Capital Region Technology & Computer Support




Several years ago a customer rang and said the power to his office had failed over night and none of his computers could now log onto the server. On arriving at his office I noticed that he had a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) connected to the server. The UPS was about 18 months old and would still be expected to work normally, but it had failed. Because the server had not been shut down correctly it's operating system had been corrupted and now failed to load. This was soon resolved by reinstalling the operating system leaving the problem of restoring the data. The customer had been changing the backup tapes every day as advised by the person who installed the server so this was not expected to be a problem. The most recent backup tape was inserted to restore the server settings and data as it had been on the previous night. No data could be found on the tape. Suspecting that the tape my have been running when the power failed, the next most recent backup tape was tried, then several others, all with the same negative result. By examining the tape log it was found that only two backups had ever been completed successfully and both were done on the day the tape drive was installed.
This customer learnt in a most painful way that even though he had tools suitable for the job and was using them in what he understood was the correct manner the various systems needed to be tested occasionally to verify that they worked correctly.