5 Common Causes and Precautions of Computer Data Loss

Data loss is a tragedy that every computer user has to suffer from at least once a couple of years. This issue is frightening and disgusting. In this article, we are going to take a look at 5 common causes of data loss and the precautions that you should take.

1. Deletion of files by mistake

Today, most people lose their important data due to their own mistakes. For instance, they delete their important files by mistake and they have no backups of the files. Without an iota of doubt, we delete many files every day on our computers.

Precaution: it’s better if you create a backup of your important files. This way you can recover the files quickly in case you delete them by mistake.

2. Viruses Attacks

Virus and malware attacks is another common problems these days. And most viruses tend to corrupt our important files. As long as you are connected to the web, you can’t avoid the risk.

Precaution: if you want to prevent the data loss by malware and viruses, make sure you invest in a powerful antivirus to protect your computer against virus and malware attacks. The antivirus app will give you a warning each time a suspicious activity is going to happen on your computer due to a virus.

3. Mechanical Issues

The failure of a hard drive is an annoying issue. Of all the hard drive issues, the mechanical issue is the most common. Typically, the issue is associated with the spindle or the head of the drive. If this happens, you have no choice but to repair the damaged components. However, don’t make the mistake of doing it yourself.

Precaution: instead of opening up the drive yourself, we suggest that you take proper care. For instance, you should never drop the drive or hit it hard against a solid object. This can help you prevent a lot of mechanical issues associated with your computer hard drive.

4. Sudden Power Outages

You may be familiar with the term “power failure” in the world of computers. You may have experienced power outages. In case of a power failure, you may lose some important data, especially if the light goes out while you are trying to modify or compose a file. Without any doubt, the file may get corrupted.

Precaution: if you want to prevent the data loss against a power outage, you may want to make use of a surge protector. You can also use a battery or some other type of Uninterrupted Power Supply.

5. Water Damage

Apart from the factors given above, your hard drive may also get damaged if exposed to water. For instance, if you spill some liquid on your computer by mistake, your hard drive may get damaged. In another scenario, you may end up dropping your computer into water.

Precaution: if you want to prevent water damage, we suggest that you try to reform yourself first. This means that you should correct your bad habits. Try to keep your computer away from water.

So, these are a few common causes of computer data loss and the precautions that you may want to take.

Warning Signs of a Computer Breakdown

The scary reality about computer crashes is that the warning signs are few–if they exist at all–and even when you know what to look for, these signs can be very difficult to detect.

For this reason, computer backup is necessary every day, because it’s near impossible to know if, or when, your hard drive is at risk of an imminent crash.

I often hear prospective clients say dismissively: “Well, I just bought this computer not too long ago–it’s practically brand new–so I don’t need to worry about backup just yet.”

And that’s when I tell them about Google, the single largest owner of computer hard drives in the world.

In February 2007, Google Inc. released a study that they conducted on their own computers entitled Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population. According to this study, which was the most extensive of it’s kind ever completed, hard drives are most likely to fail if they are less than 3 months old, or more than 2 years old. Basically, if you think computer backup is unnecessary because your computer is new, you may be in for a terrible shock.

But if you’re still intent on holding off on all precautionary action until you can personally perceive a problem with your computer, there are some signs that–if you’re lucky enough to notice them–may indicate that your computer is in imminent danger of a critical crash. I want to emphasize, though, that these warnings may, or may NOT, be apparent. The absence of any or all of these signs does not mean that your hard drive is in the clear.

Remember: a hard drive crash can happen unexpectedly at any given moment, and the likelihood that you will see it coming is ridiculously small, and certainly not worth the risk. Operating your business on a computer without automatic daily offsite backup is a recipe for bankruptcy, as over 70% of companies that suffer major data loss go out of business within one year.

That being said, here are several warning signs that may indicate that your computer is at risk of hard drive failure:

1. Your computer is slow to boot (turn on).

If you notice that your computer is not starting up quite as quickly as it usually does, and this decrease in speed cannot be attributed to the installation of new anti-virus software, your hard drive may be suffering from bad blocks/sectors.

