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Make sure you backup your data - now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-May-2007 08:36

People know things will fail. They know computers will stop working, or worst, hard drives will crash. Work will be lost, content will be lost. Memories will be lost.

And that's what happened to Busines 2.0, one of the few magazines I actually buy (the others are Fast Company and Wired). According to some news Business 2.0 lost its main content server with all the material for the next issue.

They did backups. But apparently didn't test the backup lately - and the process failed to restore the so needed content.

Lucky for them most of the material was sent to lawyers for review and approval - but all the art work needed to be redone.

How are you doing today? Here are some tips:

If you are running Windows Vista, the Backup and Restore Center offers a handy basic file backup and restore, and in some versions (Business, Ultimate, Enterprise) a Complete PC Backup and restore option. It will copy the entire hard drive to an external drive and you will be able to restore your digital life to the exact image of that backup. It will do incremental backups, meaning you will be able to do faster backups over time.

Try an on-line service. There are free ones (up to 5GB) such as Xdrive, and some inexpensive options such as Carbonite. These are set and forget things, and they will copy your data to servers over the Internet. Of course you will need some fast broadband and an unlimited account or at least a large allowance for all the data backup. In New Zealand you can also try local solution NZDrive.

Try a backup to another computer. You could use Memeo and forget about this. Set it to backup your files to another computer on your network, and forget it. It's all automatic. And Memeo works on Windows and Mac OS.

Get into the home network server space. Try Windows Home Server. This might need a bit more knowledge, and more hardware, but it's getting to a point where some households have more than one computer, and this is an automated solution for backup nightmares. It will store automatic backups from all PCs in your network, and allow for restores over the LAN.

And of course test the restore to see if it all works. After all storing the data away but not being able to retrieve is not fun.

Most importantly: practice safe computing.




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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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