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Picture the scene.
Yesterday I visited some friends who own and run a small hotel in a truly beautiful location.
They had ordered some new software (Windows XP Pro, Office 2002 and Sage) so I offered to do the necessary work installing it all while I was there to save a return visit at a later date.
The obvious questions were asked: are there any files, emails, documents, data, web favourites etc that they wanted keeping or transposed over to the newly installed software ?
No was the reply, nothing at all.
That raised an eyebrow, but off I went anyway and started work.
They went on about their business and I was left sitting behind reception staring at an unfriendly Dell Dimension XPS T550 with a slightly tired and bedraggled Windows 98 installation on it.
Some hours later they were presented with their PC in full working order, all new software installed, configured and ready to run.
On sitting down to work at it, one of my friends suddenly asked where the menu was for that evening ?
Further investigation by his wife showed that the yearly accounts for the hotel from April were missing as were the new brochures they had been working on and a whole raft of other files that were either vital or of varying degrees of importance to the efficient running of the hotel were nowhere to be found.
During the coming uproar where I tried to placate them with the statement that they had indeed confirmed that nothing at all on the system was to be kept I restarted the PC.
By logging into the account I had set up for them instead of the account I had set up for myself (for troubleshooting in the future if need be) they found all data files in their My Documents folder were present and correct (including the much needed menu for that evening) and that I had also imported a backup of the yearly accounts to their new version of Sage.
Moral of the tale ?
Whether you backup your own system(s) or not is entirely up to you.
When you are working on somebody else?s computer(s) though, either as a favour or, even more importantly, for business purposes, make damned certain that you copy any and all data files, backup ALL databases and accounts systems, emails, email address book, internet favourites and whether the individual or client wants the files or not, you get to hand them over on disk and leave that final choice to them, smug in the knowledge that you, at least, will not be caught in any backlash when something they realise they desperately needed after all can no longer be found.
Whether you use floppy disks, blank CDs, another hard drive or even a second computer over a network, make sure you take the precaution of keeping your work: do it for posterity if nothing else.
You never know when you, or somebody else, may need it.
Similar situation. Client decided to "use someone else" whilst i was was away for 3 days. They had a problem with P0rn Ads popping up all the time. Would have taken me a short while to sort. Instead "someone else" decided to reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows.
He backed up all their accounts, website, etc etc etc to a new partition he made on the hard drive. Reinstalled windows (leaving out half the drivers for graphics cards and modem etc) and presented them with the "fixed" PC.
They put it together to discover that they had lost their work.
After 2 hours i found out he'd backed up the kids unimportnant files OK and somehow had backed up the owners work folders but NOT the contents to the second partition. Fortunately some of their work was in the recycle bin too!
In the end i got back some of their work, un-messed up a lot of what he'd messed up, pointed out he'd changed £40 for a £12 floppy drive and turned the new partition into a backup drive with a shortcut to perform a backup when they wanted. The CD that contains a "second safety backup of their work" never turned up either....
Some people take the time and trouble. Some just take the <keyboard error>!!!!!
Oh and how many times has anyone had this conversation....
When you absolutely HAVE to reinstall Windows.
Me - So you understand that all programs Office, Power DVD, etc will be GONE and you'll be left with just Windows.
Client - Yes.
Me - Sure you are OK with that? You have the CDs for these programs?
Client - Yes, Yes, The CDs are here somewhere.
Me - OK. So you happy for me to go ahead?
Client - YES!!
Client - Where is Word? I can't find Word? plus my DVDs don't work.......
Me - Blinkin' flip!
Excellent advice Taran, and even though I realise your a professional in this type of work, many others would have wiped the system without a second thought, on receiving the information that nothing of importance was needed. Regards. j.
If only people would listen.
I think part of the problem is people don't understand what your asking when you say "Have you got any files you want to save? Have you got all your drivers etc." I have had to do that on other's computers and had the same answer "no nothing on there that matters" I usually ignor that and start ferreting around their system myself, then you say to them, "well what about that?" answer "Ho! yes we need that", and so it goes on till you have a disk full of backups.
Great fun ain't it?
Been there, done that, know the feeling.
I have to admit to a certain perverse satisfaction when they went up in arms and I restarted the PC and logged into their own user profile and showed them their files, restored and good as new.
I've said it before but I really need to get out more...
Similar conversations :-
Me - your hard drive totally failed - everything on it has gone, you will have to have a new one.
Them - OK
Later on - them - were's all me documents and email addresses.
As they used to say "collapse of stout party"
I think that you're as sneaky and sadisitic as me! I would have been just the same.
Referred to in the trade as NIGYYSOAB (pronounced 'niggeesobb') - stands for Now I've Got You, You Son Of A B***h.
One of my delights in my far past days as an IY trainer.
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