Tag Archives: disaster recovery

Carbonite and MozyPro online storage offer peace of mind data backup service

In an earlier post titled, Which files should you back up, I discussed various ways I back up my critical computer files. I admit that I’m somewhat anal in doing this. My data is my business, my life. My training and speaking business takes me all over America, and I don’t want to lose that.

If you lost all the data on your computer today, could you recover quickly, painlessly? I could.

I’m fully satisfied with Carbonite, an online storage vault. This technology monitors my computer’s hard drive and backs up the new stuff in the background as I work.

I especially like it that Carbonite keeps my files organized the way I have them on my computer (this is a biggie for me because I’m very meticulous about how I save my files). I’d been frustrated with other services because I didn’t want my files scattered. I have a very logical filing system that enables me to find files the instant I need them. (I don’t need desktop search because I know where everything is.)

(Update 1/9/08: I’m using Mozy Unlimited Backup – $4.95/Month’>Mozy.com to back up my Membership Website. This is a huge Website with 1-2 minute movies of my computer tips and tricks. I had to move my source files to my external hard drive and (at this writing) Carbonite does not back up external drives. Mozy Unlimited Backup – $4.95/Month’>Mozy does.)

(Update 5/26/08: My laptop crashed and I was able to get my files. But getting the files downloaded to a borrowed laptop didn’t run as smoothly as it should have. I was frustrated when I realized that Carbonite’s tech support is 9AM-5PM weekdays only. I’m moving all of my backups to MozyPro who has 24/7/365 support. I’ll consider keeping the files with Carbonite as a secondary backup.)

Simplify your life, and make data recovery one less thing you have to worry about. If you don’t think you have time to deal with this now, how will you find time to recover later?

P.S. Learn how to organize your files in my booklet, Get Organized At Work and Make It Easy. A link to Word templates that I created that will make this easy and also a File Index to get you started are inside.

PEACE.

Which Files Should You Back Up?

If anything ever happens and I have to recover data saved on my computer, I want it to be as painless as possible. That’s why I paid attention to which files I should protect and how.

A backup is not a backup if it’s not off site. To simplify offsite/online storage, I use MozyPro. This technology backs up designated files to an online vault every day as they change on my computer. MozyPro. proved to be the best service for me because it keeps my files organized the way I have them on my computer (this is a biggie for me). My external hard drive also provides automatic backups (it’s also backed up by MozyPro). And I have critical files saved on a 4GB thumb drive for easy access when I’m offline and traveling. In addition to having the means to back up your data, you should also have a plan for knowing what to back up.

UPDATE 1/22/2012: I’ve switched to Carbonite. I wanted to start fresh, but both services are great. 

My Documents Folder: My two main business folders are separated into broad categories, then into smaller subcategories. If you keep like subjects together, it’s easier to back up everything (and to find anything I need later).

Outlook Files: You can back up Outlook to include your contacts, emails, calendar, tasks, and journal entries. (See my post on backing up Outlook. The path to my Outlook files is at C:Documents and SettingsPeggy DuncanLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook). You’ll want to back up the Outlook.pst file.) 

UPDATE 1/22/2012: In Windows 7, the path is  C:UsersYourComputerNameAppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlookOutlook.pst (replace YourComputerName with your own).

You’ll probably also want to back up your signature files and rules if you’ve set them up. The path to the Signatures folder is C:Documents and SettingsyournameApplication DataMicrosoftSignatures (MozyPro keeps this folder backed up for me).

And if you’ve created any rules, you’ll want to back them up too (see my post on backing up Outlook. To find out where your templates are stored, in Word, click the Tools menu, Options, File Locations tab. Double-click the location that reads User Templates.

Templates: If you create any templates (with the .dot, .xlt, .ppt extensions), they’re automatically saved outside of the My Documents structure (mine are at C:Documents and SettingsPeggy DuncanApplication DataMicrosoftTemplates). I added this location to my Favorites so it would be easy to remember.

UPDATE: In Windows 7, it’s difficult if not impossible to find the Templates folder. Let the system find it for you. Hold down the Windows key (the one with the Windows logo left of the spacebar) and type R. The Run command box will appear. Paste this in that box, C:UsersYourComputerNameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftTemplatesTemplates replacing YourComputerName with your own, and click OK.

Downloaded Programs: These are miscellaneous applications I’ve either purchased or downloaded for free. I don’t have the CD. Instead of saving these in the same folder as the Programs folder, I put them in a separate folder called My Downloaded Programs. If I have to restore my computer files, I won’t have to remember which applications I downloaded.

My Books: These are all the files I have for all the books I’ve written. I keep these outside of my main business files folder and off my computer because the files are so large.

QuickBooks: In addition to being backed up on my external hard drive and online vault every day, I back QuickBooks files up on my hard drive every time I make changes (QuickBooks has this feature built in. Every time it asks you if you want to back up, click YES! I name the file the same each time so it also gets backed up online).

Favorites. I’ve bookmarked some great sites and don’t want to lose the easy access. To find where your Favorites are stored, double-click My Computer, double-click the C: Drive, double-click Documents and Settings, double-click on your username folder. You should see your Favorites folder.

Pictures. Pictures I use on my Website are safe on the Web server. All others are saved in the My Pictures folder.

Special Projects. I’m working on my family tree with the software Family Tree Maker.

In addition to being backed up on my external hard drive and online vault every day, I also saved them to a flash drive that I keep with me.

I must admit that I’m somewhat anal about backing up my data. My computer is my livelihood, and I don’t want to lose over 10 years worth of business. Plus, I cannot tell you how much better I sleep at night because I’ve taken the time to put this plan in place.

