Backup And Storage Options We Should All Consider

Data backup and storage are critical. Most of the time, we overlook them. In worst-case scenarios, we might even ignore and disregard them.

Only when a disaster strikes, do we find ourselves saying, “We should have backed up!” That should never be the case. Regret is never going to get us anywhere.

While data backup and storage probably aren’t the first things that come to mind when looking at your IT strategy for 2019, business owners should understand that they are part of your technology foundation and could be key to your success this year. Storage, for example, is the vital base for your cloud and data center, and backup capabilities are a requirement in today’s interconnected world.


These days, natural disasters aren’t the only threats to the workplace. Unfortunately, there are now more as compared to before. While technology has made it easier for businesses, it has also made it more vulnerable to data loss and theft.

We read about it nearly every day: Cyber attacks against businesses of all sizes are on the rise and doing more damage than ever. But there are also physical threats your data faces, too. A fire, flood or other natural disaster can wreak havoc on your data and make recovery virtually impossible unless you have a backup plan in place. What is your business doing to protect your data?


Data protection is, no doubt, a priority. That’s the reason why data backup and storage are critical, not just in the workplace, but everywhere.

As computer users, we should all think about data protection. We should never, never overlook data backup and storage.

Here are three options for quick and reliable data backup and storage. The first of which requires us to make use of appliances and automation.

The days of tape and manual backup should be a thing of the past by now. Rather than leave it to chance that employees remember to engage the backup, there are many great solutions out there with complete automation.

The trend is now on appliance-based backup with geo redundant cloud storage. Solutions like this offer automatic backups to ensure you can restore cloud data no matter what happens to it, from malicious attacks to forgetful or careless employees. Everything is backed up to numerous data centers and anything can be restored, preventing data loss and downtime.

For instance, let’s say something happens to your entire infrastructure, such as a flood or fire in your building. Because of scheduled, automated daily backups, all your data is housed on servers in separate geo locations. This also means your employees could work remotely, as those servers in either data center could be turned on immediately.

Such appliances allow companies to maintain control of business data — no matter what happens — while enjoying the scalability, cost-effectiveness and flexibility of SaaS solutions.


The second option is to make use of the cloud for data backup and storage.

If a backup appliance is not what you are looking for, then another great solution is Veeam Cloud Mobility. It provides easy portability and recovery of any on-premises or cloud-based workloads to AWS, Azure and Azure Stack. In just two easy steps, you can maintain business continuity and availability across cloud environments. The benefits of going this route is that it does not require an additional hardware appliance, but keep in mind it does require additional resources on the VM that’s running it. However, you have better control of the resources deployed when a restore is required.

Data  portability is critical  for organizations that want to maintain speed and control of their multi-cloud environment. Veeam can provide fast, flexible and reliable recovery of virtualized applications and data and deliver an agentless backup solution built for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments. Other benefits include agentless backups, deduplication and compression, and inexpensive offsite backups. Tools like these can help businesses leverage the growing demand for modern data protection and equip them with the tools needed to reduce expenses, mitigate risk and fully realize the promise of virtualization.


The third option is to make use of flash drives.

With continued evolution that is giving it many advantages over hard disk drives (HDDs), flash solid-state drives (SSDs) are becoming increasingly critical in the memory and storage hierarchy of systems. Used onsite, in a cloud environment or as part of a hybrid system architecture, flash has numerous benefits in terms of speed and efficiency.

Today, thanks to its growing sophistication, flash can deliver information in real time (or near real time) and has distinct advantages over HDDs in terms of power and cost of ownership.

As prices continue to fall and improvements in SSD performance continue to evolve, the all-flash array has become a viable contender to replace the traditional HDD infrastructure. In 2019, look for flash to become an even stronger player and gain more credibility as an HDD alternative.


These three options are very reliable but if we’re really looking at data protection, we need to do more than just rely on our backups and storage.

Our computer hard drive can fail us anytime. Sure, we can always rely on our backups but we also need to make sure that our data from our computer hard drive are safely and securely recovered by experts. This is where the Hard Drive Recovery Group comes in. We can rely on them for services. That way, our data from our failed hard drive are not just recovered but are safe as well.

