In this month’s article, I’m going to cover how to back up your data. Whatever is on your computer, photos, music, emails or your work documents, chances are you don’t really want to part with it. According to statistics, one in ten hard drives fail each year so its important to back up your computer often and effectively.
There are numerous tools available on the internet for free download. The question is, which one is right for you? Microsoft provides an add-on for backing up your Outlook email program. It’s called SyncBack freeware edition and it lets you easily create your backup profile and update changes to the backup destination with just one click. SyncBack is great for backing up your documents, desktop, your user profile or your entire D:\ drive by consuming less time and avoiding the annoying Windows Explorer prompt for a “Yes to all” click. Once a backup profile is finished, a nice webpage report will be displayed so you know what has been backed up and what couldn’t be copied with a clear reason. What you need is a 250GB USB external hard drive that you can get in computer shops in Phnom Penh for about $80 to $90. If you think an external hard drive is too big (or you don’t have that much data), you can also get a USB flash drive that can store up to 32GB, also available in PP with a slightly cheaper price tag than an external hard drive.
Once you are familiar with SyncBack and have explored the usefulness of the program, you might also wonder how to restore your laptop back its original state if it suffers a major Windows error, a virus attack or a physical hard drive damage incident. You don’t want to lose your licensed copy of an installed program, especially if you no longer have the original software disks. There are programs like Acronis True Image (pay version) or Macrium Reflect Free Edition that can mirror a backup of your current hard drive including your Windows, installed programs and files to your external hard drive. The mirror backup will be copied as one file so you can still copy and paste files in the other areas of the drive. You can probably recover everything to your computer in just 2 to 3 hours if you use a combination of the two types of backup programs.
If you are looking for an alternative solution to using an external drive, or want to have access to your data even if you are traveling, there are a few options below. A free option with Dropbox at www.getdropbox.com will give you 2GB online storage to start with. Also, MozyHome Free edition at www.mozy.com let’s you store your data in a safe and secure location, away from any disaster that can befall your computer. All you need is the Internet and a valid email address.
Whichever option you choose, backup your computer regularly, say at least once a week. You don’t want to lose all your hard work and memories, especially since such loss can be prevented.