is not always possible.

Since we discussed the importance for multiple backups in the previous paragraph, just make sure that their is a significant difference in time between the two backups. This gives us a better chance that one of the two backups will pick up the problem file. Despite this you still need to pay close and daily attention to your logs and reports.

Should I Move to Online Backups? - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based software for online data backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Beginnings of Online Backups

About five years ago online backup began to emerge as an alternative method of backing up your data. Taking advantage of the fact that most of corporate bandwidth goes unused during the same hours that backups usually take place, it appears to be a perfect fit to upload your data to some off-site server and out-source the storage and maintenance of your backup. This has even been incorporated into some shrink-wrapped software packages like Quicken that offer instant online backup of your data.

Advantages of Online Backups

First and best of all, online backups are by definition, off-site, so if a fire burns down your tape library you will still have a backup to roll back to. The second most important is the separation provided between your local IT department and the staff that supports the online backup. Whatever hardware, or procedure that may cause your local or online backup to fail, this physical and procedural separation should keep the other from failing as well.

Also nice is that any of the online backup companies worth your time and money will provide 24/7 support and availability. This is important as it seems that restores, like births often occur at odd hours. Finally, and least important is the fact that online backups can decrease the amount of media you need to keep track of, since you are offloading much of the backup storage to the off-site storage.

Problems with Online Backups

The biggest problem with online backup is that it can take forever to accomplish. As fast as bandwidth grows, hard drives and software packages are growing even faster. Online backup companies have several solutions to try to get around this, including compressing your data, and doing only more incremental rather than full backups. These steps tend to decrease the value of your backup and increase the time it takes to restore.

This leads to the fact that online backup solutions are often packaged by the amount of data you need to backup. This puts pressure on the system administrator to get their backup to fit into the space allocated by the package you've purchased. The final and in my opinion lest important issue, is security. In theory, anytime your transmit your data off site you run the risk of it being intercepted or accessed in the off-site storage facility.

In reality the transmission is encrypted and the off-site storage facility typically has better security then the on-site storage location.

Executive Summary of Online Backup Solutions

For all but the most paranoid, online backups can be a valuable addition to your total data protection solution. They should not however be seen as a replacement for manual, on-site backups and storage of backups performed regularly by your system administrator.

Why Do I Need to Backup My Data? - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Importance of Good Backup Data

After five years of providing technical support for a variety of accounting packages, one thing I've found that is sure to bring tears to the person calling support is the question: "How recent was your last good data backup? "

Backup Data As Corruption Will Happen

It is absolutely critical that users understand that corruption happens, hard drives will fail, motherboards will short out, and mistakes will erase data. Good maintenance and technical skills may increase the time between errors, but in the end Murphy always wins and you will need your data backup.

Backup Data Solutions are Affordable

What is important to stress it that having a regular" data backup does not need to be painfully or expensive. Modern technology had brought very large hard drives, Zip and Jazz, DVD and CD burners, and tape data backup systems within the reach of even a modest budget. Even though the question of which of these items are appropriate for your data backup needs and budget will depend on your particular circumstances, but the overall need for data backup is not.

Nowdays, many robust commercial backup products provide excellent freeware versions for home and small office use. (For example, EaseUS Todo Backup Free). The free product is high quality and by providing a free version, these companies win the loyalty of new customers.

True Cost of Having No Backup Data

Almost as important as admiting it can happen to you, is recognizing the cost of data loss. Most people don't realize how much they have invested into the data on their hard drive. Forget about the obvious things like financial data (Receivables, Payables, and Tax Information), which we know would be disastrous to lose. Instead think about the man-hours re-installing the base software on your computer, reconfiguring your environment to suit your preferences again.

Losing your e-mail addresses, and Internet bookmarks. Without a full data backup, getting up and going again could easily cost you several days of productivity.. How much is your time worth to you.

On the other hand, occasional full data backups, combined with nightly backups of key data, will often turn several days of lost productivity and weeks of reorganizing into an hour of restoring your disk image, and key data that may have changed since the last full backup.

A Cost Effective Backup Appliance - Audio

2010-08-08 ::
Kalb is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

A Cost Effective Backup Appliance

A complex backup environment can have more than one backup appliance. The more and more complex an environment it is the more likely the reliable backup appliance is purchased in bulk and used as a workhorse. The backup appliance can be a backup storage appliance or it can be a full system appliance that manages the backup process, archiving, version control, data recovery, and disaster recovery. What you choose depends on what your system data needs are, how larger your backup volume is, and what your budget can afford.

Why a Backup Appliance?

Backup is the most necessary and most disliked task in the IT industry. Without data backup you could find yourself without any data at all and if your business is a data rich environment you cannot be without the data backup if you want to continue.

It is reported that a high percentage of companies do not bother investigating the backup process much less discuss the right backup appliance to make the job happen. Backup does not happen in a vacuum. Instead it requires a full evaluation of the role of data within the environment and then a plan that best fulfills the needs of the data. The hardware tools used to accomplish such a process are sometimes referred to as an appliance. And a backup appliance can be many things and sometimes all of those many things.

Backup Appliance Research

The best place to start is, of course, with a thorough data evaluation and a mapped out plan. Know before you start this process that change happens. Just because it looks good on paper and in theory it should work does not mean that it will work. Be prepared to make educated changes and research those changes and the appliance that might be affecting them.

Start your research rounds by reading as much as you can about the process and the available tools. Know what it is you would like to achieve and do not tailor what your needs are to a product. Instead find the best product that fits what you need. Dependence on vendors for a broad perspective of the backup process and appliance industry is not advisable. They of course want to sell you their product and their information will pertain to what they produce not what the market offers as a whole.

It is up to you to turn over as many rocks as you can in this process and to continue to do so. Planning for future data volume growth and possible company expansion may change the needs of the existing structure and the appliance you should choose.

New Backup Appliance on the Block

Recently, a new market has opened due to the higher recognition of data value. Data volume is growing daily and the space, administrative, and cost restraints many companies deal with have pushed this new market forward. This appliance market provides high capacity backup appliances in a smaller size footprint. The need for large cumbersome backup appliances is shrinking daily.

Data Recovery: When You Think You've Lost Everything - Audio

2010-08-07 ::

Don't Loose Hope with File Recovery! - Audio

2010-08-07 ::

Online Backup Websites - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Amanda Wood is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

System Recovery Online Backup

One of the best recommended websites for online backup is They described online data backup as having insurance that protects your data against viruses, theft, or accidental deletions. They know that data loss can mean diaster, and that's why they offer their services in online data backup. Their online data backup programs and services deliver automated online storage, data backup, and data protection over the internet. They also offer scheduled daily backup, data recovery, system repair, and online data archiving.

They work with you to conveniently meet your needs and work around your schedule. Their online storage employs bank grade encryption to ensure maximum privacy and security of all data being sent to the data centers. Online storage also makes your data easily accessible and enables you to remotely retrieve files from a home or office PC, and share your files with co-workers.

AmeriVault Online Backup is another highly recommended website for online backup. They offer many benefits including bullet-proofing your data protection and recoverability while solving a myriad of other challenges. Their services include online data backup, email archiving, and data replication. They help you protect and preserve your critical data with disk-to-disk solutions that deliver total automation, maximum security, and regulatory compliance. Amerivault also offers a variety of recovery solutions tailored to minimize your specific risks.

With their online backup your data is automatically secured off-site and available to you with just a few mouse clicks. To solve your compliance, growth and management issues at the same time, Amerivault offers hosting your email archives. Amerivaults recovery solutions offer space, hardware, data, and voice communications. This provides improved efficiency and reliability over tape-based recoveries with their disk-based fleet of mobile devices.

NovaStor Online Backup

The third most recommended website for online backup is NovaStor breaks their products and services down into three groups, online backup, network backup, and desktop backup.

NovaStor offers viable, easy-to-manage data continuity plans to their customers through their own program called NovaNet WEB. They are so sure of their program that they offer an evaluation version of it on their website, free to try.

With remote work forces and mobile users rising in popularity, they know that a growing percentage of critical corporate data is residing on individual computers. Thus meaning that the critical corporate data isn't always connected to the corporate network. Their corporate applications help companies create corporate data centers that allow all users within the network the ability to retrieve any data while knowing that it is safe and secure. The corporate data center allows network managers easier management of their employee accounts and data retrieval capabilities.

NovaStor offers the same services to mobile, remote, and home PC users. They'll work with you to help you manage and protect any and all critical data that you have on your machine. They take pride in the services they offer by promoting that with their programs you will never again have to worry about the loss of data!

Hidden in Plain Site - Internet Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Samwell is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Why Use Internet Backup

You are probably wondering what possible reason you would have to choose internet backup as your backup system. Well, there are many reasons. First if you backup your important files to the internet, you will not need any additional software or hardware. If you have a connection to the internet, you are all set.

The internet has millions of terabytes of disk space available, and there are several sites you can find that will give you free space to do a backup. As far as that goes, if you have an internet page you can upload your backup files there, as long as you have enough space. I pay about six dollars a month for my web page and I get eight hundred Mb of space. Now, I am using 3% of that so it leaves me with a lot of free space to use for backup, and I still get to run my internet business there.

Basics of Internet Backup

The first thing you need to do is decide which site you want to use. Most sites offer a free trial, so it is a good idea to sign up for a few and see which offers you the service you want. Since the free trial usually lasts Thirty days and you should do a backup daily, or at least every other day, you should have plenty of time to make an informed decision.

Now free sites, though they do have size limitations, are usually large enough to accommodate the amount of files the average computer user, and even a small business will want to backup. The only thing about that is that if you are saving your business files, you are better off to find internet space as soon as possible rather than to trust nothing will happen to your sensitive files. Paid internet backup sites will have some sort of a backup plan in place for the files they store, and will probably have some sort of insurance for lost files.

So now you have made your decision as to which service you will use. Now you have to upload the files that are important and you want in your backup. Some internet backup services allow you to use Windows Explorer to simply drag and drop files into your internet backup folder. There are also some sites that have a file manager or on site FTP program to use to upload your files. As you can see from what I have described so far most sites for backup are very easy to use.

The reason for this is that they want you to use their service and if they make it too difficult, you will go elsewhere. As with any thing else, there is a lot of competition, and a lot of the sites are not too reliable and might not be there in a month or two. So make sure you are very satisfied. Ask questions, the most important being how long they have been in business. You thought I was going to say price didn't you?

That is the second most important question, because if it is inexpensive, that won't matter if they disappear when you need them.

A Few Last Words on Using Internet Backup

So now that you have an idea of what is involved with internet backup, let's go into a few more important questions that you should ask.

How easy is it to upload your files to the site for backup?

How many customers do they have, and find out if they are happy?

Do large companies use the service? This is important because, larger companies can, and do demand a high level of service.

What types of file backup do they use? How frequently?

How safe are your files from being accessed by someone who shouldn't see them? On this note you should have some form of encryption so that not everyone who looks at your files can steal them for their own use.

What protection do they offer you if your sensitive files are stolen, or lost?

You may have other questions, but these are the very basic questions you should ask anyone before you trust them with your sensitive files. So go out and hide your files in plain site, use cyber space to save them.

Options in Data Backup for Today's Users - Audio

2010-08-07 ::

Overview of Disaster Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

The Need for a Disaster Recovery Plan

In a world of large enterprises, with global operations, operating continuously, and business continuity becomes ever more critical, making a disaster recovery plan becomes ever more necessary. In the ideal disaster recovery plan, the recovery will be completely automatic, with absolutely no loss of data, cost nothing, and happen instantly with no effect on business operations. It would, in fact, be invisible to the business clients. While this is impossible, it makes sense to get as close to the ideal as possible.

Disaster Recovery Issues

The two accepted criteria of a disaster recovery plan are the Recovery Time Objective and the Recovery Point Objective. Recovery Time Objective is the time in which normal business must be restored, this naturally wants to be as short as possible. Recovery Point Objective is the time to which data must be restored to successfully resume processing, commonly the last backup point.

Not all of the data held by a business is critical to basic operations, but deciding what is and what isn't critical can itself become a big undertaking, and actually segregating it even more so. For this reason, many businesses choose not to take this approach and instead replicate everything they have. For businesses with a fairly local site for replication and a direct link, this is a very attractive option.

If protection from regional disasters is necessary, requiring the use of a telecommunications link to transfer data, the cost of regularly replicating everything can be extremely high and it may be necessary to either prioritize data or use less frequent copies. This has an impact on setting the Recovery Time Objective (how much data can be transferred? ) and the Recovery Point Objective (how frequently is data transferred? ).

Rolling Disasters and Disaster Recovery

Like any other event, disasters have a beginning and an end. The time in between is called the "rolling disaster".

Any disaster recovery solution has to provide an image or copy of data, as it existed prior to the disaster, to a secondary location. While any image or copy of data at any time before the disaster can be considered reliable, the reliability of any copies made during the rolling disaster cannot be guaranteed. This is unlikely to be a problem for a short duration of rolling disaster, but it is during an extended disaster. This is becomes especially relevant if a continuous availability disaster recovery solution, in which data is continuously copied, is being employed.

Geographical Aspects of Disaster Recovery

Directly connecting primary and alternate sites via ESCON, with repeaters, sets a maximum geographic separation limit of 43km. Using more modern dark fiber and dense wave division multiplexor (DWDM) technology, sites can be directly linked up to 90km apart. This is enough to connect two metro data centers, and gives greater protection from a metropolitan disaster while allowing the higher bandwidths that this technology offers.

If there is a requirement to give regional disaster protection, by separating primary and alternate sites by a distance greater than 90km, the only means of data replication is over telecommunication lines. As distance, bandwidth requirements, and data amounts increase, this can become a very expensive choice.

Brief Overview of Online Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Brief Overview of Online Backup

Online backup is possibly the most convenient form of backing up files, leaving you with few excuses not to do it. Losing your files is something that is going to happen to you one day, not something that might happen, and if you do not backup your data it will be a disaster. Files can be lost in many ways, most of which are beyond your control. The most common reasons for data loss are:

42% Mechanical Failure

34% Human Error

15% Software Failure

6% Viruses

3% Natural Disaster

How Online Backups Work

Instead of storing your backup files on magnetic or optical media, you send your data over the internet to another computer, and this other computer acts as a remote backup. When you lose a file, you connect to that remote computer to restore it.

In addition to the great advantage of 'disaster proofing' your business with a remote backup, online backup is also a very convenient way for businesses to store critical, high-value, information that they can then download from anywhere in the world. For people who travel, work from more than one location, or want to share files with colleagues, online backup is the ideal solution.

Varieties of Online Backup

Basically, there are two forms of online backup. In the first option, you download software provided by the online backup provider and install it on your PC. This done, you connect to the online backup provider's server, select the files you want to back up, and transfer them over the internet. When the day arrives when you find you have lost everything, you simply connect and restore all your files back onto your computer.

If there is a lot of files that could take a long time to backup, or you have lost your internet connection, some services will send you your backups on your choice of media.

Option two is to use a web-based backup service. You do this from your browser window, and you can access all your stored files from any computer assuming it has an internet connection. Generally, web based online backups cannot back up quite as much as the first option, but they are more user friendly and make file sharing easier.

Advantages of Online Backup

It can cost you less to set up and run than other options.

There is no hardware to buy, maintain, or repair and no consumable media to manage.

Online backups can be made completely automatic, releasing time for more productive tasks.

Simple to manage, all that is required is to turn it on.

No need to arrange for storage of media, either onsite or offsite.

No worries about media degrading or becoming obsolete.

Some online data backup programs can offer features unavailable in media based backups, such as remote data access and synching.

All your backup files are available online, from anywhere in the world, at any time.

All your backup files are encrypted by your computer before sending, and stored in that format ensuring a very high level of security.

Your backup files can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

How to Make a Backup of Your Registry Using Regedit - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based software for online data backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

How to Make a Backup of Your Registry Using Regedit

Computer users who are seeking a way to produce a backup copy of their Windows registry can easily accomplish this task from within Windows, and without any third party software.

Users need to make backup copies of the Windows registry because it is a large file that contains information about the settings of your computer and the programs.

A lot of users don't exactly understand what exactly the Windows registry is, and why they should backup copies of the data. You see, the Windows Registry is basically a vault of the various settings Windows and other programs use. It's where programs get information from. As I said before, the Windows Registry is basically a giant vault for data.

The reason why users need to make backup copies of their registry is rather simple; one little mistake in your registry can basically stop Windows from loading at startup.

It is essential for users to produce backup copies of their registry because every program you install or download has the ability to modify, even destroy it.

It's important for users to remember that every program you install on your system has access to your system's registry. A lot of adware and spyware applications will modify your system's registry in order to take over your web browser.

Making weekly backup copies of your data is not only a smart thing to do, but takes only a few seconds to successfully make a backup copy. As mentioned before, users do not require a third party utility to backup their registry. A tool, entitled RegEdit is installed on every Windows PC, and although it looks quite complicated, making backup copies of your system's registry is actually rather easy.

To start out, click the Start button and select Run. Type in regedit and press the enter key. A few seconds later you will be presented with a two pane window that resembles the Windows Explorer.

Go into the File menu, and select Export. Find the location of where you wish to store the registry backup file, and type in a name for the file. Click on the Save button, and you are finished. You now have a nice backup of your Windows registry.

Remember that registry backups take a large amount of data, so if you make daily backups remember to delete the older copies.

If you decide to make registry backups every day, remember to delete the older copies. Because of the large amounts of data stored in the registry the files can be very large (fifty to a hundred megabytes).

When you find the need to restore a backup copy of your registry, the process is simply. Locate the backup file, and double click it. You will be presented with a dialog asking you if you are sure you wish to add the data to your registry. Click on Yes and your registry will be restored within seconds.

Using backup copies of your registry is a great idea whenever you stumble across a program that takes control of your web browser, or if you are having problems with an installed application that was working file whenever you produced the backup.

Solutions for Online Data Backup Woes - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Solutions for Online Data Backup Woes

Have you ever considered of online data backup options whenever you are on a computer system and are unable to create a backup of your data because you lack the appropriate media? Let's face it, everyone has found themselves in a situation where they had just completed some important work and have no way of transporting it to their home computer system.

Luckily, several online data backup options exist, and with the expansion of broadband internet, these options are starting to become really popular.

Probably the greatest option for users seeking online data backup solutions is to either simply send a copy of the file(s) to yourself in an email (using a free web mail service) or uploading the file to a web / FTP server.

If the file, or piece of data you wish to create an online backup copy of is relatively small, you should probably just consider sending yourself a copy of the file using one of the many free internet email services. You can either use your web mail account, or if you do not have a web mail account can simply create an account with one of the literally thousands of free web mail providers.

If sending the file to yourself in an email is not your cup of tea, you can also upload the file to one of the many free web servers, such as Geocities or Tripod. These options are not only easy, but also cheap since they are one hundred percent free.

Commercial services, such as provide customers with online data backup services for a monthly fee. While these services cost money, many users find that it is well worth it considering all of the tools the services tend to provide to their customers.

Besides the options mentioned above, several online services exist primarily for data backup. While most of these services charge a monthly fee, they are dedicated to providing their users with a wide variety of tools for online data backup. is widely considered to be one of the best online data backup services, considering that it is also one of the original services.

While most of the online data backup services are not free, Yahoo members can find a service known as Yahoo! Briefcase to be a free alternative to the other services.

Another option for Yahoo users is to utilize Yahoo's free Briefcase service. It is basically a stripped down version of the popular pay services mentioned above only with limited web space and only a few tools for uploading your data.

If you do not wish to pay for such a service, than you should probably reconsider just sending yourself a copy of the file via email, or uploading a copy of the file to a web / ftp server. It may be a little bit more work than simply using a web browser to upload a copy of the files to a backup service, but remember that it is still free.

Computer Forensics Training and Careers - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Amanda Wood is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Defining Computer Forensics

Computer forensics is the investigation and analysis techniques of determining potential legal evidence. This evidence is obtained for a wide range of reasons. Some of these are computer crime or misuse, theft of trade secrets, theft or destruction of intellectual property, and fraud. There is an array of methods used in discovering data found in a computer system. Specialist are sometimes used to help recover deleted, encrypted, or damaged file information.

Any or all evidence obtained can be used for discovery, depositions, or actual litigation. Computer forensics can also be used in making digital data suitable for inclusion into a criminal investigation.

In today's society computer forensics is used mainly in conjunction with law enforcement, and is offered as courses at many colleges and universities worldwide.

Computer Forensics Training Courses

There is a website that provides a course which they call Computer Forensics Boot Camp. You can visit their site at People who are specialized in computer forensics are sometimes referred to as CCE, which stands for Computer Certified Examiner. Intense Schools' online course involves a 5-day program with online exams and training towards the successful completion of the practical component.

Their training exceeds the necessary minimum requirements to attempt the certification. The CCE certification test can be found at This test is a challenging test of the knowledge required to work in computer forensics. It involves an online proctored exam, and correct investigation of several physical images.

The benefits of their course are learning the full range of computer forensics skills, working towards CCE certification, building your digital forensics toolkit, discovering proven investigative strategies, developing the skills to track an offender on the Internet, designing an incident response strategy, defining proper evidence handling procedures, and learning how to work with law enforcement.

More Computer Forensics Courses

InfoSec Academy also offers a computer forensics course at state-of-the-art education centers. Their six-day accelerated information security course is used to educate cyber crime investigators in the techniques of computer forensics investigations. Their program is designed to prepare its students with the real-world skills required to pass the CHFI, which stands for Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator Certification.

Their benefits are efficiency and productivity on the job, career advancement, monetary rewards and increased confidence. Through their course they provide you with intensive group instruction, one-on-one instruction, hands-on labs, lab partner and group exercises, question and answer drills, friendly competitions between concurrently running classes, independent study, and self-testing.

Before stepping into these careers, it would be a good idea to visit There you can take a free online screening test, to see if you have the basic computer skills that are required. Even if you don't pass the test but are still highly interested in the field of computer forensics, they will individually evaluate your test and work with you to help you find other training or self study recommendations that you should take before taking the forensic examiner course.

Data Recovery and Importance of Disk Images - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Data Recovery and Disk Imaging

Knowledge of disk imaging is needed for all those grappling with various aspect of data recovery. A regular computer user should be well aware of the fact that data stored on hard disks are vulnerable and can be lost due to several reasons, most of which may not be in your control.

So the best policy is to backup the important data on your hard drive so that, you are not left with the costly and time consuming option of data recovery in case of damage to storage media. Many a time, you can save yourself the trouble of data recovery if you bothered to create a disk image, from which you can actually re create the entire storage media as it was when you imaged it.

Disk Imaging is one of the common and popular ways of backing up your important data. Other ways of backing up the data include, offsite back up, network backup, online backup, CD back up, DVD back up and the like.

What is Disk Imaging and how does it help in data recovery?

Disk Imaging is a specialized process of creating an exact image of the disk at a particular point in time. One can even compare a disk image to a photograph. The disk image is capable of being recreated (read data recovery) into the actual disk contents in the same way a photograph can be used to recreate a particular scene in a particular point of time in the past.

This way even if you lose your data, you can safely recreate the hard disk to the way it was with the help of the disk image, making data recovery a child's play. Disk image in fact, makes an exact copy of the partition tables and the file system. There is also something called the Ghost Image, in which even the nitty gritty of the operating system, the system settings and device drivers will also be incorporated into the image.

Thus after you do a data recovery with the help of a ghost image, you can actually boot up to a desktop and system configuration that is exactly the same as your crashed disk!

How to make disk image and use it for data recovery?

Disk image is made with the help of special software. Several such ready-made softwares are easily available and can be downloaded from the Internet. Apart from a few freeware and shareware, limited edition trialware are also available on the web. The most popular and professional imaging software called The Norton Ghost, is made by the Symantec Corporation.

The disk image should not be stored on the same disk, which you want to protect from data loss. The disk image is normally a heavy file running into several mega bytes of data depending on the size of the disk you are imaging. This disk image, made using special software made especially for the purpose, should be ideally stored on a removable storage media like CD, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-R or DVD-RW.

Data recovery using the disk image can normally be done with the help of the same software you used for making the image. In most cases, you can find all the data recovery instructions from the manuals of the help files of the disk imaging software.

A Look at the Different Backup Power Units Available to Consumers - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

A Look at the Different Backup Power Units Available to Consumers

There are many different UPS (uninterruptible power supply) backup units on store shelves, and picking one over another may seem like picking what pair of socks you are going to wear tomorrow.

First thing potential backup power buyers must consider is their personal needs. Do you want a unit that will provide you with enough backup power to run both your computer and monitor for fifteen minutes, or for several hours?

The next big question is how much do you want to spend? Depending on how much money you want to shell out for a backup power unit directly results in the quality of the backup power device you'll receive. While their are some well known UPS manufactures that exist, you will likely be tempted to purchase backup power units that have better specifications from companies that you have never heard of.

