When it comes to hard drive crashes, it’s a matter of when, not if.
The despair of lost files can be prevented with a good recent backup. So why is it so normal to not have a proper backup ready for the day your computer finally calls it quits?
* You’re making it too complicated.
Confession time: I used to not back up my computer files and photos because “I wanted to organize them first.” Silly, right? I didn’t need to sort them, file them, or rename them. I just needed to back them up. Period. All it takes is copying them from one place to another.
* You’re waiting too long.
If it’s not automatically scheduled on your computer, put a reminder on your calendar to do it weekly or monthly. Each week I do a quick backup for new or updated files. Waiting for one big annual backup is too risky.
* You’re doing it the hard way.
When computer files were smaller, it was easy to copy everything on disks. I used to fit all the documents from my computer on just 4 floppy disks (1.4 MB each)! These days, files are so much bigger that it takes hours to organize and copy everything to CDs or DVDs. It was worth it to buy an external hard drive that I can simply plug in for a complete backup. (You can buy hard drives for less than $150, and some come with software to help.) I still use DVDs as a secondary backup for my favorite photos and documents.
* You’re keeping everything at home.
Most companies keep backup systems offsite. Do the same for your personal computers. Store backup disks at work or a friend’s house. Email documents you don’t want to lose to your Gmail account. Consider using an online backup service. (IDrive and Mozy both offer 2GB of storage space for free.) Of course, if you put financial documents online, it’s smart to protect them first with encryption or a password.
So let’s talk, if your hard drive crashed today with no warning, just how much would you lose?