Step 5: Back up your Data

Backup ImageBacking up your files simply means making a copy of them so that if the original is lost or damaged, you can use the copy. You can back up your hard disk to floppies, to a Zip disk, or to a tape drive. For under $100.00 you can purchase an external drive to do all you backups. There are many backup programs to use so select your software carefully.


How often you back up depends on how valuable your time is. If you’re working on an important file, save it to a floppy as well as to your hard disk. If you’re running a home-based business, you should invest in a tape backup drive and back up on a daily basis.


Most families can get by with a less rigorous backup schedule. Back up the files in your data folders (see Step 4) once a week, and perform a complete system backup every six months. You can back up your data files simply by dragging their folders to the icon for your floppy disk, CD or DVD.


If you’re a Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/Vista user, you can use the Backup program in Programs/Accessories/System tools. This lets you check off the folders you want to back up.


High-capacity removable disks, such as those DVD’s, are great for backing up a hard disk, and they can help keep down the clutter on your disk. A tape drive that can store from 400MB to 2GB of data is even better for backup, as it will keep media-swapping to a minimum. All tape drives also come with their own backup software.


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