The following blog post Backup And Storage Options We Should All Consider is republished from The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog



Data Recovery Services Company Discusses External Hard Drives And Cloud Backup In New Blog Posts

Hard Drive Recovery Group provides four new external hard drive troubleshooting tips and discusses cloud backup provider BackBlaze’s latest hard drive reliability report in its latest blog posts. The company publishes blog posts twice weekly about hard drives, data recovery and data safety.

External hard drives, while not new, are one of the most popular forms of data storage available today. Lower prices continue to influence buyers of the drives, which tend to connect and power themselves using a USB 3.0 port. Although these devices are often advertised as “plug-and-play”, they do often malfunction, the reason behind HDRG’s blog post entitled, “4 Troubleshooting Tips For Your External Drive”.

“External hard drives are fantastic for a lot of consumers simply because it gives them a safe, external place to backup their data,” said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “Before external hard drives were available, backing up was often very ‘Wild West’, with far too many proprietary technologies available and too few inexpensive options. The USB port really made the external hard drive popular, which made a lot of backup solutions obsolete.”

External hard drives tend to show their minor user related issues through two avenues – their USB port and the drive itself. While they are certainly very consistent overall, USB ports can be finicky with some drives, as they enable both the connection to the computer, as well as powering the device itself.

And while external hard drives are excellent as backup devices, to store photos or to carry files on the go, Hard Drive Recovery Group stresses that they should not be used as a consistent storage point for critical files.

“While the newer external hard drives are better, larger and faster than they have ever been, these drives remain dangerous for consistent use mainly because of their portability,” said Davies. “If used as a backup device, the drive should be used solely for that, as a slight drop or accident which may occur during regular use can create immediate data loss.”

In a second blog post entitled, “Cloud Backup Firm Report Shows The Importance Of Data Backup“, Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses BackBlaze’s most recent annual hard drive reliability report. The report notes that hard drive failures are up in their systems compared to the year before, but also notes that large drives are no more likely to fail than small drives.

The report notes that the highest failure rate of the hard drives the company uses was 2.6%. That model, an HGST 12TB disk, compares well to the company’s most used drives, a Seagate 12TB (with a 2.22% failure rate) and a Seagate 4TB (1.96% failure rate). The overall failure average for all hard drives used in their comprehensive backup systems was 1.56%.

“This study is one of the most informative out there when it comes to reporting the consistency and failure rates of hard drives,” said Davies. “What’s more, it shows regular users that even industrial backup companies with millions of dollars worth of switches, expensive cooling setups and stationary drive racks experience hard drive failures.”

Davies notes that although BackBlaze does have drives fail, it rarely affects the customers, as redundancy is the backbone of their business. And yet, it does clearly demonstrate that one out of fifty computers may experience some kind of normal use hard drive crash.

“While it is certainly possible that certain users experience less drive failures, the majority of users simply do not have the kind of setup conditions that a company like BackBlaze does,” said Davies. “As a result, we tend to see that ‘real world’ failure rates are far higher, especially considering that laptop drives fail so often as a result of wear and tear. This is why Hard Drive Recovery Group always recommends keeping consistent backups of all important data.”

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

The Most Important Thing To Do Before Selling Your Old Computer

The excitement sets in. You can’t wait to get a new computer. However, you have to sell your old one first. That’s not a problem because you can always sell it online. Just as soon as you delete all the data in your computer, you can start selling it online. Easy as a pie, right?

Apparently, it’s not that easy. You see, you might be giving more than just a hardware. The data, you thought you deleted, could easily be retrieved by the buyer.

A team of researchers purchased some second-hand hard drives on Ebay that still had some data stored on them.

After applying data recovery tools to those drives, they found that 42% of them had at least some data. Even more concerning, about three out of every 20 of the drives had personally identifiable information, including scanned images of passports and birth certificates, as well as financial records.

Some of the drives also included corporate data. One had 5GB of archived internal email messages from a major travel company, and another, 3GB of shipping details and other data from a cargo/freight company. A third drive included data from a software developer that had what was described as a “high level of government security clearance.”


Maybe the previous owners tried to delete their data or maybe they didn’t. The point is, fragments of data were easily retrieved with the use of some recovery tools. That is really scary. It’s pretty evident that  those hard drives weren’t cleaned out well.

Obviously, it takes a lot to clean out a hard drive.

Consumers who even bother to remove data from their drives either delete certain files individually, or attempt to reformat that drive, thinking any existing files may be overwritten.