When purchasing a backup power unit, it is important that you purchase a unit from a company with a repetition versus a bargain priced unit from a company that you have never heard of.

Whether you want to trust this unknown companies is tied in with how important your data is. It would not be cool at all if you went out and purchased one of these unknown brand's backup power unit, and when the power did go out, the system failed to kick on. The big question you really have to ask yourself is if your data is worth that extra twenty dollars for a high quality backup power unit.

With that being said, below is a basic overview of a few of the most popular UPS backup power units available today.

Entry backup power units contain a limited amount of backup power, as well as a limited number of outlets.

The Ultra / ULT31502 unit is a perfect entry unit for home users. It can be found at various online retailers for well under a hundred dollars and provides 600w and 1000 volt amps which is excellent for home users. This backup power unit features four outlets, so not only can you plug your computer tower and monitor in, but also two other accessories such as your printer or network router. The system also has a 12 month warranty and has won numerous awards for being the best unit for your money.

For users demanding a little more power, the Tripp Lite SmartPro 1050 1050 VA / 680 Watt UPS unit was made specifically for them. While it costs a few hundred more dollars than the Ultra system mentioned before, this unit is designed to keep small servers and workstations operating. With 680 Watts, and 1050 volt amps, the unit can easily power up to six devices connected to its six outlets. This unit is always backed with a two year warranty.

A simple overview of a entry system and a mid-range backup power unit shows you what a difference a few hundred dollars can make. While it may not seem like much of a difference, the mid-range model contains a two year warranty versus a one year warranty. This is excellent considering that UPS units rely on expensive batteries that are serviceably during this two year warranty.

A conclusion about the thousands of available backup power units.

The two units mentioned above are just two of the literally thousands of different UPS backup power units available to consumers today. Before making a final purchase, be sure to search for reviews of the particular model on the internet to ensure that you are making a purchase that will help save your work, and not create bigger problems when the power goes out.

Why Should a Small Business Spend Time and Money on Data Backups? - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based Online Backup software -- Back2zip. This resources is also available at

What is a Data Backup and Why is It Necessary?

Data backup is as important as the data you store on your system; if that holds valuable information critical to the daily operation of your business, then making a backup of it is also critical. Think about the customer information, supplier details, debtors & creditors, etc. stored on your hard drive, and then imagine that one morning you can no longer find them.

Backups are for your peace of mind, and to save you a lot of time and money if anything terminal happens to your data files. Your data is fundamental to the operation of your business, and should be valued as an important asset.

Any backup is basically copying your data files to disk or some other storage device, to provide a working copy of your data ready to be restored if the original copy is lost, damaged, or corrupted. This can can occur in a surprising number of ways - viruses, power failures, power spikes (these may not even be noticed! ), system crashes, external events such as flood, fire, theft, or vandalism , or even a simple user error.

A Sample Data Backup Procedure

How often you make a data backup depends on how frequently the data changes, the value you place on the information, its importance to your business, and the cost of replacing or recreating it. If you consider that your data file is too important to lose, or that it would be costly to replace, then you must backup regularly.

If you open and update your data files every day, you should set aside a labeled disk/tape for each day of the week and make a backup everday. The following week, when you next enter the backup file name, you will be prompted to overwrite or append the previous weeks file. If you overwrite, you will then be in a weekly cycle. If you are confident that you will always have space on the media, you can append and have a two weekly cycle.

If you feel your information doesn't alter that frequently, you can backup once a week and rotate disks on that basis - Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, back to Week 1 again.

The ultimate system is to keep buying new media, backing up daily and working on a very long (6 monthly or more) cycle. This is to ensure that there is always a clean backup if a fault goes unnoticed for any length of time, but it is really overkill for a small business.

Don't Forget to Check That Your Data Backup Has Worked!

Don't be misled into thinking that because you have run a backup that it has worked, there are numerous horror stories of PC users suddenly needing to restore and only then finding out that their backup procedure has been routinely failing. You should regularly test the backup media to confirm that the data has been successfully backing up.

Don't put off learning how to recover files until disaster strikes. Practice to familiarize yourself with the process and make this a regular event, especially after any upgrades or changes.

Proffesional Hard Drive Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Looking for Hard Drive Recovery Professionals

In hard drive recovery, the saying "you get what you pay for." does not always apply. A company with an impressive website quoting you $3,500 for a hard drive recovery is not automatically better than a company that quotes you $1,500.

Steer clear of companies that charge you for evaluating your drive, many reputable data recovery companies evaluate standard IDE drives free of charge. The recovery market is approaching saturation, so offering free evaluations does not necessarily indicate a lack of expertise.

Getting a Quote for Hard Drive Recovery

Searching around for hard drive recovery, you will find prices varying greatly. Quotes for standard hard drive recoveries can easily range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. You may be given individual quotes that have a up to $1, 500 high/low spread, often this is a 'bait and switch' tactic - they bait you to send in the drive with the low-end price, then they switch to telling you it's going to cost close to the high end price for the recovery.

They trust that most customers don't want the aggravation of having the drive sent back, and repeating the whole process of finding another company.

Try to get an up front cost for either a logical or physical recovery, they should be able to give you an indication of the cost of a recovery to within a couple hundred dollars. They will often give separate prices for the two different procedures, one price for a logical failure and another price if the problem turns out to be physical. This is different to the high/low 'bait and switch' mentioned earlier, it is simply quoting two prices for the two types of recovery.

What are the Chances of a Successful Hard Drive Recovery?

Hard drive recovery professionals claim an average success rate in the region of 75-85%. Individually, there are times when your data is permanently lost. This can be for several reasons, excessive physical damage to the platters, your data has been written over, or it could be something as simple as unavailable replacement parts.

Getting Started with Your Hard Drive Recovery

When your hard drive crashes, pull the computer plug out of the socket - don't even shutdown! - and contact a hard drive recovery professional. Ask a lot of questions, and make sure you have the following information to hand:

The capacity of your drive.

The Operating System you are using - Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.

What you were doing just before your drive stopped working.

Whether your computer recognizes the drive.

If you have a standard IDE hard drive, make sure that you do not pay an evaluation fee. Most companies only charge an evaluation fee when they are dealing with a complex RAID or network server drive.

You may find the hardest part is actually finding a data recovery firm with someone available to answer the phones! Despite this, it is important to do the legwork of calling and talking directly with the companies to find one that you feel the most comfortable with.

Commercial Software That Allows You to Undelete Your Files - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Commercial Software That Allows You to Undelete Your Files

A really useful piece of software for computer users is one that has the ability to undelete files that have previously been deleted by either the user or as a result of an action taken by a computer application. Unfortunately most computer users do not have this useful piece of software, and wish they did have such a utility whenever they accidentally delete their files.

Several commercial software companies have released various types of utilities for users wishing to have the ability to undelete their files.

Many software companies have produced software over the years that allows users to undelete their files. While older versions of Windows and the DOS operating system came bundled with a DOS undelete utility, today users will have to find a third party solution.

The leader of undelete software is no doubt Norton Systemworks; included in this suite of software packages is UnErase, a very powerful tool for restoring deleted files.

Leading the pack of commercial software is Norton SystemWorks which is a software collection of utilities designed to help computer users with their woes and problems. UnErase is one of these such programs whose primary purpose is to give the user the ability to undelete previously deleted files. UnErase offers users several different options for locating their deleted data including pulling up the ten previously deleted files, as well as giving the user the ability to search for specific deleted files.

In order to gain access to the UnErase application, interested users will have to purchase the entire SystemWorks collection of software; Norton does not sell the undelete utility separately.

Next in line of fantastic commercial software is a program with the very unoriginal title of Undelete 4.0. Produced by Executive Software is a low priced alternative to Norton Systemworks. Users who are only looking for an undelete utility for their files instead of a whole suite of utilities will find Undelete 4.0 to their liking. Priced at $24 95, it can be considered a bargain if you use it to restore your valuable data.

It's much like UnErase in its functionality, only it totally replaces the Windows Recycling Bin with its own little garbage can. While the program suffers in trying to restore files that you deleted before you installed Undelete, the program operates great once the software has been installed.

Cheaper undelete software exists, however this software is usually lackluster in features and restores very few deleted files.

Several other pieces of shareware exist on the internet, however most of these utilities (usually priced at $10-$20 for an online download) are a waste of both your time and money. Most of these utilities fail to restore ANY files at all, and the few programs that are able to restore deleted files usually are only to restore files that were just deleted. It's best to always search the internet for reviews of software that you intend to purchase, so that you know exactly what you are paying for.

Remember, some software companies will make their software sound absolutely fantastic just to get your money. It's best to believe in internet reviews of software then the descriptions of the software posted on the publisher's website.

Computer Quincys - Computer Degree Forensics Master - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Samwell is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Why a Computer Degree for a Forensics Master?

If you have a Masters degree in computer forensics you will be involved in the solving of all aspects of computer crime. Computer forensics is not the same as the type of forensic crime as say a coroner would be called on to solve. If you have a degree from a master program in computer forensics you would be examining a computer of someone involved in any one of a growing number of types of computer crime.

You may also be called on to examine the computer of someone involved with some other type of crime, to see who they are in touch with by email, for instance or what types of sites they are visiting on the internet.

For example, if you were looking at the computer of a person who had embezzled from work, you might find that they were doing a lot of online gambling. You might also find that they had a relationship with someone who had been demanding a lot of money by looking at email files.

How to Get a Computer Degree As a Forensics Master

If you are interested in getting a master's degree in computer forensics you will need a good grasp of computer hardware and software. It will also help it you have a good intuition so you can think outside the box when it is required of you. You should have an analytical mind so that you can follow a chain of evidence. You should also be not too easily flustered as you will have to testify in court as to your findings and defense attorneys will try diligently to make you come off badly in court.

The first thing you will need to do is get a bachelors degree in computer science. Once you have gotten this you can take a course in computer forensics from an accredited school, which will serve two purposes. One is to find out if you are cut out for this type of work, without paying for two more years of university. Another way this can help you is that many places will hire you as a computer forensics technician and allow you to get your degree in conjunction with your job.

This way you can earn money while you are earning your degree. It might make for a stressful time while you are trying for your degree and it will take somewhat longer, but at least you will save some student loan money, and if you have aptitude for computer forensics, it will be well worth it.

Jobs for People with a Computer Degree As a Forensics Master

There are as many jobs for a graduate of a master degree program in computer forensics as there are types of computer crime - no scratch that! - types of crime in general.

As computer use becomes more common more criminals are learning to use them to commit crimes. This has been true of innovations throughout history. The most obvious job for a person in computer forensics is with the police. This includes major federal agencies such as the FBI, CIA, Federal Marshalls etc. These types of jobs involve all types of crime and computer crime.

A computer forensic graduate developed a program called Carnivore, that checks emails at random, searching for specific words and phrases, to help detect terrorists. Examples might be bomb, or terrorist organization names or even names that are encrypted too obviously.

Another type of job is with government or accounting watchdog agencies or firms. This with involve checking for government waste, embezzlement, both in the public and private sectors. It could also involve looking for stock exchange frauds, and illegal trading. In this case you would basically be an auditor just like an accountant looking for someone "cooking the books" in the pre-computer age.

So if you think you might have the necessary type of skills and personality that this type of study takes check out a few universities, on campus or online, whichever you prefer, and get some more information. Good luck catching those bad guys!

Is Data Recovery Worth Pursuing? - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Is Data Recovery Worth Pursuing?

When you discover that you have suffered some data loss, the first decision is always if data recovery is possible. The subsequent action that needs to be taken depends on the answer to this, whether it is worth attempting data recovery or whether to find a way of managing the data loss.

Decide If Data Recovery is Possible

This can be a very difficult choice, especially if you are unsure what caused the data loss. A technician may already have attempted data recovery and the effects of some remedies, Microsoft's "Checkdisk" for instance, are quite random.

The decision often becomes a commercial one of whether the information is actually worth the cost of recovery. Except in very extreme cases, the magnetization that stores the data will still be present on disc. Even in case where the computer has been burned, flooded, or crushed data recovery can still be possible, but at an extremely high price.

Types of Data and Their Effect on Data Recovery

The kind of data being recovered also affect this decision. If you can recover, for instance, 90% of all lost data, and these files are pictures you will retrieve 9 out of 10 pictures; this can be considered a success. On the other hand, if the files are database tables and only 90% can be recovered the entire database is corrupted. The higher the dependency and interaction between the data files, the worse the effects of even a small amount of missing data will be.

Is It Logical or Physical Data Recovery?

There are two distinct procedures in data recovery.

Physical data recovery is the extraction of the raw data from a damaged disc, logical data recovery means the rebuilding of damaged data files.

Pure logical data losses are usually caused by operator error. The accidental deletion of files, accidental drive formatting, or it may be from a malicious virus attack.

Physical data recovery from a drive that has failed mechanically may not need any subsequent logical reconstruction if it can be successfully repaired, though in practice many physical repairs are followed by logical reconstruction if some data is permanently lost due to damaged disc surfaces.

The Time Element in Logical Data Recovery

It is easy to underestimate the time element in data recovery, but losing data for a week is effectively losing the data forever. A single file that has been accidentally, permanently, deleted rather that being moved to the Recycle Bin or by emptying the Recycle Bin, is marked in the directory entry with E5.

This frees the associated FAT entry and the as the location of the deleted file is no longer protected by the file system those locations are available for recycling the next time the OS needs to create a new file.

The problem is that in any computer, files are continually being created. Many computer processes write to log files, and browsing even a single Website will download several files. Any of these could overwrite the deleted files making recovery much more difficult.

Possible Problems with File Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

One Day, You Will Need File Recovery.

File recovery is something you will eventually need; it is only a matter of time before you accidentally delete an important file. There are plenty of software companies around, all vying to sell products that promise quick and easy file recovery. Unfortunately, they don't always deliver.

File Recovery from Recycle Bin.

Windows Recycle Bin is well known, and apparently offers simple and foolproof file recovery. The reality is that a surprising number of deleted files cannot be recovered from the Recycle Bin.

Windows programs perform a special operation to move files to the Recycle Bin rather than just deleting them, and not all of them offer this feature. Users who work in the Windows command shell, for instance, soon discover that the shell's DEL command does exactly that, they are deleted without ever going to the Recycle Bin.

Recycle Bin has a finite size and eventually it will fill up and start throwing files away. You can adjust the size of your Recycle Bin of course, but there are practical limits to this. Nobody wants to turn there PC into one big Recycle Bin.

How File Recovery Utilities Work.

Windows files are stored in one or more blocks of a fixed size, big files use several blocks while a small file may use just one. Windows keeps track of where all the blocks that make up any particular file are located, and where all the unused blocks are.

When you tell Windows to delete a file it does not physically erase all the blocks that that file was using, it only marks them as unused. File recovery utilities work by locating all the blocks that belonged to recently deleted files and uses them to reconstruct your lost file.

The Problem with File Recovery Utilities.

Getting your file recovery software into action in time is the biggest problem. Imagine that you accidentally delete a file, but don't realize that you didn't really want to do that until 30 minutes later. For those 30 minutes your files blocks have been marked as unused, and if you did anything that wrote information to the hard drive Windows could have written over your information. If that has happened your problem has got a thousand times worse, and unless that file was worth spending a few months and a mountain of money to retrieve you can forget about recovering it.

Another common problem is that people don't think about file recovery software until they moment they actually delete that important file. Finding one is easy - some are even free - but are you going to search the internet for it? That creates many new files, that could be written over the file you are trying to save. Even if you go to another machine to locate, purchase, and download a file recovery utility, you will still have to bring it back to your first computer and install it. Guess what? Installing it too can overwrite the data you are hoping to recover.

There is an obvious lesson to be learned here, obtain and install some file recovery software before you need it!

Options Users Can Consider for Remote Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Options Users Can Consider for Remote Backup

Working on computers can be extremely frustrating when it comes to making backups of your data in a remote location, such as on another computer in your local network.

Remote backup is your only viable option when you are dealing with amounts of data that are impossible to be put on a CD or DVD.

Computer technology has progressed at an amazing rate in the past ten years, and unlike the days long passed, we can not simply backup our important data on a floppy disk, or even a CD.

Today, a lot of computer users have basically their 'life's work' on their computer system's hard drive. And with that said, a great deal of those computer users backup their data everyday.

But what are users supposed to do when their data exceeds the limitations of floppies, CDs, and DVDs? The answer is simple; remote backup.

Remote backup is a term that refers to a location other than a user's personal computer where their data is sent to. Basically a remote backup location can be another computer in an office, a server in your company's building, a server somewhere else, or an external hard drive whose sole purpose is as a remote backup station.

People who need remote backup have three basic options; small severs, large scale servers, and external hard drives.

Normally offices and small businesses will either have a few computers laying around in which they use specifically as small remote backup servers. Whenever there is a much larger demand for space, businesses and corporations will utilize large business scale servers for their remote backup needs.

But what about home users? They really can not afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on large scale servers. Also for many, purchasing another computer system specifically for remote backup is a waste of money.

Some very advanced external hard drives can be used for remote backup; they offer connectivity over local networks and one button backup abilities.

Fortunately, companies producing hard drives, such as Maxtor have created external hard drives that connect to the systems either over a network connection, or via USB 2.0 / Firewire cable. This devices also come with some really great features that make your remote backup needs quick and simple.

Of these advanced features, some units such at those built by Maxtor, have a button built in. That does not sound like much, however when the button is pressed, the system will automatically start creating a backup of your files onto the remote drive. Not only is this very convenient, but it will also save users plenty of time. Think about it; instead of sitting around waiting for your system to acknowledge the completion of your remote backup operations, you simply press a button on a piece of hardware and walk away.

Not only are these remote backup systems very easy to use, but they are pretty cheap as well. They come in various sizes, and start at around $189. This price sounds a lot better to users than the price computer manufacturer's tend to charge for their entry small servers.

Personal Backup Strategies - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Personal Backup Strategies

First, decide what you need to backup. The contents of your hard drive are your operating system, applications, and your own data. E-mails, your address book, bookmarked Web sites, the dialup number for your ISP, and anything else that you've added or changed on your system should be on this list of important files. Don't forget the Registry, having a backup of this can save you a lot of headaches when things go wrong.

It is important to know how much backup room you'll need. As a rule of thumb, your backup should have twice as much space as you currently need, allowing for growth without having to change your backup strategy.

Backup Frequency

Next, decide on the frequency of your backups. A good guide is to ask yourself how many days of data you can afford to risk losing. If it is one or less you need to back up every day, but for an average user a weekly backup, with critical data backups as necessary, is sufficient.

CDs As Backup Medium

Choosing the appropriate backup medium depends on the size and the frequency of your backups. If you already have a CD-RW drive in your system, and you don't need more than a CD-RW's 650MB capacity, then you don't need to look any further. Though not as popular as they used to be, tape backup drives can still handle large amounts of data cost-effectively.

Many of us keep our backed up data in the same room as our PC, and as one of the most common causes of data loss is a hard drive crash that is fine; CDs sitting on your desk will protect you. To prevent a total loss of data from fire, flood, or other disaster, keeping at least one copy of backed up data off-site is an exorbitant precaution, this can be physically moving backup CDs or tapes to a friends house or uploading data to an online storage location.

Dvds As a Backup Medium

DVD-rewritable drives are becoming more common, and with a capacity for up to 4.7GB of data single-sided, or 9.4 GB double-sided they are very useful as a backup medium. They are more expensive than CD, but the high capacity and rewriting up to 100, 000 times takes some of the edge off the cost.

Tape Backups

Tape drives can often store the entire contents of a hard drives on a single tape, backups to tape are very fast and reliable, and additional tape cartridges are inexpensive but unless you're running a business from your PC it is an overkill option for personal users.

Having said that, some types of tape drives and tape technologies are becoming more affordable for personal users. The Seagate Travan is probably the cheapest drive at under $300, but Sony and Quantum also have reasonably priced entry level drives. These all offer 40GB of storage per tape, at a transfer rate of 2MB per second. Consider that tape is the cheapest medium in terms of cost-per-gigabyte, and this can be attractive if you need fast and frequent full backups.

Physical Data Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Spotting a Dead Hard Drive

If a hard drive is not accessible by software such as the system BIOS, Windows' Disk Management, or other disk utilities it can be considered as truly dead and in need of physical data recovery. A dead drive will often display other symptoms, such as not spinning, clicking, or making other unusual noises.

A drive with these problems may have a damaged electronic board, read heads, motor, or damage to the magnetic media. A Data recovery company equipped with clean room facilities can usually repair the drive by replacing the damaged components, imaging the drive, and if required performing a logical file reconstruction.

The cost for this kind of data recovery can be hundreds, even thousands of Dollars, and is not guaranteed to be successful.

Physical Data Recovery Problems

The chances of successful data recovery depend on the extent of the damage. Data recovery from a platter that has been heated up to Curie temperature (770 degrees Celsius for iron) is not even theoretically possible as this temperature completely demagnetizes the platters.

Modern hard drives are surprisingly sturdy, often capable of handling shocks up to 300G, but a hard enough impact can still unbalanced the platters making data recovery very difficult. Such a shock will cause the platters to vibrate while spinning, and if the vertical component of the vibration is greater than the height at which read head flies the result is a permanent head crash, further damaging the surface and making it impossible to read the magnetic information. If there is any horizontal vibration the read head will be unable track properly.

Physical Data Recovery in Extreme Cases

Fortunately there is technology capable of overcoming all these problems. This is Magnetic Force Microscope (MFM) photography, the only route to data recovery that does not require the platters to spin. Instead MFM scans the entire surface of the platter moving from region to region, with each region yielding a picture. This pains taking process takes several months, and when it is finished these pictures have to be stitched together.

Consider that a 20GB hard drive consists of 160, 000, 000, 000 bits. Including overheads that could rise to around 300, 000, 000, 000 bits, with each individual bit represented by a magnetic flux change. Since each MFM picture displaying this flux change uses around 100 bytes, the result is 40 Terabytes of data to be analyzed. Data recovery by this means can cost 100, 000s of Dollars, but it can recover data where no other method can.

Drive Types Issues in Data Recovery

The type of drive also affects the chances of successful data Recovery, as most professional data recovery companies can only work on certain drives. After assembly a modern hard drive is conditioned to work perfectly with the read heads, platters etc. that are actually used. This means that it is not always possible to use parts from another drive, even if the replacement parts have same component number.

Play Ps2 Backups with the Dms4 Modchip - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Play Ps2 Backups with the Dms4 Modchip

Like the original Playstation video game console, Sony's PS2 has a large crowd of followers who not only like playing their purchased software, but would also like to play imported video games, as well as backup copies of their games.

In order to play backup / import games on your PS2, you'll need to be aware of the technical aspects of installing a modchip.

For anyone interested in this, they are probably already aware of the requirements of the modifications necessary into to get the backup / import software to run on the PS2 console.

With that being said, it should be noted that not all of these modification chips, or modchips as they are commonly referred to as on the internet, are not made equally.

Not all PS2 modchips, which allow the user to play backups, are created equally.

PS2 publishers are always creating new games with specific code within the games that prevent the games from being played on any system that has been modified with a modchip. For this reason, new modchip designs come out every month incorporating work around for the implemented code. Any user who is wishing to play backup copies of the latest game will not be satisfied if he or she chooses to purchase a modchip that was produced two years ago.

The latest (at the time of this writing) PS2 modchip that modifies Playstation 2 consoles, and allows them to play backup copies of games is the DMS4 Pro.

The DMS4 Pro is the fourth generation of PS2 modchip by the famous DMS team. The chip, once installed can automatically detect any kind of disc you place in your PS2 system. It will automatically play backup copies of PS1 and PS2 games as well backup DVD movies.

Installation in the past has been a bit tricky with PS2 consoles. While the DMS4 still requires seventeen to twenty (depending on your model) wires to be soldered on the motherboard, it's a big step up from previous versions requiring the soldering of more than thirty wires.

Along with the ability to play PS2 backup games, this chip also allows users to play Divx movies, play classic games via emulators, and also allows the user to easily update the chip's software with a burned CD.

Installing the DMS4 chip to play PS2 backups, as well as other pieces of media, requires the user to be comfortable with a soldering iron, and have plenty of patience.

As cool as the DMS4 chip sounds, it is obviously not for everybody. To those users wishing they could play their PS2 backups, it's an excellent choice, however just remember that to properly install the chip into your system you will need to solder eighteen wires to your PS2 motherboard. If you accidentally mess up just one of those eighteen soldering joints, then your motherboard will likely be toasted. Also remember that if you do modify your PS2 system to play backup copies you are immediately terminating your warranty with Sony.

Purchase a Backup Power Supply for Your Home Computer - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is a Backup Power Supply?

A backup power supply is a power supply which is connected to your computer and will power your computer in case of a power outage. Backup power supplies can take many forms, the easiest for use in your own home is an advanced surge protector which you plug your computer's power into. In the case of a loss of power, the surge protector has a limited power supply which will keep your computer running until you can save any files that you might be working on and properly shut it down, so you do not lose data or even cause damage to your machine.

