computer repair in Pleasanton, ca
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Mobile: (925) 989.7722pc repair in livermore ca
pc repair in livermore ca
pc repair in livermore ca


Preparing to Survive a Computer Disaster

This is an outline for a talk on how to be prepared should a disaster happen which affects your computer. I gave it at a breakfast meeting and the second time to the PC Users Group at the Pleasanton Senior Center.

If your group would like me to give this talk, or my "Care and Feeding of your Computer" (good end user habits with a computer), please feel free to contact me!


  • Natural (Earthquake, flood, fire)
  • Theft or loss
  • Equipment failure
  • Virus/worm

Collateral to collect

  • Operating system CD & key
  • CDs with device drivers from equipment manufacturers
  • Installed software – CDs or documentation from downloads with serial numbers/keys
  • Belarc Advisor report
  • System Recovery DVD's (Vista and Win7)

Backup strategy

  • Full drive backup to external hard drive – with Restore CD
  • Data backup *
  • My Documents (in 2K, XP, Vista, Win7includes My Music, My Pictures, etc.)
  • Favorites
  • eMail (Outlook Express, Outlook, IncrediMail, Netscape, Thunderbird, WinMail)
  • Address Book (Outlook Express)
  • Downloads (AOL)
  • Undisciplined applications' data (older Quicken, FamilyTreeMaker, Palm)

* What data do you backup? Anything you don't want to lose!


  • A full drive backup should be done whenever a new application is installed, major updates are applied, significant changes to data.
  • Data backups fall into 2 categories:
    • Frequently changed: data is backup every time you change it (i.e., when you save it back to the hard drive, then Save As to your backup device)
    • Data subject to minimal changes – quarterly or annually – make copies and send offsite and keep one in the car trunk

Backup Media

  • Hard drives – external vs internal vs. "network appliance"
  • Magnetic – floppy, ZIP, JAZ, thumb drives
  • Optical – CD, DVD
  • Online (Internet)
  • R.A.I.D.


Personally, I believe that if your data isn’t backed up twice (so that there are at least 3 copies,) then you really haven’t backed up your data. If you have more than one computer, and there is available storage space, then putting the data (photos, music, etc.) on more than one computer, plus on a backup device meets my criteria. Usually on a quarterly basis, I also like to use a program such as Acronis True Image to generate an full image copy of my hard drive contents, which I duplicate on external backup devices. This process means that I can recover everything to the backup date to a new hard drive without having to run years worth of Windows Updates, as well as updating other important software.

Of course, your backup data is only good for recovery if you actually check that the backup has occurred and that you can recover that data. Expecting an automatic backup to run per a schedule without checking that it ran properly and to completion is one of the nastiest surprises careless computer users encounter. Check that your back really worked! And be sure a copy is kept offsite.
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Tri-Valley PC Medic

Call for Immediate HELP!

Mobile: (925) 989.7722


9am to 6pm Weekdays

9am to 5pm Weekends / Holidays

Preferred Service Area

San Ramon / Danville

Castro Valley / Dublin

Pleasanton / Livermore

Ken Cook

Pleasanton Weekly Readers Choice Award 2010

pc repair in livermore ca

Member of: laptop service

Pleasanton chamber of commerce
City of Pleasanton Business License # 011068 (2001 - 2015)
Registered with the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs: Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair #84264

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