Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Props to Backup Love

It's very unfortunate when our beloved computers/laptops get viruses. MyOwnPlace's blog provides a post with fabulous steps to take to create a back-up.

Last weekend, DH was randomly surfing on my beloved Dell Laptop and acquired a pesky virus. It got into the operating system and wiped out the restore points and evaded any of the malware or adaware virus scanners that I used to get rid of it. My bad for not having a backup, so it took a few days and lots of loading and copying stuff back and forth between hard drives to get it fixed. I am happy to report that it is once again clean and functional. I thought I would take this opportunity to share my experience with you so you can avoid the grief of losing a laptop.

* Do you have your computer backed up onto an external hard drive? I'm betting not, most people don't. The tricky thing is to have a backup image of say a 40GB hard drive is that you need at least that much available space on another drive somewhere. I lucked out in that I had replaced my 40GB laptop drive back in January 2008, with a new 80GB hard drive. I still had the 40 GB sitting around as a backup.

* Do you let people use your computer who surf, or porn or other games, or download stuff to play with? Do you let people use your computer who don't really know when they've just got a virus? If you do, you need to set up another user profile for them to use. Just go to control panel, click users, and set up a user for them WITHOUT administrator rights. This way if they screw up and get viruses, you can just delete the profile. Their profile won't let them download programs and install software that will affect the operating system of your computer.
Do you have a recent RESTORE POINT on your computer you can go back to if you get a virus? You can set one up before you are going to do something that may be risky for your PC, and if it screws something up, you can just go back to your restore point. Just go to Start button, click Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore. It will show you the most recent restore point, but you can go back farther if you're not sure when your PC was infected.

* Do you have a bootable software program like Acronis True Image that will allow you to re-image or recover your backup onto your hard drive? They are inexpensive programs and you can often get them for free after rebate from Staples, Office Depot or other office supply retailer like Amazon. This is the software I used on my laptop. I had to re-insert my old 40 GB drive in the laptop, boot up the Acronis CD and then it imaged my 40 GB onto the 300 GB external hard drive I had plugged into the laptop via USB. Then I just removed the good 40GB drive, replaced it with the bad 80GB, and re--imaged the copy from the external drive onto the 80GB. It was good to go, except it needed 70 Windows Updates from the last 2 years to get XP up to date. I also had to reinstall my new printers since then.

All these are critical to recovering your computer after an infection. Don't you love your computer, don't you want to keep it healthy and treat it well when its sick?

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