But “formatting is not the same thing as removing data,” says Fredrik Forslund, vice president of cloud and data erasure at Blancco, who adds that there are two ways for doing so in Windows – a quicker less secure method and way deeper format method. But even deep formatting, he says, leaves some data behind, where it could be surfaced by an individual or company with the proper recovery tools.


Fredrik adds that manually deleting data isn’t foolproof as well.

You can, of course, continue to manually delete files of sensitive documents or pictures, keeping in mind that doing so isn’t foolproof either.

“It’s like reading a book and removing the table of contents or the pointer in the file system to that file,” says Forslund. “But the entire data in that file remains on the hard drive so anyone can download freeware recovery software, run it, and get all the data back.”

The other thing you might do is consider your risk. Are you likely to be targeted? Does your drive have personal stuff blended with stuff from your employer?


If you have both personal and business data stored in your hard drive, you need to make sure that they’re all totally deleted. Before handing over your hard drive to its new owner, you need to make sure there aren’t any traces of your personal and business files. Keep in mind that your personal and business files are worth more than just the hard drive you’re selling.

With that in mind, the most important thing for you to do before selling your old computer is to take it to the experts at

Their various data recovery services not only protect your personal and business files, they also ensure that your hard drive is cleaned out. Don’t take the risk of thinking that you’ve deleted all your files from your old hard drive. Let the experts do it for you. You will have peace of mind as you put your computer up for sale.

The Most Important Thing To Do Before Selling Your Old Computer is courtesy of Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Cloud Backup Firm Report Shows The Importance Of Data Backup

Yes, your data should be backed up. It’s very important that all your computer files are backed up. If they’re not, you could lose them forever, whether you’re talking about a Windows, or a Mac system.

Here’s another thing to consider when it comes to data backup. Just because all your data are safely backed up to a hard drive doesn’t mean they’re safe. You need to factor in hard drive failures that can eventually compromise your data. If you’re not factoring in hard drive failures, then your backups are in danger.

Here’s the reason why. Based on a report from a leading cloud backup firm, hard drive failures are on the rise.

The latest hard drive reliability report from Backblaze, a cloud backup company that routinely publicizes failure rates among the drives in its employ, noted some interesting trends in the first quarter. For one, HDD failures as a whole have gone up. At the same time, the reports shows that larger capacity HDDs in the range of 8TB to 14TB are no more prone to failure than smaller capacity drives.


The report shows the failure rates of the various models of Toshiba, HGST, Seagate, and WDC.

A cursory glance shows that Toshiba manufactures the two drive models (4TB and 5TB) with zero failures in the first quarter, but “neither has a large enough number of drive bays to be statistically significant.” Nevertheless, you have to go back to the second quarter of 2016 to find the last Toshiba 5TB drive to have failed, for whatever that is worth.

What’s of more interest is the data for drive models that are used in higher numbers. The two most widely used drives belong to Seagate and include a 12TB model with a 2.22 percent failure rate (out of 34,708 drives), and a 4TB model with a 1.96 percent failure rate (out of 19,786 drives).

Those are actually some of the highest failure rates of the bunch, though not thehighest—that distinction belongs to a 12TB model from HGST (HUH721212ALE600), with a 2.6 percent failure rate.


The report shows a low failure rate but then the sample size is small. Needless to say, it’s still pretty obvious that hard drives fail.

That’s still a relatively low failure rate, though it’s a bit concerning, given the small sample size. Overall, the 15 drive models used in the first quarter collectively averaged a 1.56 failure rate.


While the failure rates of the various hard drive models are quite low, the report still emphasizes the importance to back up data.

Continue to back up your data, and make multiple back ups of anything that is mission critical or otherwise too precious to lose. For that kind of data, it’s also a good idea to keep at least one of those backups off site, in case of a fire, flood, or some other catastrophe.

Provided you do that, it’s generally safe to use a larger capacity HDD, if that’s where you are leaning, based on Backblaze’s data. For the most part, HDD’s that are 8TB or higher appear only slightly more failure prone than lower capacity drives.


The whole point of backing up your data is to get them back immediately when the need arises. Unfortunately, you can never tell when that need is going to arise.

Considering the fact that branded HDDs still fail, you can’t be totally sure of getting back your files when you need them most. What you need is a reliable solution to a hard drive failure.

For Seagate data recovery, hover over to to learn more about it. For Western Digital data recovery, visit Both are useful resources for hard drive data recovery.

