Tredd’s Self Storage Software stores all your business information in one database file.  The lost of this file can cause countless days of downtime for your business as well as lost information that may never be recovered.  Considering the investment and the value of your data, doesn't it make sense to take steps to protect your valuable data?  This Data Protection Guide offers tips on protecting your investment and your data.  

NOTE:  Since version 5.5.3 of our software, you can now Internet Archive your database to our data warehouse.  With just two clicks of the mouse, you can send your encrypted database to our online data warehouse for future retrieval incase your computer system crashes.  All you need is an internet connection to use this feature.  This service is provided to customers with an active maintenance plan.

Common Precautions

  • Set up your computer in a safe environment. Your computer should be in a dry, cool, controlled environment that is clean and dust-free. Placing your computer in a low-traffic area will protect your system and storage media from harmful jarring or bumping.
  • Backup your data regularly. Creating daily backups is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from losing data.  Backup data at least once a week with reliable tapes or other storage devices, and always verifying that the correct data is backed up.  The least desirable place to store your backup is on the same computer you are using to run the software.  The most desirable place is on removable media, such as CDs, floppies, removable hard drives, and our favorite - a Zip® 250MB USB-Powered External Drive from Iomega Corporation.  To backup our database, simply click on the disk icon on the main screen of your software.  Then select the location you want to store the backup and click 'Save'.  If you purchase third party backup software, simply point it to the SS.MDB file in the installation folder of our software.
  • Use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).  In the event of a surge of electricity or lightning strike, an uninterruptible power supply protects your computer from being permanently damaged.  In addition, a UPS has a battery backup that keeps your computer running for a short time in the event of a power outage, giving you time to save your work and avoid potential data loss.  A good UPS can be purchased for less then $125, so there is no reason not to purchase one.  A surge protector is not a replacement for a UPS and considered by many a waste of money.  Our favorite company, American Power Conversion (APC) makes a very good UPS at a reasonable price.
  • Run a virus scan regularly and update it at least twelve times a year. Computer viruses are one of the worst enemies to your computer. Good antivirus software tests your system for sequences of code unique to each known computer virus and eliminates the infecting invader.   Our favorites are Norton Antivirus software and McAfee Antivirus software.
  • Be aware of strange noises. If you hear a strange noise or grinding sound, turn off your computer immediately and call an expert. Further operation may damage your hard drive beyond repair.
  • If you do experience a data loss, a well experience computer technician can help.  Even the best maintenance program cannot always prevent system crashes or data loss.  Most computer technicians can offer some type of data recovery solutions, ranging from in-lab and remote services to cost-effective do-it-yourself software.  Before allowing a computer technician to work on your computer, stress you MUST have the SS.MDB file from the installation folder of our software before they reinstall any software or wipe the hard drive for a reinstall of the operating system.  Most computer technicians are only concerned about getting your PC up and running and not saving data.

Caring for Your Hard Disk Drive

Despite the obvious importance of this equipment to your system, many users neglect to care for their hard disk drive. Your drive is easily susceptible to many sources of damage. Tredd’s Self Storage Software offers the following tips to protect and care for your hard drive:  

  • Protect your drive from excessive jarring and bumping. All too often, when people install, move or reconfigure hard disk drives, they knock the drive around unintentionally, damaging equipment that can result in the loss of data.
  • Beware of static. Static electricity, an unseen and unfelt enemy, can wreak havoc on the wiring inside computer chips and transistors. Because it's so easy to discharge built-up static when you touch a hard disk drive, precautions like wrist straps can help prevent static discharge.
  • Acclimatize the room in which you store your equipment. Be careful of temperature, humidity, altitude and vibration, all forces that could lead to the intermittent or total failure of hard drives.
  • Perform periodic checks of your hard disk drive.  Windows comes with software to check your hard disk drive or you can purchase numerous software packages to do this.  Beware of advice from friends about defragging your hard disk drive monthly or weekly.  Unless you constantly adding and removing software packages to your computer, defragging every six months is more then enough.
  • Place your hardware in a safe location. When you move your computer to a new position (from your desk to the floor, or from a horizontal to a vertical position), you should always backup the hard disk drive. An accidental bump to the drive could cause the heads to track differently, resulting in disk read or write errors.

