Archive for February, 2006

Backup Part 1

February 2, 2006

In an emergency or a disaster the worst plan of action is to not have one. We carry spare tires in our cars, we have smoke alarms in our homes, and our children carry cell phones for emergencies. We plan and prepare for things that can go wrong that often never do. Yet the minute your child forgets his/her cellphone, their tire pops on the freeway and the spare is flat. We’ve all heard Murphy’s Law:

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

Your Home Computer is no different. The digital photographs of your family and friends, your financial records, and the e-mail messages your sent and received over the years all constitute valuable data on your computer. If you do not have a plan to recover it, something is certain to destroy it.

Its time to understand What, When, and How to backup the data on your Home Computer.

First, let’s answer the question – What to backup? You’re going to want to backup the files that cannot be easily replaced. Your pictures, financial records, and e-mail all fall into that category. The programs on your computer, can be easily replaced because you recieved installation discs when you purchased the software. You won’t need to back them up.

Ed Bott, Microsoft Press Author and Expert Zone Community Columnist explains the backup file selection process in his article entitled, Windows XP Backup Made Easy

Windows XP makes this task especially easy by giving every user account its own personal profile, which consists of a set of subfolders in the Documents and Settings folder. Your profile holds your personal files (in the My Documents folder), Outlook Express e-mail messages, Internet Explorer Favorites and cookies, and information about your settings and preferences. If you have personal data stored elsewhere, consider moving it into the My Documents folder to make backing up easier. If you’re unwilling or unable to move those files, make a note of where they’re located so you can be sure you add them to your backup set later.