New Analysis: Sometimes it's not Mother Nature that creates the disaster that needs recovery. Sometimes it's you or someone who works for you.
During the course of the last month, those of us in the Washington,
D.C., area have dealt with our share of
natural disasters. We
had an earthquake
that was relatively mild by West Coast standards, but it
shut down a nuclear power plant that remains closed, it toppled the tops of the
spires on National Cathedral, collapsed several school buildings and brought
about an overloaded wireless network. If that wasn't enough, we
were hit a few days later by Hurricane Irene
, and then a few days after
that by Tropical
You'd think that would be enough disasters for a three-week
period of time. But then there were the unnatural disasters. For example, a
utility worker accidentally caused a blackout in parts of Arizona,
California and Mexico
when something went wrong during a maintenance procedure, and then automatic
safeguards didn't function as expected. The result is that a number of areas
had to wait days for power to be restored, and that in turn meant that
computers and data centers were down. Hopefully, they were protected by
uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) so that
they didn't lose anything, but that doesn't help with conducting business.
Of course, unnatural disasters can be smaller, and closer to
home. I found myself doing disaster recovery of sorts starting Sept. 10, after
I had to reinstall Microsoft Windows 7 on my primary workstation. This was
caused by the kind of individual disaster that's not any larger than a single
business. But it still caused days of downtime while I restored computing power
to my business.
The cause of this one-business disaster was a desire to tune
up my primary computer. It's a machine with a pair of dual-core Intel Xeon
processors, 64-bit Windows and a lot of memory. But it was getting slow, so I
installed a new copy of System Mechanic from Iolo
, a product that I'd reviewed before, and that has generally
rated well. This time, something went horribly wrong, and my registry was
corrupted. I was eventually able to get the computer to start, but it couldn't
do anything useful.
Since I'd discovered the damage over the weekend, I had to
wait until Monday for the proper level of tech support. I used my laptop for
doing work, so all was not lost, but then I spent hours on the phone with
Iolo's tech support. There was no solution other to perform a clean install of
Windows. I did that Monday.