Computer Disaster Recovery / Repairs / Services

April 17, 2008

A client of On Site Computer Services, local business owner Mike Catalanotto of Mike Cat’s Cycle Works in Kenner, recently called with a common information technology problem: his computers were issuing a “drive not found” message when he attempted to access data stored on his server.  This included his Intuit Quick Books and Microsoft Office data from Word, Excel, and Publisher, including his Outlook email, schedule, and contacts stored on his Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 R2.  Generally, this is an easy problem to repair and service.  A replacement of the defective server drive and a restoration of his data from backup is a simple repair.  His backup was on an external USB hard disk and his backup log showed successful backups for the past several weeks.

However attempts to restore the server data from backup failed.  His external USB backup drive was fraught with missing sectors.  A quick Google search provides ample evidence of this common problem – the backup drive is bad!  In his Computerworld article, “Hard drive disaster: A cautionary tale” by Steve Bass, a columnist laments the lesson to always verify your backups. 

External USB hard drives are an easy way to backup and restore data as long as the backup drive is good.   Hard drives have hundreds of physical failure points, electronic and mechanical.  Hard drives can fail at any time for any reason.  Our client favored the ease and cost effectiveness of the external USB hard drive over the tape backup system we install and recommend.  However he failed to verify his backup data following his nightly backup.  His Intuit Quick Books and Microsoft Office data from Word, Excel, and Publisher, including his Outlook email, schedule, and contacts stored on his Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 R2 was unavailable. He was lost without this critical information. 

The loss of business-critical data, especially at tax time, is discouraging.  Mike Cat’s could not operate without the lost information.  Thankfully, the people at First Advantage Data Recovery Services offered a fast, cost effective data recovery solution.  For approximately $2,000, First Advantage was able to recover the missing data.  Our client was lucky. 

There are a couple of lessons to learn.  Backups can fail.  Backup data should be verified upon completion of the nightly backup.  Microsoft’s Small Business Server provides for such verification with its native backup program.  Mike now uses an HP tape backup system with multiple tapes that are rotated nightly.  Mike Cat also has his server verify his backup data upon completion of each nightly backup.  For more information regarding Microsoft’s suggested backup and restore procedures, please access this publication.

If you’re searching for computer consulting, repairs or service of your Microsoft based system or network in the New Orleans area, then call the knowledgeable, reputable Microsoft specialists at Onsite Computer Services, Inc. in New Orleans 504-469-6991.

You may also be interested in Onsite Computer’s Blog.

This New Orleans On-Site Computer Services post was provided by Eli Lucas. Eli can be reached at On-Site Computer Services, Inc. serves the Microsoft computing needs of small businesses throughout the Greater New Orleans area including Uptown, Lakeview, Broadmoor, Mid-City, Metairie, Jefferson, Kenner, Westbank, French Quarter, and the Warehouse District.  Please visit our website at


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