Bitback Blog

How to restore an entire PC in under 40 minutes: use cloning

Clone your PC for Quick Restores

There are many ways to back up a PC, and therefore many ways to restore one as well. What you have to understand is the differences between them. In this article I will go over some ways to back up your data, and the quickest ways to restore an entire PC or a single file.

The File and Folder Backup

This type of backup is probably the most common. Users use either a local hard drive or thumb drive to save some data files and folder. The trend is moving to online backups, whereby your files and folders are stored in the cloud and you can retrieve them if your location has been hit by a disaster.

Pros: Quick and simple. Just designate what files/folders you need to back up and move them to the storage location; either local or off-site. Most online backups do this automatically once you set it up and you don’t really need to monitor it.

Cons: If your entire hard drive crashes your restore process becomes lengthy and you may be down for a while. The process is:

  1. Reinstall the Operating System or OS (1-2 hours)
  2. Reinstall all the updates and patches (1-2 hours)
  3. Reinstall all applications (Word, Adobe Reader, Firefox etc). (1 hour)
  4. Configure your PC, email, printers, devices and passwords. (1 hour)
  5. Start the restore process. (Depends on storage size. 1GB = 20 minutes in restore time.)

The Image Based Backup

With this type of backup you make an image or ‘clone’ of your entire system. You backup up everything in steps 1-5 above saving you vast amounts of time. If you need 1 file back you can restore that. If you need an entire PC restored you can do that as well.

Pros: Restore an entire PC or server in under 40 minutes (depends on size). The process is:

  1. Start the restore process.

Cons: More difficult to set up. You need a dedicated storage area to hold the ‘images’ – like an external hard drive. If your location/office is destroyed likely the images stored there are gone as well unless you store your images offsite.

Restoring an Entire PC

The process is relatively straightforward if you have the image based solution set up (which is of course the whole point of this). With our system we handle the entire process from start to finish. Otherwise you can set up an image based backup yourself.

The process starts usually with booting the PC, laptop or server into a ‘restore environment’. From there you simply point the restore to the image file you want. The sytem will than overwrite the hard drive with the backed up image file. Reboot the machine and you are good to go. Usually in under 40 minutes.

Any questions let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Dave

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K. Anthony Early Childhood Associates

 

“When I started my private counseling practice, computer issues were the last thing on my mind. As I moved forward I realized that with the HIPAA regulations, the data and client files I have on my laptop could be at risk if my computer was compromised in anyway.  As I began my research for a back-up system I found that having a MAC computer presented some challenges.  Many companies that back up computers, locally or online (cloud) were based on a PC platform.  Then I found Bitback.  Thank goodness.  Initially, it took quite some time to upload the contents of my entire computer, but now that its done I feel such a sense of security.  Not just my client files, but my entire computer is backed up and if it crashes…I’m covered!

Thanks Bitback for giving me peace of mind!”

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Do You Understand the Importance of Backing Up Your Small Business Data?

By now you have heard horror stories about small business data being lost or corrupted, but half of small businesses have no plan to save their data. If your business uses a computer; you need to back it up. Why? Isn’t all of my information on my hard drive? If your entire computer is destroyed in a disaster, that hard drive will be gone as well. Should be common senses, but many forget this premise.

You need to know where your information is kept. If it is on your hard drive in your computer, that’s really not good enough. After a disaster (flood, power surge, fire etc..) it’s gone forever.

The best data backup for a small business is either on a dedicated backu up appliance, in the ‘cloud’ or both. Online backups are so inexpensive these days, there is no reason not to do it. You can back up an entire business online for $25 a month – and every business can afford that.

Think about how you would work without a computer. Can you do it? Maybe if you were a plumber or construction worker you could do it for a day or two. But eventually you will need your customer list. Eventually you will need your invoices printed and emailed. Sooner or later you’re going to want to check your accounts receivable. Make sense?