Your hard drive contains magnetically coated metal disks that spin at a speed of about 5400 times per minute. If these disks (or their coating) become damaged in any way, a catastrophic failure is likely within 6 months time.

2. Your computer starts to whir, and/or make noise.

A change in the way that your computer sounds could indicate that the disks within your hard drive are having difficulty completing their rotation. Remember: your computer has moving parts, and these parts are situated in extremely close proximity to each other. Specks of dust, not visible to the human eye, can damage these disks and impede their movement, let alone the metal fingers that support these disks.

3. Your computer experiences a read/write error, or indicates that a disk has failed to respond.

According to the Google Inc. study mentioned above, hard drives are 30 times more likely to fail within 60 days of experiencing an initial scan error, than drives that have yet to receive such errors.

So how can you protect your computer against a crash?

1. The number one BEST way to protect your computer (and your business) is not to attempt to protect it against a crash, but to plan for data recovery after a crash.

The reason being is there is no fail-safe way to prevent a computer crash. Simply search “automatic computer backup” and the name of your city, province or state, to sign up with one of the many secure online storage services available.

2. Enlist the services of a reputable IT Service company that offers monthly service contracts, and have them clean and test your hard drive on a regular basis.

Regular cleaning of your hard drive will not only prolong the life of your computer, but will reduce the risk for data loss.

3. Ask your computer to scan for errors and bad blocks.

Your computer may not be kind enough to automatically alert you when sectors of your hard drive are damaged, but you can ask it to scan for trouble. To do so, follow these steps:

o Right click on My Computer.

o Select Manage, which brings up the Computer Management display that is split between a right and a left side.

o On the left side look for Event Viewer, and click the plus sign to its left. A list will appear below.

o Click System. A list will appear in the right side of the display.

o Scroll down the list to search for any red “X” Error entries. These entries indicate an existing problem.

o Double click on the red “X” entries to bring up the Event Properties display, which will tell you more about the error.

In closing, I highly recommend that you commit, right now, to backing up your computer via an offsite secure storage service. Waiting one more day to protect your business, may just be one day too many.

Computer Software and Hardware Basic Knowledge

Computer software is what allows people to do what they need to accomplish in their everyday activities. A more complex definition of a computer software is; Software is a program that enables a computer to perform a specific task, as opposed to the physical components of the system. The physical components of the system were what I have talked about in the last post, the actual hardware that a person can physically touch.

The most common software that people know of is the operating system. Operating system is a system software that allows other software of your choosing to be ran properly. The operating system is the middle man to interacting between the hardware and the other software. The software that you want to install should be loaded onto a hard drive, or memory RAM. After the software is loaded on either of these two data platforms, the computer can execute the software.

People have many different software that allows them to do many different tasks. For example, the Microsoft Word program allows you to type up papers, and create templates. It’s a type of software that you should have, because it allows you to complete more complex tasks in one spot, instead of going to different many places. This is what people back in the day have done, and it is fun seeing how software keeps on transforming tech world today. Software allows us to create an easier way to complete things, and it can be found in many of the technologies today, and not just the computers.

Computers are not just hardware equipment, but it’s something that I will be discussing today. There are many different types of computer hardware, and all together, the hardware you use makes up your complete working system. Some of the more common hardware that people are aware of are CD-ROM drive, which allows for a computer to read specific information located on a CD, and the FLOPPY disk drive, which is a much older hardware, allows people to merely do the same exact thing as CD, but in a less sufficient way. These two are more known to people because these two hardware pieces that people interact with the most.

Some of other big hardware items are, Hard Drives, Memory (RAM), Motherboard, Power Supply, and Central Processing Unit (CPU). Hard drive is a non-volatile memory device that allows you to save information regardless whether the power is on or off. You can permanently save information on a hard drive, and then recover it whenever you want. The memory, also called RAM, also is there to store information both permanently and temporarily. RAM interact with majority of the operating system software which I will later talk about. The motherboard connects everything together, and allows for all the hardware to communicate sort of speak. Motherboard is the foundation of the computer and is a vital piece of making the computer work. It takes power from the Power Supply and powers the CPU, and other components such as RAM.

The computer consists of more than these things, but these are some of the major ones that I felt that you should know. Next time I will be talking about computer software.