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Computer Maintenance


New Member
Open question -

What process do you have in place ensure you don't loose everything if your computer goes down and is not repairable?

The following is what I do on a regular basis:

Hard Drive Maintenance -
  • Disk Defragmenter weekly and after a new program is installed
  • Disk cleanup weekly and after an old program is uninstalled

File Backups -
At least once a month, sometimes more often I will burn all of the following to a DVD-ROM:
  • All Email files
  • All artwork files
  • All fonts (current and stored)
  • All original install discs
    • WinXP
    • CorelDraw
    • Adobe Programs
    • Macromedia Programs
    • Misc programs that are downloaded and used on a regular basis
    • Cutter programs and drivers
    • Drivers need for the computer itself (video, tablet/mouse, accessorys)

Since a DVD-ROM will hold almost 5 gigs, there is pleanty of room for all of the above. Upgrading to a DVD burner over a CD burner just to be able to store that much more information on one disk was worth the cost.

What is the cost or value (monetary and time spent) of all your files if they disapeared tomorrow?


New Member
That's good practice, and I used to back-up all the time. Then, I started to slip and I don't do it often enough. I do run two computers networked together and found it to be a lifesaver a few times. If one computer goes down, the other is used to do research to fix my problem. I'll be adding another computer strictly for decals and signs in the future, which will allow me to do a quick back up of all things sign related. An external USB hard drive is also a great way to go for backups and remote work.

Scott Reynolds

New Member
Back up on DVD is a great idea, but running RAID 0/1 could be a real life saver! Your hard drive could fry itself, and all you have to do is remove it, set your bios to boot without the raid controller and you back up and running will ALL your files in 5 min.


New Member
My internet machine has the nickname "Kwai" because it's been rebuilt so many times . . . my family loves to venture into the unknown and download all kinds of crap. My business machine is totally off limits. In either case, the process is the same:
1. After all is complete in the setup of the machine, I burn a ghost image of the Hard Drive and keep it on CD in case of catastrophic failures.

2. For business, I back up all archival file folders to a remote hard drive dedicated to my business machine.

3. For my internet machine, I backup to a second internal hard drive.

I used to save to CD and thought about upgrading to DVD but either way I was wasting money. The cost of writable DVD's has come down a lot, but if you backup everyday, save the money and build a remote server or subscribe to an archive service and you'll save money in the long run.


New Member
We backup on to dvd's...much easier this way... But I also have a backup on an external harddrive.

When computer goes out all I have to do is switch to my second machine that's already online (networked together)with a switch that controls two machines using only one key board and one monitor... External harddrive is networked to both machines. (router)

When original machine is fixed then it goes back online. without any halt in work time.

Si Allen

New Member
My 'puter Guru taught me to use 2 hard drives!

Main HD contains all my programs...2nd HD has only files!

Much easier to back up the 2nd HD that way! Also...in case a virus hits...2nd HD is usually safe.

If a virus destroys your HD..a format or replacement can be rebuilt from your program disks!


New Member
I have a MAC with RAID and back up to DVD and bring home in case of fire or break in.

Bobby H

Arial Sucks.
I back up art files to CD-R on a periodic basis. I also make redundant backups (more than one copy). The 2nd copy gets stored elsewhere off the premises. What good is a lot of backed up CDs or DVDs if they're in your shop and the place goes up in a blaze or gets robbed?

I also keep an actively updated mirror of my art files at home on a separate hard disc drive. Every day, I go through my work folders, copy altered files on a flash memory card and then take them home. As stated earlier, if someone burns down our shop or steals our computers we'll still have our files.