If asked ‘what is the most essential information stored on your computer,’ most of us will say it is our data. Our data on a computer may be in many different forms including, Word documents, worksheets, databases, and emails. All this data is usually stored on the computer’s hard disk. Now, if the hard disk crashes for some reason, you stand a good chance of losing all this data. You may also lose your data in other cases:
- Virus infection wipes off all information from the hard disk
- Natural disasters, such as flood and earthquakes damage equipment
- Theft of computer or other data storage device
This is the reason why as a careful user it is essential that you regularly backup your data to ensure that you can restore it in case a disaster occurs.
When implementing a backup solution, the first step you need to take is to decide what you need to backup. Usually, a home PC user making regular backups of user data is enough. Complete computer backup solutions are usually implemented for large server system where setting up the whole server again after a failure is quite time consuming and expensive.
After you have decided what to backup, you need to decide where to backup the data to. If the data to be backed up is small in size, you may just opt to store it on a pen drive. If the data is much larger, you may opt to use an external hard disk, burn to DVDs or Blu-Ray discs to store your data. Moreover, if you are on a network, you may also opt to back up your data on a network location.
Next, you need to decide how to backup. Backups can be of many types. You can simply choose to manually copy and paste the data you want to backup or use a utility to perform the task for you. Some backup utilities, such as Windows Automatic Backup utility, are designed to help users just to back up the user data. There are some, such as Windows 7 System Restore utility, that are used to backup your system configuration, such system files and registry backup. And, then there are some backup utilities, such as the Windows Vista Complete PC Backup utility, that enable you to backup every single piece of information stored on your PC including operating system files, installed programs and device drivers, system configuration and your user data.
Today, many online backup services are also available and if your data is critical, you may opt for such services. One of the main advantages of online backup services is that your data is stored offsite. This way, if something goes wrong at your location, you can easily recover your data from your online backup service.
Although it is a good practice to backup your data on regular basis, it is also essential to maintain a healthy computer to prevent computer problems. Some of the tasks that you can perform to maintain a healthy PC are regular antivirus and antispyware scans, regular registry scan and repair, and regular hard disk clean up and defragmentation.
Rob Boirun is the author of www.burnworld.com which is an industry site around DVD and Blu Ray burning technologies.