When it comes to working online it sure is great & all but there’s one thing we kinda end up taking for granted… Which is the fact that we expect to just switch our PC on (or laptop) & for it work every time…
But sometimes, like I just recently found out – it doesn’t quite work as hoped… So what do you do when your computer breaks down? And in the case of a hard-drive failure (like mine) what steps can you take to minimize the risk & avoid data loss?
As I’ve come to discover over the years data-loss prevention is VERY important… And thankfully I had measures already in place, but if I didn’t it could have been tragic…So don’t wait until tragedy strikes – instead read this post now & make sure you have everything setup in case the dreaded happens to you too (which hopefully it doesn’t!).
Preventing Your Computer From Breaking Down
Obviously the ideal situation is for our computer to simply not break down in the first place. We want our computers to keep running as smoothly as possible for as long as possible, especially if like me you rely on them for your work.
So what can you do to prevent your computer from breaking down?
Well going back to my example, the hard-drive failed – and I would say out of all the problems you might face on your PC, this is probably the likeliest to happen.
I read somewhere online that the chance of a (HDD) hard-drive failing is around 5%, which doesn’t seem all that high – but out of all of the hard-drives produced that means there are a staggering number out there “ready to fail”… And essentially the way I see it is that you stand a 50/50 chance of your hard drive failing.
It’s either gonna fail on you or it isn’t!
So what can you do to prevent a hard-drive failure?
Well to prevent the failure of the drive itself, sadly not a lot – if it’s going to fail then it WILL fail… However there is a MAJOR step you can take to reduce the chances of it happening & that is to switch to an SSD rather than a HDD.
Honestly, if you don’t have an SSD drive already then get an SSD now. Looking back knowing what I know now I wish I had switched to SSD a long time ago…
Why? Well not only are SSD drives WAY faster but they’re also way more secure. There’s no moving parts to them whatsoever so they stand less of breaking & on top of that they cost less to run too.
The downside is that SSD’s are more expensive than HDD’s – around 4x the cost for the same size storage space, however there is a cheat you can use to get a “cheap” SSD.
The cheat is to buy a smaller storage SSD to run your operating system from (and important files), and a HDD for your other files. This way you can get the benefits of an SSD at low cost, and you can get a cheap large-storage HDD for the bigger stuff that you might want to store as well.
Might sound like overkill, but trust me you will be kicking yourself if ever your hard-drive packs in & you didn’t take action on the advice. Plus, having 2 drives is a much better idea because in the instance of a failure it means you are not without a PC – you can simply migrate & run your OS from the other drive in the meantime.
But What Do You Do If Your Computer DOES Break Down?
Well thankfully *touch wood* I did not lose any files – but that is down to some preparation & prior planning. I actually have an external hard-drive running as a backup which mirrors my entire file structure, and I also have a network of private dedicated webservers – all with a RAID backup setup in operation too, so that I can access my files even if I lose them whilst away.
I could use the cloud, but I’m a guy that doesn’t like the cloud. I like to be in control of my data & know exactly where it’s being stored – as you probably should too.
Is that overkill? Yes it probably is – but as a developer who’s written thousands upon thousands of files of code, it’s safe to say I’d rather run with “overkill” than “whoops I’ve lost all my years of hard work”.
Anyway, the good news is that you don’t have to do all of that – but you should as a bare minimum at least have a hard drive that mirrors a copy of all your files, just in case.
You can pick up a 1TB+ external hard drive cheap as heck now so there’s really no excuse… And whilst it may seem like an unnecessary spend, trust me if you care about any of your data (even if it’s just your selfies that you don’t want to lose) it’s definitely a worthwhile investment considering that it will serve you for years.
On top of that – it may not be your hard-drive that fails… It could be the RAM, or more drastically it could be the processor – but ultimately it could be anything. As a result you should have another machine spare too (if like me you depend on it for your work).
Sadly this is where I’ve fell down – I do have another machine spare, I actually have 4 machines spare… (overkill again I know)… But stupidly I don’t have any spares with enough power to run the appropriate software to manage my businesses.
Thankfully I have some affiliate marketing businesses which generate me a passive income even if work is discontinued for a period of time – but sadly some of my businesses are not quite so passive, which means I’ve took a hit!
That means currently I’m having to resort to “odd jobs”, as I type this post on my laptop in a bid to encourage you (if like me you rely on your computer for your work) to create a proper disaster plan.
You NEED a disaster plan if you work from your PC, and as I’ve discovered you need a plan that covers all avenues & enables you to keep working without hiccup.
All in all my PC will have been out of action for at least 5 days at the time I was most busiest (typical), so that is a huge impact – and therefore your disaster plan must assume that the disaster will strike at the busiest/most critical time.
So if like me you also work online or rely on your computer for whatever reason, honestly I urge you to create a disaster plan ASAP & put procedures in place to make sure you do not end up stuck in a similar situation.
Create your plan as extreme or as minimal as you like, but put measures into place so that you will not lose data – and so that you will not lose productivity.
The latter is where I have failed this time, and you can bet I will be making sure it does not happen again…
Glad To Get Back on Track
My PC still hasn’t been repaired, but I can tell you that when I do get it back I’ll be extremely glad to get back on track & there are a good couple of reasons for that.
Firstly, I’ll be away on vacation pretty much the whole of January – so I was hoping to get some preparation sorted in advance of that (which seems to have completely gone out of the window now)… But on top of that I’ve been working on some AWESOME projects that’ll be set to launch in 2019.
Honestly I’ve been so excited working on these projects & I know they’re going to create waves when they’re launched so I’m really looking forward to what’s to come – and to be honest you should be too 😉
I’ll keep you updated on the progress as & when some progress reports are ready, but there’s a LOT of work going into them behind the scenes. In the meantime though as above you need to get yourself to work & get that diaster plan put together if you haven’t done so already! Or at the very least get yourself an SSD to replace your current HDD 🙂
Have you ever suffered from a broken down PC in the past? Do you have any questions about what I’ve written above? Be sure to leave any comments below.