The following blog article Cloud Backup Firm Report Shows The Importance Of Data Backup was initially published on


Data Recovery Services Provider Talks Productivity, Safe Photo Storage In New Blog Posts

Hard Drive Recovery Group touches on staying productive in cases where high speed internet is not available and talks about professionally-preferred photo storage media in its latest blog posts. The company continues to offer a weekly blog with the aim to entertain and educate in a realm that few people consider “super exciting”, namely “data recovery”.

For many years now, software companies have been structuring their applications away from desktop installable programs to those that are available over the web. Often called “software as a service”, this method of software delivery does allow the developer complete control, while allowing the user to benefit from immediate patches and upgrades, among other advantages. While this does work in an environment where there is always-on high speed internet, until recently, it was relatively useless for users in remote environments where Internet access is an issue.

“One of the most difficult things about the software as a service concept is that much of our daily lives are spent in zones where strong Internet is just not possible, despite smart phones,” said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “Google has been huge in this arena, by creating smaller but fully functional versions of their software that allow people to work without Internet.”

The article not only addresses Google apps such as Sheets, Drive and Calendar, but also other ways to stay productive when the Internet is not available. Easily the most often forgotten, and yet most important to the data recovery world is undoubtedly taking time to clean your hard drive, and checking out your current backups to ensure that they are indeed working.

“One of the things people rarely, if ever, consider is that it is very possible that the computer backups they have on hand are not actually functional,” said Davies. “A time with no Internet is a fantastic time to see whether your backup software and hardware works, and if it does not, you have lots of time to address the situation before a future problem occurs.”

A second recent post, entitled Photographers Share Proven Ways To Organize Digital Photos, discusses not only ways to organize your photographs in the age of digital photography, but also safety tips for people looking to ensure their photos live long beyond the device they are stored on.

“Because of the sheer availability of portable and external storage devices, saving your photographs can be quite easy, and certainly the large size of current external hard drives makes it possible to save them redundantly,” said Davies. “We would recommend that you save any really important photographs not only to the device they were taken on, but also an external drive and a cloud service; the latter being either very cheap or free.”

While many photographers do automatic backups of their photos, one of the best ways to find and file your photographs is simply to have a proper labeling system. This can be as simple as creating a file and folder naming convention that includes the time and the date.

“We recover photographs for professionals and amateurs alike, and one of the things that is always obvious with amateurs is that their photos tend to be managed poorly,” said Davies. “In fact, we deal with far less professional photography simply because professionals are well versed on not only photo management and filing, but also consistent backups.”

Whether you have a lot of digital photos or very few, ensuring their safety, from things like accidental deletion or even Ransomware is always going to be key to your piece of mind.

“The funny thing about digital photos is that so many people don’t really care about them much until they have a hard drive failure,” said Davies. “At that point, they usually begin to understand exactly what those photographs mean to them.”

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

4 Troubleshooting Tips For Your External Hard Drive

External hard drives are heaven sent. Even with cloud technology, physical devices, like external hard drives, are still great backup and storage options.

Backing up your data is important, and while storing information on the cloud has become second nature to most, there’s still nothing like having everything saved on a physical device.


External hard drives are always very easy to use.

You plug them in, they appear on your computer, and you can drag files right on over.


Unfortunately, no external drive is infallible. No matter what brand, an external hard drive is bound to fail.

If your drive isn’t appearing when you plug it in, you might have a problem. Here are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to remedy the situation.


The first tip is pretty simple. You just have to make sure that your external hard drive is plugged in and turned on.

While some drives can draw enough power from your computer’s USB port, others—especially larger drives not intended to be portable—may require wall power to spin up.

If your drive came with an AC power adapter but you haven’t plugged it in, try hooking it up (and pressing the power button, if there is one). If it came with two USB plugs, make sure they’re both plugged into your PC. With any luck, your drive will appear normally once it gets the juice it needs.


The second troubleshooting tip is probably what you usually do when your computer can’t seem to detect your external hard drive.

If the drive still isn’t working, unplug it and try a different USB port. It’s possible the port in question is failing, or just being finicky with your specific drive. If it’s plugged into a USB 3.0 port, try a USB 2.0 port. If it’s plugged into a USB hub, try plugging it directly into the PC instead. You might also try it in another computer.


The third troubleshooting tip requires you to do some updating in your computer.