How do I Get a Backup Power Supply for My Computer?

There are many different types of computer backup power supplies on the market. There are certain things you will want to know about your computer before actually picking a product, however. Depending upon the type of computer that you own, the processor that it utilizes, the number of hard drives on your computer, as well as accessory drives such as CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives, determines how much power your computer uses.

In order to pick the proper backup power supply for your computer you will need to know how much power the device needs to keep in storage to keep your computer running for an adequate time to backup your data and shut down your computer before losing power.

Once you know your power needs, you will be able to start looking for a backup power supply for your home computer. Your local computer store will most likely have a number of different options for you, and you can work with the employees there to determine which is the best for you and your computing needs.

Many manufacturers of power supplies also work online. One of the better known names in power supply is American Power Conversion, or APC. You can check out their web site at Their web site is a fountain of information on the different aspects of power supply, and also has an excellent searchable catalogue which can tell you exactly which are the best products for you and your computer.

How Much Does a Backup Power Supply Cost?

Depending upon the quality and power storage of a backup power supply, the cost will vary. The cheapest backup power supplies bought brand new will generally cost somewhere in the range of 40 to 60 dollars. While this might seem like a somewhat weighty investment to you, considering the prices of many computer accessories it is actually quite small. Also think of the damage that could occur to your machine if there is a power outage and it is shut off improperly.

You can lose a great amount of data if it has not been properly saved, or even damage your computer's operating system making it inoperable. Having a backup power supply is an excellent way to work against this problem, and serves as a sense of safety and security that your computer will not fail even if there is a power outage in your home.

Remote Backup for a Picture Perfect Disaster Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Location of backup storage media is important in disaster recovery

Many a time, thoughtful companies keep a disaster recovery on their active agenda and even backup all critical data. A common mistake that many often unknowingly commit is to keep the backup data in close physical proximity to the site they are trying to protect against a disaster. An example would be to keep the backup DVDs in a safe locker inside the same company premise that they are supposedly protecting against a disaster. So, in the event of a fire, the backup media is also charred beyond recognition along with the computer terminals and the entire office.

This mistake is due to the flawed definition of the term disaster. The company executives in charge of formulating disaster recovery strategies often tend to give a narrow definition to 'disaster', which often does not go beyond a virus attack or a network failure or a potential hacker threat. This is a cardinal mistake, as has often been proved in case of accidental fires.

A disaster recovery can be called fool proof if and only if there is absolutely no loss of critical data.

How do you overcome this and achieve a viable disaster recovery?

Naturally, the sensible thing to do would be to store the backup disks at a location that is physically distant from the actual company/firm, which is being protected against. There are different ways of doing this in terms of how the backup process itself is done, rather than the physical storage of the backup storage media.

The cheapest means of achieving a remote backup of sorts would be to do the actual backup process at the company location and then transport the backup storage media to a different location like to the company warehouse located a few of miles away. So even in the case of an unlucky fire at the company premises, the storage media containing the backup of all critical data would be untouched. This would make a recovery possible but cannot do away with an inevitable downtime, the time required for populating a new network using the backup data.

Frankly, this would actually not constitute a true remote backup but can be termed as remote storage of backup media.

So, what is a real remote backup, the best disaster recovery plan possible!

Actual remote backup is regular backup of critical data on storage device that is located at a different site over a dedicated cable or network. This involves putting in place a network with required bandwidth and scheduling the backup without interfering with the day-to-day activities of the company. The backup data would be written on to storage media located in a different building in a different location, often several miles away, can initiate the backup process sitting in the company premises.

So in the event of a disaster, all the backups would be waiting to be retrieved! A picture perfect recovery, is it not? A recovery that involves absolutely no critical data loss and the least amount of recovery time.

Rescue Me - Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Samwell is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Backup Basics

One of the most important basic computer chores you can do is a proper, regular, backup. There are several reasons for doing regular backups.

One of the main reasons is that if you have sensitive data on your computer, if you don't have a regular backup schedule, you may lose everything, which could cost you a lot of money and hard work. It is not hard to do a good thorough backup, so there is really no excuse for not having one setup on your computer, and doing it regularly.

There are different issues in play today than there were when I first started in computing. One is the much larger hard drive size, as well as the larger amounts of important files, that even regular users have that are important to them. Because of this, the old style of backup using a floppy disk is not really practical.

Another change is that newer computers often don't come with a floppy drive, but do come with Rewritable CDRom drives. This makes it much easier to do a large backup e.g. 700 Mb. You can also get a Rewritable DVD drive which allows for an even larger backup.

The final change is that new computers are bootable from the CDRom so you don't have to create a rescue floppy disk unless you own an older computer. What this means is that you just have to insert your operating system disk, in the case of a catastrophic computer failure, to reinstall your operating system.

Setting up Your Backup

To set up a backup, is really not too complicated, given the importance, OR maybe that is why computer operating system software manufacturers make it easy to do. One of my first jobs in computing was as a combination bookkeeper/network technician at a smaller company. One of the first things I did was to institute a backup schedule where all of the accounting and inventory information was backed up at the end of each working day.

Once we had our backup Zip disk created, I took it home with me so that the data wan't in the same place as the computers in case a fire or destroyed the computers. This way we would have the last backup from the previous day so that if something happened even the next day, we would only lose about four to eight hours hours of work. This backup took about an hour to set up initially and could be completed in ten minutes on subsequent occasions.

I will go through the procedure for setting up a backup in Windows 98, Windows XP has setup a system restore option so that you can return to the last good configuration. In Windows 98 first go click on the Start button and go to Programs|Accessories|System Tools|Backup. The backup dialog box will open and at this point, you can choose the files and or folders you wish to include in the backup.

You can also choose a location to backup your files, such as a Zip or Jaz disk, or a re writeable CDRom drive. At this point your back up is ready to run, all you have to do is go to Programs|Accessories|System Tools|Backup again and choose the backup you have saved to run it. Simple right? That is why I can't understand why everyone doesn't have a backup set up.

Backup Conclusions

Now even though you don't have to use backup for Windows XP, it is a good idea to back up your important files to a disk. You can do this by using Copy/Paste to move them to a Zip or Jaz disk. Or else use the CD burning software(if you have a CD burner) to create a data disk and save it to run every day In this way you should never lose important data.

In conclusion, I can't stress enough the importance of doing regular data backups, even though it may not be valuable, you will still have to do a lot of work to replace it. So don't forget about it, go set up your backup right now!

Save Your Data in Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

What is Data Backup?

Data backup is the saving of your files in a location remote from your computer. We perform data backup to protect against cases in which our files are lost or destroyed from our primary computers. If we have our files saved in reserve on a backup disk, then we can restore our files to our computer in the case of a crash or loss of data. This is important to anyone who uses a computer as there are some files that are simply irreplaceable, and if they are lost then they are lost forever.

While there are some data recovery companies and programs that might be able to restore lost data, backup is a much easier process as well as reliable. If you have your data in backup then you know it is there and that you can restore it if you need it, and it is much wiser than depending upon a data recovery system that may or may not work and will most likely be quite expensive.

How do I Backup my Data?

The process of data backup involves storing data on a disk or drive separate from your primary computer. This can be on a floppy disk, a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, a Zip disk, a remote computer or an online server. The emphasis is on having two or more copies of your files, in this way if something happens to one then you will still have the other.

Say, for example, that you are writing a report for your business. You can save this report both on your computer and onto a 3 and a half inch floppy disk. If anything happens to your computer, say you are infected by a virus which deletes all of your documents, once you computer is fixed you still have access to your report on your backup disk. This will keep you from losing your data even if you have a major malfunction on your hard drive.

What is the Best Data Backup Solution for Me?

There are many backup solutions, you will have to decide which is the best for you. Different storage disks will have different amounts of data storage possible, and will cost differing amounts of money. Some hardware such as ZIP disks are designed specifically for backup, and can be used very effectively in backing up your files. ZIP disks have a storage size of 100 megabytes, and JAZ disks made by the same corporation (IOMEGA) give you a gigabyte of data storage.

This is very impressive, far more than a simple floppy disk will give you. However, you will have to install a new drive onto your computer in order to use these formats.

DVD-Rs and DVD-RWs can be used for data storage, and they can hold more information than even a JAZ drive, with 4.7 gigabytes of space. This is larger than many hard drives of only a few years ago, and can be a very powerful thing in backing up your computer. How many files do you want to store? What price are you willing to pay? How well do these formats work? These are the questions you want to answer when choosing your data backup system.

Save Yourself from Disaster: Data Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

What is Data Recovery?

Data recovery is the restoring of lost files after a major computer malfunction. This can be a software problem, a system crash, physical damage to a disk. Anything that keeps you from accessing your data is a problem which warrants data recovery. Even if you have had major damage to your computer, it is often the case that data from your computer is still on your hard drive or disk, and it is often possible to recover these files and restore them to your use. This is the essence of data recovery.

Do It Yourself Data Recovery

It is possible to recover data yourself. Depending upon the exact damage to your system, there are many programs available on the internet that can assist you in recovering your data for yourself. Considering that data recovery services can be very expensive, this is often a wise decision as it can save you great amounts of money.

However, it should also be noted that do it yourself data recovery will not always work, and if you are not sure you know what you are doing you can actually do further damage to your system. If you are well versed in computers, and understand their basic operating, then do it yourself data recovery might be something for you to consider.

However, if you are not sure you will be able to perform the task yourself, it might be wiser not to touch it, as computers are themselves very touchy things and if there are already major problems you might only serve to worsen them.

Data Recovery Services

Data recovery companies are organizations who make their living by recovering data on broken machines. They are staffed by computer specialists with great experience in the recovering of lost data. However, you should always know that a data recovery service will not always be able to retrieve your data for you.

Generally when you call upon the services of a data recovery company, they will give you a free estimate on the project. You will send them a copy of your broken medium, whatever it might be. They will then make a copy of this to investigate, so as to do no further damage to the original. They will investigate whether or not they will be able to recover the data from your machine, and exactly what it will take to recover that data in order to give you an estimate on the price.

Data recovery can often cost in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, so it is quite an investment to make. However, if your data is extremely important to you and your operations, then this is most likely an expense you will want to take. Not all companies will offer free estimates, however, and you should investigate before giving over your hard drive or other medium in order to investigate.

There are many different data recovery companies in existence, such as Iomega. The majority of these are quality companies, and can greatly assist you in the case of a disaster resulting in major loss of your data. It is sometimes possible to repair these problems yourself, but if you find that this is not the case then you will require the services of a data recovery specialist.

Simple Rules on What to Backup and How - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Need for Backup

You need to backup simply because the data which you blindly believe to be safe can be lost, anytime. All it takes is a power outage, or a virus attack. So never, ever live in the misunderstanding that your data is safe, until you backup. Now if you are convinced about the need for backup then the next thing that should pop in your mind is what qualifies for backup. Even though some of the popular software available in the market have ready made backup options, you might want to know what is important, just for knowledge's sake!

What to backup

Now if you think you are not working with anything that is really important, then you are badly mistaken again! In case of a system crash, would you like everything to be the way it was when you boot up again or would you rather have it as a clean fresh system with just the operating system to greet you? If you want everything, the hardware configuration, the system drivers, your custom configured media player or your saved game in that favorite strategy game, then you need to backup the files that matter!

Coming to the files that matter, here are some things to ponder about. Registry is the place where system keeps all the important information about system configuration. So registry backup is a good place to start! Now, if you spent a good amount of time searching and downloading your device drivers, then you are better advised to have a safe backup all your hardware device drivers, including your modem drivers and video card drivers.

Another simple rule to follow is: backup the installation/setup files of all the software that you like and want to continue using, even after a possible system crash. You might also want to backup the "save/d game" folder of all your favorite games!

Now, for all those software that you purchased, you might have a product key/serial number/registration code that gives you ownership rights on the software, so backup files related to all that information.

How to Backup

Well, you can pick up the files that you want to backup and copy them on to a removable media, like CD, Floppy or memory sticks or anything that you consider to be safe from common threats. Well if you are still not sure as to which files are important, then download a backup software from the internet and let the tool do the job for you. There are several backup options available like online backup, network backup, server backup and so on.

The trick is to pick the right one that matches your needs and your resources. If you have lots of time at hand, then you can even consider the option of creating a disk image and then storing it on a removable storage media. The good thing about disk images are that they let your virtually rebuild your system to the exact state it was when you imaged it.

Six Step Guide to Buying Backup Software - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Six Step Guide to Buying Backup Software

With all of the backup software out on the market today, home users may find it difficult in making a choice. Since there are literally thousands of pieces of software out there, you must make a decision based on your personal backup needs.

First things first, is your backup software going to be for your home or for a business?

The first thing you really have to do is figure out whether the software you need will be used for a home setting, or a business type software. Software packages are available to accommodate both situations, and it is extremely important to make the correct decision. A software package made for a home user is designed to make backups of a normal computer system, and not designed to make backups for a system containing thousands of payroll sheets.

Next, you have to decide how comfortable you are with your computer skills. Do you require a backup software package that requires little to zero interaction, or do you like to full be in command of the software? Depending on what you choose will reflect on what capabilities the software will have. For example, software that requires little interaction from the user tends to lack a lot of features, while the interaction intensive software will be full of features.

Every backup software package has its own list of features. The problem of picking the package for you, is to determine what features you really need.

You'll then need to plan out a list of which features you would like in your backup software, and how important are each of the features. Would you like the system to automatically make backups for you when you are away from your system? Or would you like the software to allow you to place backups on various forms of media, or even upload backups onto a web server? The features you need in your software are an important step in determining which backup software package you need.

Once you make a list of features you would like to find in your backup software, it's time to go window shopping. Look on the various software websites, or go to the local software store to find likely candidates. Make sure that the software packages include most, if not all, of the features you are looking for. Once you have compiled a list of software titles that meet your needs, it is almost time to make a buying decision.

A major step of buying backup software is the price. Depending on how much you want to spend will result in the number of features, and how much product support you'll get.

With the compiled list of software titles, look at the prices. Are any of the software titles out of your budget? Cross them out. Compare the features of the programs that still remain, and look for what kind of support the publishers provide.

Once you have figured out which backup software package you plan to purchase, go out and buy it. Remember to read all of the documentation that is enclosed with the software, and then finally begin your backup adventures.

Some Easy Access Points for Getting Free Backup Software - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Some Easy Access Points for Getting Free Backup Software

If you are like a lot of computer users you wish that you could get free computer software, such as free utilities that allow you to backup your computer's data.

Thankfully with the wonderful creation of this thing known as the internet, the ability to find free backup software is not only possible, but extremely easy.

Users of the Windows XP operating system will find that free backup software comes bundled with their system.

Before you start on your epic search quest for finding free backup software, have you looked at the software built into Windows XP? Most users do not realize that Windows XP has its own handy little backup utility that can be found in the System Tools folder, which is found in the Accessories folder in your Start menu.

The backup software that is included within Windows is not only free, but very powerful. It however is only useful if you wish to backup your entire system, or create a restore point for your computer system.

If the free backup software inside Windows is not what you are looking for, then do not worry. Cnet's has a virtual library of thousands of pieces of freeware, as well as shareware. A ton of free backup software can be found amongst the site, just by doing a simple search of the term 'free backup software'.

Internet giant, CNET offers computer users a huge digital library of free backup software at their website.

CNET's doesn't only offer a ton of free downloads, but also hosts a wide variety of review options for programs. You can read an editor's review of a specific program, or read the opinions of other users that have used a particular piece of free backup software.

Not only does CNET give users download links, and reviews of software programs, but CNET also alerts users whenever a piece of software contains adware or spyware. A lot of recently released freeware contains adware, spyware, or both so that the author does in fact earn some revenue from their software. Keep in mind that not every piece of free backup software contains adware or spyware, but a user should always look to make sure that any free software they download is spyware / adware free. is another wonderful download service that provides reviews and downloads of wonderful pieces of free backup software.

Besides CNET's, Tucows ( is another very impressive collection of software. Users can browse Tucows directory of software and have the ability to look at screen shots of software, as well as read professional reviews of particular software. Along with providing reviews for the free software applications, Tucows also hosts all of the programs you find on their website, so you do not have to worry about slow connections, or those dreaded 'file not found' errors.

All in all, the internet hosts a great deal of websites that offer users access to free backup software. and are two of my personal favorites, however a search on Google can give a user several other options.

Some Excellent Third Party Backup Software Suggestions - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

A computer user may have a huge collection of computer software, however their collection can never be complete without the proper backup software.

There are so many software choices for users. Ranging from games, to backup utilities. Every computer user has a collection of software installed on their system. This software often ranges from games of solitaire to word processing suites. Digging farther down, a user often has various utilities for their system to combat the latest viruses and spyware. Something that can usually not be found on a system is backup software.

Backup software is important for every user, since computers are so unpredictable, you may never know when you might just loose all of your personal files.

Don't get me wrong; some users may just backup their files using file management software, while others may just use the backup utilities that Microsoft Windows provides.

Each package of commercial backup software has its own set of special features. It's best to look over a variety of programs and their features and find a program that suits your needs.

There are however some really great pieces of backup software out there that do some incredible things. Some software will automatically backup your files, while other software allows you to backup your personal files to CD-R discs with a few mouse clicks.

Of all the backup software I have personally used over the years, Iomega Automatic Backup software is a wonderful little package of software. It allows you to specify which files you would like to make backup copies of, and when the backups should be created. Advanced options found within the software allow you to save multiple revisions of your work. Perfect if you need copies of your work through every level of development. Iomega Automatic Backup can be tried for thirty days before a license is required, and can be found at

WinBackup is another great piece of software. Although it is hardly known, it is an excellent piece of software for anyone who wishes to encrypt their backups so they do not fall into the wrong hands. WinBackup also has advanced capabilities including a compression engine, that will allow your backups to be smaller in size. The software also generates comprehensive log files for the user, so that it is easy to keep track of your backup archives. You can find out more information about WinBackup at

A third great program to help backup your computer data is made by Norton, a company who has been releasing utilities designed to help computer users for almost two decades. The program, Norton Ghost, allows you to make a perfect copy of your hard disk, and when needed you can easily restore either all of the contents, or just some of the individual files that you had previously backed up. Norton Ghost also offers a wide array of scheduling tools so that making system backups can be fully automated. For more information about Norton Ghost, check out Norton's website at

Three excellent backup software packages. Each have their own strengths, and are all made for the home user. The only problem a user should have now is deciding which package is right for them.

You can download trial editions of all three of the software titles listed above, and get a feel of their interface. Also search the internet for reviews of the software products in order to help you decide which of the products are the best for your personal needs.

Computer Backup for the Freelance Writer - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

What is Computer Backup?

Computer backup is the storing of copies of your files in a location apart from your hard drive. In this manner, if any damage is caused to the file on your hard drive or your hard drive in general, you will still have a copy of this file to access and use. Computer backup can take many forms, as you can utilize floppy disks, CD-Rs, DVD-Rs or the internet to perform your computer backup.

Computer Backup and the Freelance Writer

As a writer you know how important your documents are. If you lose a document for any reason it can be quite devastating to you and your writing business. Keeping proper computer backups of all of your files can save you much pain, anguish, time and trouble.

By creating copies of all of your important files, you can rest assured that no matter what happens to your computer or the files on your computer you will always have a copy of that important writing project in reserve somewhere, so that you can still access it and work on it. A writer never wants to lose his work, especially to something seemingly as trivial as a computer error.

Forms of Computer Backup

There are many different forms of computer backup. At its core all computer backup is is the storing of files on a location apart from your computer. Traditionally, floppy disks were often used for this purpose, but they are becoming increasingly obsolete. They are being replaced with CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, and one of the newest forms of computer backup: the key drive. CD-Rs and DVD-Rs are burnable CDs and DVDs which can hold quite a bit of data: up to 800 and 4700 megabytes, respectively.

A key drive is a removable drive that is very small, the size of a key-chain, and can hold up to 2 gigabytes worth of data. They plug into your computer through a USB connection, and with most newer operating systems do not even require a device driver to utilize. There are also web sites in existence that allow you to backup your files online.

What is the Best Form of Computer Backup for Me?

While floppy disks are becoming increasingly obsolete, they can be a very useful form of backup for the freelance writer. CD-Rs and DVD-Rs, while able to hold great amounts of data, are not manipulable once you have written data to the disk. This means that you cannot re-save a file onto one of these disks, and if you are constantly working on a project they will be difficult to work with. While a floppy disk can only hold 1.4 megabytes, you can always work with any file on one and save it back to the disk.

This is also true with the new key drives, and if you are seeking to get ahead of the crowd, you might want to invest in one. Because it acts as essentially a removable drive, it is very easy to work with files that have been saved onto a key drive. If you are a hardworking writer who is constantly working on new projects, the key drive can be a powerful tool for you and your writing business.

Computer Backup Made Easy - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

What is Computer Backup?

Computer backup is the storing copies of your files on a medium other than your hard disk. The reason that we make computer backups is to protect against the event that something happens to damage our files so they are no longer usable. If we have backups of our files, then we can restore these files to our computer through our backups.

What is Involved in Computer Backup?

Computer backups can be made in very different formats. The traditional method of backing up computer files was the floppy disk. However, floppy disks are becoming increasingly obsolete. It is already not uncommon to not even see a new computer that includes a floppy disk drive when you go to the computer store, and it is becoming almost impossible to actually get a new computer that includes such a drive. Floppy disks can only hold 1.4 megabytes of data, and there are formats which can hold much more.

CD-Rs are CD-ROMs that you can actually write onto, and hold up to 800 megabytes of storage. You can also use CD-RWs, which can be written onto more than once, unlike a CD-R. DVD burners are also becoming increasingly common, and a typical DVD-R can hold up to 4700 megabytes, or 4.7 gigabytes.

Another new technology which is becoming common for computer backup is the key drive. These are removable drives which are very small, the size of a key chain, and many in fact are designed to operate as key chains. They can hold up to gigabytes worth of data, not as much as a typical DVD-R but still a sizeable amount of data.

You can also make backups of your files online. Online backup involves putting your computer files onto an online server, which you can access from any computer that is connected to the internet. This allows you to not have to bother with physical media such as key drives or CD-ROMs while still backing up your data in a secure location.

What is the Best Form of Computer Backup For Me?

Only you can decide which form of computer backup is best for you. CD-Rs and DVD-Rs both hold a lot of data, but they have the drawback of only being usable once. Even CD-RWs and DVD-RWs, which can be rewritten, are not as manipulable as the old floppy disks. Although you can rewrite the CD or DVD, you must still complete the rewrite all at once. You cannot simply take a file from the CD-RW, modify it then re-save it onto the CD-RW, you must rewrite all of the data on the entire disk. This can be a great drawback to using them for your storage use.

A key drive does not have such limitations. While they are not as large as a DVD-ROM, they are still sizable, and you can work on them just as you would any drive on your computer. This makes them very powerful for your computer backup needs.

Computer Backup Options for Everyone - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Computer Backup Options for Everyone

Most computer users have at some point in time or another thought about making backup copies of their important data.

What exactly is important computer backup material is different for every computer user.

Everyone has their own definition of important when it comes to computer data. An office worker may consider their word documents to be important, while a musician may think that their music files are top priority. Even home users have their own definition of important files; whether they be digital photo albums, or collections of e-mails saved from the past year.

In the current day and age, computer users should consider themselves lucky from all of the available options that exist for creating backup copies of their data. The purpose of this article is to identify some options for the common computer user wishing to backup their data.

Removable media, such as CDs and DVDS, play a big role in computer backup today.

The first option for users is removable media. Ten years ago, the sole option in this field for floppy disks, however today many options exist. Floppy disks are considered outdated by most computer users, as they only have a storage capacity of 1.44 megabytes.

Writeable CDs and DVDs are considered the norm today for creating backups of computer data. The drives have created a surge in popularity over the years which has resulted in many computer software companies producing software that helps simplify making data backups with CD / DVD burners.

Computer users wishing to only backup small amounts of files and have them readily available should look into online backup services.

Another popular option for making small backups of files are remote backup services. With advancements in the connection speeds of internet services, online backup services began to appear in late 1999. These services provide users with a limited amount of space on their web servers, in which users are allowed to upload and download backup copies of their data.

While the services are not free, many users find these services to be worth every penny as they can easily upload their work from home and download it from the office. While mobility is a big plus for the service, the fact that today's media files are large and can be slow to upload / download kind of make up for the mobility.

Other options in the remote backup sector are dedicated servers in your home / office to make backups of your files. While this isn't really an option for most home users, businesses often find this to be the most practical as they usually tend to backup several hundred gigabytes of data every night.

