Best Backup Tips for Your Windows PC
Let’s face it! Every computer user at some point in time has faced the demon called system crash. This invariably translates into data loss and system corruption. Now, if you have not backed up your information due to negligence or lethargy you are in deep, deep trouble. You can simply reload your OS and applications; however, your important files and folders for all practical reasons are gone forever.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended and advised to backup system files and data, regularly, religiously even though it may seem like a needless chore. There is yet another thumb rule which every computer user should follow strictly. Separate your data from your O.S; it simply means both the entities should reside in different drives or partitions.
This makes sure even if your primary drive gets corrupted due to virus infection or crash, your data is secure in the adjoining drive. Mentioned below are some of the other backup tips for your Windows PC.
1. Local backup
As mentioned above, save all your important files, documents, etc. in a partition other than the primary. Typically Windows saves all the newly created documents or downloaded files in “My Documents” folder. What you can do is to manually shift them every time or simply change the default location through settings. This way you are sure your documents are being saved in a different drive, typically D.
You can also create an image of entire primary drive, normally labelled C in most of the systems. This image can then be mounted as virtual drive and accessed for an array of tasks, such as restoring operating system, files and folders, applications, drivers, etc. Make sure you save images of backup in drives other than C. You can use Windows native backup software to create images.
2. CD – DVD
Now, if you want to just backup your data and not the system files and applications you can simply Google search for free backup applications or use Windows native software for the task.
Comodo Backup is a free application with an array of features such as FTP backup, burning multi session DVD’s, amazing notification options and synchronization mode for real time, scheduled backups.
Backing up data on virtual servers may sound dangerous and susceptible to threats. However, it offers one great feature; data such as ISO files, zipped folders, RAW documents can be accessed from anywhere, anytime.
3. External Drives
One of the easiest ways and the most popular method of backing up data is external drive. Today, these portable drives are available in an array of storage sizes, transfer speeds, form factors and technologies. eSATA, Firewire and Flash drives are some of the attractive options. As for the size and ROI, a 2TB branded external drive costs less than $100 and stores incredible amount of data. Storing on such platforms gives you a kind of innate satisfaction that your data is not only secure but free from any form of threat as these are quite sturdy and boast impeccable shelf life.
Mentioned below are backup steps for various Windows flavours.
1. Windows XP – All Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> Back up >> save only documents or complete system files
2. Windows Vista – All Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> Backup Status and Configuration.
3. Windows 7 >> File Recovery tool
4. Windows 8 >> File History tool
Note: If you are using a flash drive make sure it is USB 3.0 version as transferring large data could otherwise take a long time.
4. Cloud Backup
Cloud storage has caught the fancy of every entity, whether individual or corporate. These virtual servers offer a great option for storing data and system files which are secure from human or natural threats.
Google drive and iCloud are two typical examples of online storage. Although synching data from various devices requires some knowledge, ordinary folks can simply upload crucial information after connecting the said device to the base machine or the PC. These online storage providers offer dedicated applications to make the task of uploading files a hassle free chore.
On the flip side many of these free cloud storage companies offer limited storage. You need to buy extra space. However, the cost is reasonable and suitably negates the kind of features and freedom it offers. Another drawback with this method is the bandwidth or the internet speed. You got to have high speed internet to really exploit this form of backup. Slow speed can make the upload task extremely cumbersome.
5. Multiple PCs
You can backup data and recovery files on multiple computing devices or PCs. Make as many copies. Remember, data once lost can never be recovered; at least in most of the cases.