One day, your hard drive WILL fail!!
Let’s face it; our computers are a bigger part of life than ever before. We shop, work and play using computers. They’ve replaced stereos, encyclopedias, even the mailman. They’ve become journals, photo albums and canvases for our art.
But computers aren’t perfect. Files become corrupt, motherboards malfunction, CPUs call it quits taking our precious data with them.
“MY COMPUTER WON’T CRASH”
Don’t let these excuses prevent you from backing up your data. Consider the inconvenience of having to recreate all of the information stored on your computer – how much of it is important to your academic or professional career – and how much of it might actually be irreplaceable.
- Back up to the internet. Online storage is a growing field, allowing users to back up their data to remote servers. Incorporating online backups into your backup routine can help make sure your backups are redundant, and will allow you to access your backed up files from anywhere you have an internet connection. There are a variety of services, both free and paid, that offer a wide range of features. Any online backup service worth their salt should encrypt all files that are transmitted to and from their servers. They may have access to metadata, such as folder names and file sizes, but the actual content of your data should be unreadable to anyone but you. Nearly all online backup solutions come with software or a browser interface that allows you to set what is being backed up and how often. Set a schedule that works for you.
- Back up to an external hard drive. An external hard drive is a hard disk drive just like the one inside your computer, where you can store any kind of file. Many are often small and portable, making them easy to stow away in a desk drawer or carry with you. Others are much larger and are designed to sit on your desk. Using a USB cable or other method of connection, plug the storage device into the computer you wish to back up. Inserting the device should automatically bring up a dialog box asking what you’d like to do with it. One of the options should be to use the device as a backup and open File History. Choose this option. Once the program has opened, you may wish to alter some of the settings in the Advanced Settings section, accessed on the left. This will allow you to change how often the computer makes a backup, how long files are kept, and how much space is allowed to be taken up. With the settings configured, make sure that the correct backup drive is selected (the external drive should be chosen by default). With all of the settings entered correctly, click “Turn on”. This should start the process. Once you’ve done the first backup you can also set a schedule that works for you…just make sure your external is connected 🙂
Windows 7, 8, and 10 have a built-in backup utility: Windows Backup and Restore – you’ll find it if you type ‘backup’ into the Start menu search box.