SHCC WYSIWYG Article from May 2008

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the May 2008 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Backup, Backup, Backup!!

by Don VanSyckel

If you don't get anything else out of coming to SHCC and you do backups because of the club, you're club experience is well worth it. For example, I've talked to several people who have told me they don't do backups because they don't have anything valuable on their hard disk. My answer to this always is, "Then in that case, let me delete all the data on your hard drive!" To which they always answer "No, you can't do that I have pictures of this or that or I have my checkbook!" Proving my point that they do have something worth backing up.

I recommend a USB external hard disk for backups. Remember there is two major categories of files on your hard disk, programs and data. Currently I don't backup the programs. If a disk goes bad I pull out all the program disks and get busy loading. The next time I have to do this I will probably invest in a 'disk imaging' program to snap shot the disk after all the programs are loaded and before any data is on the disk. These type programs are available at most larger computer stores. The other files are the data files. These are the ones I backup. These are the ones that no one else has. They're not on any program CD. They're only on your backups.

You might want to buy two external hard drives. Backup on one for a while then take it to your friend's, your relative's, your cottage up North, or anywhere other than where you have the computer. This is for protection against fire and flood. Then use the second external hard drive. After a few months swap the two external hard drives. If your hard drive breaks you're covered and if you have a fire you'll only lose the data since the last hard drive swap.

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