If you have never lost any computer data or wished you could recover an older version of a document you have overwritten then you have been very lucky in deed. Having had more than one computer failure and lost many documents in the past I am eternally grateful that I was taught early on in my IT career of the value of regular data backups.
What would you do if somebody stole your computer and you lost all you data? Maybe you’re reading this article because that is what has happened to you. It doesn’t bear thinking about yet many home computer users have never taken a computer backup nor fully appreciate the importance of doing so. Worse still, many have made backups only to find out that they cannot then restore the data because of missing disks, compatibility issues or incorrect backup choices.
A sensible backup strategy comprises of 3 components, a drive image which allows you to rescue all the data on your hard drive, a file backup allowing individual files to be recovered as and when needed and an online file backup needed in case someone makes off with your computer.
I honestly believe it should be mandatory to backup data if you own a computer but if you are not technically minded choosing the right solution and ensuring it works correctly is a minefield. If you want peace of mind and the knowledge that you are guaranteed to be able to recover data in the event of a system failure or just accidental deletion of data; then take advantage of a disaster recovery service provided by a local IT firm.
There are many programs available for purchase that help us to protect data but many have serious shortcomings that can leave you spitting teeth when you need them most.
Take for example the backup facility that comes with Windows 7. This looks a great tool. It backs up quickly, efficiently and is pretty simple to use. However, if you hard drive fails and you need to restore data it is likely to present a huge raft of problems unless you have an identical hard drive on which to restore the data. If the replacement drive is made by a different manufacturer, is of a different capacity then any attempted restore may well fail.
If you’d like another example, one of the best selling backup programs is Acronis True Image. It was a great program, I used it personally, but check out the reviews on Amazon for the latest version and you will see it is now beset with problems making it a desperate choice for many. When testing it on my own computer not only did it crash continually, it corrupted my hard drive and didn’t uninstall correctly
What is Needed to Backup Data?
- Backup Software
- An External Disk Drive
- An online backup service