Stealing an idea from servers, some hard drive companies have begun to produce external hard drives which can be connected to a network. Users of the network are able to easily send their files to the drive, and even make complete system backups to the drives. While they are priced in the two hundred dollar price range, many users of these backup devices are declaring the systems to be worth every penny.

As you can see, the options for computer users to make backup copies of their data has dramatically increased in the past ten years. Today users can choose from CDs, to DVDs, or even external hard drives. Online services, and backup servers are also on the list of computer backup solutions.

Computer Forensic: Siezing the Evidence - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Legal Aspects of Computer Forensic Evidence

The computer forensic experts have to conform with many rules and regulations if the evidence they uncover is to be acceptable to the courts.

The first step in obtaining computer forensic evidence is obtaining a search warrant to seize the suspect system. This warrant must include wording allowing the investigators to seize not only the computer, but also any peripherals thought to be connected with the crime. A suspected counterfeiter, for instance, may have used his computer, a scanner, and a printer to produce his counterfeit documents, in which case all three items would need to be seized to provide evidence.

If it is thought that evidence is contained in emails, this also should specifically mentioned in the search warrant. Email is a sensitive area as it can be considered personal, so solid justification is needed before a suspects email is allowed to be searched.

A warrant also needs to be clear about the searching of network and file servers, whether backup media is included, and if hardware, software, and peripherals can be removed to another location to conduct the search.

In all circumstances, data not connected to the crime must not be touched. Doctors, lawyers, and clergy store documents on their PCs and much of this information is confidential. While the computer forensic expert needs to uncover evidence, care must be exercised to protect the personal information of any innocent third parties.

Seizing Equipment for Computer Forensics

Investigators can only seize equipment connected with the case; knowing the role of the computer will indicate what should be taken. For instance, if it is thought that the computer was used to store evidence then all storage media should also be seized for the computer forensic inspection. If the computer was running programs to collect and analyze information, any relevant books found at the scene should be seized to help computer forensic experts understand the programs.

If the suspect is present he must be prevented from touching the computer. A computer that is running at the time of seizure should not be allowed to shut down, pulling the plug out of the wall will prevent any programs from wiping incriminating information during the shutdown sequence. The computer forensic expert can test the shutdown sequence later, to see if it includes any destructive programs.

Dismantling Equipment for Computer Forensics

When a computer and its peripherals are removed from a crime scene, a great deal of care has to be taken while dismantling the equipment to prevent any malicious programs from being activated should the computer power system be booby trapped.

The entire set up should be photographed or a video taken before starting disassembly, notes taken at every step, and every cord labeled stating where it was attached. There are several ways to set up a computer and peripherals, and when it arrives in the computer forensics lab the suspect one will need to be set up exactly as it was at the crime scene.

Computer Forensics Guidelines - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Computer Forensic Examination and Analysis

A thorough Computer forensic examination and its subsequent analysis is not something that can be done by anyone, a specialist in the field will be required to examine any suspect computer system that has been seized for this purpose. He will be able examine it as a detective rather than as an IT expert, he will not chase after isolated piece of information; instead he will let the clues and the digital data as a whole tell the story. To do this, and ensure that the evidence is acceptable to a court, he needs a foot in both camps - IT expert and detective.

Protecting Media during Computer Forensic Analysis

A computer forensic examination will follow several guidelines, starting with switching the computer on - he won't do it. When a computer runs through the start up sequence access times of certain files is altered, and this information may be critical to the investigation. To avoid this the original media needs to be made safe, either by disconnecting the hard drive and booting from a floppy disk, or installing the hard drive as a slave drive in another machine.

He will Then make an exact copy of the disk, imaging it by creating a mirror disc bit by bit. He will keep a detailed record of the method used in case he is required to prove that the original image was not altered in any way. Any subsequent computer forensic analysis will carried out on the copy rather than on the original, to preserve the original data.

What is Looked at during a Computer Forensic Analysis?

Using that copy of the original disk, the computer forensic examination will focus on several areas; the free disk space, the file slack, and the swap files.

Free space is the unused space on the disk, but there will be areas that hold deleted files that can be recovered. File slack is the unused space at the end of a file cluster, this too may have been previously used to store files that are now deleted. Swap files are caches used to store information before it gets written to the hard drive, and they may contain valuable information.

With the rapidly growing capacity of hard drives it has become physically impossible for a human being to examine all the data that can be stored on a computer system, so many of the computer forensic consulting business have developed in-house software to assist in the examination of evidence; this avoids the licensing restrictions placed on major computer forensic evidence gathering programs by government agencies worried about abuse by hackers.

This software usually takes the form of a text search tool, and the computer forensic specialist will use a combination of his experience, background information about the case, deductive reasoning, and common sense, to devise list of key words. This list will be run through the search tool to locate relevant evidence. This method is popular because it neatly avoids encroaching on any private third-party information that may also be held on the drive.

Computer Forensics Inc - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Amanda Wood is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Computer Forensics Inc.?

If you're interested in computer forensics a good place to start would be the Computer Forensics Inc. website Computer forensics is a company that uses their expertise to help unravel the electronic discovery intricacies or complexity of everything from the examination of a single computer to complex or class action litigation. Computer Forensics' services encompass every aspect of the electronic discovery process.

This includes tape restoration, forensic drive imaging, domestic and international data capture, data analysis, electronic discovery planning, expert testimony, and e-risk management consulting. The goal of their services is to find the "Right Data at the Right Time" for their clients.

Computer Forensics Electronic Discovery Services

Electronic discovery services help lawyers identify, acquire, restore, and analyze electronic data in litigation. They have full-time trained and certified experts in computer forensics, discovery, and testifying. They are highly experienced in acquiring data from NT, Novell, Unix, and Linux servers.

Their first step is the identification of likely sources of relevant information, including what and whom to target. Once that is identified, they move onto gathering the electronic evidence, while taking care to avoid spoliation. That means they take care to avoid the destruction, alteration, or mutilation of evidence to ensure that their work product withstands scrutiny in all jurisdictions.

After the computer forensics have gathered all their electronic evidence, they then must make the data readable and useable. The next step is filtering the data to avoid any unnecessary restoration of data. The last step is providing this data to their clients and offer detailed written reports and analyses to support their conclusions.

Computer Forensics and E-Risk Management Services

Computer forensics offer e-risk management services to companies to help them protect themselves from lawsuits and other liabilities related to email, file retention, and workplace privacy issues. They work with their clients to help them create a plan design along with focusing on training, employee handbooks, and audits. Computer forensics start by putting together a thorough overview of the company's use of electronic data. They use interviews, on-site reviews, and independent research to determine how the company addresses document retention, backup routines, and disaster recovery plans.

After the system overview is created they begin working on a design plan to meet the company's particular needs. This includes privacy and confidentiality policies, advising employees of these policies and informing their employees about their privacy rights and responsibilities. To ensure that their plan is successful they provide training, employee handbooks, and periodic audits. The training is provided to describe to all computer users your electronic risk program and how it works.

They will go over e-mail style guides, instructions for deleting files, and policies on handling sensitive documents. An excellent complement to the training session is the employee handbooks. These handbooks provide employees with an easy explanation of their electronic risk control plan, appropriate on-line etiquette, and any other computer-related guidelines.

The last part of their e-risk management services is to provide their clients with periodic audits that include confidential reviews of their electronic files and training follow-up.

Data Backup to Another Computer - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Data Backup to a Second PC

If you have just upgraded your PC, and are wondering what to do with the old one, consider using it to store your data backups. This has many advantages; hard drives are fast, have high capacity, and by using this method it is already installed in a second computer so you can continue working if main system is out of action.

As nearly every PC has room for two hard drives so it it may be worth adding a second refurbished drive; this extra capacity will allow you keep a complete image of your main PCs hard drive.

For the ultimate security, consider RAID - Redundant Array of Inexpensive (some say independent)Drives, a system that spreads data across two or more drives. To keep costs realistic use RAID 1, where the same data is mirrored across two drives using either a software or hardware controller. Though RAID costs more than a standard hard drive, it will ensure that a single-disk failure doesn't wipe you out.

One good way to push the data to your backup drive is to use a scheduled backup tool. Many quality freeware versions exist such as EaseUS Todo Backup Free. Check out a roundup of free backup software here:

Setting up Another Computer for Your Data Backup

Assuming that you have the necessary network cards installed and your wires plugged in, getting your PCs to see each other means you will have to run Windows network setup wizard on both PCs. Go to Control Panel, choose Network and Internet Connections, then Set Up or Change Your Home or Small Office Network. In most case you can just accept the Windows default prompts. Give the same workgroup name to both of your computers - MSHOME is the default. If you are not running Windows XP on both of your computers, you may need to create a setup disk to use on the non-XP one.

Make sure you enable shared access to folders being backed up, do this by finding the folders you want to back up, and then drag them across to the Shared Documents folder.

What to Include in a Data Backup

Once you have got it up and running you need to decide what you want to back up. In Windows, almost all your data files are stored in My Documents by default, but you may also have important files in c:\downloads and it is a good idea to back up your system registry.

Depending on your level of computer activity, once a week is about right to do a full data backup. This can be a compressed or an uncompressed copy. A compressed copy takes up less space, but an uncompressed copy can be read by almost any computer. It is also possible to make incremental data backups that only the data that has changed since the last backup.

For a higher level of security, use another method of data backup so that you can take your media offsite, to a friend or colleagues house for instance. Make an annual full data backup to CD or DVD, from then make weekly or monthly incremental backups. As an alternative to this, you could consider online data backup. There is usually a fee for this, but it does get your data offsite and has no media costs.

Data Backup to Prepare for Disaster - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Data Backup?

Data backup involves the saving of your data in two or more locations, so that if something happens to your computer, you still have your data reserved in backup. This allows you to keep your data even if you lose your computer. While you might think that the chances of having a major loss of data on your computer or even having your entire computer crash are very small, disasters happen and it is always best to prepare for the worst, especially when it comes to something as irreplaceable as your files.

Data Backup Options

Data backup can take many forms. After all, any medium on which you save your files apart from your primary computer is considered backup. You might even want to backup your data in more than one location, just in case. If you depend highly upon your computer and upon the files contained therein, you can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your files from disaster.

The most basic method of backing up your data is on a simple floppy disk. However, this method is essentially obsolete, as it is difficult to even by a computer which includes a floppy disk drive these days. With CD-Rs and now DVD-Rs being cheaper than ever, it is possible to store far more data on a single disk than was ever possible with a floppy disk.

You can also backup your files online. There are many companies, such as that provide online storage drives which will allow you to store your data without the need for disks or drives or anything of the sort. This can be very beneficial as you know that you will always be able to obtain your data, without having to worry about having the proper CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, or anything of this sort.

What is the Best Data Backup Option for Me?

In order to determine what is the best backup option for you, you will need to know a few things about what you expect from your data backup. For example, what do you already have access to? If you have a CD burner in your computer, for example, then burning CD-Rs with your data can be an excellent and cheap backup method, as it is possible to get CD-Rs for less than $1.00 or even cheaper if you buy in bulk.

If you do not have any such storage devices on your computer, you might want to consider online backup. All you need is an internet connection and you can begin saving all the files you want online. However, if you are working with a dial-up connection, this can be a slow process if you are saving large files, more than simple documents and the like. You might consider purchasing a CD or DVD burner, these cost about 100 dollars or so and can be an excellent investment for your home office.

Or, if the files you want to save are small and you have a floppy drive installed onto your computer, you might just want to continue using backup floppy disks to save your data. It is up to you which is the best backup option to use.

Data Recovery and You - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Data Recovery?

Data recovery is the restoring of lost files. Files can be lost through many different methods: deletion, system crash, physical damage to hard drive, etc. If you have lost data for any reason, and do not have adequate backups of this data in order to restore it to your computer, then you will need data recovery.

Even if you cannot find a file on your computer, or you cannot even access your computer, for whatever reason, it is often the case that much if not all of your data is still in existence on the disk, and can be recovered under the right circumstances. However, this can be a very difficult process, and while it is possible to recover your data yourself you will often need to hire the services of a data recovery company.

What Will a Data Recovery Company Do For Me?

Data recovery companies are specialists in the field of data recovery. Their purpose is to recover data for those who have lost it. No matter what has happened to your computer, if there is a possibility that data can be recovered then most likely a data recovery company will be able to do it.

Normally when you first contact a data recovery company about a data recovery project, they will make a copy of the medium from which you want to recover your files. They will then work with this copy in order to keep from damaging the original even further. They will investigate the medium, and determine whether or not they believe that they can recover the data that you require for you. If they cannot, then they will return the medium to you, and most companies will not charge for this.

You should always check to make sure that the company you are working with will give you a free estimate, however, as you will not want to pay only to discover that they can do nothing for you. Some companies will even tell you if they believe that you can recover the data yourself, and will inform you of how to go about doing so. This is an excellent service that is also provided for free from some companies.

If they can assist you in recovering your data, then they will inform you of the process that they will undertake, and of the price it will cost you, the consumer, to purchase these services.

How do I Find a Data Recovery Company?

There are many different data recovery companies in existence. The internet is an excellent way to start locating them. Try searching for data recovery, for instance, and see what you find. One good company in the field of data recovery is Iomega, which is an excellent company who also works with programs for backup as well as data recovery. It should be known that hiring the services of a data recovery company can be very expensive, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

However, if you need your data and can find no other way to recover it, then you will most likely need to hire the services of one of these organizations.

Data Recovery and Your Small Business - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

The Importance of Data Recovery

If you are a small business owner and your computer(s) crash on you, data recovery is something that you will most definitely want to consider. If you do not have adequate backups of your important data, and you have had a computer malfunction which has resulted in the loss of much or all of your data, then data recovery might be the only option left open to you. Fortunately, there are many different data recovery services available.

Do It Yourself Data Recovery

There are many programs available on the market that assist you in doing your own data recovery. If the malfunction is minor, there is a great chance that you yourself will be able to restore all of the needed files to your system, without hiring the services of a third party. This can be a great boon to your small business, as data recovery services can run in the hundreds, even thousands of dollars depending upon exactly what is required.

However, if your data is very important to you and you have found that you are unable to restore the data yourself, then you will require the services of a data recovery company.

Data Recovery Services

Companies which work with data recovery are staffed by those well versed in the art of data recovery. They are trained specialists who will do anything they can to recover the data that is required for the proper running of your small business. Such services can be a very powerful tool in the event that you find your small business in problems with its computer software or hardware, and are unable to access the files that are vital to your small business.

Most data recovery companies will require you to send them the damaged hard disk or whatever medium you wish to recover data from. They will then make a copy of this disk, and will work with the copy so as not to further damage the original. They will then examine your disk to determine whether or not they will be able to recover your data, and if so what it will take and how much it will cost. Generally speaking this estimate is done free of charge, but not all companies do this so you will need to make sure before sending off any of your hardware to a data recovery company.

If they are able to do it they will tell you the price that they charge. Most of these companies start in the one to two hundred dollar range, then grow from there depending upon exactly what is required. This can prove to be quite an expense for your small business, but in most cases it is worth it to get your business running back to normal again. If you are searching for a data recovery company, there are many online, and they can inform you more of their services, prices, and what exactly goes on in the process of data recovery.

Data Recovery from Various Media - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based Online Backup software -- Back2zip. This resources is also available at

Data Recovery from Floppy Discs

Compared with a complex hard drive, data recovery from a floppy disc is quite straightforward. Floppy discs need to be robust to operate in a hostile environment of dirt, dust, and moisture. Despite being designed to cope with this, poor environment or mishandling may result in damage.

If you cannot read a floppy, try using another floppy drive to see whether the problem is in the drive or the floppy. If that doesn't solve it, open the metal window cover and check the disc surface for damage. The surface is shiny, so scratches on the surface are easy to spot. If you find a scratch your your magnetic media is physically damaged. Data recovery from damaged areas is unlikely as the magnetic bits are no longer there. There is still a good chance of data recovery from other parts of the disk, so if the data is valuable contact a professional data recovery service.

If you find no scratch it could be particles on disc surface. This can sometimes be solved by gently blowing clean air through the open metal window while simultaneously rotating the disc. The 'puffers' sold by photographic shops for cleaning cameras are ideal for this.

Data Recovery from Zip Drives

Zip Drives and the like are extremely robust, so data recovery is rarely needed. On the downside, as they work at a much higher spin speeds than floppy discs (3000rpm against 300rpm for a floppy) and the enclosure is more tightly closed, data recovery is more difficult if it suddenly refuses to read or write.

As with a floppy, ask a friend or colleague and try to read it using another Zip drive to ascertain that the problem with the Zip disc, not in the drive.

Blowing air into a Zip drive is not a good idea, the slider/disc interface is very delicate. If you need to recover data from the disc, your only option now is a professional data recovery service.

Data Recovery from CD/DVD

Problems with reading CDs or DVD are usually contamination of the mirror surface by particles, fingerprints, or in the worst cases scratches.

Data on CDs is read in a circumferential direction, so to clean your CD use light, radial, strokes as the drive's optic is less sensitive to any radial scratches you make while cleaning.

Data on CDs is protected on the mirror side by a layer of lacquer, on the label side by polycarbonate. The data itself takes the form of shallow pits in the polycarbonate matrix, covered by a thin layer of reflective aluminum. A scratch deep enough to damage the pits means that data is permanently lost. Fortunately CDs are very robust items, and not all scratches mean irreversible damage.

Shallow scratches can be polished out with mild abrasives such as toothpaste or metal polish. Remember to use radial strokes, and clean away the residue. Deeper scratches can be filled using furniture polish or car wax. Cover the entire disc surface and, using radial strokes, polish using a clean cloth.

Dealing with a Hard Drive Recovery Expert! - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based Online Backup software -- Back2zip. This resources is also available at

Before a Hard Drive Recovery, Get your priorities right

Ok, so you have ended up with a system crash or a hard disk failure and are forced to go to a hard drive data recovery expert. Of course, the assumption is that you have thought hard and have concluded that the data on the hard drive is not something you can replace with similar data from the Internet of other sources

If it is your favorite game that you are planning to recover, then maybe buying the game again will not cost you as much as the recovery expert! Alternatively, maybe all you need to get is your payment and registration details to download a free copy of the game from the author's website.

In such a scenario there are a few things that can put you in a better negotiating position with your hard drive data recovery expert. If you are an individual go for data recovery only if the data is irreplaceable and invaluable because a hard drive recovery expert is going to charge you something close to nine or ten times the cost of a new hard drive!

Tell the hard drive recovery expert that you know what's wrong with your drive

It helps, if the hard drive recovery expert knows that he is not dealing with a newbie and the motherboard! Get across to him that you know what is wrong with the hard drive and that you are forced to pay for the services of a hard drive recovery expert only because you do not have the patience and the resources to do the recovery yourself!

To pull off this one, you should actually know what is technically wrong with the drive and even inform the recovery expert of the same in unambiguous terms, do not hesitate to use all the right technical terms when you are doing this.

In the first place you should know what is wrong with the drive which means a fair amount of technical knowledge which will come only from extensive use of computers and reading up on the internet.

Use the "no data, no pay" card on your hard drive recovery expert!

In the first place, tell the export that you will not pay him if he cannot recover your data. This is particularly important because there are recovery firms out there who will claim the sky and take payment up front but end up with only bits and pieces of the lost data. You can even go a step further and say that you will pay only if the data is accurate and complete or that the payment will have to be revised downwards in the instance of inaccurately or incompletely recovered data.

And before paying out the money ensure that all the recovered data is written on to a different media, like a CD or something and that it is retrievable from there. Many a time the recovered data is left on the same damaged storage media, which might crash again any time.

Delete or Undelete: That is the Question - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Undelete?

Undelete is exactly what it sounds like: undoing a deletion of a file on your computer. While you might not realize it, you have most likely undeleted files before. Any time that you restore files from the recycle bin, you are undeleting files that you have previously deleted. Undelete is a very powerful tool, as it allows you to regain files that you had accidentally or purposefully deleted and then realized that you needed once more.

How Does Undelete Work?

When you delete a file, it is not immediately removed from your computer. If you are a user of the Windows operating system, then the files that you delete will be moved to the Recycle Bin. These files are no longer in actual use by your machine, but they are there to be undeleted if you need them returned. However, if you delete them from the recycle bin then it will be much more difficult if not impossible to recover them.

However, it is often the case that files deleted from your machine are still available on your machine, in some form or another. The essence of undelete is to allow you to explore your machine and find files that while you cannot find them through the normal functioning of Windows are still available on your hard disk. This is a very powerful data recovery tool, and can greatly help you in your business, whether at home or in the office.

Some undelete programs will work essentially as a large recycle bin. They will hold all of the data deleted from your disk, including ones too large for recycle bin to hold or files which would normally not be sent to the recycle bin, such as files removed in an un-installation of a program. If you then need to recover these files they will be there for you to undelete. These programs generally also have a secure delete function, so that if you are sure you no longer need a file you will be able to erase it from your computer and know that it is nowhere in your hard disk.

Other undelete programs simply seek out files that you have previously deleted and restore them to you. A program like the above must be installed prior to the deletion of the files, or else you will be unable to use it to undelete your files. However, these programs will search out areas of your disk which you might not be able to find in the normal operation of your system, and find files that you had thought were gone forever and return them to a pace where you can access them and work with them again.

How do I Get Undelete Software?

There are many different undelete programs on the market. One of the best places to find undelete programs is, which also provides downloads for many other utilities as well. Many undelete programs are freeware, and you will be able to find them on If you cannot find one which you think is right for you that is freeware, you will be able to download trial versions of paid products and discover which is the best fit for you before you put down money on the purchase of a program which does not fit your needs.

Difficulties in Ps2 Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is PS2 Backup?

PS2 backup involves the backing up of your PS2 games onto separate disks. With the fragility of many PS2 disks, this will protect you in case your PS2 game disk is damaged in such a way to make it no longer usable, you will still have a backup which you can play. You can even create backups and then play on your backup disks, keeping your original in reserve. Then, if you backup is damaged you can create another backup copy from your original PS2 disk.

DVD Burners and PS2 Backup

With the advent of DVD burners, it has become possible to backup all of your PS2 games, from Grand Theft Auto to Final Fantasy and everything in between. PS2 uses the DVD-5 format to create their games, and every PS2 game is actually a DVD.

While it is possible to burn your games onto a CD-R, a CD-R is not itself large enough hold an entire PS2 game on it. There are compression utilities which can allow you to compress your game into a size which is readable on a CD-R, however this can be very difficult to utilize for your backup purposes, and it might be wiser to burn your games onto DVD.

In order to burn your PS2 games onto a DVD-R or DVD-RW, however, you will also need the proper software in order to perform this function. One of the best programs out there is DVD Wizard Pro. This excellent utility can perform many functions in the world of DVD burning, as well as having a special interface designed for the burning of console game disks such as PS2, among others. This will allow you to backup all of your PS2 games, and ensure that you always have a copy of them forever.

This program is not terribly expensive, only costing about 40 dollars, and can help you greatly in the backup of your PS2 games.

Mod Chips and PS2 Backup

If you backup your PS2 games, however, you might also find that you have the problem of not being able to play your burned games on your machine. In order to protect against video game piracy, the manufacturers of the PS2 console have developed the PS2 in such a way that it does not recognize PS2 backup games and will not play them in many cases. In order to get around this to play your own backups of your PS2 games, you will need to install what is called a mod chip. This is a chip that is built into the actual hardware of your PS2 console. This will allow you to play your PS2 backup games.

With a mod chip you will also be able to play games with different regional encoding. The same program built into the PS2 which keeps you from playing backup games also is involved in the regional encoding process. This process means that your video game must come from the same region as your machine (such as the United States and Canada is Region 1), or else it will not be able to play. If you purchase a game from Japan, you will not be able to play it on your US machine without a mod chip.

You will be able to do so with your mod chip, which is an added bonus of installing it on your machine aside from being able to play your PS2 backup disks.

Disaster is Natural, Recovery is Superhuman! - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Disaster is Natural, Recovery is Superhuman!

It is common knowledge that a disaster can strike anywhere, anytime, but the important question is are we prepared for a quick recovery in the eventuality of a disaster. Though most business houses, even the small ones, are meticulous when it comes to thinking ahead of their times and devising future strategies to take the company ahead, a common mistake is ignoring the possibility of a disaster crippling the firm. Critical data loss could well be the fatal prescription for a company that is otherwise doing well.

Disasters could mean anything, especially in the context of information technology and communication. It does not necessarily mean a natural disaster like flood or earthquake. More often than not disaster means the break down of communication channels or the technical infrastructure that supports the high value traffic/transactions of virtual entity like an online shop.

Think in advance for a swift disaster recovery

Several surveys in the US have shown that disaster often spells doom for the affected industries because nobody had a credible disaster recovery plan in place! It is not rare to see enterprises closing shop within a year or two after the disasters strike because they were unable to manage a sustainable disaster recovery. Loss of critical data regarding the transactions of the company is usually the reason for the inability to sustain.

