Organizing Your Home and Life

Back It Up

Posted on: July 16, 2009

I went to an extremely interesting presentation today about disaster preparedness which has given me so much to blog about in the weeks ahead.  One topic that came from this presentation was the necessity of backing up your most important computer files including emails, photos, and other important information.

You may be thinking “my computer has never given me a problem so what are the chances that it will crash?”  I thought that a few months ago and then I read an article about backing up your files.  I thought realistically what would happen to my digital photos if something happened to my computer.  All of my photos were on my computer not backed up.

It was then that I took action to backup everything on my computer’s hard drive.  Here are some suggestions on how you can start to backup.

1.  The easiest way to backup is to buy an external hard drive.  You can find them easily at your nearest Best Buy for a reasonable price.  Once you hook it up you can copy your entire C drive over to the external drive.

2.  If you do not want to buy an external hard drive, you can buy flash drives to back up your documents like photos.  Simply plug in the flash drive and go to My Computer and select the files to copy over to the flash drive.  Continue to do the same thing with your other files to backup.

3.  Ensure that you keep all pertinent computer software in a file somewhere safe.  I use an accordian file where I keep the CDs and the instruction manuals all together and labeled.  If I have to reinstall anything, I go to my accordian file to find the corresponding CD to install.

4.  Keep your flash drives or back up drives in a safe location such as a fire safe box. 

5.  Don’t forget to backup your emails if you will need them in the future.   Depending on your email editor you can search google as to how to backup your email folders, contacts, or task list.

As I said before I was in the process of backing up my hard drive and had gotten through about 75% of it when suddenly one night I had too many windows open and my computer hard drive froze.  I rebooted and then got the “blue screen of death.”  After much investigative work, I had to reinstall windows and thus, lost most of everything I had on that drive.  Fortunately I had most of it backed up so it did not cause too much hardship.  But I wonder how I would have felt if I had not backed up all of those photos or emails or contacts.  In fact I know how I would have felt. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Act now and back up.

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