Storms and computers

With the storms that have been rolling through the area lately, now would be a good time to have a refresher on what to do with your computers during a storm.

• Have your data backed up. We see it all the time where customers bring in their computers after a lightning strike because it won’t turn on. Sometimes we are able to retrieve their data off the hard drive, sometimes not. To prevent data loss, it is always a good practice to have a backup of your information anyway, but storms can knock out your hard drive and there might not be a chance at getting your information back. You can never go wrong having a backup, storms or not.

• Shut down your computer. This applies more to desktops than to laptops because desktops are plugged into a power source at all times, whereas laptops can be disconnected and run on battery power. During storms it is best to shut down your desktop to prevent damage to the machine from a lightning strike/power outage. Unplug the charger from your laptop if you have that plugged in during a storm to prevent a power surge through the charger.

• Surge protectors/battery backups. Having your devices plugged into a surge protector or a battery backup is the best way to prevent damage other than having your machine shut off and unplugged. However, be aware that even if you take those steps, damage could still occur. A surge protector will obviously protect you from power surges. A backup will protect you from a power outage, but only for a short period of time. Go through the normal shutdown procedure if you have your computer plugged into a battery backup. Even if you have a battery backup, I still recommend shutting down your computer during storms.

If you have questions about the information above, or want to go over what may be best in your situation, give us a call at iCitizen and we can advise you on possible solutions. Contact us at or call the Citizen at 831-3455.

Updated: September 11, 2018 — 11:58 am