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Backup Plan

According to a July 2005 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 35 per cent of American adults never backup their files and 44 per cent of users have lost data for some reason. Dont risk losing any important data stored in your hard disk or other media. It is not an overly complicated affair. Setting aside some time and putting in the effort to create a copy of information important to you can save you a lot of trauma if the original data gets lost or becomes unreadable.

Take stock of what you want to back up. Any files you have created or modified are backup candidates. These include office documents, photos and videos. Software and music you brought online should be copied too. Basically, any data that is not easily replaceable should be backed up. Make a copy of the data into a temporary working folder and organize the data the data in a systematic manner before backup.

Any medium such as floppy disk, additional hard disk, USB thumbdrives, CD, DVD or even online storage space can be use for backing up of data. Using USB thumbdrives is more robust and stores more data. USB thumbdrives are great for office documents and other assorted small files but they are not a cost-effective medium.

CD-writables are cheap and abundant, and any computer with a CD-ROM should be able to read them. CD-writables are great for backing up data that do not need frequent retrieval: just burn once and store it away. Avoid the temptation of dirt-cheap no-brand disks, unless your data is disposable. These are notorious for falling quickly.

DVD-writables is a common application for photographers to duplicate storage of digital- photos because of CD-rewritables capacity limitation. You can also consider adding new hard disk to your set-up for the purposes of file backups. Hard disks are great for data that you need to retrieve frequently. You do not have to rummage for a particular disk or swop disks, and data access times are faster. You can also install two or more hard disks if you are so inclined.

Online storage, meanwhile is becoming increasingly popular for backups. For instance, space in a Gmail account can be used as a virtual drive. But there are various limitations: Each file cannot exceed 10MB or have more than 40 characters in the file name. If you do not mind the lack of speed in copying the files over to your Gmail account. It is not bad as a free storage space.

The regularity you back up will depends on how much risk you want to take on. If you back up files daily. In the event of an accident, you can still retrieve work done up to the day before a computer crashes. Ideally, your system can be set up to create backups automatically. There are various software tools to help you do this. Backup media are prone to failures too. To extend their longevity, store them in proper conditions. Once in a while, check your backups that they are still readable.


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