How to Back Up your Computer correctly.

We all know that backing up your data regularly is a must.  Almost none of us do it unfortunately.  How about this for a nightmare, you do your backups like you are supposed to and the day comes when your computer’s hard drive dies.  I don’t mean it won’t boot to windows, I mean it’s dead.  You fire up your backup software on a new machine and direct it to those backup files.  Nothing happens.  Seems there is a small never discussed problem with back up software.  It is only good when it recognizes it’s home.  If it’s home is no longer there it doesn’t know what to do and you can’t tell it.  How about this one, you back up your computer with some program and it creates a compressed file in it’s own file format.  You go to do the restore and, surprise, the file is corrupt.  And nothing else but that specific software can read it.  The list goes on and on why most backups end up being worthless. 

The only real way to insure that what you back up will be of use to you when you need it is to make a copy of the actual files and folders you need.  You don’t compress them or convert them with any back up software. You just create a real back up copy of important files.  You must have a USB external drive connected to your computer at all times.  Make a habit of copying your My Doc folder to the external drive every day.  If you use Quicken or Quickbooks don’t rely on those internal backups they make.  Take the time to copy your data files for them.  They are located under Quicken or Intuit for Quickbooks.  Same goes for your email and favorites for your web browser. IE keeps your favorites under Docs and SettingsUser name.  Backing up your email can much more difficult and for that one I do suggest you use Express Assist.  Microsoft buries those files deep and makes it very difficult to get to quickly.  Get in the habit and when disaster comes your way and it will, you can stop the freaking out.

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