Archive | June, 2010

Orlando Computer Repair Company Talks About Hard Drive Clicking

Hard drive clicking also known as the click of death.

What does it mean when your hard drive makes a clicking sound?
A clicking hard drive is a sign of physical hard drive failure.

Without getting into a bunch of technical factors here I am going to keep this post short and to the point.

When a hard drive makes a clicking sound it is damaged beyond repair and the data on it is not accessable.

This problem can happen to anybody anywhere and is more common then many people realize.

This also applies to people that use external hard drives as a backup system for their data.
HARD DRIVES FAIL…..period.

The bottom line is anything mechanical will fail and will not last forever.
This is especially true for hard drives including external hard drives.

When you hear your hard drive making a clicking noise unplug the hard drive and do not use it anymore.
You can attempt to copy your data off of the clicking hard drive but you are going to wind up causing more damage to the hard drive which will make it more expensive when a data recovery lab recovers your data.

When a hard drive clicks you will not be able to retrieve your data and you will have no choice but to send your hard drive to a data recovery company or an Orlando data recovery company if you live in Central Florida.

An Orlando Data Recovery company can get your data off of the damaged hard drive and onto a new hard drive.

Always be prepared for the worst and backup your data to a real backup system.
An external hard drive is not considered a professional backup solution and should only be used for a convience rather then a backup system.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Data Recovery, Data Storage, Hard Drives0 Comments

Your server or servers are running out of storage space! What should you do?

So let’s say you’ve decided to take your business seriously and spend the money needed for a quality server. You may be using a file server to share files and printers or you may use it to run Microsoft Exchange for shared calendars or for email, host a database for your company or a CRM – Customer Relationship Management application. Perhaps you have two or three servers running a combination of these and each has its own backup system and each should.

What is likely to happen over time?

Storage inefficiency – You may find that one server, perhaps your file server, is constantly running out of storage space, while another server always seems to have too much storage space to spare, but no easy way to share it. This is a very inefficient scenario and the biggest reason why DAS solution is ultimately inefficient for growing small businesses.

Management headaches – Most DAS solutions have their own proprietary management software and interfaces and are not easy to manage remotely. You may find yourself with multiple different DAS solutions, each with its own management quirks and annoyances.

Consolidate Your Data

As with PCs, the answer to server overload is to consolidate your storage, unchain it from the server, and place it on the network where it can be shared among multiple servers and PCs. Why?

It’s efficient – You get a shared pool of networked storage that you can slice, dice, and allocate to users, applications, and servers at will. No more overloaded servers sitting next to servers with storage to spare.

It’s easy to upgrade –You no longer have to shut down your server and its applications to upgrade your storage. You can add storage to the network and make it instantly available without affecting your applications.

When it’s time to upgrade your servers, it’s no longer necessary to throw out the storage with the server or spend the time to migrate data to another server. You simply connect the new server to the network and configure it for access to your network storage. Now this isn’t always the case depending on what your server is hosting but more often than not this is a good solution to many small and medium sized businesses.

It’s cost effective – Storage makes up a significant portion of your server’s price and internal space. Separate storage on the network and you can spend fewer dollars on servers or buy more server performance and reliability for your dollar. You can also pack more servers into a smaller space, if that’s what you need to do, taking advantage of compact rack mount servers or even blade servers but don’t forget to keep your server closet or room COOL with Air Conditioning.

You have two choices for network storage: a SAN and a NAS.

SAN

Storage Area Networks (SANs) separate storage from your servers and put it on its own specialized high-performance storage network where it can be pooled and allocated to servers and applications. When a server runs out of storage, you simply allocate more storage from the SAN, rather than taking down the server to add physical storage.

NAS

Nothing beats the simplicity of NAS for fulfilling the needs of a typical small business. A NAS device sits directly on the network and, like a server, serves up files, not storage blocks. There are many advantages to NAS as a small business storage solution.

Independence – NAS devices can sit anywhere on the network, completely independent of servers, serving up files to any network connected PC’s or servers. If a server or PC goes down, the NAS is still functional. If power goes down, there’s no need for complex reconfiguration. With its simplicity, a NAS can be up and running again in minutes.

Ease of Use – NAS devices typically come as preconfigured turnkey solutions. There’s no need to install a host adapter or complex server operating system. You simply plug the NAS into the network and do some very light configuration, usually with a Web browser, and your NAS is up and running and accessible to your PCs.

Easy Upgrades – T o get more storage with NAS you simply plug in another NAS device and you’re up and running with additional file storage in minutes.

Flexibility – Today some NAS solutions also come with some built-in iSCSI capability, which can provide fast block-based storage to performance-hungry server applications that need it, while still allowing you to share and print files. In some cases you don’t even need a switch or special host adapter. You simply plug your server directly into the iSCSI port on the NAS. So you get the best of both worlds in a single easy to use and configure device.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Data Storage, Hard Drives, Hardware, Servers0 Comments

What if you accidently delete a file or your data gets corrupted? How can you get your data back fast?

This sort of thing happens to small businesses and even large businesses in Orlando Florida more often then many people believe. Data gets deleted by accident or a file or files gets corrupted.
Hard drives fail, computers crash, servers get to hot and overheat, these things do happen and being able to restore data quickly is very important.

One of the nice advantages of disk based backup is that it can be done quickly with little disruption to your businesses applications and operations. One of the many ways to protect files is with automated daily backups to DAS or a NAS. Most backup solutions allow you to make  full backups to disk and frequent incremental backups of data that has changed since the last full backup daily or even several times a day.

Thanks to fast disk based incremental backups, if you accidentally delete a file or if a file, a directory, or an entire system becomes corrupted due to a virus or user or hardware failure, you can recover that file or data from prior state quickly and easily so you can get right back to work.

