ComTech: IT Support Stirling

Backing up your files is great but what about those emails?

ComTech: IT Support Stirling

I have been banging on about backups now for months and at last some of my clients are beginning to get the idea.  This is good news but I now have a different problem.  I am beginning to see clients who have good backup strategies for all their files but have nothing in place for their emails.

Let me illustrate.  I had a new client last week with a Sony Vaio running Windows Vista which was riddled with viruses (118 to be precise).  The best option I had was to reset the system so I explained to the client that I would backup all their data, reset the system and then move all their data back across.  The client said that he had all his files backed up (on CD) but then I asked him about his emails.  “Funny you should mention that they all got deleted off Windows Mail last week and I was hoping you could get them back”. There was nothing left on the system to retrieve even with file recovery software (my best guess is that a virus has wiped them).  “Surely they will be left on the server though” asked my client who was now getting a bit panicky.  Usually they would be but someone had unchecked the leave messages on the server option in the account options.  He had lost all his emails from the last 5 years.

Now most people in a business environment will be using some form of Microsoft Outlook which is very easy to back up.  If you are using webmail (eg GMail, Yahoo mail etc) you don’t have this problem but it is still good practice to backup all your data anyway.

Moral of this story is backup everything (files, folders and emails) to either another system, external hard drive or cloud storage so this scenario doesn’t happen to you.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in Stirling and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter


2 thoughts on “Backing up your files is great but what about those emails?

  1. Brian,

    That is a good idea as that’s where most people live – their Documents folder.

    However, if that documents folder is stored on a network share it’s a very bad idea if it’s still open, or will be opened, in Outlook. If you redirect the incoming mail from the OST to the PST file you’ve got the same problem!

    Open PST + network share = bad idea

  2. Most customers don’t know where their email is stored, or what a .PST file is. For those people I setup Outlook and have it store the PST file in a folder marked PST under Documents so that they will be backed up.

    At the same time I tell them what the PST file’s are, should the go on a hard-drive space cleaning binge in the future.

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