Low cost disaster recovery solution

What can fail will fail. It is only a matter of time. Unless you are very lucky, your laptop and desktop PC will fail during their lifespan. System can crash due to hardware failure, software conflict, virus attack, human error, and many reasons. It is not if but when will it happen.

Are you prepared for system crash?

How quick can you get the system back to normal to keep your business running?

How long can your run your business without your computer?

Backing up data regularly is not enough. Don’t forget that before you can restore the data from your backup device (tape, USB hard drive, a cloud storage provider), you have to reinstall Windows operation system, application software, user setup. That all takes time, especially if you have to customize some software application.

Why wait until your system fail before doing something? It is better to be prepared than having to react to problems. Best of all, it does not have to be complicate and expensive to protect yourself from system failure. Here is a very simple, low cost solution that can get your system up and running in no time.

What you need is a backup and system recovery software and an inexpensive USB hard drive or a NAS. I recommend Acronis Backup, O&O DiskImage Professional for individual PC, Workstation Edition if you want to install and manage multiple PC on the network.

These disaster recovery software let you create a disk image or make a clone hard drive. Whether you should create a disk image or make a clone hard drive is totally up to you. Restoring a disk image usually takes about half an hour (depending on the capacity of the hard drive). Removing the crash hard drive and replacing it with a clone hard drive takes you less than five minutes. A clone hard drive lets you bring a dead system back to life much quicker than having to restore disk image, yet, it has the following drawback.

  • You have to shut down your PC to make a clone hard drive. This means you can’t use the system while you are making a clone drive.
  • You will need ten hard drives if you want to make clone drive for ten PC. While hard drive is cheap, it does take time to manage multiple clone drives.

Here are some advantages of creating a disk image.

  • You can continue working on the PC without interruption while creating a disk image.
  • You can store multiple disk images on one USB hard drive or NAS.

What to choose between a USB hard drive and an NAS? Backup disk image to an NAS is much convenient than having to move a USB hard drive from one PC to the others, but restore a disk image from a USB drive is faster than from an NAS. If you create disk image for 2 to 3 PC, there is nothing wrong to backup to a low cost USB hard drive.

These disaster-recovery solution that include software and a USB drive cost about one hundred per PC, cost goes down with more PC. It is a low-cost  investment that will greatly reduce system and business downtime. Don’t wait till tomorrow what you can do today.