  Caring for Your Backup Tapes

Tapes, floppies, CDs, and Zip disks are delicate storage medias, but like the hard drive, people often fail to give their backup media adequate attention and protection.  Below are guidelines to protect backup tapes, however all media types should be given the same care:    

  • Keep your tapes boxed until you need to use them. Opening tape boxes prematurely will unnecessarily increase a new tape's exposure to dust, moisture and sunlight, and could eventually erode a tape's quality and dependability.
  • Do not attempt to load a tape into the drive if you notice dents, cracks or moisture in the tape's cases, hinged doors or file-protect selectors. Loading a damaged tape could not only lead to further tape damage, but also compromise the integrity of your system.
  • Beware of temperature extremes. Store your tapes at room temperature. Excessive heat can cause the plastic used in tapes to constrict, causing instant destruction and unpredictable read/write errors in your tapes.
  • Avoid magnetic fields. Speakers, microwave ovens and printer heads can destroy your tapes and erase all information stored on them.  

Tips for Successful Data Recovery

No matter how hard you try to protect your data, your system may still fall victim to data loss. Regardless of the cause of your data loss, there are steps you can take to keep your data loss from becoming a data disaster.  

  • Don't panic. You should never assume your lost data is unrecoverable. If you use our Internet Archive feature, simply send us an email requesting your database and we will email it to you within 24 hours.  
  • If you haven't used our Internet Archive feature, you can call a qualified data recovery expert. In most cases, your data is fully recoverable.  Some local computer stores will simply wipe your hard drive and install a clean copy of Windows Operating System and make no attempt to save data.  If you did not make backups, very clearly explain to them you must have the database recovered from the drive before wiping the drive.  The only file you need is the SS.MDB file from the installation folder of our software.  If possible, also ask them to save all the .RTF files in our folder also.  These files are your customer letters and rental agreement.
  • Do not use file recovery software if you suspect an electrical or mechanical failure. Using file recovery software on a faulty hard drive may destroy what was otherwise recoverable data.
  • "Undelete" tools can save your data from human error. Most disk utility packages contain a function that allows you to retrieve an erased file. This tool must be used immediately; however, because your computer will quickly write new data over the deleted file.  Microsoft Windows stores deleted files in the recycle bin and can be restored as long as you haven't emptied the recycle bin. For more information see your Windows documentation or help file.
  • Do not clean or operate equipment damaged by a natural disaster. Whether it's a flash flood or a twisting tornado, if you've fallen victim to a natural disaster, there are few options. Contact a qualified data recovery expert before you attempt to turn on the computer.  Your chances for a successful recovery are greatly reduced if you make any attempts yourself to clean or dry your damaged computer.
  • If your data falls victim to computer crime, seek professional advice. Computer crime is a growing threat to data. Intentional data deletion, duplication and theft increasingly threaten valuable computer information.   There are several software packages that specialize in computer theft diagnosis and electronic evidence gathering.
  • Create and maintain reliable backups. It's surprising how few people actually backup their systems regularly, and how fewer people actually test and verify that the backups are complete and error free.
  • If you have suffered data loss, seek professional help. Professional data recovery services offer the expertise and tools required to recover your data quickly and efficiently.

 

If you have any questions about anything in this document, please feel free to contact us at sales@tredd.com 

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We are celebrating our 20th year of producing quality software for the self storage industry with our latest release 7.2.4.A on 11 Dec 2017.  Check out the What's New to read about the 50+ new features we added in the past year including Credit Card Processing with Authorize.net and many more features requested by our customers, such as how our software can help you be Earth Friendly and Green.

Our software is 100% compatible with all versions of Windows including XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.  We are also compatible with all modern Window server editions since 2003 Server.

If you have any questions about our software, please contact us.

 

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