Occasionally, Windows runs into driver issues that will render a device unrecognizable. Open the Start menu, type “Device Manager,” and press Enter when the option appears. Expand the Disk Drives menu and the Universal Serial Bus menu to see if your external drive appears in either set.

If you see an entry that looks like your drive with a yellow exclamation mark, right-click on the device and choose Properties—you may find an error code you can Google. You can also head to the Driver tab and try updating or uninstalling the driver and rebooting your computer.

Usually, hard drives just use Windows’ built-in USB and hard disk drivers, so this isn’t likely to fix a temperamental drive, but it’s worth a shot. (You can also try downloading drivers from the drive manufacturer’s website, but again, that’s probably a long shot.)


The fourth troubleshooting tip requires you to dig deeper into your computer.

If your drive is powered on but still isn’t appearing in File Explorer, it’s time to do some digging. Open the Start menu and type “disk management,” and press Enter when the Create and Format Hard Disk Partitions option appears. Once Disk Management loads, scroll down to see if your disk appears in the list. If it does, make sure it’s online and formatted. If it’s offline, right-click the disk’s name (e.g. “Disk 2”) and choose Online.

If the disk hasn’t been formatted (it’ll say “Unallocated” under a black bar), right-click it and choose New Simple Volume. This will also solve the problem if the drive is formatted for another operating system, as described above. Be warned that formatting it will erase any data on the drive, so only continue if you’re sure you don’t need anything from it.

Finally, if your drive is online and formatted, but doesn’t show a drive letter next to its name, right-click the volume and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths to add a drive letter. If you’re lucky, one of these simple steps should get your new drive up and running.


There are actually 2 more troubleshooting tips but they’re too technical to consider. If you’re not an expert, you might even end up damaging your external drive.

If you’re not comfortable with these troubleshooting tips, it’s okay. You’ll probably be more comfortable with a hard drive recovery service company that specializes in

The article 4 Troubleshooting Tips For Your External Hard Drive was originally published on Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Photographers Share Proven Ways To Organize Digital Photos

Your photos are priceless. They depict moments that can never be replicated. Thanks to smartphones, it’s so easy to seize the moment. You can take hundreds or maybe even thousands of photos to seize the moment. The only downside is that you’ll have too many photos to organize.

Organizing photos, whether they’re digital or not, could be very time consuming. Unfortunately, deleting some of them could be heartbreaking as well. There really is no easy way to organize all your photos. One thing for sure, you need to back them up. Just in case.

It’s never been easier to take literally thousands of photos every week, whether they’re of your worldly travels or your everyday antics. But then, what do you do with all of those pictures? Unless you’re going to print and then delete them on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to back them up in some way — both for the purpose of freeing up space on your phone or camera, and as a fall-back in case you somehow lose the originals.


The mere task of transferring photos from your smartphone or camera to your computer is already time consuming. More so, organizing them in your computer. Still, it has to be done.

It’s also a pretty good idea to create some sort of organizational system that won’t have you sifting through thousands upon thousands of files every time you want to find one picture to post for a #TBT or print for your new gallery wall.


So, how should you go about doing it? How can you organize your photos? Professional photographers share proven ways to organize your digital photos.

Kenny Kim from Kenny Kim Photography recommends that you back up to the cloud.

“One great piece of advice for backing up your photos is to use cloud-based apps like Google Photo, where the photos are stored in your online account instead of your phone. Be mindful of their storage limitation, and know that there’s a monthly fee for additional space — but it is well worth it for safe-keeping. The app also comes with various features to allow you to organize, find and search for images.”


Susan Portnoy of The Insatiable Traveler recommends stocking up on memory cards and external drives.

“I always make sure to have plenty of memory cards with me [when traveling]. I don’t need to reuse them during the trip. It’s too easy to lose images that way. I always carry two 2 TB external hard drives ([I use the] Silicon Power 2TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive) and at the end of each day, I download my memory cards to both.


Travel photographer, Charlie Gardiner, uses editing software to backup and to organize his photos.

“When I get back to my hotel room at the end of the day I dump all of my files from my SD cards onto an external hard drive (the files are never stored on my laptop’s hard drive). I then import the photos into [Adobe] Lightroom in order to catalog them and do some basic processing, I love Lightroom’s way of allowing you to organize photos. Once I have categorized all of the images and added relevant keywords (to make searching for them later easier), I create a backup of the Lightroom catalog, which is saved to the same external hard drive the photos are on. Lastly, I back up the external hard drive to the cloud ([I use] Amazon Drive). That way, I have a physical copy of the files and a backup stored in the cloud.”


