Over the years there have been many methods, techniques and hardware that IT professionals install to "guarantee" that your important data is being backed up. One such was tape backup. Over the years I have seen numerous tape backup devices installed on PC's and at the end of each day, it would say that backup completed. But do you, as a business owner, really know if the backup was successful? Have you ever got a secondary computer and tried a restore to see if that latest information was there? Tape backups along with Windows back usually have their own format and the only way to restore the data is to know how to use their software. Sometimes this can be very complicated thing to do. But it is necessary! Never, never assume!
The next questions is what do you need to back up these days? Most home users have important sentimental photo album pictures on their computer. They also have MP3 music either downloaded or copied from CD. On most current computers all the important information like documents, pictures, music, and videos is stored under the "Documents
" or "My Documents
" folder which is accessed from the "Start
" menu. This "Documents
" folder is actually stored in a larger folder on your hard drive. You will need to know where this folder actually resides on your hard drive. On Windows XP, it is located on "C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\My Documents
". "User Name
" is replaced with the name that you logged on with. This is the folder that needs to be backed up. There are subfolders called "My Music
", "My Pictures
", "My Favorites
" and so on. On Windows 7, that same folder would be under "C:\Users\UserName\
". You will see sub-folders called "Documents
", and "Videos
". Most likely unless you are purposely storing this information somewhere else, this is where your documents and pictures will be located.
Now you don't need to backup Microsoft Office because you should have the installation disk, or you can always purchase a new one. But the documents you create from Microsoft Office word documents (.doc, .docx)
, excel documents (.xls, .xlsx)
, power point (.ppt)
presentations are the important stuff. These need to be backed up. Also, you may have some software that does certain tasks (like AutoCad). They may have their own stored location with the important information. You should always contact them and find out where that is so you know what to back up.
These days, external USB hard drives are relatively inexpensive and you can pick one up at the store. These are really good, because once you do the backup you should store the hard drive at a different place for safe keeping. Most Microsoft windows backup software will work fine and there won't be a problem with backing up. But you will not know if you document that you just made a change to was successfully backed up unless you know how and use Microsoft's software to restore it.
We happen to sell backup software
that will do a file-to-file copy from point-A to point-B. So you can backup your files exactly how they are to your external hard-drive. Our backup software
works really well because you can always take the backup hard-drive and plug it into another computer and browse for the file to see if it backed up correctly. I use it for my PC effectively so I can certainly recommend it to others. There are a lot of different types of backup software out there. You need to see which one best suits your needs.
In conclusion, it doesn't matter if you have a laptop, tablet, i-pad, desktop computer with a 40 inch hi-def screen, if you do not take care of your important documents on that device and something goes wrong with that device and you don't have a backup copy, then it can be a bad day.
Remember ... a backup is only good if you have tested and restored it on another computer successfully. Successfully means you can open up your word docs, photos and any other important information you have on another computer or backup hard drive (or flash drive).