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Archive for 2019

Data and Server Backup Management for Your Business

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Server BackupsLet’s face it, the most important asset your business has is data – without it, your business could be lost. Given that, it’s surprising how many businesses don’t do enough to protect this incredibly valuable asset. Whether your business is small or large, it is imperative to have a data backup and recovery strategy in place so you’re not scrambling to put something together after a data loss or breach occurs. With such a plan, you can have your systems backed up and running quickly even in a worst-case scenario.

Here at my PC Techs, data backup and recovery are just two of the many computer maintenance functions we perform for our clients, from both a prevention and recovery perspective. Today’s blog will deal with the various types of data backup, how they are different, and the need to maintain and update your data on an ongoing basis; our next post will deal with the recovery process.

 

Overview

Let’s go over a few terms before we get too far into the types of backups. First off, a data backup is simply a copy of all your business’ records and data, stored in a storage system that is separate from your regular business operating system. This could be in the cloud, an off-site storage facility, or in a separate, on-site location. These backups can take many forms depending on what you are backing up, how secure it needs to be and how quickly you may need to retrieve it in the event of a data loss, hardware failure or theft. With the proper system, you will be able to restore data to your business computers or servers quickly, so your business is equipped to continue operating seamlessly.

Even the most comprehensive data backup and recovery plan is useless, however, if you don’t back up the data frequently – if you suffer a data loss event and the last backup was a week or 10 days prior, you have just taken a giant step backward.

 

Types of Backup

There are four primary types of backup, each of which has its own specific benefits and levels of security. These types of backup are data; system; database; and e-mail. Let’s take a closer look at each of these types of backup and exactly what each of them protects.

 

Data Backup

A data backup is exactly what it sounds like – it makes copies of your business’ files from their desktops or work stations and assures that data and information your company needs to operate is secure and available. Data backups are a good general solution to keep your business up and running in case of a data loss or breach, but does not back up your operating system, databases, or e-mail, any of which could be lost in a hard drive failure. It does, however, give your employees access to all their work files, and the primary cause of data loss is human error – accidentally deleting a file.

 

System Backup

While a data backup provides a baseline level of protection, a far more comprehensive solution is a system backup. This goes well beyond a standard data backup, saving operating systems, programs and settings as well. With a system backup, should you suffer from hardware failure or theft, a computer’s entire operating system can be restored including all the software and configurations. It also is an excellent tool to have in the event of a software upgrade: by constantly updating and saving your system settings, it allows you to implement changes in the system and know there is a reliable backup in place to protect you from crashes or accidental data loss. System updates are generally ran nightly and, in the event of a server with mirroring RAID drives, in real-time.

 

Database Backup

This is exactly what it sounds like – a copy of the back-end databases for your production software or servers. Any business that relies on a software solution to manage projects, accounting, or reaching out to clients or prospects on a regular basis should consider this type of backup. Like a system backup, this too is a “snapshot” backup that saves everything up to the moment of the last backup. With this type of backup, you also will have access to the backup to restore your database without affecting other system operations.

 

E-Mail Backup

E-mail is an extremely important communication tool for modern business. Most businesses use email heavily all day long, both to respond to incoming messages, as well as searching previous messages to recall prior conversations. And e-mail data is lost more often than you think, but not from servers crashing or hard drives failing. The most common way e-mail in formation is lost is by human error: accidentally hitting the delete button on an e-mail message or contact. To protect against this, my PC Techs recommends backing up your e-mail so your contacts, messages, calendars and other vital information can be retrieved in case of either a system failure or human error.

 

Which Backup Option is Best for Your Company?

Obviously if your budget allows it, implementing all these backup options provides your business the greatest security. The cost of these services varies depending on the size of your network. If you are looking for computers experts who are capable of helping you setup and manage the correct backup solutions for your business at a fair price, you’ve come to the right place. my PC Techs has delivered expert IT solutions you can trust for over 15 years and we can help develop, install, and implement a data backup and recovery plan that is capable of handling virtually any event.

 

Backup Help for Your Business

Give us a call today at 602-456-0150 for a free systems evaluation and get recommendations for a custom data, system, database and/or e-mail backup plan. We look forward to the opportunity to help!

 

 

 

 

Windows Remote Desktop Audio Not Working

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

Hopefully this post can help you solve an issue if you’re experiencing a situation with no audio while connecting to a Windows 10 VM in Hyper-V, but audio is not passing through via RDP.

A client had a Hyper-V deployment on Server 2012 R2, hosting a Windows 7 Virtual Machine. They were using Remote Desktop via a Windows 10 client computer to connect to the Windows 7 VM. Within the RDP shortcut on the Windows 10 machine, they had several options checked under ‘local resources’, ‘configure remote audio settings’:

  • Remote audio playback, play on this computer was checked
  • Remote audio recording, record on this computer was checked

In addition, within the same RDP shortcut file were the following applied settings (edited with notepad):
audiocapturemode:i:1
audiomode:i:0
audioqualitymode:i:2

From within the Hyper-V host, the VM had ‘allow enhanced session mode’ and ‘use enhanced session mode’ applied for both user and server.

Under these settings and while connecting to the Windows 7 Virtual Machine, audio pass-through via RDP was functional. The Windows 10 machine was able to RDP into the W7 VM and play audio files within the VM that would pass through to the local machine’s speakers.

The problem arose after performing a Windows Update that updated the Windows 7 VM to a Windows 10 VM. The update went smoothly and all application data and user data was preserved during the update process. The client was using the same RDP connection settings to connect to the new Windows 10 VM as described above. However, no audio was passed through the VM to the local machine. In fact, there was a red X shown on the speaker icon from within the VM in the taskbar, and upon hovering over the red X the message displayed was “No audio device” and “Code 45”.

Several troubleshooting steps were attempted, including all the following:

  • Verify on the local windows 10 machine that the following services were running and set to automatic startup: Windows Audio, Remote Desktop Services, Remote Desktop UserMode Port Redirector
  • Verify that all of the same services were running on the Hyper-V host server
  • Look for the ‘Remote Audio’ device from device manager on the Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V host system, which existed.
  • Attempt to uninstall, then re-install the ‘Remote Audio’ device on the Windows 10 VM, which failed.
  • Verify that all updates were applied to both the Hyper-V server and the Windows 10 Virtual Machine, which had no impact on the issue
  • On the server, looked at the Group Policy settings under Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Remote Desktop Session Host, Device and Resource Redirection and verified that “Limit audio playback quality” was set to “Enabled” and “Audio Quality” was set to “High”
  • SFC and DISM scans were ran within the Windows 10 VM to verify that no OS files were corrupt

The most unusual aspect of this issue was the fact that, when connecting to the Windows 10 Virtual Machine using the Hyper-V Manager, and using ‘Enhanced Session’, the remote audio played on the VM would work just fine and would transfer through for playback on the local machine. Since audio redirection worked just fine when connecting via the Hyper-V Manager, but not RDP, I was certain that it was a setting pertaining to the RDP that connection that was the source of the problem.

After some additional reading, we first thought that the VM was faulty, as it was initially setup as Generation 1 for Windows 7, whereas most recommend using Generation 2 for Windows 10. However, after several days of tweaking settings and testing, we finally found the true source of the issue.

The fix was found in the group policy “Enable Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0”. This setting was set to “Enabled” under the Windows 7 VM for whatever reason. After the update to Windows 10, the setting remained, and caused the audio redirection to fail. Changing this setting from “Enabled” to “Not Configured” followed by a reboot allowed audio redirection to work again. Finally, audio could be passed from the Windows 10 VM to the local Windows 10 machine for playback.


 


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