With an online backup – all you need is another computer or laptop. You restore the data form the cloud and off you go. With onsite backup – you backup an entire image of your machine. Buy another PC, restore the image and you have everything back without having to reinstall all of your applications, set up email, printers or devices. It’s the same machine, just different hardware.

If you choose an online backup (we recommend a hybrid of both onsite and offsite) – make sure:

  • They encrypt the data BEFORE sending over the internet.
  • Make sure the data is stored in separate geographic areas.
  • Make sure it is certified to work with your business (HIPPA, SAS-70, EU-Safe Harbor)

 

Bottom line is if you own a business, you need to keep your data safe.

 

Thanks for reading,

Dave

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M. Mcpadden Phoenix AZ

Have used Bitbackcloud for my bookkeeping business and I am VERY satisfied!

 

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5 Things Businesses Need To Do To Prepare For Hurricane Season

If you mention names like Katrina, Edward or Andrew; most people will think hurricane.  These storms washed over the coasts and did horrific damage to businesses and communities. Have we learned our lessons from these tragic natural disasters? Here is a list I came up with of 5 things businesses should do to protect themselves.

1.     Have a disaster recovery plan in place.

Please take the time to create a detailed disaster recovery plan. This plan should cover what to do in case of minor outages (loss of power for a few hours). It should also cover what to do in case of a major catastrophe (like the loss of your building).  Make a list of vendors and rental places and keep the document as a hard copy in a safe (and dry) place.  The plan should discuss how you will get back up and running quickly, so the income loss is minimal.

2.     Make a thorough contact list.

Imagine you have no power and hence no computers. Do you remember your insurance company’s number(s)? How about your suppliers? Now is the time to make a list of those critical people you will need to contact in case of emergency. This list should include your key employees as well – make a’ phone tree’ list whereby  your management team is contacted and they in turn each call their subordinates and so on until everyone knows the status. Keep a hard copy of this list so you can access it even if you have no power. The list should include:

 

  • Utilities
  • Insurance companies
  • Key employees (phone tree)
  • Rental companies
  • IT vendors

3.     Get offline data storage

Offsite storage has some advantages because the servers are usually located in geographically separate areas, hopefully away from your particular disaster. On a scheduled time, an automatic data backup can run that backs up all important files and folder.  If and when disaster strikes, you can remotely access these files with a laptop or PC at your home or other area unaffected by the disaster. With a hurricane this may be 20 plus miles away. A good tip here is to have a backup power supply, or even a solar laptop charger in extreme cases

4.     Back up your data locally

In most cases a hurricane means minor building damage but sometimes longer power outages.  So it’s also a good idea to backup locally in addition to online backups. When power is restored it is quicker to restore damaged machines from a backup located in your physical location. Restoring 1TB of data from an online source can take up to 1 month!  So keep this in mind.

5.     How will you work in ‘primitive’ conditions?

When was the last time you went camping? Imagine running a business from that campsite.  Without electricity nothing runs. Computers, servers, air conditioning, some phone systems, hot water heaters and refrigerators are some of the items you will have to live without.. Can you work under these conditions? If not check (ahead of time – before the disaster) for companies that rent office space and conference rooms by the day or hour. These may need to be 40 or more miles inland from where you are. Have most employees work from home if possible.  And use these rental conference rooms as command centers – communicate with staff and customers to keep them posted and reassured that you are still going strong.

Any other ideas? Please comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Dave

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Support A Small Business Today

I am making today support your small business day:

I found this on facebook:

 

 

So if you’re reading this, for today please try and buy locally. Stay away from the big box, cookie cutter, shareholder driven mega corporations and try and help a local small business (and their families).

Thanks for reading! Please comment if you agree or disagree.

Dave

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Bitback Is Now Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Certified

SOX compliance

Bitback Is SOX Compliant

Bitback Incorporated is pleased to announce that it is Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) certified to comply with the SOX data retention  This helps in the following ways:

  1. Section 104: Inspections of Registered Public Accounting Firms

What this means: Inspections must be conducted every year for firms auditing more than 100 issues per year, or every 3 years for other firms. The SEC (or even the Board) may order impromptu inspections of any firm at any time.

