Posted By:Mike Bolt
Email:
Subject:Re: I have a neighbor that I have been helping with her genealogy. She had a compute
Post Date:October 19, 2006 at 07:14:53
Message URL:http://genforum.genealogy.com/paf/messages/3728.html
Forum:Personal Ancestral File Forum
Forum URL:http://genforum.genealogy.com/paf/

Barry,

I saw where you had received answers in another forum with OCR advise. At best, this will be a long process. Not as bad as re-keying it all, but long. My thoughts:
- Take the computer to a tech and see if data can be recovered from the computers hard drive. Often it can. This is the best hope. DO IT NOW. My friend was coached by factory support to reformat his hard drive for a minor problem and lost years of hard work.

Recovery is best done by PREVENTING THE NEED. PAF has a really easy backup. Do the backup and save the files to a CD, diskette, or to a external hard drive. These are easy to use, especially with the MS XP operating system. Hard drives are so inexpensive that I have installed a second one in my computer and backup to it regularly. DVD writer drives are available for about $30. Complete drive image copying software can make an image of the complete system to DVD disk(s). Norton Ghost or similar products will occasionally be on sale for near nothing after rebate (see salescircular.com). This has pulled my bacon from the fire several times, but I have found that the external hard drive is easier and quicker than the DVD Disks.

I write my complete system image to two separate external hard drive at least once a month. I use one for “off site” backup in case of some sort of disaster that destroys my computers. Make a copy of the backup (diskette, DVD, external hard drive) and keep it at a parent, adult children, or friends home. This is a small price to pay for your invaluable data that has taken thousands of hours and thousands of dollars to acquire.

Even without the super deals, you can get this capability (hardware and software) for around $150 (shop around. My last external HD and Ghost was $70).

Your hard drive WILL CRASH sooner or later. If you don’t back up to another source, you will loose it. This isn’t a scare tactic. This is FACT!!! No backup, no data.

Good luck,
Mike