Prof. Johnson teaches Data and Knowledge Management

Backup plan


This Onion video pokes fun at our dependence on the Internet as well as most people’s lack of computer backups.

If your primary personal or work computer crashed, how easily could you pick up the pieces? Would you be able to get back to work easily? What’s your backup plan?

24 Responses to Backup plan

  • I had two encounters till now with the computer crashes
    1)My personal computer Hard Disk crashed: I had all my important collections in that.I thought all data would be lost. But soon i removed my Hard drive connected to my friends system booted the friends system from his HD and used some software to get my data, i could recover almost all my data and formatted my HD and then installed it the OS. back to play 😉
    My continuity plan from this incident is I got myself a portable HD and saved some important data in it and further backup for videos and photos I uploaded to my Picasa and other online storage sites, documents in gmail.

    2)With my work computer: My work computer never crashed but a common system which hosted the data storage of all the projects in my account crashed which is used for the version control system.There existed a practice which takes back up in the disks every two weeks. But when the system crashed restoration took 2 weeks and the disks did not work properly and resulted in the loss of historical data beyond one month from the crash time.
    Seriously did not understand what to do when the backup itself has failed. This raised questions on the data back up plan and the quality of the disks which are used for the backup.

  • My work computer had not crashed on me yet. But, if it did I’m pretty sure it’s going to be ok because we have a great IT department. I agreed with Venkata, a portable hard drive is very useful. My personal computer crashed once when I caught a virus from an attachment, but luckily, I have an external hard drive that stores all my personal data. However, I really need to backup those files more regularly so it will be easier for me to continue what I been working on. So, a good backup plan would be to backup your files at least weekly so if anything happens to your computer you will only be a week behind or if you need to save anything important, save it to a thumb drive instead of your hard drive. Also, it’s a good idea to get security updates, definitions, and scan your computer weekly for any virus or bugs.

  • Luckily, I have not encountered any crashes related to work or personal computers. I have most of my documents, photos and important files stored on a jump drive as a backup for my personal computer. As for my work laptop, all of my documents and files, etc. are stored on a network drive that is accessible via any PC at work. For both personal and work, I will sometimes email myself files or documets as a backup as well. Overall, I would be able to retrieve my work back rather easily, as long as I remember to consistently update and save to my jump drive (personal) and network drive (work).

  • I have had an experience with a personal computer crush ones. I thought I lost everything I had but I took it to a computer technician and was able to recover my files from the hard drive; and that computer was useless after that. And since that unfortunate incident though, I learned my lesson and time-to-time I buy external storage devices: jump or external hard drives. For storage space saving purpose, I ZIP important files and save them on these devices or even email them to myself.

    As far as my work computer is concerned, I never had any problem so far. But if I ever did, I am sure that my company has a good backed-up so we will be operational in matter of times.

    In a case of a personal or work computer crush, I don’t think I would have any problem getting back to my work. However, since everything information is saved on computers, there could be some delays until the matter is being resolved.

  • I have never had a computer crash on me but if that did happen I would be able to get back to work easily. My work computer has everything saved on to severs, if my computer crashes all of the files will be unharmed, all I will need is a new computer and I will be able to log in and use the files normally. As far as my personal computer goes I do save all of my important files to my computer, also a USB drive that I keep as a backup, and lastly I save really important information in an email form through attachments to my Comcast account in case I lose the USB drive, so if something were to happen to my personal computer it would not become a problem either.

  • I have had many crashes with computers and finally I learned that I should have backed up my data in a cd every 6 months or so.
    I used to download vietnamese songs and korean movies from website. My computer got so many virus and I did not know. One day, the screen just turned off itself and I lost all my data.At that time, I only needed one hope to get my computer back on even just only one time to get all my data saved. Luckily, I had it turned on. I was able to save all my data. Then it crashed again. I had to have technical people fix the computer for me.
    I learned to save all my files in CD every 6 months or so so that later on if something happens to my computer then I will be able to load my files back on again.

  • Unfortunately, I had a personal computer crashed. However, I did not lose my files because Greek Squad for a fee could retrieve files from the computer. I did not have a computer for a week then I purchased a laptop. It took Dell almost a month to repair and return my computer back to me. As a result, of my computer crashing, I now back my files up on a thumb drive and I also backup my files through my antiviral protection plan.

  • Very interesting video!!! Fortunately, I have not had a PC crash on me.. but I know my husband’s home PC crashed once and he lost everything on his PC… it was very frustrtating and we lost some old pictures.. so lost some good memories with this disaster…

    At work, we had a huge power outage… you don’t think these things happen at huge healthcare organizations, but it does. We had a fire in the IS area where they kept servers which affected the clinical systems mainly.. so our “computerized physician order entry” (CPOE) system was completely down for hours!!! The clinicians had a very difficult time going back to the “paper” orders… they got so used to the automated way of CPOE, they had to look up medication information in the formulary. If negatively impacted workflow and productivity… We realized our downtime papers had not been updated… so in a nutshell, a lot of lessons learned… and Penn is much better prepared for disasters like this now…

