Backing up your data

One of the saddest things I sometimes have to tell my customers is that they have lost their data.

Imagine for a moment you have a business with thousands of invoices stored on your PC which have to be presented to an income tax inspector. Imagine you have photographs stored on your PC of a close relative or friend who has just died. Imagine you are a student who has three years work researched intensively and all stored on your PC just needing to be finished and presented as a thesis. Imagine you have crucially important letters stored on your PC relating to inheritance, insurance claims and legal matters. The one thing you would want in every instance is to be able to retrieve and print these documents and pictures as appropriate. These are all defined as data – and for a variety of reasons - sometimes data gets corrupted and deleted. It’s not funny and it’s really heartbreaking to tell a teenager their hard labour on their homework for the last year has all been lost. It happens – and all too frequently.

And it's completely avoidable!

It simply requires discipline and regular practice

Data can sometimes be retrieved but that can't be guaranteed and it can be very expensive and even if it can be retrieved recovery can be time consuming enough to cause deadlines to be missed.

Where and how to back up data.

What is data?

Data is your documents, music, pictures and other links and references on your computer.

How to back up your data.

Back up your data at least every day. Hard drives fail and get corrupted and the loss of even one days work can have serious consequences.

It's always time well spent but too often we don't realise how well spent until we've lost a days work (or worse).

Where to back up your data. Five stars is the ideal.

CD or DVD: Good for quite large files but store them in places where they can't get warped or scratched ****

Data or flash pen: Good temporary storage and very portable ***

External hard drive: Good for very large quantities of data ****

The Cloud: External websites in other words. Google Drive and One Drive (via a Hotmail account) are free and other sites sell cloud services at reasonable prices ****


Floppy drives are rarely used for storage but if you have data stored on floppy drives they can still be read by an external floppy drive and they're not expensive.

Note that I have not given five stars to any method of backing up data. Ideally, make sure that crucially important is backed up in at least two places away from your PC. That's a counsel of perfection perhaps but it's not a bad ideal.

If you do lose data.

Don't panic and don't use your PC or laptop. Contact me and see what I may be able to do, I've had some encouraging achievements.

Please note however that attempting the retrieval of data carries no guarantees.