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Computer Problem Tips - Is Backing Up Your Sensitive Files a Pain in the Patoot?

May 26, 2008
Backing up your computer can be a pain in the rear! Well you know what I mean. If you are like me, then you always mean to "get around to it", but "around" somehow never comes.

That was until one weekend and my hard drive failed, taking a very important project with it. Since the project was due that Monday, I frantically searched for the last backup to recover it.

Much to my dismay, the backup was over a week old and I had done at least 20 hours of work on it since then.

I spent the next 24 hours typing and redoing all that work!

Since then I have been very careful to make backups as often as possible. You should make a backup schedule and stick with it.

What files should be backed up?

Now I know after you heard my sob story, you want to back up every little thing on your hard drive. This makes sense right?

Well, unless you work in some big gov't agency or big corporation, you will quickly find out that the cost of hardware and backup media becomes an issue. So you have put on your thinking cap.

Which files are irreplaceable? Which files if lost could negatively affect my business or work? Which files if destroyed or lost could cost me money or my job?

How often do I need to back up?

Naturally daily backups are the best but backups done on a weekly or monthly basis (if you feel lucky) are also good is these files are not critical.

For business purposes, backups done only once a week just aren't frequent enough. Think back over this last week and all the work you have done. Now just imagine trying to recreate all that by hand if you hard drive fails.

For important business related things you may want to consider a rotation of "daily + weekly + monthly" backups.

Which Program should I use?

An excellent backup program is Acronis True Image, which can make an "image" of your entire hard drive. This allows you to be able to restore your operating system as well as your data to a new hard drive if you have to.

Another program that I have used to good effect is SyncBackSE. SyncBackSE not only backs up your data but will synchronize it as well.

This is very handy when you trying to maintain documents and files between say a desktop computer user, a laptop user and remote office person carrying things home on a USB.

What you should do next...

I would recommend you get both. Either one would be more than adequate for a small or home office, but with both you truly have all your backup bases covered.
About the Author
Got computer problems? Want to reduce your technology headaches? To find more helpful computer tips, visit http://www.fixcomputerproblemsguide.com From Chancer Reese - The Small Office Tech Diva.
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