Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why Backing Up Your Computer Files is So Important

Once upon a time, computers lasted for years and years.  Nowadays, they last about five minutes before a newer version is released or...the computer dies.  I've had the most horrible luck with laptops:  two hard drives have crashed in two separate laptops since July 2009.  If it weren't for the fact that I back up my important files on a daily basis, I'd have lost the following information:
  • My current book (yes, the entire manuscript), all publisher's edits, book cover, media kit, and all correspondence between me and the folks at my publishing house.
  • All files related to my other published works, which include a book, hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, and dozens of insurance texts.
  • All my photos (including those of my kids when they were little--I scanned them into the laptop several months ago).
  • My e-mail files and contacts.
  • My mailing lists.
  • All the insurance seminars, courses, and workshops I've written for my education business.
  • All the record keeping files for my education business.
What types of information would YOU lose if the hard drive of your computer or laptop crashed?  Client files?  Bookkeeping files?  Published and unpublished works?  Marketing and advertising graphics?

Do YOU have a backup of your important files?  If not, why not?  It's incredibly easy to back up your files:
  • External hard drives are inexpensive; you can copy important files from your PC or laptop and paste them into an external hard drive.
  • You can purchase software specifically designed to automatically backup files you specify, at times you specify.
  • You can purchase services from vendors who will allow you to automatically backup your files to their online servers.
Here are a few links about the subject:
Yes, sitting here (at this very moment) using my husband's computer while he is replacing the hard drive in my laptop is a pain in the neck.  (And in the eyeballs, too, because the print on his computer is MUCH smaller than I'd like it to be.)  But I've got my external hard drive plugged into his PC and I'm able to do precisely what I need to do, with the files I backed up, until tomorrow when I can use my laptop again.

What would I be doing if I hadn't backed up my files?  What would YOU be doing if you lost all your files?

(photo by BillyFoto)

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