Road to Recovery Begins with On-Line Backup of Hard Disk

By Kellner, Mark A. | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 26, 1997 | Go to article overview

Road to Recovery Begins with On-Line Backup of Hard Disk


Kellner, Mark A., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


"Hi, my name is Mark, and - and - I don't back up my data," I said.

"Hi, Mark!" the group responded.

OK, so I'm not really in a 12-step program for people who don't back up their computer data. But I should be in one. And so, to be honest, should you, if you aren't already. Broken computers can be replaced, hard disk drives fixed or changed out for newer models. But lose your data and, buddy, it's gone.

I should know better: Somewhere in my home office is a 40-megabyte paperweight that used to have some pretty cool stuff on it. Since then, I've acquired various tape drives, most of which are gathering dust, that could be used to guard against data loss. My fault for not backing the data up, yes, but that's the way it goes, right?

Well, there are some new companies out there that will let you store your data on their systems, and do it reasonably and reliably. The most impressive of these is SafeGuard Interactive Inc. of Pittsburgh (http://www.sgii.com), whose netTape product is available on line now and should be in stores this fall. What impressed me about the service is that with a single Internet connection you can back up the contents of a 1.6-gigabyte hard disk drive, which is something you wouldn't want to do with floppy disks.

Now that hard drives are getting to the 3.0- and even 5.0-gigabyte stage - IBM just announced one of the latter for use in portables - even using a tape backup can be unwieldy.

Bill Krewin, a former executive with Siemens Nixdorf and Stream, said the beauty of the netTape system is that, with an Internet service connection, you can back up a large hard disk relatively quickly. That's important, because few of us will use an on-line backup service if it takes all night on the phone for the computer to back things up.

After an initial backup of the hard disk, a daily phone call stores incremental changes to your data, which can be merged with the "main" body of bits and bytes should tragedy strike. Today, a user would need all his program disks and CD-ROMs, a backup diskette with his Windows 95 configuration data, and the data files themselves in order to attempt a backup. Using the netTape system, a user need only get Windows 95 running on a crashed PC, and the SafeGuard computers will take care of the rest. …

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Road to Recovery Begins with On-Line Backup of Hard Disk
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