Backing up data is one of the most important, yet also one of the most neglected areas of computing.
It should be at the top of your computer maintenance list, right next to virus protection. Without data backup or virus protection, you are running the risk of losing your data. And it will happen, don’t think that you don’t have to worry about it.
Why should you back up ?
Data loss can happen in many ways.
One of the most common causes is physical failure of the media the data is stored on i.e Hard Disk. You probably have everything saved on your PCs hard drive. That hard drive will not live forever.
Another possible cause for data loss is power failure or spikes.
It can result in loss of the document you are currently working on because you did not save it before the power failed and your PC shut down, or in loss of your entire hard drive because a power surge fried your motherboard and destroyed the file allocation table of your hard drive.
Also worth mentioning is data loss through virus attacks. There are plenty of nasty computer viruses out there that will delete files on an infected machine. That’s why Virus Protection is just as important.
What data should you back up ?
-Your favorite places on the Internet and that long list of bookmarks.
-E-mail addresses from all your friends
-To-do list you wrote
-Family photos you collected over the years
-Document for work, like a presentation or a spreadsheet that you created at home and don’t have a copy on your work PC
-Saved game of your favorite game where it took you weeks or months to get to that level.
These are just the most common examples, and I know that after thinking about it for a while you will realize that there is a lot of information you don’t want to lose.
How to back up ?
Backing up means to keep a copy of your important files in a separate location for retrieval in case of an emergency. Keeping a copy of it in another folder on the same hard drive though is not a good idea.
Rather put it on a separate media. Preferably, you have two backups on two separate types of media in two places.
Recently, recordable and re-writable CD burners have flooded the consumer market and offered another way of data storage.The disks hold approximately 650MB-8GB of data. The advantage is that the media is pretty cheap and very reliable
Another way of backing up data is to another hard drive. If you have multiple PCs at home and they are networked, you can copy data files to the hard drive of another PC on the network for backup. That way, if one PC goes down, you still have the data on the other PC.
Windows Live SkyDrive is one option available if you choose to back up your data to an online storage space.
A couple of additional storage options from Microsoft include Hotmail, which offers enough storage for you to store your email, calendar, and contacts, and Windows Live Mesh, which lets you sync all your files and folders across your PCs and devices and provides enough cloud storage for your most important files.
Windows Backup and Restore
Windows comes with a very cool feature called Backup and Restore.
What makes the Backup and Restore feature so cool is that it simplifies the entire backup process for you. With easy-to-follow steps and prompts, you can decide whether to back up specific files or your entire computer.
It’s a good idea to back up your entire computer when you first set it up. This option captures everything from files to software programs to system settings. If your computer ever stops working completely, you can potentially restore it using the initial entire computer backup.
Its always nice to keep data in organized form.
Save all your data in the program folder of the program the data is used in, e.g.
Word documents in C:OfficeWord,
Excel documents in C:OfficeExcel,
make sure you didn’t forget anything when backing up.
If you want the backup process to happen automatically, you can schedule a backup program that does the backup on a regular basis and lets you schedule full incremental backups.
Last, remember to back up regularly.
It’s your data, keep it safe!