Backup your hard drive . . . soon!

Why are we lazy about backing up our data? Here’s my theory:

In the not-so-distant past, hard drives didn’t hold much data. I was never one for numbers, so I don’t remember the actually storage size of my first hard drive, but it was measured in kilobytes, I’m sure. Since hard drive storage was limited, we were forced to save most of our data to something external, such as those notoriously undependable floppy disk drives. But then . . .

hard drives became larger, measured in megabytes, then gigabytes. And while they were getting larger,  we were getting lazier. Since we could easily save just about anything to our hard drives, we did. And because our computers kept getting better and more reliable, we began to feel more secure about safety and performance. And besides, backing up data takes time and planning, and who wants to deal with that???

The sad truth is hard drives can and will fail. That’s why techies use redundant disks (RAID) and other types of backup mechanisms to restore data that might be lost during a hard drive failure. But don’t worry . . . you don’t need to be an IT wizard to perform backups on your data, and you don’t need expensive hardware. You have options. Oodles of options.

If you are an Apple user, you can use a program installed on the operating system called “Backup.” All you need to do is set up a place to backup your files to, which can be an external hard drive, for instance. If you are a PC owner, you can backup data using several techniques. Here is a link to the five best Windows backup tools from one of my favorite websites, Lifehacker: http://www.lifehacker.com.au/tips/2008/07/12/five_best_windows_backup_tools-2.html

I’ll write more about backing up and saving stuff in detail in a later post, but please write me with any questions or comments about backing up, your experiences with hard drive failures, or your favorite tools for backing up data on your Mac or PC.

In the meantime, take my advice and backup your entire hard drive and schedule regular backups of your data. Do it soon.

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