We talk a lot on this Blog about how important it is to have a current backup of all of your critical data, and given the state of the Internet today with its epidemic of malware, there’s a good chance, that at some point, you’ll need this backup.
If you’re not too worried about the malware threat to your data, then consider this. Just like death and taxes are a certainty, the fact that your computer’s Hard Drive will crash one day and refuse to respond, is every bit as certain.
As I wrote here recently; in the last 18 months I have had to deal with three Hard Drive failures – not on the same machine of course. While this may be slightly unusual, it does illustrate that Hard Drives do fail.
So backups are important – critically important. Despite the critical importance of Hard Drive backups, most computer technicians will tell you that typically, computer users’ do not backup their irreplaceable data.
The best backup strategy includes imaging your Hard Drives and partitions, since that allows you to restore your important data, your complete operating system, as well as your installed applications, user settings, etc.
If you should suffer catastrophic Hard Drive failure and you are one of the few, out of the ordinary, computer users who regularly and faithfully backup, you will have a lot of work ahead of you but you will recover. If you do not have a backup plan, it’s time you though seriously about developing one.
Yes, I know there is effort involved in learning how to protect your data by developing and implementing a backup plan. But without a plan, your data becomes a hostage to fortune. Your Hard Drive might be damaged by malware – it might not. Your Hard Drive might fail – it might not. But why take the risk? At a minimum, you need to backup, or copy, your irreplaceable data to a partition (in case of malware infection), secondary Hard Drive, or a USB drive.
For now, let’s just focus on copying your critical data from your Hard Drive to another media.
Mirror is an interesting freeware application that will allow you to copy (mirror) a folder structure from one location to another – from a Hard Drive to a USB drive, for example.
Here’s the best part – once you have mirrored (copied), a folder and it’s structure to another media, rerunning Mirror on the same folder will only copy new or changed files – a sort of incremental backup.
The Mirror interface is as simple as an interface can be, as the following graphic illustrates.
Portable – no installation required
Compatible with – USB Keys, Removable Hard Drives, Zip Drives, Floppy Disks, Flash Memory Cards, MP3 Players
Recommendation: Mirror is a fast and easy way to ensure you will not lose your irreplaceable data. In my view, this small free application is a “must have” for a typical user. Consider adding it to your utility toolbox today.
System Requirements: Windows 98/2000/Me/XP/Vista.
Note: I tested Mirror successfully on Win 7.
Download at: PCWorld
Note: October 11 @ 8:35 AM eastern time – a number of readers have advised that the developers site is down. Hopefully, this is temporary.
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