Do I need a 2nd computer if 1st crashes

ellie45March 20, 2012


I am concerned what I would do if my computer crashed since I am living alone.

I have:

Asus Essentio PC, bought new December 2010

Run newest IE and Microsoft Home Premium.

I have an external drive called Seagate Go flex. On there I will have copied the recovery information

as you described to a new computer owner.

Copying it to an external drive is good enough or I need to both copy to discs and copy consciously as a separate project to the external drive?

The recovery discs will have exe extension?

What if I can not bring my computer up?

I know there are various reasons, like a virus, or a computer crashing. How does one get to the diagnoses area?

Should I have a 2nd computer (a back up computer) to make sure I can continue on?

Does a 2nd home computer crash when the first one does? Is it infected with a virus when the 1st one is?

What keeps both computers running with the same information?

If I had a tablet or ipad that hooks into IE and word, would that be a saving grace?

Does a virus hit a wi-fi box or a router?

I have the hardiest regards for those who read my questions and attempt to answer them. Thank you.


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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

If you have one computer and it becomes unusable for some reason then yes it would be helpful to have another one you can use to get online and ask for help.
Just because one is infected doesn't mean the other will be.
If you have backups you should be able to use them to restore, if you are making an image backup you can use it to put the computer back exactly as it was when you created the image. This is the best way to backup.

If you don't have a second computer you can use one at a library possibly?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:39AM
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You do not need a second computer any more than you need a second frigde or stove. Those who have more than one generally have families or are computer nuts. I am a computer nut.

Recovery disks will have all the necessary files to return the computer to the way it was the day you bought it.

Backups return the computer to the state it was in at the time you created the backup.

I assume you currently have an anti virus program and other anti malware programs installed?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Thank you both for your prompt answers.

I am indexing my brain and will ask these questions too if you don't mind. I am trying to ask the questions fully so I don't get an answer of "it depends." That answer would tell me I am not fully loaded to do a recovery. (garbage in garbage out)

Yes, I have Kaspersky anti virus only. I scan for viruses a couple of times a week. Kaspersky's function is not to back up my docs I presume just protect them.

I leave my external drive hooked up to the computer via a usb port. I was told to leave it hooked up but don't know if it keeps updating or backing up my docs. Is that how it works usually if I keep it plugged in.?

If I can't bring my computer up ( that is called a crash or a blue screen) I install my recovery discs first. The CD drive works even if the computer has crashed.

Best Buy had to fix my computer in the first week I owned it. They gave me a corrupt hard drive.

I found out later they gave me discs that didn't have an exe extension. They were useless when I lost my graphic link because they were not recovery discs I was told by the online Geek Squad who tried unsuccessfully to diagnose my problem. Recovery discs reinvent the operating system. Yes? Ahead of problems I can make my own recovery discs or pay Asus to send them to me at any time?

Backup external drives or hard discs (CDs) take care of the after sale libraries I produce. Yes?

So once I bring up the computer, then I would reload my libraries.

I use Outlook and was told that information (e-mails, calendars) are not covered in backups or recoveries because Outlook is not part of Microsoft. Any comment about that?

I have not made an image backup and will try that with the directions you gave to a user yesterday. I will have to read about it and where the backup a disc or my external drive. This image back up is done ahead of time. Right?

One more thing. I use Seagate Go-flex as my external drive.
Cobian Backup pops up to tell me my computer is backed up.
Don't know where that product came from. Should I delete it?

