Start Backing Up Your Files

Most people love or need the data they store on their computers: their photos, home videos, favorite music, business and accounting data, and documents of all kinds such as resumes, letters, journals and creative writing. But, even with such precious data and files in limbo, most people don’t back up their files.

And many, if not most, court disaster, by letting their antivirus programs expire. Others have aging computers with an aging hard drive and wait too long. Even others have a new computer, but the hard drive dies anyway. It gets dropped, banged, stolen, or fried by an electrical surge. Unfortunately, these people then lose everything: their irreplaceable baby photos, or the book they were writing or a year’s worth of Quick books data, poof, gone in an instant. As a computer tech I see it happen all the time.

Save yourself a ton of grief and hours of labor and fuss. If you want to keep what’s on your computer, then you need to back it up. Here’s an easy way:

Buy an exterior drive that plugs into a usb port. Plug it in. Wait for the computer to recognize and install it. Go to the Start button, then to My Computer.

In My Computer will be several drives. You’ll see your computer’s hard drive or drives, usually C:, or if there’s more than one C: and D:. You’ll see your cd and dvd drives. And you’ll see your new exterior drive. Click on your new drive. A new window will open. It’ll be empty. There might be some software on the drive to help you back up your documents. For our purposes, we’ll ignore that software ( you can figure it out and use it later if you want to, of course.) But make a manual back up first:

1. Leave the window open.

2. Drag the right hand corner of the window to make it half the size of the screen.

3. Open a second window. Go to Start and My Computer again and then to the C: drive . Find My Documents. (If you can’t find it, go to Documents and Settings, then to your user, then to your document folder.)

4. Resize that window to fit next to the first one.

5. Drag your entire documents folder from one window to the other. Or if you want pick and choose the files and folders you want to back up and drag those across.

6. Let the file copying begin.

Now you are backed up! A back up means having your files in two or more places at once. So after you have copied your files to the new exterior drive, don’t delete them from the first one. That way, if your either hard drive dies or gets lost, stolen, damaged, or fried, you’ll still have the data on the other drive.

Or if you this seems too complicated for your present computer skills, hire a tech and have him or her do it for you or show you how to do it. If you live in Calgary, Alberta Canada, call 403-483-0105 and let Ducktoes Computer Services help you.

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