Though everybody in the field seems to understand that backup is the only cost effective solution for any kind of disaster, very few are able to implement a strategy that works in times of a crisis as is shows by absence of successful recovery rates!

Hence, it is of paramount importance to have a well thought-out disaster recovery plan in place to address a range of disasters that could strike the company any time. Often times, recovery means survival in business terms.

So, what constitutes a successful disaster recovery plan?

A remarkable disaster recovery means getting the act together and resuming the production activity with minimum downtime. Prolonged periods of downtime mean higher loss of revenue. For high volume/value portals like Amazon or Ebay, downtime of a mere hour could mean revenue losses to the tune of several thousand dollars. The revenue loss would be higher if the downtime is during the peak traffic time.

A successful recovery plan envisages minimum or no loss of critical data as well as resumption of production activity with the least possible or no downtime. Though this might sound like unattainable objectives, with simple planning and meticulous preparation, these aims can be achieved without any difficulty and is possible even for small business houses.

Therefore, if you have not thought about disaster recovery plan for you company yet, then know that it is always better late than never! Get your act together now and form a disaster recovery team to work on a viable solution for your company. You do not necessarily have to hire an outside firm to do this for you. It is very much OK to form a team of all the heads of departments of your firm to work out a plan.

Diy Hard Drive Recovery for the Extremely Desperate - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Hard Drive Recovery the Sensible Way

A surprisingly large amount of important data, that has not been backed up, is lost due to failed hard disks every year. This has spawned a whole hard drive recovery industry, specializing in performing heroics deeds on dead hard drives to recover data that normally would never be seen again. This process is called hard drive recovery, the service is expensive, and there are some steps you can take yourself instead of hiring them.

Before you do this, you need to carefully weigh your options before touching your drive, and be sure of what you are attempting. Hard drive recovery specialists are professionals, with an impressively high success rate.

Make Sure That Diy Hard Drive Recovery is Necessary

Make absolutely sure that your hard drive is genuinely and completely dead before you try any of the following; you can be sure it will be completely dead afterwards. Be certain that you have diagnosed it properly, contact the manufacturer's technical support department, and if you have the slightest doubt, don't touch the drive.

If the drive is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer. Tinkering with a dead drive will definitely void your warranty, since the manufacturer has no way of telling if the problem was faulty manufacture or caused by you interfering with the disk.

Diy Hard Drive Recovery Techniques

Make sure that you have another drive set up to send your recovered data to. You will only get one chance to get the disk running again, don't miss that opportunity to save the data.

A hard drive failure may be on the integrated controller board, and your hard drive recovery may be a simple case of swapping this board for an identical one from another drive. If you have a second identical hard drive and feel brave, you may be able to "borrow" its board for the test. The danger, of course, is that you may end up with two dead drives.

A problem, commonly found in older drives, is a refusal to spin up caused by the spindle motor sticking. Manually spinning the motor can free the drive, allowing it to spin long enough to save your files from it. You can do this by opening up case and manually spinning the platters. The clean room environment inside a drive is important, but in this situation the drive is going to be copied and then discarded so the disks are only running for a short time with the cover off.

Open up the case, manually spin the platters by rotating the central hub, turn the disk on and it may spin up. Empty the disk onto another drive immediately and throw the dead disk away. It is a very risky technique, but it may work on physically jammed disks. Naturally, you should never try this if the disk is able to spin itself.

Repeatedly trying to boot up the hard drive may, on very rare occasions, resurrect a drive with a serious but intermittent problems giving you the chance to copy it. Continually switching on and off is very hard on the other components of the system though, so disconnect as much as you can before you start, and wait at least 15 seconds switching off and switching back on.

Do It Yourself Data Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Data Recovery

Data recovery is the last chance to restore your data when the worst happens and there is a major emergency on your computer. If there is a system crash or loss of your files on your computer and there is no seeming way to recover them, it is still in some cases possible to recover them. This is the essence of data recovery. Oftentimes your data is still on your hard drive even if there is a major crash, and computer experts might be able to recover it for you. This is a very difficult process, however, and will require the knowledge of a specialist in the field of data recovery.

Do It Yourself Data Recovery

There are programs available, however, that can assist you in recovering your data for free. Some of these programs are available as freeware and downloadable from the internet, others must be purchased. Using these programs will allow you to recover your data yourself, without hiring an expensive specialist to do it for you.

If you are seeking out do it yourself data software to assist you in recovering data from your system, you might want to start looking on They are an excellent resource for many programs, and will have freeware or shareware programs for you to download, free of charge. Some of these programs will only be time trials, or not include all features as they are merely demos, but this will allow you to try different products before actually spending the money to purchase a program for your do it yourself data recovery.

Is Do It Yourself Data Recovery Right For Me?

Considering that data recovery services can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, the idea of do it yourself data recovery might sound like a smart idea. After all, if you can perform the same services yourself you will save quite a bit of money.

However, it should be noted that data recovery is a very tricky business. If you are not adept with computers, you might not want to delve into the world of do it yourself data recovery. You should also note that do it yourself data recovery programs will only work with some sorts of data loss. For example, they will most definitely not be able to help if the data loss is due to physical damage to the hard drive rather than just an internal software program.

If you are not careful doing your own data recovery, you might actually further damage your disk and make it even more difficult if not impossible to recover your data. While this does not always happen, it is something that you should be aware of. Do it yourself data recovery can be a very good thing, but you must make sure that you know what you are doing before you attempt such a thing, as it can be very dangerous and hazardous work and can actually make the job of data recovery more difficult rather than easier.

Do-It-Yourself Diagnostic Tips for Hard Drive Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Read on if Hard Drive Recovery sets you sweating!

The first thing that you should know about hard drive recovery is that not all hard disk crashes are fatal and in most cases, recovery of data is possible with fairly good data accuracy rates. However, you will be able to decide on recovery options only if you know what exactly is wrong with the disk.

So, if ever you are that unfortunate computer user to face a hard drive recovery scenario, here are a few tips that might come in handy before you start knocking on the doors of a hard drive recovery expert.

There are a few things you can do which would give you a fair idea about the nature of the hard disk problem and more importantly, these will put you in a position to bargain with the data recovery expert, if you are forced to go to him!

Get into the hard drive recovery expert's shoes!

Ask yourself what is the problem. It could be a logical problem, meaning there is something wrong with the boot sector of the hard drive rendering it un-bootable. In worse scenarios, it could be an electrical problem where the circuit board on the hard disk has been damaged due to a higher than allowed electrical current passing through it. In the worst scenario, it could be a physical problem where the head that reads the data stored on the different platters arranged inside a hard drive has been damaged or the alignment of the platters themselves could have been affected.

Depending on whether it is a logical, electrical or mechanical problem, you will be able to make a realistic assessment about the success chances of a paid hard drive recovery effort.

Do these yourself before you go begging to a hard drive recovery expert

Boot from a floppy and do a read only scan of the disk. This would tell you if it is a logical error. Therefore, you will be able to decide on an appropriate strategy for fixing the master boot record. If the boot sector is lost then you should be able to decide how to go about recovering the data. If there are bad sectors in the master boot record, then attach the hard drive to another working computer as a secondary hard drive and try to recover data using data recovery software.

Open up your system's ATX cabinet box, take out your hard drive, and closely examine the circuit board under the hard drive. Do not touch the board as static discharge can damage the disk's head. If there are tell-tale signs of a burnt circuit board or burnt components, then you can decide for sure that its a board problem. Now that you know its a board problem, you must consult your hardware supplier or service agent to decide what to do about it.

The sure sign of a mechanical problem is the clicking sound that you will hear from the hard drive when it is trying to spin up or spin down. If this click sound is coming, then the problem is related to mechanical trouble inside the hard disk platter assembly. This, more often than not is beyond repair. If a hard drive recovery expert claims it can be repaired, then make sure that is a "no data, no pay" agreement!

Do's and Don'ts in Data Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Data Recovery can be done, only if...

Data recovery with reasonable degree of success is perfectly possible from a damaged hard disk or other kind of storage media. However, there are several things that can go wrong without our knowing it. Simple things that we do hoping to recover data can in fact turn out to be the worst things we could do if we ever want our data back.

Being new to technical stuff is eminently understandable, but one must take extreme care not to let your technical ignorance spoil the chances of a successful data recovery. As long as you have access to Internet and know how to use everyday search engines like Google or Rediff, there is no excuse for wandering in the wilderness of ignorance, to lend Dante's tongue!

Even attempting to run commonplace disk utilities (that comes bundled with the Operating System) like the scan-disk or check-disk can prove to be costly as it involves writing or even over writing data to your problem hard drive.

Data Recovery - Do your part

Even if you consider yourself to be a "newbie" of illiterate as far as all technical things are considered, there are certain things you can do post-data-loss, that can significantly influence the success of a data recovery attempt. One might even say, your not doing anything would do more good that you doing something in the hope of contributing to a successful data recovery!

Some simple things to be kept in mind are:

Stop using the problem hard disk or storage media from which you want to recover data. Consider this to be of utmost importance as every time you boot up/start a system with the hard disk from which you want to recover data, you are digging your own grave, literally. Work on the problem hard drive only after attaching it to another computer as a secondary/primary slave. Moreover, work on it only for data recovery, not for browsing or gaming!

A seemingly harmless process like browsing, without saving any files of downloading anything can be fatal as the operating system writes and over-writes data to the hard disk, continuously for the entire duration of the time you spent online browsing websites.

Should you load data recovery software on the problem hard disk?

Without any semblance of hesitation, the answer is a BIG NO (72 points, all caps at that! ). If you are attempting data recovery on your own, the first thing you should know is NOT to disturb the problem hard disk. Get that very very clear in your head! Data recovery software should not be loaded on the problem disk. Instead, as mentioned above, load the data recovery software on the good hard disk of the computer to which you have attached your problem hard disk as a primary/secondary slave.

After attaching the problem hard disk, make an image of the disk, using a disk imaging utility and work only on the image thus created. This would leave the data on the hard disk intact and leaves you free to try out any number of data recovery software on the image of the problem hard disk.

Essential Windows Data Files That Need Backup Copies - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Essential Windows Data Files That Need Backup Copies

Every day computer users across the country and the world make backup copies of their personal data. Let's be honest, most users consider their digital photo collection to be a lot more important, than say their windows registry. While, personal data is indeed more important than system files, users will always begin to start screaming whenever one of their important system files have been corrupted, and a backup does not exist of these data files.

Microsoft Windows XP is comprised of thousands upon thousands of data files; it is essential to backup important system files.

When you install Windows, you are installing literally thousands of files. No matter how careful a computer user can be, files become corrupted. While most of the time these files are not important, there will always come a time when a corrupted file is indeed an important file. That's why users should be safe and save themselves hours of commotion by making weekly backup copies of the data and files listed below.

The Windows Registry is a mass collection of data used by the operating system to allow programs access to shared information about the system. It is essential to create a backup copy of this data to prevent serious errors from occurring due to a corrupted registry.

First off, making a backup copy of your Windows Registry is essential. The registry is a giant data collection of basically all the settings Windows and other programs use. If this file gets corrupted, then problems such as programs failing to start will become commonplace in your system.

While INI data files are not as important as they once were, users of old software produced for older versions of Microsoft Windows (mainly Microsoft Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and ME) should still consider making backup copies of the files to prevent the programs from complaining due to corrupted files.

C:\windows\win.ini is not as important a file in Windows XP as it was in previous versions of the Microsoft operating system (such as Windows 95, for example). While it used to be used as a file for Windows settings, these settings have all been moved into the larger data file known as the registry.

It is still important to backup this file if you are using any older software (mainly software designed for Windows 9x) because these software applications will write information and try to retrieve information to this file. If a specific application is searching for specific data in this file and comes up empty, then the program may crash or produce unwanted events.

C:\windows\system.ini is another file that has been made obsolete. While older versions of Microsoft Windows have system.ini files containing hundreds of lines of data, Windows XP systems will find the files nearly empty. Again if you use old software, you should still backup this file. Otherwise, if a specific application is searching for specific data in this file and comes up empty, then the program may crash or produce unwanted events.

Making backup copies of your Windows registry and important DLL files can save you from a lot of problems in the future. So next time you have a few minutes of computer time, perhaps you will make a copy of the files and save yourself hours of time in the future.

File Recovery from Recycle Bin - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Limitations of File Recovery from Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin is great convenience, making file recovery so simple that most of us just take it for granted, but file recovery from here does have some limits. Any file that you delete from the desktop or from Windows Explorer will be moved to the Recycle Bin, so do files that are deleted from compliant programs from other software providers.

Files deleted at the DOS prompt bypass the Recycle Bin and get instantly deleted; any files that are delete from removable media such as floppies, or Zip disks, or files deleted from compressed folders meet the same fate. For these files, file recovery is a lot more difficult.

If you are deleting sensitive files and want to deliberately avoid the Recycle Bin with its easy file recovery, select the file (or files) and then press Shift-Del. This will ensure that those sensitive files don't remain lurking in the Recycle Bin waiting for somebody to retrieve them.

Why file recovery from the Recycle Bin is possible

When you delete a file and it appears in the Recycle Bin, it has not been physically moved to the Recycle Bin at all. The file stays where it always was, but its directory entry has been moved and placed in a hidden folder called Recycled, and the deleted file renamed. All the original information about the file is stored in a hidden index file, called INFO2, that is located in the Recycled folder. When you use Recycle Bin for file recovery, the original path is read from the INFO file, the file renamed, and its directory entry restored.

Possible File Recovery problems with Recycle Bin

If you are attempting a file recovery from the Recycle Bin and found it unexpectedly empty, it could be because the INFO file has been corrupted. If you are lucky, a file recovery may still be possible by using the Windows search function, searching for the file by name, and then renaming it.

If that approach fails, try deleting the INFO file from the DOS prompt; trying to do it from Windows will just return a 'file in use' error. Deleting this file will cause Windows to create a new INFO file at the next reboot, and then you should find all the deleted files safely back in the Recycle Bin.

A damaged file that has been deleted and stored in Recycle Bin can also cause it to appear empty. Unfortunately, if that is the cause you probably won't be able to recover anything from the Recycle Bin. Once again, it can be repaired by deleting the INFO file from DOS.

Damage to the Recycled folder itself will also cause some problems, the usual symptoms are that you will be able to send your deleted files to the Recycle Bin, and the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop will even appear to be full, but you will not be able to view the contents of the Recycle Bin and when you right click on the icon the Empty Recycle Bin command will be unavailable.

File Recovery Using DOS Undelete - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

First Steps in DOS File Recovery

The first three steps in file recovery are quite easy and require no specific knowledge:-

1)Don't panic! Your information is still there, and safe.

2)Don't touch the keyboard! Your information is safe...until your operating system writes over it.

3)Don't switch off! A lot of temporary files are created during start up, and you don't want them to be created over the top of your accidentally deleted files.

File Recovery Levels in DOS

Later versions of DOS (DOS 5.* and onwards) have three possible levels of file recovery, Delete Sentry, Delete Tracker, and the basic Undelete.

Delete Sentry offers the highest degree of protection, and works in a similar fashion to Recycle Bin in that it keeps copies of all your deleted files in a hidden file. This protects them from being overwritten and more or less guarantees file recovery will be possible. The down side is that the file can end up being huge. In DOS 5 the maximum size is 7% of your hard drive capacity, in DOS 6 it can go to 20%!

Those values can be changed by fiddling with UNDELETE.INI but it is quite a tedious job, as is the purging routine to get rid of all those files permanently.

The next level of file recovery is Delete Tracking, which stores the location of deleted files in a file called PCTRACKR.DEL. This uses less disk space, but the price you pay is that the stored locations may be overwritten if you don't act promptly, and then your files will be impossible to recover.

The third level of file recovery is the standard UNDELETE method. This is the one where DOS brings back a list of your deleted files, all with the first letter of their names replaced by #. It then asks you to supply the missing first letter. Fortunately it doesn't matter if you can't remember it, just type any letter at random and DOS will go ahead and tell you that your file has been successfully recovered, even if it does have some unpronounceable name.

Using DOS File Recovery

In theory, to use DOS file recovery all that is required is for you to type in 'UNDELETE' at the DOS prompt, but when you do don't be too surprised if nothing happens or your efforts are rewarded by nothing more than a reply saying something like '38 files can be recovered', but with none of the promised file recovery actually taking place.

If this happens, it is because you have those three levels of file recovery to choose from. The level of file recovery protection is configured by editing the AUTOEXEC.BAT file so only one level can be enabled at a time, and the UNDELETE command requires the relevant switch to run it.

Luckily this is not as horribly complex as it sounds; the UNDELETE switches are fairly simple. If you have the basic level enabled, just use UNDELETE with no switch. If you have specified Delete Tracker the switch is /DT, and logically enough for Delete Sentry it is /DS.

Fixing the Mbr for Hard Drive Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Had a system crash and need hard drive recovery?

Ok so your system refuses to boot up and you suspect that the day has come when you have to rake your brain about hard drive recovery. In the unfortunate event of you not having a backup of all your important data, instead of panicking and messing up there area few things that you can try out to see if you can rescue your hard drive. If you are well versed with the way hard drives store data then its easier to understand and even attempt a successful hard drive recovery.

More often than not, when the hard drive refuses to work, it is due to corrupted data and not due to mechanical or electrical problems with the hard drive. To be more specific, the corrupted data in something called the master boot record makes it impossible for the operating system to boot.

Master Boot Record (MBR) and its role in hard drive recovery

Master Boot Record is that part of the hard drive which tells the operating system (like Windows) what to boot and from where to boot. Master Boot Record is created by the file system (read FAT 16/32, NTFS, etc.) in the first sector of the hard drive and can get corrupted due to several factors.

Some of the easy and common ways in which a master boot record gets corrupted are improper shut downs due to power failures or system crashes and attacks by viruses or worms that mess around with the master boot record and the boot sector of the hard disk with the intent of paralyzing the whole system.

How to fix the MBR for a successful and quick hard drive recovery?

As the first step of your hard drive recovery attempt, get a clean, uninfected bootable floppy. If you haven't already made a bootable floppy, get any of you friend to do it for you. Most of the Windows operating systems (OS) have standard procedures for making a boot floppy. Use your OS's manual instructions if you have any doubts.

After you make a boot floppy, set the first boot device in your BIOS boot parameters as floppy disk drive. Now the system will automatically use the floppy to boot into the command prompt of the good old disk operating system (DOS). Use the chkdsk (check disk) DOS command to do a read only scan of the boot partition. Do not give any additional parameters or switches to fix the errors found on the disk, because the process of fixing errors involves writing data on to the disk and this could jeopardize future hard drive recovery operations.

After the read only scan, check disk will tell you if the master boot record is corrupted. If the master boot record is corrupted and the there are no bad sectors, then you can safely go ahead and do a normal scan with the fix errors automatically switch. If there are bad sectors, then it is better to get your hardware supplier or service agent to fix the problem for a minor charge.

Getting Started: Making Backups of Your CDs - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Getting Started: Making Backups of Your CDs

Whether you own a collection of music CDs, video games, or just CDs filled with various forms of media, you know that they are not indestructible, and thus you need to make backups of them.

Your CD collection is a pretty big investment. Just look at how much money you spent on each of your music CDs, and each piece of computer software. From all of this money, don't you think you deserve to create backups of your investments?

Let's look at your investment. The average music CD is priced at fifteen dollars, while most commercial video game CDs can cost a price of fifty dollars. Now look at what CDs are. They are not the most durable things in the universe, as they can easily get scratched, smashed or destroyed.

Thankfully with the advent of the many wonderful cd burners available to consumers, the ability for users to backup their collection of CDs is now. The only major requirements for making backup copies of your CDs are that you have a CD writer / burner, blank CD-R discs, and a software application designed to help users utilize their CD burners.

If you intend to make backup copies of your music CDs, be sure to use CD-R media and not CD-RW discs, otherwise you may run into some compatibility problems with your music CD player.

Remember that is is important that when you are making backup copies of your music CDs that you do not use CD-RW discs. The reason for this is because CD-RW discs are somewhat different than regular CD-R discs, and are not readable in most music CD players. While new CD players now have the ability to play CD-RW discs, if you are unsure whether your player allows you to play CD-RW discs, then it is best to just use regular CD-R media.

The equipment needed to make backup copies of your CDs is very inexpensive. CD burners can be purchased well under $50 for an entry unit, and packs of fifty or more CD-R discs can be had for less than $20.

Almost every new computer sold today ships with a CD writer / burner installed. If your computer does not have a CD burner, you can visit your local computer store and purchase an entry level drive for under fifty dollars. Blank CD-R media is ultra cheap, and if you shop around you will be able to find large spindles of blank discs for a very low sum of money.

Once you have the CD burner, the discs you wish to backup, and the blank CD-R media, you will have to get software that allows you to make copies (backups) of CDs. While a lot of CD burning software exists, it is highly recommended that you use a software package that is devoted entirely to duplicating cds.

Some of the best choices for duplicating CDs are the utilities found within the Nero CD Burning Suite, and a small shareware application called BlindWrite, which was given four out of five stars in a editor's review at

Remember that you are entitled to create backup copies of your CDs, no matter if they are software or music CDs. Please also keep in mind that it is not legal to redistribute these backup CDs to your friends, co-workers, etc.

Give Your Video Games an Extra Life: Ps2 Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Save Your Video Games With PS2 Backup

Everyone loves PS2, but everyone also knows how expensive the games are, but not everyone knows how cheap and easy it can be to backup your PS2 games. With the advent of DVD Burner technology it has never been easier to backup your PS2 games and make sure that no matter what happens to your disks you will always have your favorite game, from Grand Theft Auto to Final Fantasy, you can rest assured that your video games are here to stay.

How do I Backup PS2 Games?

DVD burners, long discussed, have finally become a reality. Type in PS2 backup into any search engine and you will be overwhelmed with offers for products to assist you in backing up your PS2 games. However, all you need is a DVD burner and the software that comes with that burner installed onto your computer.

Make sure it is a good program, however. Not all burners will allow you to burn your PS2 games onto a disk which are playable on your PS2 machine, unless you have a mod chip built in. Mod chips are excellent tools for your Playstation that will allow you to play backed up games as well as games outside of your region, a system designed by the fascist developers of DVDs and Playstation games to stall the international moving of their products.

If you do not have a mod chip, you will have to make sure that your burner can properly backup your PS2 games in a format that will allow them to be played on your machine. There are many of these in existence however, and they are not difficult to find.

Finding Programs to Assist in PS2 Backup

There are quite a few programs out there that will allow you to backup your PS2 games and make it possible for you to keep your games even if your original disk gets scratched, burned, warped, broken, etc. You might even want to play on the burned copy of your game and keep the original in reserve, or to burn another copy of the game if your original copy gets wrecked. When you are paying 80 dollars for a video game, you want to make sure that you get the most bang for you buck.

If you are searching for programs to assist you in your PS2 backup, the first place you might want to try a site such as This is an excellent source for programs of many varieties, including PS2 backup programs. You will always be able to download from this site for free, although many of the files which you download will be shareware or trial versions of programs which will ultimately require a fee.

However, it can be a great way for you to try different programs and decide which one works best for you before actually committing money towards the purchase of a product that either doesn't work or is not easy for you to use to backup your PS2 games.

How to Handle Disaster Recovery with Windows Xp's System Restore - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Disaster struck, now what's your recovery plan?

Your system is a disaster, your files are corrupt, what are you going to do to begin your recovery? That feeling.. the feeling of anger, and madness.. the feeling whenever you want to just pick up your computer's mouse and use it to create a large hole in your monitor. What could cause someone to feel this way? In this day and age where we rely heavily on computers, it seems that whenever we need our systems to work the most, they are hit by disaster. The feeling comes naturally after you improperly shut down your system, or uninstall some software incorrectly.

Let's face it, everyone has problems with Microsoft Windows XP. No matter how careful any user is, there will always be the threat of disaster to the user's system. Thankfully Microsoft acknowledges this, and provides users with already installed tools for dealing with disaster recovery.

Lets say your system was running perfectly fine last week, and this week it has numerous errors upon startup. It's a disaster for you because you are not able to get your work done. However with the right tool, you can easily fix this issue.

With some simple know how, and the right tool disaster recovery is simple, and even fun for the select few.

Microsoft Windows XP comes with a nice little utility known as "System Restore" that allows you to literally turn the clock back on your computer for recovery purposes. When you utilize this wonderful recovery utility, you can easily fix your system to the way it was working previously.

How the program works is pretty simple. Every day or so, Windows automatically takes a 'snapshot' of your computer's files and settings. It then saves the file so that you can restore your system to that specific date at a later time by using the recovery snapshot.

System Restore may seem like God's gift to the disaster recovery user, however it still has its consequences.

