In the last post, I described what can happen to you when you least expect it. We will now examine some things you can do to prevent the loss of your data (whether it be important legal documents, recipes for your favorite wine, or pictures of your family).
Back up your data–your first line of defense
- A simple backup can consist of you copying your data to some form of external media. This can be a CD, DVD, flash drive, or USB hard drive. In the case of a USB hard drives, most come with a backup program already installed. The backup should be done on a regular basis. Oh, yes–remember that your backup needs to be stored somewhere other than next to your computer! An offsite storage is preferable.
- Once you have your data covered, you need to think about your system as a whole. Unless you have a system disk, in the case of a hard drive failure, you will not be able to reinstall Windows. Many computers nowadays have a provision to make system recovery DVD’s. You need to do that. But that will only guarantee you can put the system back to the way it was when it was new. Your programs and data are not covered here.
- Using a recovery DVD, reinstalling all your programs (apps in Win 10!), and restoring your backed up data will allow you to continue with life. But at a cost–time! This whole process takes a bit of time to do it right. Measured in hours.
- A system image is a really good tool. It is a “picture” of your hard drive as it is now. The operating system, the programs, and the data. If you have a recent system image and you experience a hard drive failure, all you need to do is replace the drive, run the recovery program which restores the system image and you’re good to go. Simple.