I have talked many times in the past about how critical it is to regularly back up your computer data. Here are some excellent tips sent in by a community member, to help you decide what to back up, when to back up, and HOW to back up.
- Do not backup to only one specific drive. Many people often backup their information to one specific drive and think they are safe. Chances are that drive that they have backed up their data on, will fail at some point. The best way to backup your information is to backup on multiple drives. Therefore, if one drive fails you can easily locate another one where the data is located. There are many websites that will allow you to use a certain amount of space to backup your information for a low fee. Using these types of websites are a great way to backup your data when your other drives may fail on you. Remember, the more places you have the data stored, the more likely you will be able to recover it.
- Protect your backup drives. Sometimes, hard drives will fail and you will loose your data. There are some ways you can avoid this from happening to you. To prevent a hard drive from failure, check to make sure it is in a healthy condition. To do this, you need to check to see if it’s stable. Some software will tell you if the drive is in an good condition or if it may fail some time in the near future. A free method to make sure the hard drive is in good shape is to defrag the files on the hard drive. In some cases, your files will separate and become fragmented. In Windows, there is a free program called “Disk Defragmenter”. This program will let you select the drives you want to defrag. You can also you Disk Keeper, a software program which does the same thing as Disk Defragmenter, but does a better job.
- Organize your data. You may have heard many times, that you should organize your data to make sure you never loose your important information. However, when a day comes and you decide to backup some data that you do not place in folders, you could cause a habit of doing it over and over again. Sooner or later, you will see that all of your data is unorganized and hard to find. Always make sure you backup your things in either folders or a method you prefer to find your data easier. I recommend using sub folders as well. This will let you find things more specific to what you are trying to search for. To do this, create a regular empty folder on the drive, and then open the folder. Create another folder inside that folder, and place the files inside of it. Then, create another folder inside the same folder you have just made and place files into that. This way, you can locate each folder and see which files are inside of them.
- Know which drives to use. Drives such as, Flash Drives are great way to backup small things such as documents or even programs, depending on the size on the flash drive. Flash Drives can range from 16mb all the way up to 32Gigs. If you are thinking about backing up things such as movie files or music, I highly recommend to purchase a external hard drive. These can range from 120gigs to 500gigs. Remember though, the speed of the data transfer may be slow, because it is USB 2.0. This also holds true for fire wire (IEEE1394) ports. In order to transfer data across one drive to another at a fast speed, you must use Internal Hard Drives. These drives can easily transfer data no matter what kind of data it is. SATA cables are much more faster than the old ATA cables, so if you are planning to look for the best speed, try to buy hard drives that support SATA cables. Just make sure your motherboard can support SATA.
- BONUS TIP!! Backup as many times as you can. When disaster strikes, and you have lost all your data, you will blame yourself for not backing up your things. I recommend backing up important data every once a week. This way, it ensures you of not loosing your data and you are well aware that you are safe if disaster did strike.
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