Let’s Talk About Backups

This is a guest post by Dave Brooks a professional techie from New Hampshire, USA. Dave has written this article to emphasize, once again, and it can’t be repeated too often – the importance of data back up on a regular and consistent basis. Pay a visit to Dave’s site at Tech-N-Go and checkout the Security Alerts.

Let’s Talk About Backups

backup My Name is Dave Brooks, I’m an A+ certified technician currently employed in a small shop in New Hampshire.

I’ve been in the computer industry for about 15 years, playing with computers even longer. Other than a brief introductory class many years ago, I am completely self taught.

Bill has generously donated space for wanna be novelists (I’m not a writer by any stretch) to share their thoughts, so I figured I’d take him up on the offer.

Much of the operation of a computer seems to amaze the average user; that they can do what they do even amazes me sometimes. You don’t need to know how a PC works to use it, just like your car, if you have problems you visit a mechanic, you don’t need to know how it does what it does.

One thing you DO need to know is that you MUST back up your computer if you have anything of even remote value to you on it. Hard drives (the device that actually stores your data) are amazing things, their capacity is growing by leaps and bounds and the price per Mega Byte is dropping about as fast.

Hard Drive Diag One of the biggest problems with them is that they can fail at pretty much any time with no notice at all, one minute your working away, the next the drive has developed a catastrophic problem and your years of work and photos have gone to that great recycle bin in the sky.

Depending on the problem the drive has developed it can be relatively inexpensive to recovery your data or it can cost thousands of dollars to send it off to a company specializing in data recovery.

Planning ahead, you can reduce this cost to a mere hundred or two dollars and a minimal amount of downtime. How you ask? An external hard drive and some imaging software. Acronis True Image is a great application and one I recommend to all my home clients.

It is really as simple as installing the software, connecting your external drive, and going through a wizard which will perform a full backup of your hard drive and help schedule recurring backups. When your hard drive fails, it’s a simple matter of installing a replacement, and restoring your recent backup back to the new drive, and you’re up and running with minimal downtime and aggravation.

I’ve had many a customer lose many a file because they had no backup, they usually implement a routine after they experience data loss, but the loss could have been prevented, it’s not a matter of if your hard drive will fail, but when.

In closing I’ll leave you with this thought; BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!!!

Driveimage XML

(Click pic for larger)

Checkout the review of DriveImage XML, a free, easy to use, and reliable data back up program, from Runtime Software, on this site.


Filed under Backup Tools, Freeware, Software, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

11 responses to “Let’s Talk About Backups

  1. whatsonmypc

    Mr. Brooks,

    Great article! I managed a network in my career and I was obsessed with maintaining backups. It saved my shirt many times. Today at home, I do exactly as you have instructed. I have seen people cry from losing important files.

    I currently maintain daily backups and use Acronis for drive imaging…

    Thank you,


  2. Great Article! I am the owner of http://www.myotherdrive.com and most people don’t realize the importance of backing up offsite. Fire, theft, etc. can make you lose lots of precious memories you’ve recorded through photo and video.

    The only thing I want to add is that when backing up sensitive data make sure the site you’re backing up to supports some sort of encrypted backup that is client side so that noone but you can access your files.

  3. g

    great advice David! i’m a backupaholic – not just one back up but several.

  4. Just want to give you a big tip of my geek hat, and say “welcome to a special club” — you’ve been seen on Mr. Mullins’ site!
    (IMHO) a very thoughtful and well-presented example of good advice. Nice job!

    Folks.. the Reading Room needs more Guest Writers. Join us and submit an article yourself.

  5. Thanks all for the kind words, BACKUP BACKUP! 🙂

  6. TechPaul,

    Thank you for the kind remarks.


  7. Peter

    Its true, backups are very essential to let you sleep peacefully at night. I found one more software at a site called pulse. However instead of replicating to an external drive. It creates a backup via FTP. I found it at http://www.pulsesolutions.com/automated_schedule_ftp.aspx.

    Thanks again for your article. Its great.

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