How to Back up your Windows 7 Machine

Here’s an article from ghacks.net on how to back up your Windows 7 machine by making an image of your operating system, your programs and your files.  You put the image on a disk and then can restore your system by booting from that disk.  It is great protection for your programs and files and a wonderful way to make your computer like new without losing anything.

Or you could let Ducktoes Calgary Computer Repair do it for you.

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Hard Drives are Flimsy

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I can’t say this often enough. Hard drives are vulnerable and flimsy. They are the most common piece of hardware to go bad, so you, a computer owner, are under constant threat of losing your data. So never, ever, go without backing up your data. You can not rely on your hard drive! Just because it is here and working today, doesn’t mean it will be there and working tomorrow. You need to be proactive and make sure you have your valuable data backed up…do not put this off.

I say this because every week I order hard drives, many hard drives, from my wholesalers, to put into people’s laptops and desktops. Their original hard drives have gone bad. A few hard drives stop spinning, are as dead as a doornail, a paperweight, an inert mass of machinery. These we can not any retrieve data from, even with our most expensive data recovery software. They are toast. They have to sent to a clean room to have the data rescued. This costs beaucoup bucks.

What are the most common types of hard drives to go bad? In my experience, judging only from what I buy every week: notebook or laptop hard drives. I buy many every week. They are so skinny and so vulnerable to mishap, to being dropped, overheated, overfilled, and bumped. They fry. They click. They make weird grinding noises. They stop dead. Notebook drives are the flimsiest, but desktop hard drives also go bad on a regular basis.

What can you do? You can back up your data on a regular basis. Then you’ll only lose what you’ve changed or added since the last backup. This will prevent data loss.

To prevent loss of programs, you should keep the cd or dvd disks of the software you buy and their key codes to prove you’ve bought them. If you’ve downloaded them online, you can print out the email you received upon purchase and put it somewhere you can find it. You can make an image of your hard drive which contains all data and programs just as they are on the day you make the image. Or have your tech shop make an image for you and put in on an external drive for you.

If you don’t know how to backup your hard drive, then learn from a techy friend, or hire a tech to do it for you or show you how. Take responsibility for your data, make sure you have it for the future.

If you do not keep your key codes and disks to the programs you own, it is unreasonable to expect your tech or tech repair shop to reinstall them when you need a new hard drive. We do not have copies to all the software you own. There are thousands, maybe millions, of different kinds of software. They may well-known to you in your field or leisure activity, whether it’s real estate or law or photography or the newest gaming software, but we are not in your field or leisure activity and not privy to your software. We usually can figure out any software if you need help running it. But as for installing it, even if we do have the disks, we can not install them without their key codes. The software itself will not allow it usually or there is a trial period after which the software stops working.

Some clients do not understand when we can’t install their software, they think we have more ability than we do to override keycodes, or have hidden software up our sleeves, are magical. We aren’t. We can’t. We can not outsmart Microsoft and even if we could, it would be unwise, if not illegal. They are ways of downloading software without paying for it, but don’t ask us to do it. It takes a lot of time and is illegal. If you pay someone to download illegal software for you, you might as well buy the software legally.

So back up, back up now and on a regular basis.

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Have you backed up your files?

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It can happen in a heartbeat, a lightening flash, a burglary, a fire, a bump of the vacuum, a bad virus…

And all your files and photos are gone. So don’t put it off. Backup your computer today. It can be easy and inexpensive.

I’ve been researching backups for a Calgary business that Ducktoes supports for computer repair. And I found an online solution that looks impressive. It’s Jungle Disk. It allows you to sync between computers and backup your files to a Cloud storage service like the one at Amazon. So I thought I’d share it with all my clients and readers. Online is a good alternative since even if your business goes up in flames you still have your important data.

If you need Ducktoes Computer Repair or any other computer repair or virus removal to do this for your then call 403-483-0105. Actually we can help anyone anywhere with our remote service.

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Start Backing Up Your Files

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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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