Horror Stories"My advice: Read about horror stories; don't be part of one!" - The Free Computer Consultant
Physical Computer Security Horror Stories
Learn why you can never have too many surge protectors of too high a quality The early morning hours of Monday, July 21, 2003 were forever seared into the memory of the Free Computer Consultant. Learn why as he leads you through his very own horror story caused by lightning. He also explains what you can do to prevent this from happening to you! Read more ...
Home Computer Security Horror Stories
Parents know children can be expensive. Buying them that computer they want isn't the end of that story, keep an eye on what they do with it!Those darn kids! Illegal music sharing, trying to cover their tracks of where they've been surfing, and it's not just boys. This young lady needed her computer for the start of the new fall semester of college the next day, but it hadn't been working for weeks. I wonder why? Read more ...
Home Computer Backup (or lack thereof!) Horror Stories
Why, oh why do people exhibit such blind faith in a piece of equipment they know so little about?
If you are not backing up your important data, go NOW to my page on Computer Backup; implement a backup strategy, then come back here and read the stories.
This client brought her PC to me suspecting a power supply problem; PC just would not power up one day. I asked if the data was backed up. No. Not an unexpected answer.
I tested with a new power supply and nothing. Probably a motherboard issue I told her. (Wouldn’t you think she would be getting a bit nervous at this point?) A Dell technician replaced her motherboard and the machine worked fine for 2 weeks.
Next phone call: Computer works fine, but my data is missing! “Do you have a backup?” No, and my entire home business is on that computer. “Well, bring it in to me I guess”. “Can’t you help me over the phone?” How am I supposed to fix this over the phone?
Please folks, backup your data. Otherwise just delete it so we don’t have to worry about you losing it..
Here is another one - Tape Backup Failure
This small company made quite a bit of money. The accoutant for the firm kept a variety of financial data on a workstation; the company had no centralized server. The PC was "protected" by a Travan tape backup device.
Due to poor (or actually, nonexistent user training), data was lost. I was hired to restore the data. Someone else had setup the automatic backup and the accountant was instructed to change tapes daily (even though she knew nothing about computers, tape drives, or backups).
So for about 2 years she had been using the same set of 5 tapes labeled Mon - Fri. Never cleaned the drive, never bought new tapes, never made any verification whatsoever to determine if daily backups were successful. (Again, this is a training issue.)
I went to do the restore. (I cleaned the drive first.) I asked for the most recent tape backup, yesterday's. I put the tape in the drive and the drive never quit trying to retension the tape - for about 20 minutes (tape is getting hot at this point). That ain't gonna work.
Next tape. After a few minutes the software reported "no data" on the tape.
Next tape. It had been run off the end of the spool and no one noticed. I put it back on just to see how old the data was - it was old.
Next tape. Retensioned for over 20 minutes, until it was so how it about melted and I took it out. Ain't gonna work either.
Last tape. It worked. It was about 4 days old, but it was what we had.
So that's at least an 80% failure rate there; and way too close for comfort to complete failure
My advice? Do be part of the wrong end of the statistics. If you don't know how to backup, find out. You can start here: Computer Backup
Return from Horror Stories to Free Computer Consultant Home