Backing up Files
Backing up Files and Data
Now the reason that you are reading this article on backing up files, is because you have information on your computer that you don’t want to loose. There is nothing worse then having your computer crash and loosing vital information.
Whatever that information is, you really don’t want to loose it. Perhaps you have lost information before and you don’t want to make the same mistake again. I have lost information before and it is so annoying.
Data Backing up options
There are a number of possible ways to back up your computer. You can use CDs or DVDs, you can setup a RAID hard drive system, or you can back up your computer onto an external hard drive.
Previously, it would be quite normal to backup your entire computer, or all your files onto a floppy disk, or on to a CD or DVD. However, now these file systems just aren’t big enough to contain all your information.
Blu-ray disks which can contain up to 25Gb may be more beneficial, but in my mind I would backup your computer onto external hard drives.
CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays are also more likely to break and scratch, while an external hard drive can just sit in the cuboard and be taken out whenever necessary.
Backing up files on to an External Hard Drive
So taking the reasons above, I will say that the best way to back up your files is through an external hard drive.
You can buy a 500Gb external hard drive for about AU$100, which is so cheap!
What do you backup?
This is the next question you need to ask? Do you just backup files or do you backup programs and the operating system? For me programs and the operating system are easy to re-install so I just backup my files.
However, it can be a pain re-installing all your programs so it is not a bad idea to backup your program files too. However there are a number of reasons while I don’t and while I wouldn’t recommend it.
The big problem with backing up all your programs and files, is that not only do you backup your programs, you will also backup all the system errors and when you restore your backup, you will restore all your errors as well.
Say your computer is getting slow, so you decide to re-install windows and start again. Well of course your computer is running really fast, because it has nothing on it, but then you get your backup and install all the programs and files back. Well you will also go and install all your system errors straight back on to the computer and thus your computer becomes all slow again.
So I would recommend that you backup all your files, your downloads, your emails and your internet favorites. I wouldn’t backup your operating system as you have a CD to re-install it and most of your progams you should have CDs or DVDs for.
How do you backup?
So we have talked about the best devices to backup your computer, and we have talked about what to backup, so the next step is how do we backup?
For me, I simply copy the files that I want to backup and paste them into my external hard drive. I will have a number of folders on the external hard drive, eg. files, emails, downloads, favorites.
All of these files I would place in a root folder called “Nathanael’s backup, August 2009” so that I know the most recent date of my backup.
However, maybe you would prefer a better way to backup files. There are lots of backup programs online, or they may even come with your external hard drive. In these you should just select, files, photos etc. and not your programs. Usually the program will allow you to go through your entire computer and tick the files that you would like to backup.
If you would like a tutorial on how to backup your computer using Windows Vista default program then I suggest you follow this tutorial.