How Bitback Cloud helps you with compliance: Bitback Cloud gives users access to their data whenever they need it. An auditor or authorized inspector may access any stored files that Bitback Cloud has. Bitback cloud keeps unlimited versions of your files for comparison – with no storage penalties!

  1. Section 103: Auditing, Quality Control, And Independence Standards And Rules

What this part states: The Board shall: (1) register public accounting firms; (2) establish, or adopt, by rule, “auditing, quality control, ethics, independence, and other standards relating to the preparation of audit reports for issuers;” “The Board requires registered public accounting firms to “prepare, and maintain for a period of not less than seven years, audit work papers, and other information related to any audit report, in sufficient detail to support the conclusions reached in such report.”

How Bitback Cloud helps you comply: Bitback Cloud helps you prepare documents for your SOX inspections and audits. It encrypts locally, encrypts again during transport over the internet and then stores your data across multiple servers encrypting again at 1024 bit (military grade). Only those with the correct password and encryption key can access these files. Files can be restored using the Bitback Cloud client software or using a Web browser with an encrypted connection.

  1. Title VIII: Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002

What this means: “Knowingly” destroying or creating documents to “impede, obstruct or influence” any federal investigation, whether it exists or is contemplated, is a felony.

How Bitback Cloud helps you comply:  We utilize only the latest technology available to prevent unauthorized access to your data. Our state-of-the-art data centers employ top-level security, bothe physical and technical:

    • Our servers are geographically separated – in over 11 countries
    • Redundant power supply with backup generators at each facility
    • We utilize redundant internet connections with multiple providers
    • Finger scanners, motion detectors and camera tracking
    • Restricted access to our 24/7 expert technical response administrators only

 

  1. Section 802: Document Alteration or Destruction 
    Section 1102: Tampering With a Record or Otherwise Impeding an Official Proceeding

What does this mean: Makes it illegal to knowingly alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal any document with the intent to alter the document’s integrity or availability for use in an official investigation or to otherwise obstruct, influence or impede any official proceeding / investigation.

How Bitback Cloud helps you comply: Bitback Cloud protects your business data by storing unlimited historical versions of your documents (without a storage penalty) that may be the target of malevolent altering. Any file deleted off the backup view on a local PC or server remains at our data centers forever (unless manually deleted off the backup server)and can be restored in minutes. We successfully lessen your risk of prosecution by providing data integrity for official actions.

  1. Section 105(d): Investigations And Disciplinary Proceedings; Reporting of Sanctions

What does this mean: All documents prepared or received by the Board are regarded “confidential and privileged as an evidentiary matter (and shall not be subject to civil discovery or other legal process) in any proceeding in any Federal or State court or administrative agency, …unless and until presented in connection with a public proceeding or [otherwise] released” in connection with a disciplinary action.

How Bitback Cloud helps you comply: Bitback Cloud uses triple military grade encryption and to maintain complete confidentiality. Your data is encrypted locally, again in transit and once more when it reaches one of our data centers. We also offer an “Ultra Safe” option at no extra cost which also complies with HIPAA regulations. Your password can never be reset or restored (so don’t forget it) making access completely up to you.

 

Benefits to firms and investors

Lord & Benoit Report (2006): Do the Benefits of 404 Exceed the Cost? A study of a population of nearly 2,500 companies indicated that those with no material weaknesses in their internal controls, or companies that corrected them in a timely manner, experienced much greater increases in share prices than companies that did not.[19][20] The report indicated that the benefits to a compliant company in share price (10% above Russell 3000 index) were greater than their SOX Section 404 costs.    Wikipedia Entry

We hope this offering is helpful to you. Please contact us or comment below if you have any questions.

Thanks for reading!

Dave

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60 Percent of Small Businesses Fail Because of This One Thing

Disaster Recovery
Can Your Business Survive This?

