Should I Back Up My Computer?
I've been designing websites since 2001. During that
time, I have easily saved hundreds of thousands of files to
different personal and work computers. But it wasn't
until a few months ago that I started working on better habits
for backing up my computer files.
The best answer to how
often you need to back up your computer really depends on how
often you save files to it. If you only use your
computer for personal reasons, and save pictures to it once a
week, you may only need to do a backup once a week. But
if you are constantly saving pictures, Word documents, music,
Outlook emails, or other files, you should make a habit of
backing up your computer more often. But how often is
I would suggest doing a
backup of your computer every day. To some people, that
may seem like a lot of work, but it's totally worth it.
At least once a day, I sort all of the folders on my computer
by the last date modified. Basically I right click on a
folder (in Windows XP), and then choose "arrange icons by",
and then chose "modified." By doing this, Windows will
list all of my folders and files based on when I last used or
saved them. This way I can see which files I most
recently saved to my PC, or updated.
Years ago I bought a
Toshiba external hard drive. You can usually buy one for
between $50-$100 that will have more than enough space to back
up your entire computer. That's assuming that you have
as many files that I do (tens of thousands). I simply
copy my most recently saved files and folders, then paste them
into my external hard drive. I do this every single day,
and it only takes about 5-10 minutes. While I'm doing
this, I'm able to surf the web and kill a bit of time as the
files are transferred.
Is backing up your hard
drive every day really necessary, though? It is for me.
I've had a few instances where my computer was infected with a
bad virus, and the computer repair shop had to wipe my
computer clean after doing a backup. The only problem is
that they weren't always able to back everything up.
Even though I had online backups of my client files, I didn't
do the same for my music and personal pictures.
Stop and think about how
much of a headache it would be if all of your files were wiped
out from a virus, or from an electrical surge (it happens more
than you would ever believe). Think about how much of a
pain it would be if many important files were lost, and were
impossible to replace. So when you consider the amount
of stress you have to deal with, taking five minutes out of
your day to do a backup really isn't much of an inconvenience.
Questions About Computers or Website Design?
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