There are some consequences to using this program, however they are not that bad considering the program ultimately saves you from disaster. The main consequence is that any piece of software you installed since the snapshot was taken will have to be reinstalled in order to operate correctly. Next, and settings (such as your wallpaper, Favorites, etc) that you have changed since the snapshot was taken will be lost. Any personal files such as music, pictures, and office documents will still be on the system, and thankfully not lost.

System Restore is the ultimate Windows XP disaster recovery utility. As mentioned before, you will have to select a snapshot (period of time) in which you wish to restore your system to. If for some reason you restore your system, and you are still having difficulties, you can easily undo the operation by running the disaster recovery utility again.

Also please note that if your system has a virus or spyware, using System Restore will reverse the damage however the virus / spyware will still be residing on your system. In order to prevent the system from being compromised again, you will need to get sufficient software to deal with the virus / spyware.

Home Data Backup in Windows XP - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Possible Problems with Windows XP Data Backup Facility

The data backup facility in Windows XP is developed by Veritas, and works reasonably well on a small scale. It is very basic and has next to nothing in terms of whistles and bells, which is the root of its potential drawbacks. It has no media spanning; the ability to copy the data backup file to more than one disk, or whatever your preferred media is. If you are copying only your data file this is probably not going to be a problem, if you want to copy the whole drive it may be.

A second problem is that XP data backups are not compatible with Windows 98. If this is a problem, because you have some old data backups for instance, there is a way around it - you buy the commercial version from Veritas.

Another problem that some may find is doing a complete backup on a PC with no floppy drive. As a complete backup includes creating a recovery disk, it will return an error if there is no drive to create it on.

Deciding What to Put into Your Data Backup

Deciding what files to put into your data backup will decide whether you can use the XP data backup. If you have the installation disks from all of your applications you can get away with backing up only your data files, almost all of which are stored by default in My Documents making life very simple. You might also want to backup the registry, and you should beware of applications that store their files in dedicated, non-My Documents folders. The ones to watch are anything that works on text or graphics files.

Using Windows XP Data Backup

You will find it by going through Start/Control Panel/Performance and Maintenance, and you will see 'Backup your data'.

If this is your first time, a wizard will appear, giving you two options. The simplest to decide is wether you want to 'Always Start in Wizard Mode'. The easy answer is yes, but if you feel confident uncheck it. The other option is 'Advanced Mode' that not surprisingly offers more options.

Following the Wizard by clicking next gives two options, backup or restore. Since we are doing a data backup the choice is obvious. You now get four options of what to back up, select 'My Documents' unless you have reason not to, and click next. The next screen asks where you want the backup to go; the default is the desktop. Go with this. If you select 'Finish' now you will get a default backup.

You will see an Advanced button here, clicking this allows you to choose which folders to copy, whether it is a normal, copy, differential, incremental, or daily backup with explanations of the differences, and the options for verifying - always select this! - and volume shadow copy that allows files in use to be copied. Next you get the option to append or replace existing files, and finally run now or later.

How is a Hard Drive Recovery Done? - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

How a Hard Drive Recovery is Done

When your hard drive is ruined, the obvious question to ask is, "how do you get my data back? " Despite what data recovery businesses may tell you, it is not done by black magic nor is it anything approaching rocket science, it has more to do with having the right equipment, and enough knowledge to know what to do with it.

Logical Hard Drive Recovery

Generally speaking, the first thing a hard drive recovery business will do when they receive a hard drive is to evaluate it to determine what recovery method will be required.

If the drive failure is a software problem, they will perform a scan of the drive to try and repair the file system. In some cases a partition can be repaired, restoring the hard drive to its status prior to the drive failure. If this cannot be done, they will do a very low-level scan, searching every sector of the hard drive for files. Once they have located a lost file, it will be copied onto the media of your choice, this is usually a CD-ROM, a DVD-ROM, or ideally onto another hard drive.

This type of Logical hard drive recovery takes a great deal of time, particularly if the hard drive is close to physical failure. It is not unusual for scanning to take a whole day, and recovering any files that are found to take another.

Physical Hard Drive Recovery

If your hard drive is suffering from a physical failure, the recovery method is considerably more difficult. There are two discrete forms of physical failure; electronic and mechanical.

When recovering data after a physical failure, a major hurdle is getting the correct parts to get the drive going again. A problem with hard drives is that if you have, for example, a 60GB Maxtor Hard Drive you will need another, identical, 60GB Maxtor Hard Drive to salvage parts from.

If it is the printed circuit board that has failed on your hard drive an identical circuit board is required to retrieve the necessary circuit components for replacement, because in most case it is not possible to swap the damaged circuit with the new one. Repairs of this nature require good soldering skills and a thorough knowledge of electronics to be successful.

Hard Drive Recovery Environment

You will see "Class 100 Clean Room" in a lot of advertising by hard drive recovery professionals. A Class 100 Clean Room maintains an air purity of less than 100 airborne particles over 0.5 microns in diameter in each cubic foot of air. This is to protect the sensitive internal components of hard drives. Whenever a hard drive is being worked on, a minimum of Class100 clean room should be used.

Hard Drive Recovery Time

The time taken for a hard drive recovery is usually 5-10 working days for a physical recovery (though if components are not readily available it may take weeks! ), 2-4 for a logical problem. An express service is often available, at a high price.

How to Easily Backup Personal Files on Microsoft Windows XP - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

How to Easily Backup Personal Files on Microsoft Windows XP

Have you been searching for a simple program to use in Microsoft Windows XP to backup your files? Have you downloaded several demos of CD burning utilities, only to find that none of them suit your needs?

A simple backup solution for your personal files.

Microsoft Windows XP has some very nice and simple CD writing utilities built directly into the Explorer windows. If you have a CD writer installed in your computer system, then backing up your personal files, such as word processing documents, and images taken with your digital camera, is not only incredibly easy, but also takes both little time and effort.

The easiest backup procedure for your personal files begins with a blank CD, and takes five minutes of your time.

To begin while in Windows XP, you will of course need to place a blank CD-R disc in your CD writer's drive. A few seconds later, you will be presented with a small dialog box giving you several options of what you wish to do with the blank disc.

Select the first option, "Open a writeable CD folder" and presto. You now should have a window on your desktop that is waiting to be filled with backup copies of all of your important personal files.

To make a backup of any file, simply open another Explorer window in the location of the specific file(s). An example of one such location would be; C:/Backup/Pictures/.

Once you have both folders open (the blank CD folder, and the folder containing your files) simply drag the files you wish to make a backup copy from its original folder to the blank CD folder. Now your system will reserve space on the CD for the specific file, and make a copy of the file to a temporary folder, thus leaving the original file intact and completely unchanged.

The great thing about the drag and drop interface is the fact that you can drag one, two, or hundreds of files and drop them into the CD folder at anytime. This is perfect if you have a great amount of files that you wish to make backup copies of.

Once you have completed selecting the files you wish to backup, you may want to take a few minutes and organize the CD folder's files in folders, or even rename some files. These actions can easily be completed within the CD folder's window in the same manner as they would be completed in any other Explorer folder.

The last steps are to place the files you plan to backup on the actual CD, and giving you a archive copy of your files.

Because, as of right now, your files are still in a temporary folder waiting to be written to the disc. To make sure that the CD is written correctly, it is advised that you close any other running programs on your system.

Now, you are ready to finally make a hard backup of your files. In the left hand side of the CD folder, you will find the text 'Write these files to CD', followed by 'Delete temporary files'. If you wish to begin the CD writing adventure, click the first. If you have decided that you abandon your backup project, simply click on the 'Delete temporary files' and the space on your hard drive used for the temporary files will be freed. Follow the on screen instructions in the CD Writing Wizard window, and in minutes you will have a backup copy of your personal files.

Now that you have seen how easy it is to make backup copies of your personal files, you have no excuse not to make monthly backups of your personal files. One last thing to keep in mind, however is that this method is to make backup copies of your personal files. This method should not be used to backup your system files such as Windows.

How to Easily Backup Your Entire System in Windows XP - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

A very simple introduction to making a system backup in Windows XP.

Have you ever wanted to make a backup of your entire system in Windows XP, but never wanted to pay for an expensive software package that would allow you to accomplish this task? There are two free ways to do this. Normally, I would adivise using a freeware version of a commercial tool (such as EaseUS Todo Backup Free) but with a little more effort, it is possible to use the built-in windows backup tool to accomplish almost the same thing. Here's how:

Perhaps you found a piece of free software on the internet, however failed to understand how exactly you were supposed to use it. Or worse, the software requested that you sent the author money before he would allow you to restore your files.

Unknown to many users, Windows XP offers a simple and easy to use program made specifically to backup your system files. The program can be found by clicking the "Start" button, and navigating through the following menu items; Programs, Accessories, and System Tools.

The program is entitled Backup, however do not let the lame title fool you, as the software is both simple to use and very powerful. It is very simple to use, because you only have to specify where you would like the backup file to be stored; there are no challenging questions asked. It is very powerful because it enables you to create a single file that is a complete backup of your entire system.

Once you open the program, you will be greeted with a window containing the backup & restore wizard. After reading the window, you may click on the next button, and you will be greeted with two options; Backup files & settings and Restore files & settings.

After you select "Backup files & settings" and click the OK button, you will be greeted with a list of items that you can backup. Because the purpose of this article is to explain to you how to backup your system files, select the option "All information on this computer" and click the next button.

How to successfully make a backup copy of your entire system.

You will then be asked for a location to store the *.bak file. Since Windows XP is extremely large, storing the *.bak file on floppy disks is not feasible, as it would take several hundreds, if not thousands of floppy disks to hold the file.

Instead store the file locally on your hard drive. Once the file has been created, you will be prompted to insert a floppy disk. The software will then write a program to the disk that allow you to boot the system using the disk, and restore your system via the *.bak file.

Please remember that the backup file can be extremely large, and requires you to either place it onto a CD, DVD, or in a well protected folder or partition on your computer system.

How to easily restore your backup files.

If you ever have the need to utilize the backup file, simply place the floppy disk in your drive, and turn on the computer. The system will boot from the floppy, and ask for the location of the *.bak file. Once you provide the system with the location of the backup file, your system will begin to replace your corrupt system files with your backup files.

How to Upgrade Your Backup Software - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Have a Plan for Your Backup Software

Before doing anything else, have a plan of what you expect your new backup software to do for you. To do this, you will need to find out which of your other existing software applications is generating the largest backups, and how your backup windows -the time taken to actually perform a backup- are planned too minimize inconvenience to system users.

Once you have done that, the second part of this plan is to make your best estimates of how your backup needs will grow, and plan a practical way to monitor these needs. Thirdly, and most important, make a thorough evaluation of your existing backup system - both hardware and software- to reveal how it can integrate with any planned upgrades. Knowing this will place you in a better position to when you start to evaluate commercial products.

Ensure Your Backup Software is Appropriate

Make sure that your backup software package is matched to your operations, it is very easy to to pay too much for money for the wrong backup software that doesn't do the job you want it for. Data centers, PC LANs, telecommuters, and remote offices all generate different amounts of data, in different ways, and in turn have different backup software needs. It is tempting, and occasionally possible, to try and standardize on one vendor's backup software. Avoid putting too much emphasis on this.

The main priority should be to "tier" your backup strategies based on your corporate requirements, though it might make sense to cut down to one backup software vendor within each tier. You may also find yourself tempted to unload the whole problem by hiring a professional service to come in and make sure your backup operations are running well.

Don't rush into this, it is unlikely that you will realize any return on investment by doing this, even in the in the long run, unless these people are also going to train your staff how to improve backups. They are unlikely to agree to this as it is not in there interests, so it is more probable that you will be creating a new dependency on a third-party when your own team should really be able to do it.

Plan Ahead for You Backup Software Needs

Look as far ahead as you can at developing technologies likely to become available, and consider how they could be deployed in your environment. One fundamental but rapidly developing technology is the ever growing number of backup monitoring tools. The latest generation of these tools can provide very useful reports on whether or not your backups have been completed, and they also provide an analysis report of why failed backups didn't complete.

There are other versatile software packages, such as continuous backups that eliminate backup windows, that you should also considered in terms of future deployment.

You should test, test, and test again before rolling out any backup software upgrades. Finally, a good time to upgrade you backup software is when you upgrade your servers.

Initial Steps in Hard Drive Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

First Steps in Hard Drive Recovery

If you find that your hard drive is no longer functioning, remember that a hard drive recovery is nearly always possible, so there is no need for panic. Data loss is not unusual and in nearly all cases the data can be recovered. Only in severe severe cases involving platter damage, magnetic degradation, or over-write of a file will the data be practically unrecoverable, and even in these cases a hard drive recovery by MFM photography may be possible if the data is valuable enough to justify huge expense.

Having said that, there are steps you can take to minimize further data loss and greatly increase your chances of successful hard drive recovery

Initial Steps in Hard Drive Recovery after a 'crash'

If you find that you are unable to boot to the operating system, and you can no longer see the hard drive in the BIOS, there is a strong possibility that your hard drive has crashed. In this case you should shut the whole system down immediately. If there is some physical problem with the hard drive, it will be made a lot worse if you run power through the hard drive attempting to reboot the system.

If the head stack inside your drive is damaged, trying to run it will cause additional damage to the surfaces of the platters in your hard drive, and this is where the data you are wanting to recover is stored.

Initial Steps in Hard Drive Recovery after Corruption

If you have accidentally reformatted your hard drive, or accidentally deleted a file or folder, once again you must not write any new information onto your drive. The files you have deleted are still intact somewhere on the drive. Deleting a file simply means removing the location tag for that file, allowing that area of the drive to be over-written. If you add any new data it is possible that it will over-write your lost data effectively losing it forever.

If you believe a partition has become corrupted on your hard drive, it is very important not to try and re-install your operating system or add any new data to the drive.

If you have accidentally deleted a partition, attempting to restore it by formatting the drive will not recover your data, it will only result in the addition of an empty partition.

If you experience a single file corruption, any attempt to create a new file with the same name will partially over-write the file, greatly decreasing your chances of a full recovery.

This is just a short selection of the more common reasons for losing data from your hard drive, and illustrates that some attempts made by you, or even an IT technician, to recover a file or drive could decrease the chances of subsequent professional recovery efforts, or even make a successful recovery impossible. If you have any doubts about what action to take, just ask yourself this question: "Am I prepared to lose that data? ".

Ins and Outs of Computer Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Computer Backup?

Computer backup is the storing of your files on a medium separate from your hard disk. In this manner, if anything happens to the files on your computer you will still have access to these files from the other mediums, whether it be online, on a CD or DVD-ROM, floppy disk or key drive.

Why do I Need Computer Backup?

Computers have become ingrained into the basic existence of life in our country. If you keep important information on your computer, then you will want to make sure that you keep that information in backup as it can be very difficult to recover your files in the case of a disaster on your hard drive.

While it is still possible in many cases to recover your data from such a disaster, having your data in backup greatly eases the process, as you have the files readily available and will not have to go through long, drawn-out processes in order to recover your data which can slow down your business.

What Computer Backup Options Are Open to Me?

There are many different ways to backup your data. While floppy disks are becoming increasingly obsolete, there are still many methods open to you for your computer backup. With the advent of CD and DVD burners, there are very powerful ways for you to begin backing up your data. While a 3 and a half inch floppy disk can only hold up to 1.4 megabytes of data, a single CD-R can hold up to 800 megabytes and a DVD-R can hold up to 4700 megabytes, or 4.7 gigabytes.

You can also backup your computer data online. Online storage is a powerful method of computer backup which can greatly assist you in backing up information on your computer. Rather than storing your data on a disk, your data will be stored on an online server which you will be able to access from any computer which is connected to the internet, so that you will always have immediate access to your files.

Key Drives and Computer Backup

One of the most powerful new technologies which is making its presence known in the world of computer backup is the key drive. These key drives are tiny, only twice or three times the size of a quarter and can fit easily in your pocket or on your keychain. Key drives come in different sizes, and can be as small as 16 megabytes or as large as 2 gigabytes.

Unlike floppy disks or even CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs, they are almost impervious to damage and are thus very secure sources of backup for your computer. You connect your key drive to your computer through a USB connection, and on most newer machines they will be immediately readable by your computer without the need of any device drivers for the ultimate in plug and play technology. Key drives are the wave of the future and can greatly assist you in all of your computer backup needs.

Keep Your Hard Disk Healthy for Successful Hard Drive Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Hard drive health matters in hard drive recovery

Several factors determine the success rate of a hard drive recovery. Do not lose hope yet! There is both good news and bad news in the above piece of information. The bad news is that some of these factors are beyond our control. The good news is that some of these factors can be made favorable if we take adequate care.

One of the important problems faced during hard drive recovery is the fragmentation of data, meaning the scattering of different fragments of a single file or related files on different parts of a hard drive. This is bound to happen over a period of time, especially with the constant writing and deleting of data from a hard drive. If you keep a few things in mind about how data is fragmented and how it can be managed, then you can keep your hard drive in a better health.

What leads to fragmentation, which makes hard drive recovery difficult?

The operating system picks certain pieces of data when the system calls for related applications or programs and then write these data back when they are not in use. Hence, over a period of time, depending on where on the hard drive free space is available, data slowly gets fragmented.

For instance, a big file may be stored at four or five different locations on the drive, because at that particular point in time when the operating system was writing the data back, the allocation of free space allowed only such a fragmented distribution. In case of a hard drive crash, recovery of these files, which are fragmented/scattered all over the disk, becomes a difficult task, especially if the partition and file system on the disk is damaged.

A small but important thing to know is that frequent installation and un-installation of software as well as frequent copying and deletion of files on the hard drive is one of the important factors that lead to file fragmentation.

How can you combat data fragmentation for a better hard drive recovery?

There are a few simple things you can do to reverse the effect of data fragmentation. There is a small disk management utility that comes bundled with the windows operating system called the disk de-fragmenter. The primary task of disk de-fragmenter is to scan the disk and arrange data in such a way that there is least fragmentation of the files stored on the disk. It is a time consuming process and depending on the size of the hard disk and the amount of data stored on the hard disk, it might take anywhere between half an hour to four or five hours for a session of disk de-fragmenting.

So make it a point to schedule the disk de-fragemented to work on your hard drive when you are not working, like when you go to sleep, but make sure that there is power backup to tide over an unexpected power failure. If your pattern of using the system involves frequent copying and deletion of files or frequent installation and un-installation of software, then ensure that the data stored on your hard drive is not fragment beyond acceptable limits because less fragmentation of data means better chances of recovering your data if you end up with the un-enviable task of hard drive recovery.

Keep Your Games Alive: Ps2 Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based Online Backup software -- Back2zip. This resources is also available at

The Importance of PS2 Backup

Ps2 backup is an important thing. The prices of games are high, 40, 60 even 80 dollars for a single video game. And we all know how easy it is to damage a video game so that it is no longer playable. No one wants to have to spend another 80 dollars in order to purchase a video game that they already own. Thus, if you backup your PS2 games you can ensure that you will always have a copy of your PS2 games, even if they are badly scratched, warped, or whatever other damage may befall them.

You can even keep your original copy in reserve and play only on your backups, this will keep the original safe from harm's way.

How to Backup Your PS2 Games

In order to backup your PS2 games, you will need either a CD or DVD burner. While it is possible to backup your games onto a CD-R, this process requires extreme compression of the game files and is not the safest way to backup your PS2 games. It is a difficult process, and might be difficult to make work for your backup needs, although this method is less expensive. If you have a DVD burner, however, it is far easier to backup your PS2 games onto a DVD-R, as PS2 games themselves are written on DVDs.

You will also require special software in order to burn your PS2 games, however, as PS2 is a slightly different format than a normal DVD. One excellent program is DVD Wizard Pro, which has a special feature included that allows you to burn your PS2 games. The actual process is very simple once you have the required program, as you simply need to write the data from your PS2 onto a DVD burner.

Mod Chips and PS2 Backup

In order to play your backup games on your PS2 machine, however, you will require the use of what is called a mod chip. This is a special chip that you must actually install onto your PS2 console. In order to protect against piracy, manufacturers of the PS2 have put special encoding into the PS2 to protect against what is seen as illegal games so that they cannot be played on your PS2 machine.

However, this program goes cannot distinguish between an illegal copy and your own legal backup of your PS2 game. In order to circumvent this, you must install a mod chip onto your machine. Mod chips are available online, costing between 20 and 30 dollars, and you can install it onto your machine yourself. Once you do this, you will be able to play your backup games with ease.

The process is somewhat complicated, though, and you will want to make sure that you know what you are doing before you install your chip, as you do not want to damage your machine and make it inoperable at all. Your mod chip will come with installation instructions, and there are also web sites online which can assist you in this matter.

Key Drives and Data Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Data Backup Key Drives

Key drives are one of the most exciting new inventions in the world of data backup. Floppy disks have essentially become obsolete, replaced by CD-Rs and DVD-Rs, but now a new force has come on to the data backup market. Key drives are tiny external drives which are only the size of a key-chain. Many in fact actually are key chains, and you can carry them in your pocket wherever you go.

The smallest holds several times more than a traditional 3 and half inch floppy disk, and larger ones can hold as much data as a CD-ROM or even more. Considering the size and power of these drives, it is no wonder that they are becoming a powerful force in the data backup market.

How Exactly Does a Key Drive Work for my Data Backup?

A key drive is a tiny drive which connects to your computer via a USB connection. On most newer operating systems, USB will be automatically recognized by your computer and you will not even have to install any device drivers for instant plug and play capability. This is very powerful and far easier to operating than having to go through the business of installing a new drive in order to burn CD-Rs or DVD-Rs for your data backup.

The key drive requires no external power source, and is only on when it is actually plugged into your machine. It is very versatile, and will not experience the problems with scratches or warping that is common with CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMS and floppy disks. This means that not only is your data safe from harm done to your computer, but having a backup key drive will have far less chance of failing on you than the old CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs and floppy disks. This is how you can carry them around on your key-chain or in your pocket and there will still be no damage to them.

How do I Get a Key Drive for my Data Backup?

There are many companies offering data backup key drives. The best way to find out more about particular key drives is to go to your local computer store and ask them what key drives they have available. All key drives will be similar in size and quality, and it will be up to you to decide which you think is best. Smaller key drives generally hold about 16 megabytes of storage, but there are key drives that can hold far more data, meaning that you have all the more data backup on a single device.

Prices are generally between $20 and $30 for smaller drives, and can cost up to hundreds of dollars for larger ones which contain a gigabyte or more of data storage space. However, as is always the case with new technology these prices will continue to drop as they become more and more common. However, they are very useful and there is no reason not to start using a key drive now for your data backup.

Logical Data Recovery Methods - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based software for online data backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Data Recovery the Logical Way

Logical data recovery is rebuilding files that have been damaged or corrupted by user error or virus attack, rather than repairing hard drives that have been physically damaged. In this situation the BIOS still recognizes the drive, but returns a read error when trying to access data.

Data Recovery from Drives with Bad Sectors

If at all possible you need to make an image of your drive. You can do this yourself with a commercial disk utilities, or you can give it to a data recovery service company. If the drive is making unusual noises you should not try to make the image yourself, as this could physically damage the drive.

Imaging a drive is not an easy process. You willneed some commercial imaging software installed on a separate computer that has enough space on its hard drive to store the entire image of the bad drive. The time it takes to create the image primarily depends on the number of bad sectors on the drive. It ranges from 30 minutes to several days, and the computer cannot be used for anything else during this time.

An alternative way is to attach an external USB drive to the faulty computer as a second slave hard drive. If you decide to do this, it is better to use the IDE ports on the motherboard rather than on an additional PCI card, as the motherboard ports have better error handling - a very important feature when you are attempting data recovery. When you have made an image, you can run one of several commercial logical data recovery software packages. These are frequently part of the imaging software.

Data Recovery from Fragmentation

Accidental file deletion, formatting, or partition deletion can result in a missing File Allocation Table entry. If the file size is smaller than the cluster size (clusters are commonly 32 KB, but it varies with drive size) you should get a 100% recovered file as you do not actually need the FAT entry.

Larger files are usually allocated in consecutive clusters, and most data recovery software assumes this when it rebuilds files without a FAT entry. This will work for most types of files, but runs into problems with files that grow over time. Files like this are invariably fragmented, allocating consecutively is impossible due to other files taking the intermediate clusters. There are some important files that fall into this category, such as Databases, Email files, large text documents, and directories.

Heavily fragmented files are unrecoverable, even though their content is still somewhere on the drive.

Data Recovery is Not Feasible after Overwriting

When a file's allocation has been overwritten by another file, data recovery is practically impossible. It is theoretically possible to use highly advanced technology such as MFM (Magnetic Force Microscope), to read the rest magnetization, but it is extremely expensive and not very reliable. If a file has been overwritten more than once, even this level of technology cannot help. File 'shredder' software relies on this to delete files beyond recovery, by simple overwriting the deleted file several times.

A Look at Three Amazing Companies Specializing in Hard Drive Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

A Look at Three Amazing Companies Specializing in Hard Drive Recovery

Hard drive recovery are three words that do not enter any computer user's mind until they loose their data. Serious computer users are always looking for the best components for their systems. But what happens when their hard drive crashes with all of their important data on it? Shouldn't they go only for the best hard drive recovery service available? If you are one of these serious users, and your hard drive has been in an accident, or you have lost data as a result of a hard drive gone haywire, then maybe you should look into one of the following top rated data recovery service providers.

The following three hard drive recovery companies are three of the best found anywhere in the world. have some of the greatest stories in the world that deal with hard drive recovery. Started in 1985, the company has a long history of retrieving data from almost every possible condition in the world. I was really impressed when I discovered that their technicians were able to retrieve data from hard drives that were run over by buses, and others that had sank to the bottom of the ocean!

These are just a few examples of the crazy stories that has to offer its potential clients. If your data has met a similar fate, then this is the company that will successfully retrieve your data. is the ideal hard drive recovery company for those users whose hard drive was damaged in those really extreme situations.

Hard Drive is run by a group of professionals who know what they are doing; considering they have been working with hard drive recovery techniques since 1987. The group has a very advanced Class 1000 Clean Room in which it utilizes during hard drive data recovery operations. The room that the technicians work in is in the same class of work area where the hard drives are originally assembled. is one of the few hard drive recovery companies that have such a facility, and are recommended to individuals wanting the absolute best quality in recovery attempts.

With a very clean and sophisticated work area, is the best hard drive recovery option for users with hard drives that just broke during normal operations., based in Stamford, Connecticut, is a company with a very impressive customer list. From NASA to the University of New York, to various banks spread across the entire United States of America, is a company who has handled some very critical recovery jobs. Besides their excellent portfolio of clients, one of the major reasons is able to get a large number of people purchasing their services is due to the company's confidentiality policy.

They believe that their customer's data is their customer's data; and not their own. With such a great confidentiality policy, as well as an impressive client portfolio, is an excellent resource for users requiring recovery services that are kept confidential.

Making a Recovery from Not Just a Windows Disaster, but a Total Meltdown - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

The Windows XP CD comes enclosed with software that easily allows you to make a system recovery from a disaster that prevents your Windows system from booting.

Recovery from a computer disaster isn't fun no matter how you look at it. Whether your computer system crashed while installing an update, or a computer program took out half of your Windows systems files, there is some hope. Sure right now you are cussing out loud because you are forced to use someone else's computer, but reading this article will allow you to have your system running again in no time.

So you turn your computer on, wait for Windows XP to boot and are soon greeted with an error message. There are so many error messages, it's impossible to list them all here. But still, you have an error message which has caused a disaster for you, because now Windows XP will not, or is unable to boot.

Getting Windows XP to make a disaster recovery requires you to have a copy of the Windows XP CD-ROM.

Recovery first starts with locating a copy of the Windows XP CD-ROM. It does not matter if it's your own personal copy or a copy used on one of your other computer systems. What matters is that it a full install CD for Windows XP, and not a HP PC Recovery CD or similar.

Once you have hold of a Windows XP CD, you can begin to deal with your disaster by placing the Windows XP CD in your CD / DVD drive. Your recovery effort will start whenever the system begins to boot from the Windows XP CD.

As the system boots from the disk, please keep a careful watch of the words that are going on the screen. Once the system runs a few diagnostic tests on your hard drive, a blue screen will appear.

This blue screen is very important if you wish to make a recovery from your disaster. Messages will be appearing in the right hand corner, and they will be random devices loading.

Once you activate the Windows XP Installation Repair utility, your disaster will soon turn into a complete recovery.

The key ticket is when the message "Repair a Windows XP installation Press F5" appears. As this message is displayed, press the key in question, and you will be prompted with some messages concerning your disaster, and how to make a full recovery.

Most of the time, a few system files will either be missing or corrupt. If that is the case, then the repair tool will quickly determine this and reinstall the specific files in order to help bring your disaster to a recovery.

Sometimes the repair tool will ask you if you would like to restore all of your system files, while protecting your personal settings. This is an indication that your system did not just suffer a disaster, but a total meltdown. Immediately upon recovery of your system you should install antiviral software to prevent your system from becoming compromised again.

Mobile Backups - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Mobile Backups

Regular backups are critical if you use a laptop or notebook as your main computer. Because they are portable, they (and your data) are more prone to theft or breakage.

Back up to an External Hard Drive

Buy yourself an external desktop drive, preferably with a higher capacity than your laptop so you have some room to grow, and make a habit of making regular backups. Look for one with a fast connection (USB 2.0, FireWire, or both) and automated backups, many have this. Desktop hard drives are not intended to be portable so they are quite bulky. This is not a bad thing, leaving a complete system backup safe in your office or home safeguards has advantages.

An alternative approach is to backup to a secondary computer, such as an old laptop or desktop, so if your main computer is out of commission you have a second computer to get your work done. Your backup computer doesn't have to be state of the art, it only needs to be sufficient to keep you working while your main laptop is being repaired. If you don't have a second computer of any sort lying around, you could consider buying a used one as a backup. The price of a used computer compares well with that of an external hard drive.

Backup to a Portable Hard Drive

Portable hard drives are smaller, lighter, and more rugged than desktop drives. Although portable drives are very convenient for backing up large files on the road, they have some drawbacks as a complete backup solution. If you keep your back-up hard drive in your laptop bag and it gets stolen or lost, your backup has gone too, and the cost-per-Gigabyte for portable hard drives is higher than desktop models.

Making Backups While Traveling

The quickest, easiest backup plan while traveling is to copy files to a USB drive. They are physically small and will easily fit in your pocket, have capacities reaching into gigabytes, they are fast, and instantly recognized by any PC with an operating systems newer than Windows 98. If something terminal happens to your laptop, you can easily plug your USB drive into another Windows computer to continue working on your files.

If you don't have a USB drive, you could copy files to a CD if you have a CD burner. The problem here is that burning discs requires formatting time and considerable battery power.

Making Online Backups

Online backups have some serious advantages. Your files are stored off site, so a disaster in your home or office wouldn't affect them. Theft, loss or a disaster with you laptop similarly doesn't affect them. It is also comparatively inexpensive, and can be accessible to others if you wish - a convenient way of transferring large files.

It does have limitations as an only backup strategy. If you have only 500MB online storage and your laptop has a 40GB hard drive, you are only securing a small portion of your data.

No Time for a Career in Computer Forensics? Try a Online University! - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

No Time for a Career in Computer Forensics? Try a Online University!

Do you wish you could go out and get a career in the computer forensics field? Have you ever considered going back to college and getting a great job? Currently working full time at a dead end job? Getting tired of the same pay week after week, and feel just plain lousy because no matter how hard you work, you are never going to get a promotion?

Interested in computers and technology? Are computers one of your favorite hobbies? Have you ever thought to yourself "Boy if I could just get a job with computers, I'd really have a fantastic life! "? But then did reality sink in, and you became aware that you did not have the time or money to get a college education for your dream career?

You can now scratch one of those problems off of your list, because with the invention of online schools you can now easily get your career in computer forensics while still going to work full time.

The public has various opinions on online universities, and careers in computer forensics.

You've probably heard a lot of talk lately about such online universities; some good and some bad. The universities promise anyone who signs up for their online programs the chance to earn their degree in whatever they choose, including computer forensics.

The problem of why a great deal of people have decided to go against online universities is the fact that they have failed to try the schools out for themselves, or they have tried the online schools out only to fail out because they failed to actually do the work required for their online classes.

Earning your online degree in computer forensics isn't as simple as it sounds; it's actually quite challenging.

You see, just because you aren't attending a physical building doesn't mean you aren't going to actually be doing anything. Online courses, such as those designed for computer forensics, are actually developed to be both helpful and challenging.

By helpful I mean that the classes do not interfere with the student's life, because the student is able to see what assignments and read the notes for the class at anytime they have access to their personal computer.

And by challenging I mean that because there is no physical building which requires the student to attend, a lot of responsibility is pushed into the hands of the student.

An online university is perfect for students wishing to get their computer forensics degree in two years while still working full time.

Any person who i interested in a computer forensics career can easily obtain their degree in as little as two years. While many online universities offer several different degree programs, the computer forensics program seems to be ideal for online universities, since computer forensics careers deal primarily with.. you guessed it... computers!

With computer forensics a growing trend in the job market, it makes perfect sense for individuals with a passion of computers to try to get their dream job without sacrificing their current jobs.

Online Backups are Great, But - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Online Backups are Great, But

The advantages of online backups are well known; the online backup service providers make sure we know about them - off-site storage, no media management, no media spanning issues, fully automated, file sharing, access from any location, security, and so on. Less well broadcast is the down side to online backups. They are few, but they could be significant.

Lack of Depth to Online Backups

With the more traditional media based backups, those taking backing up their valuable data seriously will transport their media to a remote location and leave it there - for ever. This is to give depth of protection, so that a problem undetected for, lets say, 6 months doesn't get copied over the whole of a three month backup cycle leaving them with no clean backups from which to restore.

Probably the biggest single drawback with using online backups is that most online backup providers limit storage to 90 days. You may find someone willing to provide more than that but you will definitely not find one willing to talk in terms of years. You can get around it by downloading that file, and then uploading it again to get another 90 days of storage - or you can copy it to media.

Your Online Backup Provider May Vanish

One of the advantages of online backups is the freedom from worry about your media degrading, becoming obsolete, or no longer being compatible with your recently upgraded software. Instead, you can worry about your online backup provider dot-bombing, leaving you in limbo when you suddenly find that they no longer exist.

When choosing an online backup provider, look a bit deeper than the feature list, storage capacity, and cost. Look into the business background as well; find out how long have they been around, if they have backing from a large well established name in another field of IT, and do some searching to find out if there are any horror stories connected with them. Do not deal with anybody who doesn't reveal a physical address.

Online Backup of Multiple Computers

If you have more than one PC, an office desktop and a traveling laptop for instance, you may run into problems with an online backup. Many online backups are computer specific - one computer, one account. Any computer you wish can access the files, but only one can be backed up.

On a network you can get around this by copying all the files you want to backup to a single hard drive and backing up from there, but this is less reliable and you will lose some features, such as the ability to manage file versions.

File Size Limitations in an Online Backup

On traditional media, the file size is limited by the media capacity and to go beyond that needs media spanning software and a human on standby to swap media. Online backups bypass all these problems, offering fully automated backups without media and practically unlimited capacity.

Online backups do have a limit to the individual file sizes though, dictated by the addressing scheme employed by the online backup provider. The usual 32-bit addressing scheme limits the maximum file size to 3.6 GB.

Options for Backup Strategies - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

The Ever Shrinking Backup Window

A backup window is the time it takes to complete a given backup, and is determined by both the quantity of data to be backed up and the speed of the equipment. As the time it takes to perform the backup grows with amount of data, backups can easily encroach onto production time, especially as many organizations run 24 hours a day leaving very restricted or even nonexistent backup windows.

Backup Alternatives

If you have the time to perform them Full Backups are the ultimate. A single tape, or set of tapes, can provides the means of returning a server to its present state. They do have drawbacks, the main one being security. If a full backup tape is stolen, the thief has an entire copy of your data.

In an incremental backup, only files that have changed since the last backup are included, making it much quicker than a full backup. The disadvantage is restore time. Restoring from an incremental backup requires the most recent full backup as well as every incremental backup since the last full backup. Imagine that you did a full backup on Friday, followed by incremental backups on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and your server crashed Thursday. To restore your system you would need the full backup tape from Friday plus the incremental backup tapes from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Differential backups offer a compromise by backing up files that have changed since the last full backup. Restoring is easier as only two tapes are needed - the last full backup and the latest differential.

If the backup window is too small for the other options, synthetic full backups can be used. Information, taken from a full backup and a differential or incremental is used to create a new full backup tape offline.

Backup by File System Snapshots

A file system snapshot is an instantaneous image of a file system, and offers the ability to create reliable backups without shutting down running applications for fear of changing while the backup is being made. Snapshots have several important features, including the ability to make backups of the file system several times a day without needing large amounts of additional storage media, they are a convenient method of making file system integrity checks on a running file system, and most importantly create reliable off media backups without the need for inconveniently long backup windows.

Using Volume Shadow Copy Technology in Windows Server 2003

Volume Shadow Copy Technology(VSCT), introduced with Windows Server 2003, is Windows own snapshot technology. VSCT has three main features; open files are no longer left out, applications can continue writing to the volume during backup, and backups can be made at any time without worrying about the backup window or locking out users.

VSCT achieves this by creating shadow copy backups of volumes. These are exact instantaneous copies of files, and include all the open files. This means that files opened by operator or system activity, or databases that are continually held open, are backed up during a volume shadow copy backup.

Alternatives to Tape Backup Drives - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Alternatives to Tape Backup Drives

If you are a home computer user that is planning on purchasing a tape backup drive then perhaps you should consider changing your mind.

Tape backup drives are not really made for today's modern computer users when DVD writers are available at prices far lower than tape drives.

Tape backup drives were really great options for hardcore computer users back in the early 90's. The ability to store several gigabytes of data on a tape cartridge was something envied by every computer geek alive. Fortunately, 1992 has passed and it is now 2005, and in this current year computer users have several other options to consider besides old tape backup drives.

Tape backup drives are not only expensive, but incredibly slow. The tapes for the drives are also hard to locate and very expensive when compared to other media.

Tape backup drives may be able to store several gigabytes of data, but remember that because they are tape based, it takes a very long time to record the information to the tape cartridge. Not only does it take a long time to write / read data, but tape cartridges cost a lot of money, and are becoming incredibly hard to find. Think about it, when was the last time you were at your local Wal-Mart and noticed tape cartridges next the computer accessories. You would figure that something as slow as tape backup drives would be dirt cheap, but instead the cartridges start at $20.

Enter the wonderful world of DVD recorders. While they too originally were priced at insane amounts of cash, today a computer user browsing a computer store can easily locate a fast DVD burner for less than $100.

DVD burners / recorders are awesome for home computer users, not only because the discs are capable of storing 4.7 gigabytes, but also because both the hardware and disc media are incredibly cheap when compared to tape backup drives.

Considering DVD-R discs store a massive 4.7 gigabytes of data, there is not really much sense in purchasing a tape backup drive, unless you need more than 4.7 gigabytes of space. If this is the case, you can stick with a DVD recorder since new technologies such as dual layer discs have been released that allow DVD media to store much more data on them.

Even if you need fifty gigabytes of storage space, the price of DVD-R media totally crushes the price of media for tape backup drives. You figure that you can buy one tape for your tape drive for $30 and store 50 gigabytes of data on that tape. Well, you could purchase a spindle of 100 DVD-Rs for $30 and be able to store 470 gigabytes of data.

As mentioned before, even though tape backup drives store an enormous amount of data, the speed of the data is incredibly slow. DVD burners may be relatively new to the market when compared with the tape drives, but they are incredibly faster.

When it comes to the bottom line, the advantages of DVD writers make many computer users wonder why tape backup drives still exist.

Alternatives to Tape Backup - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup solution -- Back2zip. This article is also at

Alternatives to Tape Backup

While tape backup systems have been in use for the past twenty years, the amount of use such systems have had has been increasingly winding down. Reasons for this range from the slow speed of tape backup devices, to the overall reliability of the devices.

While tape backup systems have different capacities ranging from ten megabytes to ten gigabytes and beyond, the fact remains that they are incredibly slow, not exactly the most reliable way to store computer data, and increasingly difficult to locate.

Creating a backup of ten gigabytes to a tape drive can take several hours. Not only that, but tapes can easily be damaged by magnetic waves, such as those found in metal detectors. With such a slow transfer speed and potential data loss problem, don't you think you should look into tape backup alternatives?

External hard drives are now available with large amounts of backup space, and speeds that traditional tape systems can not compare to.

First off, external hard drives now have wonderful capacities. You can easily gain access to an external drive capable of two hundred gigabytes of storage space. Using an external hard drive for backup purposes is not just safer, but also much, much faster. An external hard drive can easily connect to a system via USB 2.0, Firewire, or even through a network connection. All three of these connection methods will result in file transfers that are many times faster than a traditional tape backup.

Besides external hard drives, you can always look into purchasing backup file servers. With these servers, you can easily add several large hard drives to the backup file server to easily allow many backups to be created.

External hard drives and file servers cost more than tape backup hardware, however they are more reliable and faster.

While purchasing servers and extra hard drives cost a lot more than traditional tape backup systems, they are far more reliable, and as mentioned before literally hundreds of times faster.

While magnetic tape backup systems are still essential for very large corporations, smaller institutes requiring backups of smaller amounts of data are better off to stick with external hard drives or backup file servers.

Home users do not really need tape backup solutions for their data when optical devices such as DVD and CD burners exist.

For home users dealing with large files, tape backup options are not necessary for you. DVD burners offer users an impressive 4.7 gigabytes of space on each blank DVD-R. This is plenty of space for home users, and a great option since you can buy a complete spindle of DVD-R discs for the same price a user would pay for one piece of tape backup media.

While it may seem like the day of tape backup systems have come to pass, the truth is several corporations still rely on tape backup systems for their backup needs. As hard drive technology continues to improve, perhaps some day the price of external hard drives will rival the price of tape backup cartridges.

An Overview of Three Popular Online Backup Services - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

An Overview of Three Popular Online Backup Services

There are a great number of online backup services on the internet, and choosing one is a difficult one. If you continue reading, you will get an overview of three very popular online backup services; .mac, ibackup, and

A very easy to use online backup service is provided to subscribers of Apple's .mac online service.

Apple gives every subscriber of their .mac service two hundred and fifty megabytes of web space that users may use for online backup and their email. It's kind of a combined deal; the amount of space that you actually are able to use for online backup purposes depends on how much of the space you would like to use for your email.

The .mac service charges a flat fee of $99 a year, and also has several other services targeted primarily towards Apple computer users. Any owner of a new Apple computer can use the service to two months for free, as well as get a $30 discount on a subscription.

While the .mac service is primarily targeted towards Mac Os X users, Apple also provides software tools for Windows XP that users are able to use to access their dedicated online backup space.

If you are one of the few Apple users out there, then .mac is the perfect option for you. You'll get enough space to make online backups of your small files, as well as several other utilities for your computer. Windows users should try and stay away from this service, as several other services exist for their platform that are far more powerful. is the best online backup service provider for users who demand a lot of space for their files.

The next online backup provider, is the original, is the king online backup provider on the internet. They have several service plans, including an economy plan that is priced at $9.95 a month, and includes a very impressive five gigabytes of storage.

Not only do you get more storage than you'll know what to do with, but you also get access to a wide variety of free software tools provided by ibackup to easily upload and download your files. also provides users with a thirty day free trial, however they request a credit card number before you can start the trial. If you find out that the online backup service is not exactly what you needed, be sure to quickly cancel your account. Failure to do so will result in your credit card account being charged for the service. is an excellent online backup service for users who do not need much space, yet do not wish to pay a lot either. also has online backup services that vary with the needs of the computer user. Plans start at a mere $4.25 a month for fifty megabytes of online space. This is perhaps the best bang for your buck as far as commercial online backup services go.

All three of the above services provide users with a fair amount of online space to backup or just store their personal files. Picking the right service provider is totally up to you, because everyone has their own set of needs when it comes to online backup services.

Backup Device Options for Older Computers - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for online backup and recovery -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Backup Device Options for Older Computers

Do you have a backup device for your computer system? If you were not aware, a backup device is just a fancy term given to any device installed on your computer system that allows you to make backup copies of your data.

Some common examples of these backup devices are floppy disk drives, CD writers / burners, zip drives, and external hard drives.

Most computers sold today come with a CD writer / burner, or a more advanced DVD burner, which allows users to burn not only DVD-R media, but also CD-R media, since almost all DVD burners are backwards compatible with the CD-R format.

If your computer system is not equipped with a CD or DVD burner, then you should probably begin to shop around for a backup device if you are serious about your computer data.

While a floppy disk drive was considered as the perfect backup device ten years ago, the storage limitations of each disk pretty much make the floppy disk obsolete.

Your computer system may not have a CD burner / writer, but you may think just because you have a floppy disk drive you are safe. While floppy disks were the preferred medium of data storage in the past, the technical limitations of their capacity (1.44 megabytes) is pretty much a joke to modern computer users. Because a floppy disk is only able to hold less than two megabytes of data, no computer user should consider a floppy drive to be a backup device.

Instead users should look at their viable options. If your computer system is more than five years old, a CD burner / writer is kind of a worthless investment because your computer system will be unable to supply the data to the burner quick enough. Thankfully, Iomega continues to manufacture their wide variety of Zip drives that will work effortlessly with these particular systems.

A zip disk is a disk based backup device capable of holding 100, 250, or even 750 megabytes of data.

For those who do not know what a zip drive is, it is basically a disk drive that utilizes disks capable of holding 100, 250, or 750 megabytes of data. Several different versions of the many zip drive models have been released over the past ten years that allow users a variety of options in connecting a zip drive to their system.

An external zip drive is an awesome backup device for older computers because not only is it capable of storing large amounts of data and information, but you can easily use drive and disks on other computer systems.

Iomega Zip drives are excellent choices as a backup device for older computers and their data. The price of the zip disks is however relatively expensive when compared to CD-R media.

The major downside in choosing an Iomega Zip drive as a backup device is the price of the media. While CD-R media are priced at literally pennies per disk, Zip disks are quite expensive, starting at around ten dollars for a single disk. The disks however are very durable, even more so than a 3.5 inch floppy disk, and are guaranteed to last several years.

Bad News for Users Wishing to Backup Their Gamecube Games - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Bad News for Users Wishing to Backup Their Gamecube Games

If you are an owner of a Nintendo GameCube video game system and want to create backup copies of your favorite games, then there is some bad news.

The Nintendo Gamecube is a sophisticated gaming system that uses a special optical media that prevents users from making backup copies of their software collection.

Launched in November 2001 as the hailed successor to the Nintendo 64 game system, the Nintendo GameCube was Nintendo's first optical media based system. While the game discs are a lot cheaper to produce for Nintendo, the fact that the discs are a special size prevents players from making backup copies of their purchased software.

The GameCube's game discs are a special optical disc technology developed by Nintendo specifically to prevent unauthorized backup copies of the software to be produced. The discs are three inches in diameter and hold a massive 1.5 gigabytes of data. This is quite impressive, considering Sega's Game Disc technology found on Dreamcast software is the size of a regular CD and only holds one gigabyte of data.

The Gamecube game discs are a miniature DVD, capable of holding 1.5 gigabytes of data. Blank pieces of this media are not available to home users, so it is impossible to create backups of your games.

Instead of being normal CDs, the miniature discs are a variety of DVD type media. Even with a DVD burner, users are still unable to create backups due t o the special size of the disc media that Nintendo uses.

Besides the problems with the size of the game discs, there are also no modchips available for the GameCube gaming console. For those who are unaware, a modchip is a device that allows video game systems to play backup copies of games. Even if you were able to successfully burn a backup game disc, the fact that no modchips exist would render the game unplayable on your Gamecube.

Because the Gamecube has been out since 2001, and no modchips have yet to be released, it is pretty much a given that no modchip developers will be creating a modchip for the system anytime soon.

Because of the lack of a Gamecube modchip, as well as the inability to create backup copies of games, the only viable solution to the problem is to purchase an extra copy of the game.

The only real alternative users have to getting backup copies of their Gamecube games is to search used video game outlets, as well as the internet for cheap copies of your games. Many used games can be purchased on Ebay for a modest price, while used video game stores can often have your favorite games for nearly half of what you originally payed for.

Another option is to remember to take care of your Gamecube game discs. Keep the discs clean, and always store them in their original cases to protect them. If you are careful, and keep your original games in perfect working order, you do not really have to worry much about having a backup copy of a particular game.

Basic Data Recovery - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based software for online data backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Basic Data Recovery

Have you ever wondered how much data is stored in your PC, and how much time and energy would go into its recovery? Your computer almost certainly contains a lot of personal data - financial data, names, addresses, and telephone numbers, bank account information, photographs and much more. It may seem safe, but accidents do happen!

Why Did the Data Go?

The three most common causes of total data loss are a failure of your operating system, a mechanical malfunction of your hard drive, or a failure in the software that controls your hard drive. Should any of these happen, there are some data recovery steps you can take yourself, and if these fail there are plenty of data recovery specialists to choose from.

You should consider that attempting to restore lost data to your hard drive carries a risk of causing more damage to it, making further data recovery more difficult or impossible.

Data Recovery after Operating System Failure

An operating system failure is a failure to recognize your hard drive, this usually shows as a Disk Boot Failure error message on start up. If this happens, and you have the boot disk that should have come with your PC, insert that to boot from the floppy disk or CD instead. Have a look around now, and if you find your boot disk has vanished, you should visiting and get a replacement immediately. It will make any attempts at data recovery a lot easier.

