When It's Not Enough to Back Up Your Computer
As a full-service IT company, we tell our clients daily about the importance of backing up their QuickBooks files and applications. And still most people don't. If you count yourself in that group, don't feel too guilty. But even if you back up everything on every PC and laptop in your business each and every day, it may not be enough. Data can be restored fairly easily from backup media like DVDs or the cloud, but when it comes to applications, it's another story. Even if an application is successfully copied onto a new machine from the backup, in many cases, it's not going to work or will have to be reregistered.
If your backup plan doesn't call for reinstalling the application or registering it again, you may find yourself losing precious information, time and money. Here's a tip for something that you can do to minimize the chances of that happening.
Physically store the original application. If it came on CDs, make sure they are in a CD case, and buy a bunch of padded envelopes at the dollar store. Store each set of CDs in a padded envelope, and on the outside of the envelope, write down what the application is, what version of the application is on the discs, the year you obtained the discs and the serial number.
If the program was downloaded, transfer a copy to a thumb drive, put the drive in a padded envelope and write down the same information. Alternatively, you can burn the download to a CD or DVD disc and follow the recording instructions above. Spend a few dollars and buy a large container that seals well to store all the envelopes in, and store the container off-site or in a different business location. And if you really want to be safe, before you store the applications in the envelope, copy them to separate folders in one of the popular cloud storage services like Dropbox.
The storage envelopes aren't the only place you should record the serial or product numbers of every application that you archive. It's a good idea to have them saved in several locations. You can record them in a text file on one PC or laptop, and save that file to your network as well as store it online in the cloud.
It's not really much trouble to protect yourself this way, and padded envelopes are very inexpensive if you buy them in bulk packs. That way, if you find you ever have to restore an application and need the product/serial number or even the original media, you can get at it right away and be up and running again quickly.
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