Monday, October 07, 2019

Marcus' Law: Lose No Data

It is a pretty simple and extremely obvious fact, but friends, customers et al take a very dim view if you lose their data.

Reactions vary from upset, to angry, offers of violence, or verbal assaults.  The catchall is of course:

But you are supposed to be the expert, you should have known that I had not backed it up correctly  [as I had said]

The Rule Then
Before undertaking any work on somebodies workstation make best efforts to

a) Ask them to make a complete backup

b) Make your own paranoid backup, because well, indeed, if the customer knew everything about their workstation, they might be performing these repairs themselves

- For Marcus, in a Microsoft Windows Environment you can use the included Windows Backup to make a fully restorable image

- You can also make ad hoc backups of known critical directories or types of information to specific locations.

The categories normally come down to
a) Email
b) Photographs and Videos
c) Work or Home data like Spreadsheets

- The backup can be restored into a Virtual Machine, like this meaning that even if their Workstation gets trashed you have their data.

Backup to NAS

- I'd normally recommend first making any backup to a USB key.  In my case the ultra fast Silverstone MS09 built here

- After this I can stage it to my NAS, for safe keeping until my client is really happy that their upgraded workstation really has everything,  then maybe encrypt it, compress it, and keep it for another 6 months, just in case.


Like most craftsmen, (a title to which I hope I can validly claim)  it's very satisfying to take an awfully configured system, and via much thinking, waving of digital hands, reconstruct it so that it finally performs.  Often on the same base hardware, and sometimes just by re-installing and putting everything in correctly.

Take it away Steve ...

We can rebuild him