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Tech Tips: The All Important Backup


By James Wise
web posted March 6, 2009
TECH TIPS – Pictures of my son’s first birthday party, videos of the school play, wedding photos, tax returns, programs I wrote, emails I refer to all the time; these are just a few of the files on my computer which I would be lost without and they could all be gone with a single hard drive failure, computer virus, house fire, accidental deletion, etc… But have no fear if you have a backup near.

All too often the first time a person thinks about a backup is just after loosing something. Don’t be caught unprepared! There are so many different options for backups including software programs (several options are even built into the operating system or can be done without extra software), external hard drive options, online backups, etc… It can take only a few minutes to setup a backup but it can be IMPOSSIBLE to get your data back if you don’t have a backup.

In the coming weeks, we will address many different options for backups and how to make sure you are covered. Step one is realizing that it is CRITICAL for you to have some sort of backup in place. It’s also a good idea to think about having a backup (of your data files at least) somewhere other than your home or office. If your computer is stolen or you have a disaster such as a fire, a backup sitting next to your computer or on another disk within your computer, could be lost as well.

In preparation for our backup discussions, think about where you store your data files. A general standard for Windows is to use the “Documents and Settings” (i.e. “My Documents”) folder for all user data such as documents and pictures. Really, it doesn’t matter what method you use so long as you use something where you can find your files quickly and easily. This can also help if you purchase a new computer and need to move all your files over. So your assignment for now, if you don’t have a backup already, is to think about where the files are that you want to backup.

Check back soon as we will review several easy options for creating a backup.

Do you have a tech question you would like answered or a program you would like to recommend? Email me at edgefieldtechhelp@gmail.com. For computer questions, please include your operating system version (e.g. Windows Vista) and sorry, but I don’t do Macs.

Disclaimer: Software, tips, and links provided are used at the risk of the reader.

 
 




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