A study was conducted by the Gartner Group and they found that if your business suffers major data loss – you have only a 40% chance of surviving. That’s some pretty sobering news. Most business owners I talk to don’t believe it. So I came up with a test for them to try on their own:

1. Locate the single most important PC or server in your business.
2. Power it down, for 24 hours.
3. Was your business affected?

I would guess 70% of the time the #1 reaction is: “But I can’t do that, how would I conduct business?…Oh wait, I get it”

For those of you that decide to try this; if this was no big deal, than count yourself lucky. However, if it was extremely inconvenient or happened to cause discomfort for you or a client, then here is some advice:

1. Back up your stuff!

2. Test that backup often. Because backing it up is only 10% of the equation. The other 90% is making sure you can get it back in a timely manner!

3. Test your restore (see #2).  How long did it take? Can your business live with that?

This is also a great way to see where your vulnerabilities are. Was it problems with vendors, customers or both? Did it affect your accounting system? Phone system (VOIP)? What did you do as a workaround? Write these items down, it’s a great basis for a detailed disaster recovery plan.

Good luck and keep backing up! As always contact me with any questions and leave a comment.

For those of you that tried…I’ll bet you a free disaster recovery plan that you didn’t go the whole 24 hours.

Dave

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Investing In Your Mobile Sales Force

Equiping your mobile sales force

Keep your mobile sales force happy

To stay competitive, having an IT strategy for the mobile salesperson is no longer an option…it is pretty much a business necessity.

Today’s most productive salespeople are on the go, they are not sitting in an office, or a specific location. They are mobile. They work from their car, an office lobby or a hotel room. Your company’s IT department needs to be ready to support them with easy, reliable, 24/7 access to the business information they need. They need to access this information from anywhere, across a wide variety of communication devices. They use their smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Some of the nation’s most progressive corporations are seeking to meet the many different needs of their mobile salesforce – without overwhelming their limited IT staff. And here’s some ways they are doing that:

Secure accesses on the go – Salespeople need the ability to securely access information from their remote site. They may need the new sales contract or invoice form during the sales meeting itself. They may need the newest Powerpoint presentation to show the client. They do this by having a way to access the forms they need. Normally it’s from their laptop or tablet, but sometimes they need a more current version. So they use a secure remotely accessible way to get it. Dropbox, Box or Bitback Cloud are some ways to do this, just to name a few.

File Sharing – You’re golfing with a client, or at a business dinner. The client requests some information be sent to them. Your salesperson logs into the company’s backup system and shares the file before they have ordered their food or teed off.

Remote Backups and Restores – When a salesperson relies on their laptops far from the office you need a way to keep the data stored on them safe. Your comanpy should use an online backup to keep data safe and secure on the road. Laptop breaks? Get them a new on and they restore back their files with just  a few mouse clicks – it’s that easy.

Let me know how your company keeps mobile workers happy.

Thanks for reading,

Dave

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No beer for a year?

A PC backup or beer for a year

 

 

How important is getting your data back to you? If you are anything like the people surveyed below it’s VERY important. I posted this in a blog last April, but I think it needs repeating. Losing all of your data is an extremely painful thing to go through. But would you give up beer for a year to get it all back?

Here are those statistics I posted before:

• 50 percent would rather lose all of their vacation time for an entire year than lose all of the files on their computer.

• 38 percent of married Americans feel that it would be worse to lose everything on their computer than to lose their wedding ring.

• 62 percent said they would pay to get back their lost data if their computer crashed, 21 percent said they would pay500, and 27 percent said they would pay as much as they needed to.

• 34% would give up beer and wine for a year.

Personally, I would I agree with the above. I’d pay to get my daughter’s baby pictures back. I’d pay to get my wedding photos back. I’d pay to get all of my business accounting data back.

I would not pay to get back my N’Sync albums. If I ummm…had any that is.

What would you give up to get your data back?

Comment below or I’m stealing your beer.
Dave

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