How Often Do You Back Up Your
(c) 2004 by Cheryl Williams Levey, http://www.cherylsweb.com
Computer won't boot. It acts like it's starting Windows, and then it reboots
itself. Over and over and over. It won't finish booting up. Something
on the hard drive is corrupted, which could mean a total loss of all data.
How would you feel
if that happened to you? Really think about it for a minute. Feel sick?
Nauseated? Ready to pass out or throw up? Yeah, so did I at first.
Make a backup! NOW!
When my hard drive failed, I had a backup. It was a week old, but at least
I only stood to lose a week's worth of work instead of everything I had
ever done in my life. Making a backup was such a pain. I had to have about
20 zip disks ready and spend a couple hours copying to them, and that
was just to get my actual files - not applications or anything. So, I
only made a backup about once a week (sometimes less often).
But I still panicked when my computer wouldn't boot up properly. It was,
after all, a whole week's worth of work! What would my clients think if
I had to tell them what I was doing for them was gone?!
Then, I got lucky. The tech guys at my local computer store, who were
so nice (and were actually impressed that I even had a week old backup),
were able to save my working files to an external hard drive before they
took my computer apart to replace the hard drive. It took hours, literally
(the entire day, really), but they persevered and gave me my 30 gigs or
so of data so I could come home and get back to work even while waiting
a week for my computer to be fixed.
Needless to say, I became, by default, the proud owner of an external
hard drive. It was a very well-spent (but badly timed) $200 investment.
Bad timing or not, I would have paid a lot more for the peace of mind
I have now.
Not to sound like a nag or anything, but what's your data worth to you?
When was your last backup?
Like I said, I had
one, but it was a week old. My excuse? Who has time to do backups? Well,
I had to make time to spend the entire day at the computer store - and
that was time I would not have had to spend if I had a daily backup.
So think about it. If you don't have time to backup now, what kind of
time will you have if you lose everything on your computer? Will you lose
your job? I might have, seriously. I have anywhere from one to five freelance
gigs going at any given time and that doesn't even count my online business.
If I had to tell them I lost everything and didn't have a backup, goodbye
clients, goodbye contracts, goodbye business reputation...
See what I mean? I
got lucky, seriously. Do you want to take the chance on being lucky? Not
everyone is - the tech guys I dealt with said they deal with extremely
upset people every day who do not have backups, and more often than not,
the data can't be saved.
They said they wished more of their customers would do backups regularly.
The importance really can't be emphasized enough if you care about what's
on your computer.
For the easiest backups ever, invest in an external hard drive and just
copy your hard drive to it as often as you want. Mine has a button on
the front that when pushed, will automatically backup anything that has
changed since the last time I backed up. I am now in the habit of pressing
that button when I stop work for dinner each evening. If yours doesn't
have an automatic feature (I would be surprised if it didn't!), you can
still start a backup and it would be done in a few hours.
Other backup options
include writing to CDs, zip disks, floppies, or other removable storage.
Because this is so time-consuming, if this is the route you need to take,
you can designate a "working" folder on your machine and put
the files you are actively working on and making changes to in it and
then (after making a full backup), only backup that one folder each evening.
You won't have a backup of emails and such, but at least you'll have your
The point is, however you need to do it, make a backup - at the very least
of just your important stuff - RIGHT NOW!
Cheryl Williams Levey owns cherylsweb.com, a site
dedicated to showing you how to save time and money
while growing your home business. Do you have what
it takes to build a home business?