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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Save Yourself Before Your Computer Crashes

The best way to retrieve your data after a computer crash is to save it all before anything catastrophic happens. A solid and redundant backup plan will ensure you don't lose a thing (or lose as little as possible) when your computer decides to kick the bucket. Here are some basic steps to keep your data safe. This article will teach you how to perform these steps manually, although there are some programs available do to the majority of your backup activities automatically.

Pick a day of the week to perform your backup activities. Set aside about a half hour to backup your computer.
Identify the data you want to back up. This may include work documents, photos, music and the like.
Create a folder on your external storage device or hard drive and label it with the date and "Backup." For example "04152007Backup".
Copy all the important folders you identified in Step 2 over to this folder on your external hard drive.
Insert a recordable CD or DVD into your computer's disk drive.
Using your favorite disk burning program, burn the folders you identified in Step 2 to the CDs or DVDs using the "Create Data Disk" or similar feature of your program.
Label the CD or DVD with the date and "Backup" using a label or a CD/DVD-safe permanent marker and store in your CD/DVD folder or other media storage.
Sign up for your choice of online storage sites.
Back up all the folders you identified in Step 2 to your online storage site.
Do this weekly.

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