Archives for: January 2009

10 Early Warning Signs Of Impending Computer Disasters


Computers rarely stop working overnight. In most cases, there are early warning signs that problems are brewing. Below are 10 surefire signs that you need to get a professional to investigate your network ASAP:

1. Your workstation or server starts running very slowly, freezes up, or crashes.

2. Your web browser has been changed to another strange browser you’ve never seen before.

3. You are getting an unusual amount of pop-up windows, even when you aren’t surfing the web.

4. You don’t know if every computer on your network has the most current virus definitions.

5. You don’t know if you have a firewall in place or the last time it was updated.

6. You haven’t attempted to restore your data from a backup tape or other storage device in awhile, and you aren’t checking your backup log for errors.

7. You receive e-mails accusing you of sending spam, and/or you find e-mail messages in your “outbox” or “sent” folder that you didn’t send.

8. Your computer starts making a grinding, clicking, or loud whirring sound.

9. The fan is constantly running.

10. You are getting a growing number of error messages, and you are forced to create work-arounds to complete certain work tasks.


If any of these signs are present, you should contact a pro immediately to investigate further!

The old saying of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially true in the world of computers and all things digital; and if you are like most businesses, your computer network is critical to the operation of your business so make sure you don’t procrastinate if any of these signs are present.


Ideally, you should perform regular health checks and maintenance on your network to make sure problems don’t crop up. Here’s why:

 Critical security updates need to be applied at least once a month to protect you from a constant flow of new hacker attacks.

 Firewall, virus and spyware protection need to be monitored and updated on a daily basis because new attacks are released daily.

 Your data backup system needs to be monitored and tested frequently to ensure easy data recovery in the event of loss. The rate of tape drive failure is 100%; that’s why you need to frequently monitor your backups.

 Servers and workstations need regular tune-ups to keep them running fast and error free.

 Monitoring of disk space is important to avoid data loss, crashes, and storage problems.

 Server event logs need to be monitored for early alerts to network issues.


One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is taking a reactive approach to network support and maintenance rather than a proactive one.


In other words, they wait until something stops working and THEN they call in the professionals to fix it. This approach not only costs more in the long run, but it also leaves you vulnerable to more devastating crashes such as data corruption and loss, virus attacks, and extended downtime. Even NEW computers and equipment need regular maintenance because new threats are constantly evolving.


Raymond Smith

Backing Up Your Data?

If Disaster Strikes, How Fast Could Your Company Be

Back Up And Running?

    You hear it all the time from us-back up your data, keep your virus protection current, and install and maintain a firewall to protect yourself from hackers and other online threats.

    However, while these precautions will certainly help you avoid problems, they CAN’T do anything if you don’t have a good backup and disaster recovery plan in place.

Are You A Sitting Duck?

    We all know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; yet, disaster recovery planning often takes a distant second to the daily deadlines and pressures of running a business.

    That means that most businesses, including your own, may end up offline and without your data after a simple lightening storm.

    Don’t think that could ever happen to you? Consider this: “data-erasing disasters” can also take the form of office fires and broken water pipes, not just earthquakes, floods and tornadoes. If a fire started in your building, the parts that weren’t burned beyond recovery would probably be destroyed by the firemen’s efforts. But even more common is software corruption, hardware failures and human error!

Disaster Recovery Questions You Need To Answer

    A disaster recovery plan doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming or expensive. Start by asking yourself the following questions…

1.)  Do you back up your company’s data daily to both an onsite and offsite location?

2.)  Are you absolutely certain that your backup copy is valid, complete and not corrupt? How do you know for sure?

3.)  If disaster strikes, HOW would you get your data back, and how long would it take? In many cases it takes days and often weeks; what would you do during that period of time?

4.)  Do you have copies of all the software licenses and discs in a safe location that could be accessed in the event of having to rebuild your server?

5.)  Would you and your employees have a way to access your network remotely if you couldn’t get to the office?

6.)  Do you store important passwords in a secure place that company officers can access if you are unavailable?

7.)  Do you have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) device in place to keep your network and other critical data operations running during a power outage?

    This is NOT a complete list, but it is a good start to get you thinking in the right direction.

Our FREE Disaster Recovery Plan Helps You Prepare

      Since it’s the New Year, we’ve decided to help our clients get their “IT house” in order by giving away a FREE Backup and Disaster Recovery Audit. At no charge or obligation, we’ll come to your office, review your current plan (or lack of one!) and provide a simple action plan on what you need to do to make sure your business can always be up and running.

But take note! We can only make this available to our clients and friends during the month of January; after that, the fee for this consultation will be $395. For more information, please contact our office at 209-477-4390 and ask for Raymond Smith, or e-mail us at

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