Do you need to back up your Microsoft 365 data?

Right, so your laptop is quite a few years old now and it struggles quite a lot. Even when playing a YouTube video. The cooling fan speeds up to a noticeable hum and everything else feels less responsive. It’s time for a new laptop.

Off to the store you go and spend enough to get a laptop that is as up to date as possible with the latest hardware so it will last a few years. Now, you just need to copy all your data over. Your current setup is ideal, and you don’t fancy having to set it all up again.

You decide to clone your existing setup. A quick backup and restore and you are back up and running. Everything is where it is and the only difference is the hardware. Everything is a lot more reponsive too.

Next, you decide to setup a backup to make sure all your data is protected and decide that it would be a great idea to save a copy elsewhere, so you sign up to a third-party cloud service and get the backups copying there as well. So far so good. All your data is protected, your Operating System is protected. All good!

But wait! What about your emails in Microsoft 365, or Teams chats or your OneDrive data? Surely, if it is in the cloud, it is backed up, right? All those important emails, Teams Chats, OneDrive files. You decide to check how often Microsoft backups them up and how long they store them for. Well, it turns out. Microsoft don’t backup them up at all!

What? No backups? But it’s in the Cloud!

Microsoft use something called a ‘Shared Responsibility Model’ (Shared responsibility in the cloud – Microsoft Azure | Microsoft Learn) which means, in simple terms, that Microsoft is responsible for certain aspects, such as the infrastructure and providing the service but not your data residing in Microsoft 365, which is known as a SaaS (Software as a Service) application. As can be seen in the image below, Microsoft is not responsible for:

  • Information and data
  • Devices (Mobile and PCs)
  • Accounts and identities
  • Some Identity and directory infrastructure

A great article can be found here: The Office 365 Shared Responsibility Model (

Shared Responsibility Model. Credit: Microsoft

For example, all the files that you create in say, Microsoft Word, and save in your Documents folder. Unless they are backed up, the files reside on your computer. If that computer was to fail, there will be data loss. This is similar to Microsoft 365. Microsoft supply the platform to create and work with the data created but it resides in their DC (Data Center). Will you be able to access that data whenever you need it? What is there was an outage in a Microsoft DC where the data resides?

What if you wanted to recover an email that was deleted a while ago? Or retrieve a previous version of a file from OneDrive from over 6 months ago?

Well, this is where something to backup that data in Microsoft 365 would be useful. You have a copy of your Microsoft Teams chats, emails, OneDrive files, etc available at all times without worrying about what would happen if you were no longer able to access your Microsoft 365 account or if there was an outage.

One such great product is Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365. More information here: FREE Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Community Edition One of the best things about it is that it is free for 10 users and 1TB of SharePoint data! As in pay nothing, zilch, nada, 0!

Installing HP Drivers Silently

I have been working on a project recently to push out some firmware and driver updates to a fleet of HP Workstations. Firmware tends to be one of those things that does not usually gets missed, as the main focus tends to be on OS Patching and updating installed applications.

Now, when it comes to patching firmware, the major manufacturers usually provide a .exe that is mostly interactive i.e. Launch > Admin UAC > Next > Next. etc. Not so good when you have users working on the workstation and an application window pops up asking for user interaction before it installs. Or when you have a huge fleet of workstations which may not be online all the time.

I recently came across an easy way to check when it comes to updates published by HP at their support site:

Enter the serial number of the model in question and it will take you to the relevant support site for that workstations. This is handy when you have a workstation fleet mostly of the same model. Next, select the relevant driver from the list. In this case ‘Driver-Storage’:

Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver Download Information

Click on ‘See full details’ and on the page that opens:

Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver Download Page

Right-click the ‘Download Now’ button and make a note of the URL. In this case it is:
Next, remove the .exe and add .cva as follows:

This will then provide all relevant information for that specific driver. Scroll down a little and look for [Install Execution] and that will provide the relevant command line switches for a silent install:

Add into your relevant deployment scripts, test and deploy!

London Capital Ring Section 9

I have always wanted to walk the London Capital ring but always kept putting it off. Mostly due to not having anyone to walk it with.

Anyway, one day last year, I came across a Meetup Group that was planning on doing the walk and I thought, why not? So I signed up, headed over to Woolwich Arsenal at the very beginning of Section 1 and as they say, the rest is history.

It is almost a year since we started walking the London Capital Ring and we completed Section 9 last weekend (24/07/2016). Section 9 starts at Greenford and finishes at South Kenton with a distance on 5.5 miles (8.8km). Each section is unique and there quite a few sights that can be seen at each section.

Much to the chagrin of one of the walkers, Pokemon Go had just recently been released and some of us were going to try and catch some. I forgot to verify my email address when I signed up so it was a no go for me. However, as I write this, it seems that the novelty has worn off and the media outlets no longer report on it. Pokemon Go feels like the unpolished version of Ingress but that is a topic of another day.

We started off at Greenford and everything was going OK on the walk until we reached a bridge. As there was no sign, we thought we would carry on. However, we soon had to turn back as we were heading in the wrong direction. In hindsight, this was probably a sign as we hod to do this a few times to retrace our steps. This section was probably one of the worst with regards to signs. There were parts where there were no signs at all and other parts where we counted 6 for a road crossing! There is also a Gruffalo trail at the top of Horsenden Hill. That was a nice little surprise.

Horsenden Hill is quite steep but once at the top, the views are wonderful. Again, there was a slight confusion in which direction we needed to head as there were no signs. In the end we ended up taking the wrong path but eventually worked our way back to the main path.

We also missed the turning after Sudbury Hill Harrow train station and had to backtrack again. No Capital Ring sign here.

After this it was pretty much plain sailing. My favourite bit was Harrow On the Hill. It is very picturesque, the building from another era but very well maintained. There was a small market on Sunday selling various foodstuffs. I got myself and Mushroom and Cheese pasty. It was absolutely wonderful.

Next, through Harrow School. Again, absolutely wonderful. You have to see it. They had a field as far as the eye could see. Just before we came to the end of the field, there was a little wooden plaque with some letters and numbers. A code perhaps? Will post some pictures up when I fix my Media Uploader. It seems to have broken completely.

Next, onto Northwick Park walking past Northwick Park Hospital and onto the main part of the part a left turn and we arrived at South Kenton. Near South Kenton there is a pub called the The Windermere Pub ( On the day we visited, the were doing some filming. Think it was something to do with Art as there were a large number of paintings and staff from the Barbican were there.

For this section, some sights that we came across included the following:

  • The Grand Union Canal
  • Horsenden Hill
  • Harrow School

We shall be attempting Section 10 pretty soon. Pictures to follow once I fix the uploader.

Section 9 info:

More info on the Capital Ring can be found on the TFL website: