Resolution for 2011 –
Personal Backup Plan
Over the last
several issues, you’ve heard us harp on the importance of backups, yet
several folks we’ve talked with in the last few months have had some
recent experience with losing a laptop or desktop hard drive. In
rebuilding some desktops and laptops for friends, we’ve been asked to “…please
save my pictures off first…I don’t have them anywhere else!”
Given all the inexpensive home technology such as sub-$10 memory
sticks, $50-$75 pocket hard drives and even free online backup services,
there’s no reason to continue unprotected. We’ve compiled a list of
backup tips below, and hope you’ll review your personal backup plan in
2-4GB USB flash drives are only
$5-$15, and some can be secured with a password. (Ironically, a $5
memory stick is like a $2,000 box of 2,000 floppy disks from 15-20 years
Pocket hard drives in 320GB and up
capacities are available for $50-$100 from local office stores, Amazon,
and Newegg. You can use Windows 7 image backup to get a complete
working image of your computer(s) and have space left-over for
incidental photo and document backups.
Windows Live/Hotmail accounts now
come with 25GB of totally FREE SkyDrive storage
IBackup, IDrive and other online
services offer free and automatic services for a small monthly charge
for busy folks who need a “set and forget” solution. (Note: your PC may
need to be left on for automatic online backup)
Regardless of what you use,
periodically look on your backup drive to make sure your files are
current AND accessible. As you know, Craig and I have seen many a
backup tape or drive with inaccessible data or no data at all on it.
Windows 7, Vista, and even old XP
have backup programs included. Some pocket hard drives include a
software solution you install on your computer.
newsletters section for previous instructions on how to create an
image backup, using copy/paste and “send-to” copy methods to USB flash
Keep critical backup sets offsite in
a lockbox, or even fire safes of trusted friends or relatives. Again, if
you’re concerned about privacy, ask your store for a drive with
“password” or security options. Windows 7 Ultimate offers Bitlocker
encryption so you can limit data recovery to your PC only.
A 2nd email account (Gmail,
Hotmail / Livemail) can be useful to forward low-security risk files
there as a backup, like this newsletter!
What do we use? – ALL of them! We
zip our accounting backups and store on Hotmail Skydrive and even
restore to spare computers. Windows 7 images are stored on offsite
pocket hard drives and we also use USB flash drives for incidentals.
Feel free to ask us about a personal backup plan to make sure
your bases are covered!