Tag Archives: data loss

Consumer Statistics Survey – 50% Of Computer Users Lost Data In 2010

imageAccording to a survey conducted online by ConsumerStatistics, between December 1, 2010 and December 4, 2010 – most of us are concerned, to some extent, about the loss of family photos stored on our computers. It seems the “concern”, is more than justified.

Of the 6,149 people in 128 countries who participated in the ConsumerStatistics study, 67 per cent reported having experienced the loss of digital photos, and additional files, through a Hard Drive failure, accidental deletion, a malware attack, theft, or exposure to a natural disaster including fire, flood, and so on. I found it most surprising, that just under 52 percent reported the loss of  irreplaceable data within the last year.

Survey methodology:

Survey conducted online between 12-01-2010 and 12-04-2010.

Survey methods include: Email, focus groups, surveys, social media.

Here’s a sample question from the survey: How often do you backup your home PC?

backup frequency

Survey Highlights:

89.1% of home PC users do not perform regular backups.

67.1% of home PC users have lost pictures and files on their home PC. 51.4.% within the last year.

69.2% of home PC users are most worried about losing their digital pictures.

Survey Summary:

The survey conducted found that people do neglect doing proper backups for their home PCs, and put their valuable data at unnecessary risk.

Over 89% of the respondents do not perform regular backups, and of these people, 76.6% have suffered from data loss. Yet, 91.3% of respondents surveyed believe that backups are important.

As a technologist, the survey stats are not a all surprising – data loss is inevitable; and it happens much more frequently than an average computer user might suspect.

As regular readers of this site are aware, there is a cornucopia of free backup solutions, readily available for download on the Internet, which range from the uncomplicated and easy to use, to the more complex specialty solutions designed for power users.

A good example of a simple backup solution can be found in this article –

Free EASEUS Todo Backup – Easy Backup For The Rest Of Us, posted here January 7, 2010. Additionally, a site search here for “backup solutions”, will return 20+ articles on free desktop and online backup applications.

Failure to mitigate the risks associated with the lack of regular backup, defies common sense. Experience tells me that you will experience data loss. Recovery of that data, while not entirely painless, will be possible – if you have prepared for the inevitable.

The ConsumerStatistics study makes for interesting reading, and I encourage you to read the full results here.

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Filed under Backup Applications, downloads, Free Backup Applications, Freeware, Online Backup, Reports, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

A Tech Discloses What’s Really Inside Your Mega Hard Drive

One of my favorite computer technicians, Dave Brooks, reveals what’s really inside that mega Hard Drive you were thinking of buying.

image Numerous articles have appeared here on Bill’s blog about how important data backup is. This article will not discuss the why’s; it will discuss an issue which I feel is a trend in the external enclosure industry, a very bad trend, and not always disclosed in a products description.

When shopping for an external hard drive for backup purposes, you need to be aware of the following issue.

The average consumer would think that when buying a 1 or 2TB external hard drive,  the enclosure contains a 1 or 2 TB hard drive, but that isn’t so on some Lacie and some other manufacturers’ enclosures.

They may actually contain 2 physical hard drives, half the size of the total capacity, set up in a striped RAID array. With the electronics inside the enclosure controlling the drives, your system will see a 2TB drive, but the enclosure actually contains 2 1TB drives.

The problem with these is, if one of the 2 drives fail, all your data is lost if the electronics board in the enclosure fails all of your data is lost. In a normal single disk enclosure it’s usually possible to remove the drive from the enclosure to get data off of it, if the enclosure electronics or power supply fails.

This striped array method is absolutely the worst way to store important data, as it doubles the possibility of hard drive failure and data loss. Any IT person worth his salt will never recommend this setup for storing critical data (unless there is a backup of the backup done on a regular basis).

I’ve had 2 customers with Lacie enclosures set up this way. One had the electronics board in the enclosure fail, and data recovery was not possible via any methods I had -even going so far as to use a Linux box and data recovery software designed to reassemble RAID disks into a single image. The only option was to send the drives to a data recovery specialist at the cost of hundreds to even thousands of dollars.

The second customer had one of the drives fail (multiple bad blocks), and believe it or not, this is actually the better failure scenario, as I was able to repair the drive to get it working in the enclosure.

The recovery of almost 1Tb of data was successful – he got lucky, and saved a bunch of money as I don’t charge anywhere near what professional data recovery companies do, but they have techniques and equipment I can only dream about 🙂

The place for this type of RAID setup is when higher performance is desired. A striped array of two 500GB drives (that gives 1TB of useable storage) is faster than a single 1TB drive. I use this setup in my gaming PC, but it must be backed up on a regular basis.

Just keep this info in mind when shopping for that next external backup drive!

Guest Writer: This is a guest post by Dave Brooks a professional computer technician from New Hampshire, USA. Dave has become a regular guest writer, who’s articles are always a huge hit.

Pay a visit to Dave’s site at Tech-N-Go, and checkout the Security Alerts.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Backup Tools, Guest Writers, Technicians Advise, Windows Tips and Tools