  • My husband manages our home computer and has devised a back-up plan. Our home computer has 2 hard drives with a partition. Data is saved to a drive which is smaller and on a regular basis this data is backed-up to CDs. This is done a routine basis consistently as my husband is an engineer and is very diligent with this process. The process is not full-proof as we do not maintain back-up CDs off-site. If the PC crashed and the CDs were damaged or lost, we would be unable to recover.
    Our daughter’s laptop crashed over the summer while she was at college. Fortunately, she periodically saved her files to a drive which resided on the University’s network. There were some files created in a 2-3 week period that were not saved to this drive on the network. Through a miraculous effort, the files on the hard drive of the laptop were retrieved via the use of DOS commands.
    In terms of my current work environment, the mechanism for back-up varies by application, type of hardware, system requirements, operating system etc. A few back-up strategies include; back-up to disk, creation of a back-up system in another location that replicates the production environment, and creation of a redundant system for storage of images.(this is how the EHR is backed up). In any case, there are processes in place that back-up every system and allow for recovery if needed.

  • I use my laptop for work and school and my work files are on the work server. My personal files I keep on a seperate disc and blackboards backpack in case something was to happen to the laptop. I would be able to recover fairly easy if it were to crash. I have a habit of emailing important documents to myself as well. In the case of my work files I do not know I.S disaster plan if the server crashed. I do know the server is backed up every evening and I have had files recovered in which I have deleted by mistake.

  • This is an interesting topic for me because I’m currently in the process of upgrading the backup system at work to include personal machines into the back up scheme. This is time consuming to set up and requires a lot more storage space, but necessary. As much as we ask users to save important documents to the network drives, data ultimately is saved locally and is lost if a hard drive crashes or if accidentally deleted. Like some of my classmates, I am a firm believer in saving files to the network drives. So in the event of a computer crash at work, I am covered, except for the work I’ve saved that day to my local hard drive. It would be fairly easy to restore the contents of my hard drive from back up.

    My home computers would be another story completely. I use online storage provided by Temple called Backpack, which is available to all students, to back up my school related files (when I remember). I also have some of my data saved to multiple computers, so I could recover some data from another computer if one crashes. Otherwise, in the event of a crash, I would be in very bad shape because I don’t have a back up or recovery plan set up at home.

  • The hospital performs a back up of the entire network nightly. I have finally transitioned to only saving all work documents on the network and no longer utilize my “C” drive. This has not completely eliminated all problems. There have been situations when a system crashed during the day and the transactions entered during the course of the day (since the nightly back up) were lost and had to be re-entered. I totally enjoyed the video and thought it was hysterical but it also brought to light that I need to back up my personal computer. I have an imac and, as a result, have been a little cocky about it’s security. This blog opened my eyes to the fact that I need a back up, particularly for my photographs, which would represent a SIGNIFICANT loss. As soon as this semester is over…..

  • With work, I’m actually pretty good about backing up all my stuff. I try to save at least 2 copies of all important documents, one on the network drive/sharepoint and one on my hard drive. I even carry a small usb drive for certain things that I need to carry between work and home.

    With my home computer, I’m a lot more lax with my data backup and I think it’s because I don’t really value anything on my computer too much. The only things I really don’t want to lose are my pictures and I tend to burn them to dvd every once in a while. However, if my computer crashed tomorrow, I would probably lose most of my stuff, but I really don’t mind. I’m on my home computer right now and there is nothing on here that I can’t replace. All my bookmarks are on the Google Toolbar, email is on webmail. I have a whole bunch of media downloaded throughout the years, but that can be replaced. The truth is, if I lost my home computer, I would lose a lot of sentimental stuff, but nothing that would stop me from working. I can probably install an OS and all my productivity apps and be back up and running in a afternoon. If I really put some effort into it, maybe I could do some sort of nightly backups, but I just can’t justify the time and expense at the moment.

  • My computer always crashes as I am doing too many things at once; I like to multi-task. I also have times when I lose data, but this is due to viruses and etc. I think it is important to separate these two items. The man in the video was doing too many things at once and he merely lost the things that he was working on using the web; similar to if I was typing my blog response in this window and my computer crashed, I would only have lost the text I entered on the screen and not other data.

    I think it is relatively easy to back up data and restore personal systems of any type within hours or even minutes, all depending on the money you are willing to invest in such technologies. If your computer crashes, you can use ghost imaging software to take a snapshot of your computer and use this to restore your machine and all it’s data less than 30 minutes. If I did this manually, all I would need is the Operating System disk, the data that I back up on my external hard drive, separate CDs for applications I installed separately and configure my computer the way I had it prior to the crash.

    Also, people must be reminded that if data is stored somewhere and somehow, there is a way to get that data out. For instance with the blog issue, there are ways to obtain physical code files of your blog so that if there are any issues, you can use that file to reload any data you had on the blog.

    People just need to know how to get their data and back it up on a cd, external hard drive, thumb drive, online file storage, etc. and not depend too much on the companies that host their data.

