backups are your best defense against data loss.
setting up a new computer system or software application is the
ideal time to decide how the data will be backed up. It
is human nature if something is too difficult or time consuming
it won't get done, at least not as often as it should. Having
an easy, reliable backup process in place will help reduce your
chances of serious data loss.
installing a backup device and software, organizing your data
can make backups easier and less time consuming.
is easy accept an application's default setting for the location
on the hard disk for data storage, but this can result in data
directories and files being mixed in with other application directories
and files. For backup purposes it is preferable to keep data files
separate from other files.
applications give users the option of specifying a directory or
directories for data files. Taking advantage of this can make
data backup simpler because it is only the data that needs backing
up on a regular basis. Should a hard drive fail application files
can always be restored from the original source. The unique data
files created with an application can not.
option is to create a second drive partition on your hard disk
- drive C for the operating system and applications and drive
D for data. Many types of data files such as word processing,
web files, spread sheets, and databases are comparatively small.
Drive D could be a considerably smaller partition than drive C.
Other data types such as high resolution photos, or movie files
take up considerably more room. Drive D should be sized larger
for these types of data file.
separate data directories on drive D can help keep the data organized
and make data restoration easier should that ever become necessary.
A directory for accounting data, another for letters, another
for web pages, and so forth.
alternative to a separate partition is to use a separate data
directory on drive C. Some windows applications default to the
directory "My Documents" as a place to store data files.
You can create your data directories as sub-directories of this
directory, or you can create a separate directory perhaps named
way by keeping all of your data together and separate from application
files makes setting up software to back up only the data files
easier, faster, and less likely to miss files. This also makes
it easier to find out how much data you have to backup which in
turn will determine what type of data device you need to backup
recently tape drives were the standard for large backup jobs.
Tape drives are still available, but may not be the fastest or
most cost effective. Which device is right for you will depend
in part on how much data you have to back up. Click on the links
to see what is currently available.
Read/Write Drives - 640 to 700 MB. The first larger capacity
alternative to tape drives. Now much faster, but limited in size.
CD drives - Internal
Read/Write Drives - 4.5 to 8.5 GB for dual layer. Substantially
more capacity than CD drives and just as easy to move data from
computer to computer.
Drives - 20 GB to 400 GB and increasing in size. Can
be used to make an exact duplicate of not only of data but also
of operating system and application files including boot sectors
with the right software.
Drives - 100 MB to 750 MB. Both internal and external
models. Easily move data from computer to computer.
Drives - Traditional backup devices, still serviceable, but
no longer the only large capacity type of backup device. Dat
Tape Drives - Travan
to do regular data backups can lead to lost data when a hard disk
fails. Often the data is still present on the drive, but can not
be retrieved in the normal fashion. If the data appears to be
lost and it is important enough, then the only recourse is to
attempt data recovery.