Few people consider backing up their files until it is all too late. When a computer crashes, it is too late for a back up to make much difference. Anyone who has experienced the devastation that can accompany a computer crash knows how vital a back up is. There are important things to consider before backing up a hard drive.

What is backing up?

Backing up computer files refers to saving the files to some form of hardware that can be set aside and saved should something happen to the computer. If the computer crashes all of the files are safe and can be retrieved.

How often to back up?

The frequency of back ups should depend on how important the information stored on the computer is and how often it changes. The average PC user doesn’t need to back up their computer more than every few months. The information stored there isn’t highly important and doesn’t change all that often. Businesses on the other hand should back up their files more regularly. These files are important to the business and their customers. By ensuring all of the files are backed up once a month, companies will keep themselves from major problems in the future.

What should I back it up on?

What type of hardware used when backing up a computer is also very important. Hardware can include CDs, flash drives, mass storage devices etc. Deciding which type of hardware to use can seem a bit confusing. On average, CDs are not good ways to store information. If you have more than a few files, the backup will take a long time and include several disks. Flash drives are similar, but offer a bit more storage. Some may want to consider having the extremely important information on a flash drive as well as a mass storage device. Flash drives are growing in size lately but the average computer would still require a number of flash drives. The best choice for most people is a mass storage device such as an external hard drive. External hard drives are somewhat like an extremely large flash drive. The external hard drive is attached to the computer and the back up is stored there. The external hard drive can then be detached and stored. In case of a computer crash the external hard drive can be reconnected to the computer and the files transferred.

How do I make a back up?

The process to back up files is different on every operating system. Most computers allow users to search or include some kind of help button. Many operating systems also allow users to set up a regular back up time and date. By using that way, users do not need to try and remember on their own. Once setup the schedule, forget about it.

Computers are somewhat fickle. Many times a computer will seem just fine but then something happens and it’s dead. Backing up files and keeping them in a safe place will help ensure that if there is a computer crash, your files are safe.

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Author : Bobbi Preston

I am a software engineer work as a freelancer specialized in web and software. My interests involves programming, website development and writing articles related to Computer Science/Information Systems.

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