  • Fortunately, I have not had my personal nor my work computer crash on me. If my personal computer were to crash it would be very difficult me to pick of the pieces. I have numerous work, school, and miscellaneous files (web receipts, photos, etc.) stored on my personal computer but only a fraction of these files are backed up. I love to take photos and currently there are close to 20,000 photos most of which are not backed up. So I do not even want to think about losing all these photos. I know I need to invest in an external hard drive and currently searching for one. Can anyone recommend a reliable external hard drive for me?

    If my work computer crashed it would be fairly easy to pick up the pieces since most of our work is performed on shared drives and online systems. The only loss would be those personal files saved to my hard drive or desktop.

  • Windows on my computer crashed. Unfortunately many files were lost. The worst part was losing pictures which were stored on the computer. My wife was desperately trying to recover the pictures but the Windows just didn’t want to start. I was able to save some of the files in the safe mode. But since the pictures were stored in one of the applications, they were lost forever. As of now I only have a backup plan for my documents which I copy on flash drive but when it comes to information stored on applications only a few of those can be saved on flash drive.

  • My computer crashed about a month ago. It was odd because Microsoft Office was missing, so was my ITunes and most of the folders in the Windows “All Programs”. When I reinstalled Microsoft Office, somehow I was able to get all my documents back. I do back up my work sometimes but I really should start doing it more often.

    My laptop crashed quite a few times in the past but I was always able to get my work back from saving it to “My Documents” folder on the server. Everyone’s sign on the network automatically has their “MY Documents” folder which is mapped to a private folder that they can only access on one of the servers. All the users are instructed to save critical documents there; the servers are backed up nightly. All data on applications like SmartChart, Invision, and Soarian are stored on servers at Siemens and is backed up by their staff on a daily basis.

  • Last summer my personal computer crashed resulting in losing majority of all documents. I thought about buying a back up hard drive but never thought of it once I started using my laptop. Most of my school work I backed up on TuPortal’s Backpack storage. This way I can access my work for school from any location I log on to. I do plan to invest in a hard drive for my new laptop so none of my personal items will be lost. As far as work, I know we have backup servers which can allow work to continue from another server if it crashes. Otherwise, I pray my facility has the proper back up plans in store for any possible disasters.

    This video made me realize how dependent we have become on computers.

  • If my work computer crashed, it wouldn’t be an issue restoring the majority of my files. On all the corporate laptops we have a backup tool that runs periodically throughout the day, backing up files. The only exceptions to the backups are the files that we store on our hard drive, i.e C drive, as well as certain software that has to be reinstalled.

    The company policy is to save all documents to the shared drive, which gets backed up. I have on one occasion saved personal documents to my C drive, and when my computer crashed, I lost them. Luckily, the documents were easy to recreate. As far as the different tools that I have installed, some can be copied from a backup, while others have to be reinstalled. The ones that have to be reinstalled usually require some type of license for usage. Although this can be a tedious process, it is crucial for me in order to perform my job.

    Computer backups are important whether you’re backing up professional or personal files. Without regular backups, you run the risk of losing data and causing business to come to a halt or the disappointment of losing irreplaceable files such as pictures.

  • All of the clients that I worked with when implementing SoftMed applications for hospitals would either purchase redundant servers and/or conduct nightly backups. I experienced a couple of client live system crashes during my time there and in all cases we were able to assist the client by restoring the system quickly with the back up from the night before.
    In my last position I saved all my work to the network therefore I was never concerned about losing information except for a few programs that could easily be reinstalled. My personal computer is managed by my husband. As far as I know he does not have a backup plan in place if it were to crash so I will encourage him to implement one asap. I think it is safe to say we will make the effort to back up what is really important to us.

  • I agree, I have to back up my computer ASAP. I don’t want to lose any information from my personal computer. Also, my facility does backups/upgrades at night too. I’m not sure if there has ever been a time when information was lost.

  • I have had the misfortune of experiencing a hard drive crash. Fortunately, I was able to recover all of my data, but only after I lost a night of sleep over the issue. Given the amount of data, information and knowledge I access on my computer on a daily basis, I ensure I utilize all precautions now to recover my hard drive if it should go down again. I now have two external drives – one is used to back up my PC hard drive, and the second external hard drive is used to back up the first external drive in case there is an unexpected problem or misplacement of my first back up drive. It only took one loss of my hard drive for me to realize another loss could disrupt almost everything I do to manage my life everyday.

  • I believe that I will be able to survive if my PC crashed with minimal data loss.
    All my mailboxes are in the cloud (TuMail/Gmail, or my company’s data center). Certain documents are saved to a network location or sent by email.

    I try at least once a quarter to take a backup of my laptop content to a DVD (including my mailbox). Having said that, I never had to go back and retrieve anything.

    I think email services such as gmail and other online web sites that allow us to store Gigs of data for pennies are a paradigm change in the backup software market for individuals and small companies.

  • I have not had a PC crash at my job. However, I depend on my computer as my information source at work. It would takes months to reconstruct the essential data I used daily.

    At home I lost my computerized address book once and that was diffucult to reconstruct because I no paper address book to compare it to.