How did I do? Recalibrate me as necessary please.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:12AM
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You do not need a second computer any more than you need a second frigde or stove. Those who have more than one generally have families or are computer nuts.

owbist, shame on you. I had to reread this more than once to be sure of what I read. I always look up to you but this is one time I have to disagree with you completely.
From my own experience, I would say everyone should have two computers, one to fall back on when one is kaput.
If a person is expecting an important email, tracking a package, or have to check statements or pay a bill, definitely a second computer will cure a panic attack! (smiles)
I would never go to a public place to access my private, personal business just to be safe.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:21AM
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I agree, a 2nd computer would be very nice to have, just in case. Remember, it isnt always just a software crash if a computer goes down. It could be a hardware problem, and the computer may have to be in the shop to have new hardrive, or new ram, or new something or another, (unless of course, you can do all that yourself). I dont think it has to be another full sized computer. You could get by with an inexpensive netbook, that would work very well for you, until you get your main computer up and running again. You could also use the netbook to come here for help, should you get a virus or trojan, etc on the main computer. Good Luck to you.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:10PM
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I totally agree with owbist. The wise investment would be the time spent learning how to protect the computer you have. Hardware failures will happen but that is not what is going on. It is mainly viruses, worms and grandchildren. Just check with Ravencajun.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:41PM
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Ellie if you only have anti virus you are at risk. I would suggest you get Malwarebytes and SUPERantispyware, both of which are free. These require you to manually update and run scans but they only need doing every one to 3 weeks depending on how conscientious/nervous you are.

I never leave my external hard drive connected to the computer. This is both for safety and economy. Connected it is open to attack and also runs all the time. If you have a factory built computer your power supply might be taxed to a degree unless your external drive is self powered. Most today are not self powered I believe.

You wrote: If I can't bring my computer up ( that is called a crash or a blue screen) I install my recovery discs first. The CD drive works even if the computer has crashed.
There is no real answer to this untill the catastrophic event occurs. You might get clues for days before the event to warn you. There would also be valuable clues in the event of a blue screen of death from the error message displayed. (BSOD)

I assume you mean Best Buy replaced a defective hard drive with a new one? What was written on the labels of the disks from BB? That would be a clue as to what they are for. As I noted before recovery disks allow you to take your computer back to the new state it was in when purchased, a backup created on your external drive will return the computer to the state at the time of that backup. Any work saved in between would be lost.

You can store your data on the computer itself and back it up to the external drive for protection. Always a good plan to have data you do not wish to lose saved in 2 locations

Outlook is generally a part of Microsoft Office although I understand it can be bought as a stand alone program - quite expensive too.

One would presume Cobian Backup came with your Go_Flex drive.

It is good that you ask these questions but be sure to allow yourself to enjoy the benefit these things can bring you. A computer is only as good as the person sat in front of the keyboard.

Urlee and Cat_ky I have no issues with anyone owning more than one computer, I have 6 and all working yet I live alone. But to purchase another computer "just in case" seems rather more than odd to me and a complete waste of money for an item that keeps becoming out of date with alarming regularity.

Don expressed it very wisely I think.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:42PM
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It is not necessary to have two computers. Shortly after I bought my very first Windows 98 computer, I could not get on line. Since that was the case, I could not come here for help, but I went to my local library and was able to get the help I needed from a helper here. I went home and was able to get my computer up and running. Now that was back in 1998 or -99, and I have never needed to do that since. Yes, it's nice to have a second computer, but absolutely not necessary.

I would also assume that the Cobian program came with your external drive, so do not uninstall that unless you have another backup program in place. I personally us a free backup, Easeus ToDo, which I have found much easier to use than the Acronis program I purchased. It can make a "clone" or image of your entire hard drive so that you can restore things exactly to that point in time. Be sure you have all the programs you intend to use installed and working before making this image, else it will not help you. I agree with Owbist that you should not keep your external drive connected all the time. I connect mine about once a month when I wish to do a backup. The timing depends on how much you use your computer and for what purposes. A business person would likely do daily or weekly backups.

The chances of a catastrophic event happening are so remote, buying a second computer, just in case, is a waste of money unless you just want a second computer for the heck of it. I have a desktop and a laptop, but bought the laptop mainly for use when I am away from home, not as a rescue unit.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:09PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I am in total agreement that you need to add a few good free programs to your layered protection to complement your Antivirus.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (Win) - Detecting and Removing Malware
there is a free version and a pay just grab the free one, update it and run a full scan every couple of weeks, must be updated prior to scan.

SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition
grab the free version and download, install, update and run full scan every couple of weeks. must be updated prior to scan.

go there and click on the continue download button below the hourglass that is the free version. download, install, select manual updates, then all you do with that one is open it once a week or so, hit the updates button it will search for them and you choose to install them then you click to enable all protection and the shield will turn green.

those 3 programs should be on all computers running windows as a layered protection.

I also highly recommend adding WOT web of trust to all browsers to help protect you from going to poorly rated websites.
select the one for the browser you use, if you use IE get the one for IE, if you use firefox get the one for firefox etc.

the other thing that is extremely important these days with the new types of exploits we see is to keep everything on your pc updated, not just windows but definitely do those, also update Java, Flash for each browser, any adobe products on the pc etc. USE the secuina scanner and keep everything updated
Secunia Online Software Inspector (OSI)

I whole heartedly agree taking the time to wisely protect your pc investment is essential!!

In addition to the backup your external drive program is doing you can also use an imaging program and create an image or clone file and save that to the external hard drive also. As grandms stated the Easues ToDo is free and does a good job. There are other good free programs available.
EaseUS Todo Backup Free

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:51PM
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Our desktop of 6yrs went and couldn't be fixed. We have a laptop for back up. I decided to get a laptop a few years ago just in case something happened to the desktop and was glad I did. I also have a kindle fire so that would work as well for me. If yours dies and you don't have these options if your library offers interent access that is one way to check email until computer can be fixed or new one bought if need be. Mary

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 4:12PM
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In our house we have one desktop in living room (that is mine), two laptops belonging to daughter on her bed, one laptop on table for hubby (daughter bought it for him for Father's Day) and as soon as grandson goes to his dad's for the weekend I am getting a computer to put in sons room for Hubby and son to use.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:44PM
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You have given me many assignments. That's good. Will print out the page. Yes, I use this computer for a good part of my job that has time constraints as I work for a company with headquarters on the other end of the country. Too much. Everyone has a story of why they need their computer.

Owbist. The discs that Best Buy gave me are labeled recovery discs. When I handed my computer over to the online Geek Squad they didn't use them because there was no exe extension. Nor did the computer service I brought my discs and hard drive to. They wanted to use their own when I lost graphic devices and clear other issues. Thus I ask about the executive extension. Which discs would have it?

One more thing. I have read here that one should have a 2nd program like FF to run if IE is acting up. There is always a circle turning at some point of the day when trying to get to Google. It times out. I bought a new Motorola SURFboard eXtreme cable Modem DOCSIS 3.0 and that has helped some at least with speed.

Should I have a second program?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:00PM
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My laptop died once.
I have old retired computers I could have to spent a few minutes with ope to put it online ... but it really was easier to just go shop bestbuy/office depot/staples & pick up a new on sale laptop. Maybe wasted 1 hour & a gallon of gas. But a quick & easy solution.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 12:57AM
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I hope I don't have to make that choice, mikie.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 2:31AM
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I just loaded Fire Fox as my 2nd browser. Read a suggestion Raven gave out recently and many times before. Had it a long time ago and I had some difficulty with learning the program. The Video explaining it as a non-profit was quite interesting. I think I will do a better job with it this time when I read up on it.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 3:24AM
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I would like a second one to learn the new OS.

If you buy a computer from Best Buy be very sure you are getting a PC that is in a box that is still sealed by the factory. They tried to sell me one that had been opened and resealed. When I questioned them they said they opened it, set it up and installed their protection on it. After a "serious" discussion they did go back and get one that had never been opened. I enjoy setting them up, plus I don't trust them to handle my merchandise. They acted like I was nuts for not wanting one all set up and for only an extra $150. They were going to drop that charge if I would take it.

I buy mine there because they are the only store that sells high end PCs. Office Max and Office Depot have started selling them but do not have a good choice in their store. They order them for you from their warehouse.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:23AM
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