Helpful Tips . . .

"HELP! My hard drive crashed and I lost all of my data including my Time Logger time records. Can you help me?"

We have thousands of customers and every week a few people ask us the question above. Unfortunately, we cannot help unless you have backed up your data.

It could happen to you. Maybe it already has.

Now, consider this. How much would it cost you in lost time and revenue if you lost ALL of the data on your hard drive? If you add up the time to purchase and install a new hard drive, plus the time to re-install the operating system and all of the software and then re-configure your email, remember and find all of your passwords, and many other tasks, it can quickly add up to 10, 20 even 40 hours of extra work and several days of lost productivity.

If you work in an office and keep your data on a network, then chances are your data is automatically backed up. But what if you have just one or two computers? At Responsive Software we have a simple, inexpensive and fool-proof backup strategy that we have used ourselves and have recommended to many other individuals for both their home and business computers. Purchasing all of the software and hardware costs between about $150 and $300. Think of it like this. Would you pay up to $300 to avoid several days of lost productivity and permanently lost data.

What We Use and Recommend

NOTE: All of the software listed here we actually use at our office and/or on our own computers at home. Where possible, we try to secure a discount for you if you click on one of the links. Some of the software is free and and some costs money. If it costs money then we offer it at either the same or a lower price as everyone else. Yes, we do receive a small commission when you click on a link and buy the software and we truly appreciate your support. Also, note that you'll either pay either the same price or less after you click on our link to evaluate the product, than if you just went directly to each website.

To avoid catastrophic losses to your data and be back up and running in a very short time with virtually no loss of vital data should your hard drive crash, we recommend that you have at least two extra external hard drives.

One is always connected to your computer and should be at least 20gig large. To it you will write backup copies of all of the documents and files that you work on using VCom's AutoSave. This software is always running and will write backups at settings you specify for folders you specify. See the settings we use below.

The second should be exactly the same as the hard drive inside your computer. It is not necessary to have the exact same manufacturer, but it is quite important that it be the exact same size and be compatible with your computer. To it you will periodically, such as once a week or once a month, create an exact duplicate (clone) of your computer's hard drive. You will use Paragon Hard Disk Manager to make a disk clone of your internal hard drive to the external hard drive.

Daily Backup Software

There are lots of backup products and this one we've used VCom's AutoSave for awhile and we've been really pleased with it because it's saved us from our own mistakes many times. We really like its flexible, easy to use, yet robust features. You specify:

  • which drive(s) and folders and files to include (or exclude) in the backup
  • the number of historical copies to keep of each file backed up
  • the frequency of backing up (i.e.: every 5, 30 or 60, etc. minutes)
  • where to store the backup files

Then, if you ever accidentally delete or change or corrupt a file, you've got it backed up and you even have multiple old copies of it. We have it back up all of our work folders and use these settings:

  • include work folders, all files, excluding any thing like *.bak, *.tmp, etc.
  • keep 5 historical copies
  • backup every 30 minutes
  • store to an extra external hard drive

With this software always running, we have not lost a document due to a clumsy mistake in years. It's paid for itself many, many times. Combine it with a periodic full backup of your entire hard drive for full-proof protection.

AutoSave 2 - Download

AutoSave 2 - Download

Automatic file protection backup improves PC security! VCOM's AutoSave 2 is a feature-packed backup software and backup utilities providing a unique, 'real-time', automatic security solution that you simply set up once and forget! Its easy-to-use Setup wizard allows flexible management of backups; while the Restore wizard walks users through disaster recovery quickly and easily. It backs up to a wide variety of storage devices, including networks, without schedules or user interruption. AutoSave is perfect for all PC users, from novice to expert, desktop or laptop. Currently, the Windows Vista ready version is available in Download format, only. The Windows Vista ready Box version should be available soon.

Full Drive Backup

There are many different Full Drive backup programs out there. Paragon Hard Disk Manager is one of the fastest at backing up your entire hard drive. That way, if your current hard drive crashes, you just take it out, put the one you backed up into the computer, turn it on and you're back in business. Combine it with VCom's AutoSave and then, if you made your last Full Drive backup a couple of weeks ago (or more) your latest copies of files you've changed can be restored as well.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager - Personal Edition (suitable for most single users)

Paragon Hard Disk Manager - Professional Edition (suitable for users who what ALL of the functionality)

Anti-Virus Software

We researched about a dozen of the top Anti-Virus products and discovered that Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 consistently ranked in the top 3 performers. It's reasonably priced and quite stable. In our opinion (and many others) that it's much better than Norton Anti-Virus, less expensive, too. We've been using it for a couple of years and are quite happy with it's performance. Try it for FREE if you like. Comes with a money-back guarantee, too.

Click below for single-users. Be sure to select multiple years for a discount!

Click below for discounts on multiple licenses for either the home or office. Be sure to select multiple years for an even larger discount!


External Hard Drive Case (for extra hard drive)

USB 2.0 Hard Drive Enclosure, 3.5 inch

USB 2.0 Hard Drive Enclosure, 3.5 inch

Use this for standard 3.5 inch drives from a desktop computer. The Bafo 3.5 inch hard drive enclosure (USB to IDE) allows you to use an IDE hard drive as an external USB drive.

USB 2.0 Hard Drive Enclosure (Aluminum), 2.5 inch

USB 2.0 Hard Drive Enclosure (Aluminum), 2.5 inch

Use this for standard laptop/notebook hard drives. This durable aluminum enclosure houses any standard 2.5 inch 9.5mm USB 2.0 external hard drive.

NexStar3 External 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure eSATA & USB 2.0 Interface

NexStar3 External 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure eSATA & USB 2.0 Interface

Use this for the newest, fastest hard drives. See yourself in the cool, stylish,and outstanding performance of Vantec's NexStar3 External 3.5 Hard Drive Enclosure eSATA & USB 2.0 Interface.

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