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How to Backup your Important Data

One of the worst things that can happen to you is loosing your business/personal pictures, important documents, and even great programs that you use. 

Backing up your PC should be one of your main priorities!

If you own your own business, how important is your information/data?  Will you lose money because a computer crashed and had important data on it? 

With the use of digital cameras, many people have hundreds, even thousands of pictures stored on one computer and no backups of them.  I also know of many people who have lost all their pictures because of hard drive failure.  This is one of the most common problems that can happen to your PC.  Protect yourself against this common computer issue.

What to Backup?

You need to backup all your pictures, Word/Excel documents and any other files you have created with other programs.  I recommend that you try and move all your files that you want to keep into your "My Documents" folder.  This way you only have to backup one folder.

You should have all your install disks in a safe spot to reinstall your programs. 

Backup Media

You have many options for backup media.  Windows Backup, CD's, DVD's, Online Storage Backup, External hard drives, Tape drives, and a few others.

Windows XP has a backup program that works good if you have an external hard drive or a second hard drive inside your computer.  To access this click on the "Start" button, then click "Programs", then "Accessories", "System Tools" and then "Backup".

One Online Backup system I have used is "iBackup".  You have to pay a monthly fee, but you can set the backups to run on a schedule and then you don't have to worry about it.  It will even backup your emails, which is a great option.

There are many programs for burning to CD's and DVD's.  I use Nero Burning Software and also the burning software that comes with Windows XP.  There are many options when it comes to DVD/CD burning programs.  Just pick one and learn how it works. 

How to use the build-in CD burning program that comes with Windows XP.

If you use Windows XP Home Edition, you'll need to install the program.

Insert your Windows XP CD into the drive.  On the Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP screen, click Perform Additional Tasks.  Click Browse this CD.  In Windows Explorer, double-click the ValueAdd folder, then Msft, and then Ntbackup.  Double-click Ntbackup.msi to install the Backup utility.

If you have Windows XP Pro the program is already installed on your computer.

Double click on the "My Computer" icon and find the folder you want to backup.  Right click on the folder and click on "Send To" and then pick the "CD Drive".  You will then see a popup in the bottom right hand side.

Click on the balloon and window will open. 

Click on "File" and then "Write these files to CD".

When its done your CD drive will open and you can close the program.

Whatever you doScience Articles, try to set a backup schedule and stick to it.

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Thomas W. Shay is a long time Computer Consultant and Help Desk Specialist.

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