If you’re using a NAS solution to store backups, check to see if it comes with or works easily with software that offers point in time backup and recovery. Then you can rest assured that you’ll never really lose a precious file or data that you really need for your business.

If you accidentally deleted a file or if your server or computer crashed.
Do you know for sure you could easily and quickly restore your data?

When was the last time you actually tested your backup system?

Far too often we have seen small businesses in and around Orlando Florida use obsolete backup systems and when something goes wrong they learn all along their backup system has not been backing any data up!

TEST YOUR BACKUP SYSTEM and test it often.
Purposely remove a file or files and restore them from your backup.
This is the only way to know for sure your backup system really works.

Posted in Computers, Data Backups, Data Recovery, Data Storage0 Comments

SEO Ripoff and how to avoid getting scammed

You want SEO services but who can you trust to provide quality SEO services?
How do you avoid getting ripped off?

We have seen it all with SEO and the truth is scary. There are big SEO companies all over the internet like a plague and many are fly by night operations with little or no real world SEO experience. There is also an abundance of inexperienced individual scammers out there that have no real world SEO experience or knowledge in SEO but they have fooled many people and businesses that don’t know any better. You can find many of these inexperienced SEO wannabes on places like CraigsList. Most are not legitimate businesses and you should be aware of these kinds of crooks.

We have had businesses come to us  after being ripped off by so called SEO experts seeking help.
One example is a new client that hired us and contacted us on a 3 way phone call so we could listen to what the BIG SEO company was offering to do. The SEO firm promised to make my client #1 on organic Google searches and stated they have special and secret relationship with Google. Ok this sounds amazing but the fact of the matter is THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE and this SEO firm tried to rip another company off.

To make things more interesting I called the SEO firm on my own and spoke to the same salesman I spoke to earlier via a 3 way phone call and picked his brain to see where the conversation would go. This so called Web Master told me each SEO expert they employ is responsible for managing the SEO for over 100 client websites because they are so awesome!

I also asked them about Google add words which is something I also have extensive knowledge and experience with. I wanted to know how much do they charge to manage a small & simple Google add words accountant and they told me they charge per click instead of a flat rate to just manage the online marketing campaign. Not that I would ever consider outsourcing anything to them or anybody else, I was curious.  I know and believe in the old saying if you want something done right do it yourself but that’s not so easy in these types of situations for people with no background or understanding of how SEO and the internet work.

Ok that’s just another way they choose to bill for a specific service and there is nothing wrong with that but when I asked how much do they charge for every click and they said $50. I researched the specific key words involved and Google wasn’t charging more than $5 yes five bucks for the specific keywords we talked about.
Talk about serious price gouging and what is really sad is many businesses fall for these types of scams because they don’t know any better or don’t know who to turn to for quality and sound advice.

Not only did this SEO firm promise things that are impossible to guarantee they demonstrated they are not capable of delivering the one on one attention to detail that is necessary to deliver quality SEO services and their prices for shoddy work is way over priced. Now I am not saying good SEO comes cheap because good SEO is very time consuming and required a lot of hard work, dedication, knowledge and most importantly real world SEO experience.

So how do you find a good SEO consultant anyways?
That’s a tough question to answer because good SEO consultants are usually very busy catering to their clients and know firsthand good SEO requires paying serious attention to detail and managing the SEO for 100 websites is a bad idea for just one SEO consultant.

PICK UP THE PHONE and call him or her.

The first thing you should be asking for is to meet the SEO consultant in person – face to face for a consultation. If they are not willing to meet you in person then STOP and keep looking.

What if the SEO consultant is not near you, IE another state?
Now things are different and meeting them in person is not so reasonable but that’s ok.
You can have a phone consultation and ask important questions.

Not every SEO consultant will meet you in person for free and there may be good reason for this. They are very talented individuals and their time is very valuable and most don’t want to deal with tire kickers – you know the potential clients that ask endless questions seeking free advice then never spend a dime.

After you get that out of the way ask to see some websites that the SEO consultant is responsible for. Ask to see natural – organic searches that bring up the websites. If the SEO guru can show you this and demonstrate their talent then you are on the right track to SEO success.

Other questions to ask are how much do they charge? And what will they do for X amount of dollars. If the SEO consultant tells you they have special connections with GOOGLE or they own thousands of websites that can drive traffic to your website then WALK AWAY NOW!

Other things to verify which you can do yourself are.
Is the SEO consultant a real business?
How long have they been in business?
Do they have any professional references?
Do they have their phone number on their own website? Or do they only communicate via email?

MOST IMPORTANTLY are they located within the United States?
NEVER EVER under any circumstances hire a SEO consultant that does not reside in the United States for obvious reasons. Lack of communication skills, lack of legal – laws to protect you as a consumer, lack of quality support. Nothing is worse than being transferred to India when you need help fast.

At the lease try to use common sense when in doubt and understand good SEO isn’t cheap.
The old catch phrase I live by is cheap is not good and good is not cheap.
This doesn’t mean just because the SEO consultant isn’t cheap that he or she is good.

Now before you sign any contract or agree to a deal, find and pay a good business lawyer to review the contract to make sure you completely understand what the contract states and ask the business lawyer to clarify anything you may not understand. Spending a few hundred dollars to have a business lawyer review and edit the contract if necessary may save you thousands of dollars and prevent you from signing a bad contract.

In conclusion you now know what to look for, what to ask and how to weed out the SEO scammers that are out there.

GOOD LUCK with your quest for high quality SEO services!

Posted in Internet Marketing, SEO, SEO0 Comments


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