Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't Lose your Docs!

FACT:   ALL Computer Hard Drives WILL DIE - and along with its data.

It's not a question of if, it’s a question of when.
What will happen when your company computer crashes?
What Documents will you lose?

FACT:   The average computer user (in a business) has > 50% of their important data / docs saved on their LOCAL PC.

Thus, when your computer crashes (say a hard drive failure) you are likely to LOSE half of your important files!

If you OK with this, stop reading. 
If you have a problem with this then TAKE NOTE.

I believe this is a real area of concern, and action should be taken to rectify.

I hear SO MANY times:
"If it's not broke don't fix it"  -- Right?              

Sometimes this does apply - BUT in the world of IT - this is WRONG.
I believe, often time it's what you don’t know, that you don’t know, that can really come back and hurt.

You may say, "oh I have a server, and I save all my files there".  While this hopefully is true, for most business they are doing nothing to save all your LOCAL documents. The stuff in 'My Documents', 'My Pictures', etc.

This is especially true if you’re using a laptop.

When you create a new Word doc or Excel file or pretty much any new file and just click 'save', do you know where it goes? By default it will go to your LOCAL computer.

And by default, your LOCAL computer files are NOT BACKED UP!  If you think they are, ask your IT Provider to show / prove they are.

So how do you protect your LOCAL Docs?

The Solution:      Document Redirection.

Document Redirection is not new. It’s a standard feature built into almost all computers and servers in use today. It's just that most don’t use it.

Document Redirection is rather intuitive. Your LOCAL documents in the 'My Documents' folder are redirected to a private folder on the server. In other words, your My Documents are actually on the server. Your LOCAL computer has a sync’d set of these files. Any new files or changes are automatically sync’d live to the server. All in the background without any special action. 

In this manner, when your computer completely fails; I could install a new computer, setup the Document Redirection and WHAM BAM all your My Documents are back :)

This is 100% FREE technology. Your IT Provider just has to care enough about your company and your data to setup and maintain it.

Yes like any other time you use technology as a solution, you are adding some complexity. Thus, adding some additional IT Maintenance is needed. For an experienced IT Provider this should be easily incorporated into their existing IT Maintenance Program.

For all our clients that enroll in the DataCare Program, Document Redirection is automatically configured by us when a computer or user is setup. And all DataCare Clients Document Redirection data is also included in the routine server backups.

Essentially our clients have a double backup of their LOCAL data, opposed to most business who plan to LOSE their LOCAL data.

(hopefully you are replacing your computer before it fails. Read more here)

Quick Side note:   It is very common for users to save / download files to their LOCAL desktop.  This is a bad practice. Although there are methods to sync / backup the desktop, they are cumbersome and sticky, thus LOCAL desktop items are NOT protected.

The rule of thumb is 'if it’s on your desktop, be willing to lose it'.

We strongly encourage everyone to save to a Server or your 'My Documents' protected by Document Redirection.

If you want to be Protected and Secure, contact me.
Mention this blog post and I will give you a Data Protection / Backup Evaluation FREE.

Happy Clicking!

Nathan DeSutter
IT Consultant


  1. This made me heppy! So many things people are not aware of and wham bam here it all is simply put! Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  2. Fault-tolerance. Simply that.

    If I were to set up a business, I would use cloud computing. Every program you ever run is on the cloud. Every document you save, edit, delete, is on the cloud. There is no need to every worry about your computer crashing, as the server would have to crash for your computer to crash.

    @Nathan, what are your feelings on cloud computing for businesses?