Once you have your PC booted, you will have an A:> prompt on the screen. Enter c: to swap drives, then enter "dir" to view the data on your hard drive. Hopefully the data on your will be intact, showing that the problem is with your operating system. Back up any critical data, and then reinstall your operating system.

Data Recovery after a Mechanical Failure

An imminent mechanical disc failure announces itself by your hard drive making unexpected noises while accessing data. If you hear any, it is probably a mechanical failure of one of the many components in your hard drive. If this happens do not try to service the drive yourself! Return it to the manufacturer for data recovery, especially if it is still under warranty

Data Recovery after a Software Control Failure

Often the problem is with the software connected with your hard drive. The most common problem here is fortunately very simple to solve; the backup battery on your motherboard dies causing your PC to forget the settings that control your hard drive. Data recovery is then a case of replacing the battery on your motherboard and manually re-entering the settings. Follow directions from your handbook when re-entering the settings at boot up.

The menu is commonly reached by holding down the F10, Del or Esc keys during the boot process, or it may be via a disk provided by the manufacturer. Work through the menu options until you find your hard drive settings, and you will find an option to automatically detect the correct settings. Select this to reset the controls.

Bid Goodbye to Disaster Recovery with Real Time Remote File Mirror - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Lison Joseph is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

A disaster recovery strategy with no down time

Most experienced backup and disaster planning experts would agree that remote backup would have been the best disaster recovery strategy but for the inevitable down time that comes with it. Remote backup gives you all your critical data in perfect shape but that would still leave you with the big headache of setting up a new network before you can resume your production activities/transactions. This in simpler terms translates to a pretty long duration of interrupted business activity.

In business terms, this downtime, which may span anywhere between a few hours to several days, depending on the number of systems on the desired network and the complexity of data population, could well mean revenue losses to the tune of millions of dollars. This is not an exaggeration as popular online entities do transactions worth over millions of dollars during their peak business hours. A perfect disaster recovery not only means having all the critical data but a non-interruption of the business activity, be it online transactions of banking operations.

This means a recovery with zero down time, or in other terms, going ahead with the transactions as if nothing happened!

So how do you perfect remote backup to make a better disaster recovery plan

The first step would be to graduate the process from a mere backup of critical files at another location to copying all files to the backup location. This process is called file mirroring.

Further, file mirroring should be done on to storage media at a backup site that has the same number of systems as the original location. In other terms, you should have an exact replica of the actual network at the backup site and should populate the network in real time with all the data that comes in to the primary business location. This would mean having a backup location that exactly resembles the primary business location in terms of data architecture and functionality.

Hence, if disaster strikes one location, the business can go on unaffected from the second location, as if nothing happened! That is exactly what we wanted, right? A perfect recovery with all the data intact in the second safe location.

Is remote file mirroring, a viable disaster recovery option for everybody?

The funny thing is, remote file mirroring as a disaster recovery strategy is viable only for either individuals/single system business entities or very large corporate houses as the cost can prove to be prohibitive for companies having a comparatively small budget, especially if they have a decent sized network to duplicate.

As a disaster recovery plan, individuals can opt for something called an online file mirror via the Internet and have an exact replica of their hard disks with all the configurations on a remote file server. In the event of their hard disks having a crash, the data can be retrieved and populated on a new disk, thus achieving disaster recovery in least time. Thus, mission accomplished!

A Brief Overview of Making Backup Copies of Your Sega Dreamcast Games - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based software for online data backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

A Brief Overview of Making Backup Copies of Your Sega Dreamcast Games

Despite Sega cancelling production of the Sega Dreamcast video game system several years ago, there still exists a large community of devoted fans who make backup copies of their purchased games in order to protect their investment.

The Sega Dreamcast, launched in the United States on September 9th, 1999 was hailed as the most advanced video game system ever created. Being the first 128-bit video game system, it was considered a complete powerhouse compared to Nintendo's 64-bit system and Sony's meager 32-bit Playstation.

The Sega Dreamcast's game discs are easily scratchable, and users wish they could easily make backup copies of their games to protect their investment.

As soon as the system came out, users were a bit frustrated with the media in which the games shipped on. Entitled GD-ROMs, they were basically an advanced CD capable of holding one gigabyte of data compared to a regular CDs capacity of 650 megabytes. The big problem with the discs was the fact that they were easily scratchable and even the smallest imperfection on a game disc would render it useless.

It only took fans a year before making backups of Dreamcast games was possible. A small group of devoted fans released the first boot disc, entitled the Utopia Boot Disc.

This boot disc could be burned with any computer CD writer, and was read with any Sega Dreamcast system. Unlike the Playstation, which required users to purchase an expensive modchip or professionally made boot disc, the Utopia boot disc allowed users to easily play backups on their Dreamcast system without paying for any modifications to their systems.

While most Dreamcast users wish they could produce their own backup copies of their games easily, the truth is it's actually a bit tricky to create a backup of their Dreamcast game.

As mentioned before, the Sega Dreamcast uses a very special type of game disc, which unfortunately is not readable in a standard computer CD-ROM drive. A user wishing to create backup copies of their Dreamcast discs must either build a cable, or purchase a cable that allows the game disc's data to be transferred through the serial port of the Dreamcast system.

The fact that the Sega Dreamcast uses special optical discs capable of storing a gigabyte of data can pose a problem to users creating backup copies on CD-R media.

While this is already a sophisticated procedure, the fact is you cannot burn Dreamcast GD discs, because of their proprietary nature. Instead the backups must be put on CD-R discs, which usually only hold six hundred and fifty megabytes.

Dreamcast games that are larger than 650 megabytes must be modified before they can be placed on a CD-R. Small groups in the past years have removed music and compressed movie files in order to get large games to fit on discs.

Sega Dreamcast is not an easy video game system to create backup copies of the games.

Creating backup copies of your Dreamcast games is not easy. It is best to search P2P applications and other resources for downloads of precompiled backup copies of games you already own. While Dreamcast has seen its better days, you may not be able to locate such backup copies on the internet, and the only alternative would be searching online auctions to purchase cheaply used copies of the Dreamcast games.

Choosing Backup Media - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
Andrew Whitehead is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for windows online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Considerations in Choosing Backup Media

Matching the capacity of the backup medium to the amount of data you intend to backup is very important, especially as hard disks capacities grow. The more disk or tape swaps required to perform a backup, the less likely it is that you will do it routinely. ideally, the whole backup will fit on one tape or disk so that you can leave it to run and do something else. You don't need to back up the whole hard disk every time, so a backup media that can hold most of it will usually suffice.

Optical Backup Media

CD-R have a capacity of about 650 MB, and despite not being reusable some people use them for backup. One big advantage is that the backups are readable by any CD-ROM drive, but even though the cost of an individual disc is low it can still become a very expensive way to do backups if you need several discs per time.

CD-RW are a good flexible, reusable, general-purpose medium that is certainly usable for backup. It has disadvantages; the capacity is only average at 650 MB, and the CD-RW disks are essentially proprietary in that only compatible reader software can read them.

Tape As Backup Media

Backups are large, sequential writes ideally suited tape drives, and tape is making a comeback as a backup device. As hard drives keep growing tape is the only medium of a similar capacity that is growing to match them. For the drives, and per-gigabyte basis for the media, it is inexpensive. It is reasonably reliable, simple to set up, and has a lot of support for drives and software. Performance can be less than ideal, especially when random access is needed to specific files on the tape. Usually this only needs to be done when restoring data.

Using Removable Drives for Backup

Removable Hard Disk Equivalent Drives such as Iomega's Rev drive or various portable hard drives, have a large enough capacity to be suitable for backups. These drives have a reasonable performance (about twice the speed of a CD/DVD drive) and good reliability. The disadvantages are that they are proprietary and expensive.

An interesting backup method not often used is removable hard drives. The price per gigabyte of hard disks is compares favorably to drives such as the Iomega Rev and they give a very high performance, random-access capability, standard interfaces and exchangeability, and excellent reliability. The disadvantage is that additional media means buying an additional drive, and often removable drives can only be removed with the power off.

Network Backup

For networked PCs, copying data over the network from one PC to another is a viable alternative to using removable drives. By duplicating each PC's information it is possible to protect each individual PC without the expense of tape drives or removable storage. Disadvantage are that viruses can travel over a network, and if all the PCs are in one building there is no off-site storage. A better solution is to use a centralized removable storage backup device to automatically back up all the PCs connected to the network.

Commercial Software That Allows You to Easily Backup Your Dvds - Audio

2010-08-07 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

Commercial Software That Allows You to Easily Backup Your Dvds

Have you ever thought about your DVDs, and wished there was a simple way to make backup copies of them? Let's face it, DVDs aren't cheap. Another piece of common knowledge that you can throw in to that mix is that DVDs aren't durable. You may have just spent a hundred dollars on the complete first season of your favorite TV show only to find the discs unreadable because your kids gained control of the discs.

If you have young children in your household, you really have to start considering what options exist in allowing you to make backups of your DVDs.

A DVD's worst nightmare is the dirty hands of a seven year old child. The child will get dirt all over the disc, scratches on the disc from rough handling, and if the disc is still readable after that, then you'll probably soon see the DVD flying through the air as if it was a Frisbee.

Because of this great limitation to the wonderful DVD format, it makes perfect sense for any family with small children to consider making backup copies of your purchased DVDs.

Thankfully several software companies have seen the need for software that allows users to easily make backup copies of their DVDs, and now such software is readily available both on the internet and at your local software store.

1CLICK DVD Copy is one of the greatest pieces of DVD backup software there is available. With one click, the software will quickly make a backup copy of any DVD movie. The publisher of this software states that you can easily have a backup copy burned within fifteen minutes!

DVD Wizard Pro is another excellent piece of DVD backup software. While it does not offer all of the advanced capabilities of 1CLICK DVD, it is cheaper and offers other abilities to the user such as the ability to easily create backup copies of your Playstation 2 and XBOX video games.

Cosmi DVD Ripper is a value priced piece of computer software that allows users to easily create backup copies of their DVDs. Priced at under ten dollars, Cosmi is not without its own set of problems. If your DVD movie is longer than a hundred minutes, then you'll have to find another piece of software; Cosmi for some reason is only capable of copying the first hundred minutes.

After recommending a couple software titles, this list would not be complete if it did not list any worthless pieces of DVD backup software.

Roxio Easy DVD Copy is one product that's hard to recommend. While the product's box promptly displays 'Copy Hollywood DVDS' this is simply not the case. Roxio Easy DVD Copy will only copy unprotected media, which is very unfortunate considering the fact that ninety nine percent of commercial DVDs are encoded with copy protection. Roxio believes that after creating trust with millions of computer users, they can pull a fast one. Roxio Easy DVD Copy is simply a horrible product, and especially with its retail price of fifty dollars.

Commercial software is not your only option for making backup copies of your DVDs; several free pieces of software are out there waiting to be utilized.

Besides commercial software, a lot of free applications exist on the internet that allow you to backup your DVDs. Unfortunately, these pieces of software are not exactly the easiest things to use, but if you wish to save some money and just spend your time learning how to use the free software, in the end it's your best choice.

Some Important Things about Ps2 Backup - Audio

2010-08-05 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup tool -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is PS2 Backup?

PS2 backup is the backing up of your video games in the case of damage to your disk or some other failure. PS2 backup can also allow you to play your PS2 games on your computer, as well as creating reserve copies to protect against damage to your original. As video games can cost up to eighty dollars, it is very important to you that you keep your video game safe so you will not have to purchase a new copy if something happens to your disk. Backups are one of the best ways to do this.

You can even create copies of your games and play the copies while keeping the actual original safe and out of use, then if any damage occurs it occurs to the copy and not to your original disk.

PS2 Backup and Your Computer

It is possible to create PS2 backup copies onto your computer and actually play them from your computer. In order to do this, however, you will require the use of what is called an emulator. An emulator emulates a console machine on your actual computer, so it is as if you were playing your PS2 on your computer. One great place to find out more about emulators and emulation for your PS2 backups as well as other console systems is

If you work on the computer often, and would like to have backup copies of your PS2 games to play on your computer, this can be an excellent way to do so. It will keep your game safe, as you are not actually playing the actual disk, and requires little to know money to do as most emulators are available for free.

PS2 Backup and Your PS2

If you want to play your PS2 backups on your PS2 machine, there might be a problem. The manufacturers of PS2 have installed certain hardware and software into their machines to keep illegal copies from being played on them. However, any copy, even a legal one is read as illegal by your PS2. Therefore, oftentimes your PS2 backups will not be playable on your PS2 machine.

While it is possible to create perfect copies of your PS2 games, this can be a difficult process, and you might want to consider installing a mod chip onto your PS2. A mod chip is a device which circumvents the encoding that is installed on your PS2 and will allow you to play your PS2 backups.

Mod chips are available in plenty online, a good place to try looking for a mod chip is It is hardware, so you will have to install it onto your PS2 yourself. However, your mod chip will come with instructions and they are also plentiful online. While most anyone can install a mod chip, you will want to be careful in doing so as you do not want to cause damage to your machine that will make all of your games unplayable.

Some Ideas to Jumpstart the Backup of a Particular File - Audio

2010-08-05 ::
James Fohl is a contributor at -- the home of the popular tool for personal online backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

Some Ideas to Jump start the Backup of a Particular File

Do you have one particular file that you need to backup? Are you curious of ways to make a backup of that one particular file? Whether it's a special digital photograph, or a Word document explaining how to build a nuclear reactor there are many particular ways to backup the file, and this article will discuss just a few of these ways to give you an idea of where to store your backup.

The floppy disk is a wonderful way to backup one particularly important file.

Depending on the size of the individual file that you need to backup, nothing says 'backup' more than the good old 3.5 inch floppy disk. You can throw your important file onto a floppy disk and store the disk in a closet, safe, or give it to a loved one to hold onto. Floppy disks only store 1.44 megabytes of data, but if the document you wish to backup is a mere text document, this is plenty of storage space. The only major downside to putting a backup file on a floppy disk is that eventually the Earth's magnetic poles will render the floppy unreadable after many years.

If you do not like the idea of making a backup of your file on a floppy disk, why don't you try those mini CD-Rs? They store up to 210 megabytes of data and are small enough to store anywhere. Buy several, and place a backup copy of your file everywhere so that you never loose a copy of your file!

Keeping a backup copy of an important file in your electronic mailbox or web / ftp server is an excellent idea, since you have access to the file from any computer with an internet connection.

If you do not wish to have a hard copy of your backup file, perhaps you should consider opening a special email account, and having a copy of the backup file attached to an email that forever resides in your mailbox. If you do not like the idea of hosting the backup file inside your mailbox, why not store the file on a web / ftp server, and keep the address of the document a secret?

Printing out a text document, or digital photograph is perhaps the most solid way of creating a perfect backup of one individual file.

Don't wish to have an internet presence of your backup file? Why not simply print out the particular file (excellent if it's a text document or digital photograph) and keep the printed material locked in a file cabinet, or somewhere else. Then whenever you require the information, you simply either have to scan the document into your computer or retype the information from the printed document. Whatever you choose, a printed document is an awesome choice, mostly because it will last longer than most of the other options listed above.

Whatever, and however you choose to backup a particular file is your own personal business. The ideas suggested above were mainly constructed to help users establish the best way to backup an individual file of importance.

Backup Your Files on the Internet - Audio

2010-05-06 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online remote backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

What is Internet Backup?

Backup is an important element of any computer user's computing experience, and internet backup is an exciting new part of this activity. Traditionally backup involved the use of physical media such as floppy disks, CD-Rs or ZIP disks. However, it is now possible to backup your data through the internet without ever having to touch a disk. This is a very exciting and powerful form of backup that can make your backup process go much easier and smoother.

Never Have to Find a Disk Again With Internet Backup

When you backup your files through the internet, you never have to bother with finding a disk which holds your data on it again. Your data is always right there on the internet, ready to be accessed whenever you desire. You can access your data from any computer in the world with an internet connection.

When you backup your files on the internet, you are storing them on an online server which is separate from your computer. It works essentially as an internet drive which you can always reach through the internet. All you need to do is go to the internet address where your online drive is found, log in with your username and password and you can access all of the files that you have backed up through the internet.

Because of the fact that it is on the internet, you have almost unlimited possibilities with your backup storage. While physical media such as floppy disks or CD-ROMs are limited in how much they can store, an internet backup drive is essentially unlimited in how much data it can hold, as it can be powered by a number of servers each of which can hold great amounts of data. If you have a lot of data to backup, this can be an excellent resource for you.

How Can I Get an Internet Backup Drive?

In order to get your own internet backup drive, you will need to purchase storage services from some company, such as X-Drive found at There are many different internet backup services available online, and they are not difficult to find. Simply type in internet backup into an internet search engine and you will find a myriad of results.

Depending upon which company you work with, and how large of an online drive you want for your storage will determine the price. X-Drive, the company mentioned above, offers a 5 GB online storage drive which costs only 10 dollars a month. They even offer a free 15 day trial, so you can try out their service and make sure that it fits your online backup needs.

Once you have found the company you think is best for you, all you must do is register with their web site, and be given or choose a username and password. Then, wherever you are, you can log onto their web site and access all of the online files that you need. This is a very powerful form of backup.

Backup Your Hard Drive with an External Storage Device - Audio

2010-05-02 ::
Daniel Jones is a contributor at -- the home of the best online backup software -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

New Technology to Backup Your Hard Drive

A decade ago, to backup your hard drive meant having a large stack of floppy disks. Even with duplicate and sometimes triplicate copies we often ended up with lost data. When Iomega released the 100 Meg ZIP drive we could suddenly able to backup large portions of our hard drive with less pain, relative reliability, and best of all we could get the version that plugged into our parallel port and it was almost portable.

Of course we needed to bring along a floppy disk to install the drivers, and it was painfully slow, even with the parallel port set up correctly. This continues to be an even larger problem as hard drives and backup media get larger.

Plug in Hard Drive Backups

Just in time are a number of hard drive backup solutions that practically plug and play. Taking advantage of the USB 2.0 standard some of these solutions are not just hard drive backup solutions, but are approaching usefulness as hard drives in their own right. This is especially true when they take advantage of the lightning speeds of Fire Wire. Additional many of these external storage solutions do not require drivers aside from what they install themselves.

Assuming you have a current operating system you can usually be up and running seconds after plugging the hardware in. No more unplugging the printer to get at a parallel port, or worse trying to get your printer software to find the printer after passing through a storage device.

Backups Using an External Hard Drive Kit

Perhaps the coolest new option, for the more technically oriented, is the external hard drive kit. With this kit you can theoretically take any stock hard drive, and install it the small box provided. Once you've done this you can plug the box into your computer with either USB 2.0 or Fire Wire (depending on the kit) and you have an instant external hard drive to backup to.

The great thing about these systems is that you can continue to expand the size of your backup hard drive as the technology for hard drives improves. No longer do you have problems with your storage device not keeping up with the size of your new computers larger hard drive. The disadvantage is that your backup drive often requires it's own power source, as it can't pull sufficient power from the USB/Fire Wire connection.

Also the software making the connection often is not able to deal with the latest in hard drive sizes and speeds. This is usually take care of with additional driver releases, but you may be out of luck for as much as several months. My favorite technique is to take my old hard drive out of my Desktop and use it to backup my laptop's smaller hard drive.

X-Drive and Internet Backup - Audio

2005-12-31 ::
Walter Stevens is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based online backup service -- Back2zip. This article available at

What is Internet Backup?

Internet backup involves the backing up of your files online. Unlike traditional forms of backup, which require you to have a physical medium on which to store your backup files, such as a floppy disk, CD-R or key drive, internet backup is done completely online. You upload your files to an online server, then can download them again at any time that you desire. It functions as an extra drive on your computer without actually being on your computer, freeing up your computer space and allowing you to backup your files without worrying about diskettes, CDs or removable drives.

X-Drive and Internet Backup

The x-drive is an excellent product in the world of internet backup. It serves as an online drive that can be used for storage, backup or the transmission of files. It is similar to having another drive installed on your computer, but you can access it from any computer in the world with an internet connection and requires you to physically move nothing, unlike CD-ROMs or floppy disks.

X-drive is found at The drive can hold 5 gigabytes of data. At the current time there is only one size x-drive, but this could change in the future. 5 gigabytes is quite a bit of storage, and can hold a lot of your files.

Backup is a very important thing in this computer age. Great damage can be caused by a power surge, system crash or even a computer virus, resulting in the loss of your computer files. Having backups of your files is an excellent way to secure your data and make sure that no matter what harm may befall your computer, you will always have access to your important files.

Using a form of internet backup such as the x-drive is a powerful way to backup your files. Physical media such as CD-ROMs or floppy disks can become damaged themselves, and you can find yourself unable to access your data even from your backups. With online storage, you know you will always be able to access your files, and you can move your files wherever you go or whenever you change computers quickly and easily.

How do I Get an X-Drive for my Internet Backup?

In order to purchase your x-drive, you must go to the internet address of the x-drive found at The drive gives you 5 gigabytes of storage, which is quite a bit of storage, more than you will find on any physical backup medium. It is one of the more powerful tools for internet backup, and is fairly inexpensive costing only 10 dollars a month.

For those new to internet backup or the x-drive, they also offer a free 15 day trial so that you might test their system and see if you feel that it works for you. This is an excellent offer, and can greatly assist you in your computing efforts. It is always smart to backup your computer, and the x-drive can make your backup go easier and smoother than you ever imagined.

Freeze your data in Carbonite: 'Carbonite Home' Online backup - Audio

1969-12-31 ::
Angela is a contributor at -- the home of the popular Amazon S3 based tool for online file backup -- Back2zip. This article can be found at

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Having your files online and available on the go is amazingly convenient, especially when you travel a lot or when you have extremely crucial files. Let's face it, our computers crash when we least expect it, and this can really hit us hard. We can end up losing chunks of valuable information.

In order to prevent this from happening, Carbonite provides you with that needed safety measure - keeping your files intact and your peace of mind with it.

With the Carbonite home version, your files are always yours to keep, with no fear of losing them at all and unlimited storage space, to boot!

Easy Carbonite Installation

If you're interested in trying Carbonite out, the website offers a 15-day-trial where you can conveniently explore the many features found in the software. The file size comes at a neat 6.7 MB, so you won't wait at all to get this software. The installation process is very straightforward, which is a huge plus because most people wouldn't want to spend too much time in order to back up really sensitive files. You get to even pick a nickname and choose whether you're using a laptop, computer, or server to better allow Carbonite to optimize its services.

Conventionally, Carbonite installs pretty much straightforwardly. You won't have to deal with any complications, so this cuts back on the time spent getting the software started.

Carbonite Home Features

Along with the software you download, the Carbonite Home version offers an online system where you can handle your files from. This is great if you want to restore files to another computer, and based on what I've observed, the SSL encryption provides a very secure protective module.

Upon installation, Carbonite offers to backup all your files on its online server that may take up to 2 days. However, an interesting thing to note is that your files are automatically backed up after that. If you don't want that automation, though, the interface allows you to back up specific files yourself!

Overall, the online access is a great extension for you to handle your files from a remote location other than your own computer, laptop, or server. You can handle your file management right from there, which I might say is pretty convenient.

Our Take: Carbonite's Usability

The interface is very simple. It saves a lot of memory usage because you can easily reach your backup and restore functions with relative ease. Carbonite makes your backup as easy as possible without you having to deal with complex details. Just simple clicks here and there, you can already enjoy a seamless back up of your files.

One issue is the time it takes to back up everything. Although it instantly backs up your files the moment you install, it can take as much as days to securely back up everything. While security is always a good thing, it shouldn't compromise time, especially when crashes can happen any time.

You control what files you want backed up, with your whole drive as a default setting. Carbonite Home version works in the background, allowing you to work or play while your whole system's backed up. If you feel that you must stop the backup process, you can freeze your backup and save it for later. Pretty handy if you want to reconfigure the files you want backed up.

Carbonite also works on multiple platforms, another great thing about this software. It effectively works on a PC as much as it does on a Mac.

Customer support can be easily accessed from the program itself, so this allows you to get your concerns covered soon with their support line.

Carbonite Product Options

Carbonite Home Version - Pretty much geared for your home and personal use, at $54.95 a year, you are provided enough space to store all of your important files in. The instant back up feature is a must when you wish to purchase this license.

Carbonite Pro Version - A step up to your back up system, the Pro version offers a more statistical approach to your storage. You pay a monthly fee for the space you use, which is highly economical, especially for business users.

Which Should you Use?

At $54.95 a year for your computer, the home version becomes your portable form of backup. Remote access is a great feature that you should try out when you want your files safe and sound. This saves you the agony of losing your precious files. The automated backup feature of Carbonite home version becomes important for your backup process. According to them, they offer 100% backup features, which ensures you that you have seamless backups and functional backup systems.

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