Wedding photographer Kaitlin Cooper uses a network-attached storage device.

“For all of my photos (both taken on my phone and with my DSLR camera), they are all uploaded to my computer and stored within a network-attached storage (NAS) device…a high-powered server and external hard drive that allows you to store images and files. Because it is also a server, you have the ability to access your stored images remotely, along with being able to sync images up to it, such as directly from your phone.


Dan Gold from Halfhalftravel uses Backblaze to back up his hard drives.

“Backblaze is one of many different photo backup systems that we use. [It’s a subscription service that] creates a backup of the hard drives that you attach to your computer. Backblaze makes it easy because it is a simple app for your computer and an easy-to-use-web interface.


Both Viktoria Altman of Travel Tipster and Matthew Maxey of ICON Sportswire spend time creating folders for all their photos.

According to Viktoria Altman;

“The key to organizing photos is to keep it simple and use good tools. First, you’ll need somewhere to store the pictures. Purchase a high-quality external drive, [like the Seagate Expansion 8 TB Desktop External Hard Drive], to keep all your photos. On the drive, set up folders by year, and break them into month and date. Next, use an organizing tool like Adobe Bridge. Import all your photos, and assign keywords to the pictures.


Here’s how Matthew Maxey does it.

“I sort everything by Year —> Month —> Event Name. Since most everything I shoot is a game or concert/festival on a specific date, that makes it very quick to find exactly what I’m looking for when I have to reference back.”


Jocelyn Voo of Everly Studios uses services to send and to store her photos.

“If I’m trying to send a few one-off photos to clients while on the go, I either use Google Drive or WeTransfer. Both are free, and you can send fairly large files without clogging up someone’s email. However, if I’m delivering a larger set of photos from an event, I use Pixieset.


No doubt, these are great ways to organize your photos. They also add a couple of layers of protection, ensuring that your photos last longer. Nonetheless, there’s still no guarantee that they will, especially if you resort to using various hardware devices such your computer and external hard drives. They can eventually fail.

That simply means a hard drive failure is inevitable. Don’t worry because there are experts who can help get back, not just your photos but everything else from your

Photographers Share Proven Ways To Organize Digital Photos Read more on:


Data Recovery Services Company Talks Ransomware And Windows 7 In New Blog Posts

Hard Drive Recovery Group touches on Ransomware and how to fight it, as well as the end of the long reign of Windows 7 in two new blog posts. The company continues to offer a weekly blog with the aim to entertain and educate in a realm that few people consider “groundbreakingly exciting”, namely: hard drives.

As computer viruses have begun to become less of a threat because of near universal anti-virus protection (including Microsoft’s Defender, which comes free with almost every edition of Windows 10), ransomware has become a new, dark threat that plays on the trust of users, tricking them into installing a virus on to their computers willingly.

“In many ways, ransomware is just like a basic virus, in that the user is tricked into downloading and installing an app they should not,” said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “The difference is where the trick is played – where viruses usually play on the idea that people will double click on files they assume are trusted, Ransomware actually tricks people into thinking something is wrong with their computer, and that an app is the only thing that can help them.”

While certainly some might say that this is indeed the business model of many software companies, what makes Ransomware truly evil is that in some cases it may all but disable the computer’s function. Then, the user is typically required to “pay a ransom” in order to have their computer restored.

“Sadly, although Firefox and Chrome have been rock solid when it comes to fighting scripts that will auto-install pieces of ransomware on computers, there are still rogue ads that can attack your computer,” said Davies. “The sad fact is that often these ransomware apps don’t even accomplish what they claim to be able to do – instead, they often simply disable themselves totally once a ransom is paid.”

While ransomware typically used to be the domain of consumers on their personal computers, recent ransomware has affected governments and cities, prompting CBS’ 60 Minutes to profile the issue. The post, Keep Your Computer Safe From Ransomware summarizes and discusses the key points of the piece. Hard Drive Recovery Group advises computer users to always think twice when a script or what even appears to be a Windows message demands that they install a new application.

