One of the scariest elements of computer trouble is the risk of losing virtually everything on the hard drive at any given point in time, and the result could prove to be as minor as an inconvenience or as major as a complete loss. Individuals often depend on their laptop or desktop to store client information, school work, financial data, and various media files. Any type of virus could render the entire hard drive inaccessible, or a hardware malfunction could delete everything in its entirety. With all of the time that the average user spends on their computer, it only makes sense to take the steps necessary to protect the data. The following best practices should be considered in an effort to create and adhere to an emergency backup plan that can provide a great sense of peace of mind.
Developing a backup plan should consist of several different stages and will involve a couple different methods. Private client information may not be allowed to be stored on online servers, so individuals in this scenario will most likely be best served by an external hard drive that can be plugged in when necessary. It is important not to leave this drive connected to the computer at all times, or the purpose of maintaining a second copy will be defeated. Flash drives may work for smaller files depending on the amount of memory that will be required. Anytime a significant amount of work has been performed on a particular file is an excellent time to make a backup, and the few seconds that it takes will certainly be worth it if disaster strikes.
Some files, such as hardware drivers, will only need to be backed up once. In fact, many computers will actually prompt the user to make a backup disk prior to the first use. As long as all of the necessary driver components have been backed up, this process will not have to be repeated. These drivers should be placed on flash drives whenever possible in order to facilitate easy access if the computer were to become disabled. Any other types of files can either be saved to an external hard drive or to an online server.
Creating a backup plan will only work if it is actually placed into action. Backing up files does not have to be an intensive task, and the good news is that it can actually be performed automatically at specific times. There are online programs, like System Optimizer Pro, that will allow a consumer to backup everything on their computer each time they connect to the internet, or it can also be set for a variety of different intervals. The various programs work differently, but all of them will allow a user to specify what types of files they would like saved. With the generous amount of memory that is allotted to each member, it is truly possible to make a backup of the entire computer in a matter of hours. After the initial backup, only changes will be saved to the online server.