Backups are your friend – the story of another IT problem at home

Yesterday turned out to be one of those days – around lunch time my wife ran into some problems with her Notes client that she could not get solved herself.

After we decided to work on this later yesterday – later turned out to be around 10p due to my work schedule until 9p and other family duties, we started to work the problem. Of course her Laptop runs Windows (and is a rather old model), it took ages to uninstall and reinstall the Notes client. Heck, how much do I love my Linux Machine w/ the SSD on those days.
BTW – the problem was that when Notes started, she got prompted for her password – before Notes told us that there was a non-existing or inconsistent document.
As the machine had seen a lot of installs over the original version of Notes, the reinstall was a clean path forward.
And surely, Notes would start after the fresh install and launch into the setup process – so we got back into operation.
Moving the old files back in recreated the original error and it turned out it was the NAB that caused the problem – dumb and annoyed as I was at that point I had overwritten the clean names already witht he corrupt one and had no clean DB to use. So I ran both fixup and compact, still the same error (today I assume it might have been a problem in the design, but – so what)
This is where the backup story now kicks in: We had a backup from earlier that day – but the names.nsf has already been corrupt, so no help. But my wife had a copy of an older version that we could use – and Notes was back in operation, incl all her setup to get to her mail! Nice.
So – what’s the story: Backup’s are important and people should spend some time to think about what they would need in case of a problem. And as we can see, it is not always the earlier version of data as this might have been already corrupted….
So a descent backup of key files (especially documents) should have at a minimum 2 versions so you can go back to an older one easily if required.
But everything is better than loosing data. We ended up in the discussion around this and I guess most people do not acknowledge, that there can be incidents on computers that corrupt data, like it happend here. It might be surprising to people (at least it was to my dad) that even a Hard Disk can break suddenly and die. Most people – especially without the appropriate technical skills and experience – would panic here.
I guess we as IT experts are not always doing a good job to explain this simple things to the DAU’s of the world – but it hits us all when we get called to fix those problems. So, maybe, we need to become more proactive here.
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