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You never thought it would happen to you. You press the power button to turn on your computer and all you receive is the following error message “Operating System Not Found”.
This is an indication that something has gone wrong and that something wrong is usually a hard drive failure (A.K.A. hard drive crash).
This is the one major drawback with computers, they’re made with mechanical parts and those parts are prone to failure.
The failure could happen within minutes of your purchase or it can be years later. Unfortunately, we are rarely in a position to predict when that failure will occur.
How many of you have lost valuable data such as pictures of loved ones or how many businesses have ground to a halt due to the lost of important data? Worst of all, many of you have never (ever) taken the time to create any kind of backup of your data?
What is a backup?
A backup is just a copy of the data files on your computer. A backup will protect you, if for some reason your hard drive or the storage device inside of your computer should fail.
What’s a Systems Image?
Another type of backup you can perform is what’s called a “systems image”. This type of backup includes: 1. your operating system, 2. all the programs installed on your computer and 3. your data files (documents, pictures, music, etc.). It is basically a snapshot of your computer at a point in time. If disaster strikes, you can use the image to restore your computer. I recommend that the image be kept on a separate external hard drive.
How Often Should I Backup?
It is recommended that you periodically backup your data. An individual should backup at least monthly. But companies may want to perform a daily backup, to protect valuable data.
What are My Backup Options?
You have four options, and although the first one is foolish, it is still an option:
1. Do Nothing – I think you know what the risk is for choosing this option.
2. Add an additional Hard Drive to Your Computer – This is done by installing another hard drive in your computer. This is practical for a single PC, but not for laptops or someone with multiple PCs, such as a small business, it could become expensive. Not only that, you have to be somewhat tech-savvy to do this or pay someone else to do it for you.
3. Backup to a Local External Drive – This involves purchasing a stand-alone drive that you attach to your computer to back up the data. There are many makers of these types of hard drives. A couple of the more popular models are: My Passport or Transcend StoreJet. An even better solution is to utilize a form of network-attached storage also called a NAS. A NAS is a centralized storage solution that you can access via your network. When used with a reputable backup solution or standard backup software that comes with your operating system, like Windows 7, a NAS can become a life-saving backup tool.
4. Use Online Storage, such as Acronis or others. Online storage is an offsite storage facility, that has been setup and specially designed to house and protect your data. You are able to access that data anytime anywhere, as long as you have access to an Internet connection. There are many different secure online backup options which can help automate the backup tasks of your important and sensitive data. Using online storage has several advantages. To learn more about secured online storage, check out this article: Advantages of Online Storage.
Not backing up you data is asking for trouble. Backing up data, is usually a step that takes very little time to perform, but for some reason, we seem to always neglect it, until it is too late. Many of you have spent years collecting the data stored on our computers, if you lose it because of a hard drive crash, you might never be able to replace it. Whether you use a local option such as an external drive, or opt for an online storage solutions, don’t wait do something now and should disaster strikes, you’ll be glad that you did.
When you backup your files online, they are safe even if all your devices are lost, stolen or broken. Your data is with you – wherever you roam. With 250Gb of cloud storage, you can put your whole digital world in your pocket. It’s always available, on all your devices, from computers to smartphones and tablets.