I had planned another topic but yesterday’s events at my office led to a change.
When I walked into the office in the morning one of my uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) was beeping. I pressed the button on the UPS and immediately heard a pop and saw a spark from my computer. The burning smell was not pleasant.
Of course I immediately unplugged the computer and the UPS and then started to think about how I was going to work that day. Fortunately I have a laptop that I was able to pull out and use. I did need to install a few applications but I could still get to the data on my server.
My afternoon was not much better when my assistants computer crashed and could not be restarted. I ended up reinstalling Windows XP and our other programs on that computer. Again, no data was lost, just time.
In our office all the data is stored on the server and backups are done automatically to a portable hard drive. We also have online backup so copies of everything are stored off site.
When the computers crashed I knew that at least my data was safe.
Think about your office. If your computer crashed would you be able to get to your data? How would you work? My laptop was a blessing in that I continued to have a computer that I could use. I miss my dual monitors, but at least I can work.
The one change I should implement is setting up a backup image. This would allow me to get my computer back up and running more quickly when there is a major event or windows needs to be reinstalled. Programs like Acronis True Image offer this capability and should be part of most backup plans.
It’s also important to know where your CDs are and any installation codes you might need if you have to reinstall.
The old adage about needing a backup , “it’s not if, but when”, was especially true for my office yesterday. Fortunately we were prepared and so we were inconvenienced but not out of work.
It’s also important to have uninterruptable power supply on all computer equipment and surge protectors on lesser items. Make sure to check the UPS regularly. Most manufacturers have information on this. My understanding is that surge protectors should be replaced every three years or after a significant event. I contacted the manufacturer of the uninterruptable power supply and they are sending me a replacement unit. Most manufacturers of UPS units will help with this and in my case APC was extremely helpful.

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