Backing up your
This article sponsored by Western Digital,
maker of leading external storage systems.
For more information, see www.western
EVERYTHING IS IN DIGITAL format these days—family photographs, video
clips, music collections, address books and more—but they may be lost forever if your computer crashes. To save these precious documents and files,
back them up. Here’s how.
Get organized. Put all of the documents you create, the pictures you take
and the music you buy in a single master folder in your computer. Divide that
master folder into subfolders to keep your files organized. Backing up your
data becomes much easier if everything is in a single master folder.
The “My Documents” folder is a good place to store files on any computer
with Microsoft Windows.® When all of your personal files are in one place,
you’re less likely to forget a file when you back up.
Back up regularly. Back up your files regularly. If you work on your computer
daily, you should back up important files daily. Then, back up everything at
least once a week. Better still, look for backup software that will back up your
data automatically in addition to manual backups.
Be selective. You don’t have to back up your entire system. That’s a time-consuming task that only duplicates all of the problems that have built up
on your hard drive. Instead, save original copies of your software. Then you
can reinstall your operating system and clean copies of your software if your
Back up what’s important to you. The most important things to protect are
files you create. Whether they are text documents, e-mail messages, pictures,
music, videos or game saves, if you made them you will want to save them
and keep them nearby. It’s also helpful to back up the configuration settings
for any programs you use, along with critical Windows data such as the reg-ist ry. And don’t forget to back up data you have
stored on external hard drives.
Where to back up. You can back up to CDs or
DVDs, but this is a slow, manual process.
And some low-priced CDs and DVDs wear out.
The best backup medium is an external
hard drive. High-capacity external drives
are very fast and allow you to keep your
backed-up data in one place. For extra
safety, get a two-drive external storage system and dedicate half of the
capacity to automatically backing up
your backup. A