Think of a computer backup like a safety belt in your car. In the event of a crash, a backup saves the valued information on your computer from being lost forever.

Your computer drives (internal or external drives) are the main storage location for the Windows operating system and your installed applications, so backing them up is serious.

If you haven’t done a backup lately, the following information will help you get started on this significant task.

There are three main ideas to consider when backing up your computer:

How often should you back up your files?

In our opinion, computer backups should be done as frequently as your most important data changes. If you are working on a large important project every day, then you should be backing those files up every day.

It depends on how valuable your electronic files are to you, and how stressed you would be if you lost them.

What files should you back up?

MH Computers recommend the following backup procedure:

Electronic photographs I want to keep
Software or other files that I bought on the internet and downloaded
Music files that I bought on the internet and downloaded
Personal files stored in the My Documents folder
My e-mail address contacts
Calendar information
Favourite bookmarks

What methods should you use to back up the computer data?

Here are three of the most common ways. Option “c” is the best if you want to make it reasnably simple.

Buy a large external drive and back up your entire computer. This is a great idea that takes some time and we do not back up the entire computer. I figure that if my PC crashes, I can reinstall the software from my original sources, and there’s no need for me to store those files twice.

MH Computers also recommend backing up software downloaded from the internet. Many companies will only support older versions of software for so long. You may find that great program you downloaded a year ago is no longer available and you have to either upgrade or buy a new copy.

So, when you buy software from the internet, save and backup the compressed file that you download and include it in your computer backup procedure.

Buy CD burning software and read-writable CDS and burn your files to CD. Here at MH Computers we don’t recommend this method. The technology is old and unreliable in our opinion. We used to do this and found the process so cumbersome. Sometimes, the burner wouldn’t work, or the CD was bad or some other trivial issue would crop up, so I gave it up.
Buy a large capacity external hard drive and back up just your data files. This is our preferred method to purchase a pocket sized 1TB external drives and back up valuable data every day. We used to use Flash or thumb drives but discovered that after so many read/write operations, they get corrupted and fail. And nowadays, small external hard drives are so cheap; it makes sense to use them.
Backing up to a small external drive is by far the best way to get a reliable computer backup

1. Its EASY, which means you and I will actually do it and…

2. Its PORTABLE, which means you can take the saved data out of the house when you leave.

There’s not much point in doing a computer backup if the backup unit is sitting right next to your computer when your house floods or burns down!