“Nowadays, Windows typically handles its Update services behind the scenes, so it is extremely rare that you will receive a message that instructs you to install a new application,” said Davies. “When you break it down, the best way to avoid this stuff is simply to close out your browser, research the potential ransomware, and then move on.”

A second blog post, entitled Windows 7: Thanks For The Memories, outlines the fact that Microsoft has completely shut down support for the operating system, making it a high risk operating system that is no longer being maintained and supported.

“While Windows 7 was really the first operating system by Microsoft to be truly robust and majorly stable compared to earlier versions, it doesn’t have that huge of an audience compared to when, say, XP was replaced by Windows 7,” said Davies. “This is because during the Windows 10 release, Microsoft virtually gave the operating system for free to Windows 7 users, and only a small percentage did not take them up on that offer.”

Still, as time goes on, Windows 7 machines will become riskier and riskier to run, said Davies. Newer applications are already sometimes difficult to install and run on the OS, and viruses may not stand up to the older security modules in Windows 7.

“As with almost anything in computing, newer is usually better,” said Davies.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

How To Be Productive When You Can’t Connect To The Internet

It’s frustrating when there’s no internet. You can’t seem to do anything. Everything you do seems to be dependent on the internet. So, when you can’t connect, you can’t work.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can still stay productive even if you can’t connect to the internet. Here’s a list of things to do when you can’t seem to connect to the internet.

The first on the list of things to do to stay productive is to check out services that aren’t web-based.

When greeted with that dreaded “Unable to Connect” message, you may be tempted to play Google’s Dinosaur Game for the rest of the day. But you can do better. Plenty of online services allow offline access, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar. You won’t be able to download new messages or sync new files, obviously, but you’ll be able to see whatever was there the last time your computer was online.

You may, however, be unable to allow offline access while you’re disconnected, so it’s important to plan ahead by checking your settings when you have internet.


The second productive task you can do when you can’t seem to connect to the internet is to do some cleaning up.

There’s a good chance your computer’s hard drive is a disorganized mess. No matter how obsessive you are about keeping things clean, other work always gets in the way.


The best time to organize files is when you just can’t seem to connect to the internet. As boring as it may sound, just do it.

When you’re offline, it’s the perfect opportunity to take care of these boring-but-necessary duties. You need to handle them at some point, so what better time than when you’re forced to put other jobs on hold? Clear up that hard drive. Clean your messy desktop. Remove those browser extensions you aren’t using. And maybe even give your laptop a physical wipe-down—it’s probably pretty grimy.


The third productive thing you can do is to finally catch up on other tasks. Aside from computer-related stuff, there are other things you can do.

It’s amazing how fast your to-do list can grow while “real” work is getting done.

Since a lot of these tasks don’t require internet—or even a computer, for that matter—they’re a great choice for when your connection goes kaput. So start chugging away at the ones you can do where you are—you obviously can’t mow the lawn if you’re stuck in the office. Even if you never leave your desk, making all those phone calls you’ve been putting off will take a lot of your mind. While you’re at it, call your family, too—they probably haven’t heard from you in ages.


Another productive thing you can do is to take advantage of the time to brainstorm new ideas.

With so many tasks coming at you each day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. According to David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done” and creator of the productivity method with the same name, the key to organizing your jumbled thoughts is getting them out of your head and down on paper. This will help you avoid that anxious feeling you get when you have a long list of stuff you want to remember, but are worried you’ll forget it. You can’t forget what’s written in front of you.

With the internet down, it’s a good time to do just that, so grab a piece of paper and do a brain dump. Write down everything that’s been on your mind: ideas you’ve been meaning to pitch to your boss, whatever’s been stressing you out at home, even that ridiculous thought you had in the shower. Once it’s all out there, figure out which tasks you might be able to delegate to others and which ones you can get out of the way immediately. Once you separate the meaningful from the mess, you can jump back into work more confidently when the internet returns.


If you can’t seem to get any work done because there’s no internet connection, why not take advantage of the time to learn something new, like Photoshop. You can also use the downtime to learn more about Excel.

Sure, the internet can be incredibly helpful for learning how these tools work, but you’d be surprised what you can do with a little offline exploration. Poke around the menus and see what you find. And if you’re in an office, maybe the Excel expert down the hall would be willing to give you a brief crash course. After all, their internet’s down too, so their day just blew wide open.


How about you take a walk? You probably need it.