Simplify your life, and make data recovery one less thing you have to worry about. If you don’t think you have time to deal with this now, how will you find time to recover later?

P.S. Learn how to organize your files in my eBook, Get Organized So You Can Think! Word templates that I created that will make this easy and also a File Index to get you started are attached.

Related Posts
Use Technology to Protect Your Small Business from Disaster
My Laptop Crashed but I Didn’t Panic
September is National Preparedness Month
Back Up All of Outlook Pleeaaze!

Peggy Duncan, Personal Productivity Expert

Back Up All of Outlook PLEEAAZE!

Too many disasters happening. You’re not protecting yourself. Save your data! Here is how to back up Outlook messages, contacts, appointments, tasks, notes, and journal entries (all saved in the .pst file). I’m using Outlook 2003.

  1. Get an external storage device ready to store a large file (flash drive, CD, etc.). The file will be huge (mine is over 175MB). Flash drive is better because if you burn to a CD, the file will become Read Only. To use it, you’ll have to right-click on it, click Properties, and untick Read-only.
  2. In Outlook, click the Tools menu, Options.
  3. Click the Mail Setup tab, Data Files button.
  4. Click Personal Folders, Open Folder button.
  5. Close Outlook.
  6. Right-click the Outlook.pst file, Send To, choose drive you set up in Step 1. (If you get an error message about another process having Outlook locked, shut down other applications such as MSN Desktop Search, Yahoo! or Google Desktop Search, etc. You should also uncradle your PDA and disable all Outlook add-ins. If this doesn’t work, this article offers other solutions http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/outlookdoesntclose.htm)
  7. Now repeat the process for the Archive.pst and save it.
  8. Save this file location to your Favorites.
  9. Add this file location to any automatic backup process you’ve set up (e.g., MozyPro, external hard drive, etc.).
  10. Enjoy more peace of mind.

Back Up Outlook Signature Files. You will probably also want to back up your signature files and rules if you’ve set them up.

The path to the Signatures folder is C:Documents and SettingsyournameApplication DataMicrosoftSignatures (MozyPro keeps this folder backed up for me).

And if you’ve created any rules, you’ll want to back them up too. The only way I’ve found to do this is to export them to another file location.

  1. From the Inbox, click the Tools menu, Rules and Alerts, Email Rules tab, Options button.
  2. Export Rules and save.

Restore Outlook Using the Backup. Copy the backup file to the same folder as above. But, if you need to keep data you’ve added since the backup:

  1. Click the File menu, Import and Export, Import from another program or file, Next, Personal Folder File (.pst), Next.
  2. Browse to find the backup file you created, and choose the option Replace duplicates…).

Related Post
Which Files Should You Back Up?

Use Technology to Protect Your Small Business from Disaster

I’m a solopreneur and wouldn’t want it any other way. I love the flexibility I have and the fact that I can go hang out with my mom in DC anytime I want and not have to worry about what’s going on back in the office.

I had to think about safeguards I needed in place so I could recover from most any disaster, especially since I travel with my laptop (which is also my office). (According to government statistics, 93 percent of companies that had trouble restoring their data after a data disaster are out of business within 18 months. A solo or microenterprise could be out of business that day!)

I have peace of mind because I have taken precautions to protect my little enterprise in case of a disaster. What have you done?

  • I’m organized and you should stop and take time to do it too. If you can’t find something now, you definitely won’t be able to find it in an emergency. All files everywhere should be stored using a logical system that anyone can follow. Don’t just save files: organize everything and make the system make sense. And don’t store junk that should be deleted! To organize any files, start out with broad categories such as Accounting, Administrative, Marketing, and break them down into subcategories. Then break down the subcategories into the next broadest and so on…always keeping like subjects together. (For more help getting organized, visit my Website.)
  • All of my crucial files are automatically backed up to an online vault every day as they change. I’m using MozyPro.com to back up my laptop and external hard drive. I especially like that they have 24/7 support and they keep my files organized exactly as I have them.I’ve also developed a system that outlines which files to back up, when to do it, and where the files are stored. If I ever need to recover data, I want it to be as painless as possible. By having a logical system, I’ll be able to do it with a lot less stress. (See my post on exactly what I back up.)
  • An external hard drive in my office automatically backs up selected files several times a day (files from the My Documents folder and QuickBooks are most important).
  • My Website server is a repository for files meeting planners might need to download if they can’t get to me.
  • Crucial files are also stored on my 4GB flash drive that I always have with me.
  • Processes and procedures for running my solo enterprise are documented in a binder and also stored online.
  • All of my contacts and client files are stored in my computer (and also stored online). And everything is filed logically so anyone can find it in a hurry.
  • Computer-Internet-banking-related passwords are saved in a special file on my computer. For extra security, I listed just enough of the password for me to know which one I used…the rest of which I have memorized.
  • Precious files such as my passport, car title, copies of credit cards and driver’s license, etc., are stored in my office in a fireproof safe that’s small enough to grab and carry.
  • Business insurance covers all equipment at full replacement value. (Take digital pictures of everything, and save them on a CD, Flash Drive, etc. Keep the storage medium inside a fireproof safe that’s specifically designed for media contents. Explore your options from vendors such as Schwab Corporation.)

For more guidelines on preparing a disaster strategy for your business, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s disaster preparedness Website at Ready.gov. You should also visit the Red Cross disaster recovery page.

Now is a good time to get quiet and think about how your business would survive a catastrophe. Don’t procrastinate about setting something up any longer. You never know…

P.S. You can learn how to organize your files with my eBook, Get Organized So You Can Think! Word documents that I created that will make this easy and also a File Index to get you started are attached.

PEACE.