Today’s post comes from the head of Information Technology at Photodex, Benjamin. He’s responsible for designing, managing, and maintaining all of Photodex’s internal and external infrastructure. Today he shares some best practices for backing up your computer’s hard drive.
Setting up and managing backups is probably one of the least favorite jobs in Information Technology (IT). Yet, there is one inevitable truth in the world of IT – hardware fails. It is because of this truth that backups are one of the most important aspects of an IT department and should be something you do yourself at home.
Luckily, for the average home user, many of the more modern operating systems have basic backup software built in and external hard drives are very affordable.
For Windows 7 users you’ll find your backup software by going to the following:
Start -> Control Panel -> Systems and Security -> Backup and Restore
If you are a Mac user then you’ll find an application called “Time Machine” built into Snow Leopard and Lion.
Setting up backups on either Operating System is incredibly simple. The process goes something like this:
- Attach an external hard drive to your computer.
- Launch the backup software relevant to your Operating System.
- Follow a very simple wizard identifying the content on your hard-drive you would like to backup.
The most important step is that you setup a weekly or monthly reminder to check and make sure your backups are working as intended. This can be as easy as checking the external drive to verify that recent files were automatically copied to your backup media.
Another option might be to open the backup software on your operating system and verifying that the software does not contain any errors.
Setting up proper backups of your computer may be the most important thing you ever do with your computer. It is not a matter of IF your hard drive will fail – it’s a matter of WHEN.
If you’ve ever lost content due to hard drive failure, make backups part of your new year’s resolutions!