There’s no shame in using broken internet as an opportunity to take a break from work. In fact, you should probably be standing up and taking breaks more often, since sitting all day is slowly killing you, and that screen is probably causing some eye strain.


The most productive thing you can do when there’s no internet is to check your backups. This is not to say that you shouldn’t check your backups when there’s internet connection, it’s just that it’s probably not a priority of yours.

It’s important to check your backups. Check your external hard drives and see if they’re working.  If they’re not, then  why not seek professional hard drive recovery service to make sure your backups are retrievable.

Now, be careful. Just because you have some time to spare, doesn’t mean you can tinker with your hard drive. Don’t waste time doing that. Instead, leave it to the experts who can find some repairable solutions to a

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Have You Backed Up Your Mac Computer?

Is your  Mac backed up? If it’s not, then back it up. Just because it’s a Mac, doesn’t mean it’s spared from any kind of damage. You have to think ahead. Back up your Mac to protect your data.

Backing up your computer is probably not something you think about every day. But even if it hasn’t been at the top of your mind lately, it will inevitably become important.

Just think about how your computer will work two or three or five years from now — what will happen to all of your data if your Mac suddenly goes black-screen on you?


There’s really no reason for you not to back up your Mac. Considering how easy it is, especially with the new OS, you should just do it.

Even though most people know they should backup their information, the motivation isn’t always strong enough to make it happen. Luckily, Macs are really easy to back up.

In fact, they’re designed to do it, all you have to do is pick a backup method and set it up.


You can back up your Mac with these  two easy options.

1. Time Machine: a program that works with an external storage device to make digital copies of your Mac, including everything from information to look and feel.
2. iCloud: wireless syncing for all of your Mac’s apps that can be accessed from any of your Apple devices.


Here’s how you can set up your Mac with the Time Machine.

Time Machine is a built-in backup feature on your Mac. It automatically makes hourly backup versions of your computer that cover the past 24 hours as well as daily and weekly versions to cover the past month and all previous months, respectively.

And everything maintains the look you created — that way, you can look back at your stuff as it was when you set it up, instead of having to recreate it as best as you can remember.

But to create actual backups with Time Machine, you’ll need an external storage device, and of course a way of connecting it to your computer — whether that’s a physical cord connecting to an external hard drive or using an AirPort Time Capsule.


You can also use an external storage device with Time Machine. Here’s how it can be done.

1. Connect the device; once your computer recognizes that you’ve done so, a popup window may appear asking if you want to use it with Time Machine.
2. You can choose to encrypt your backup disk or not by ticking or unticking the box (it is recommended to encrypt), then click “Use as backup disk.”


If Mac doesn’t give you the option to use Time Machine, follow the steps below.

1. Click the Time Machine symbol in your top toolbar (it looks like a curving arrow pointing backward, surrounding a clock face) and click “Open Time Machine Preferences…”

2. Click “Select Backup Disk” (it may also say “Select Disk,” or “Add or Remove Backup Disk”).

3. Click on your external drive and click “Use Disk.”

If your drive isn’t properly formatted for Time Machine, you’ll be asked to erase everything from it so it can be set up in a compatible way.

After you’ve selected your backup method and set up Time Machine on your Mac, it will automatically begin making those periodic copies of your Mac, mentioned above. Keep in mind that the first sync may take a long time, depending on how many files you have.

You can also opt to create a backup manually by going back up to the Time Machine icon in the top toolbar and selecting “Back up now.”


iCloud is your other option. Here’s how you can set it up to back up your Mac.

1. Make sure your Mac is fully updated by going to the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen and clicking “App Store” — you may need to login using your Apple ID — then click “Updates” in the left sidebar.

2. Go back up to the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen and select “System Preferences” then “iCloud.”

3. Log in using your Apple ID and agree the terms and conditions.

4. Choose whether or not to use iCloud for: your documents and data; the use of Find My Mac.

After completing the process outlined above, you’ll be able to see which apps you can include or exclude from your iCloud account, as well as how much storage data your information currently takes up, out of 5 free GB. If necessary, you may choose to upgrade to a larger iCloud account — for a range of monthly fees.

From there on, the information you dictate will be automatically updated as your documents change and grow. And your stored data can then be accessed from any other device, so long as you use the same Apple ID.


So, go back up your Mac now. In case, anything happens to  to your Mac and you can’t seem to get your data back from Time Machine, don’t worry because you can always consider a reliable

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