Back in college, I was still using a gaming laptop with a standard HDD. Around my junior year, it started crashing regularly. I spent a few days trying to diagnose the problem on my own before it became clear that the issue was the hard drive: it was failing.
I, being a college kid with my entire life on that hard drive, started panicking. My school work, my tax information, my 2/3rds completed essay on Frankenstein, it was all going to be lost. If only I had backed up my data….
Thankfully, I did manage to salvage my data by creating a Frankenstein’s Monster of my own, hooking up two hard drives to my roommate’s desktop PC, and migrating my files from my rapidly collapsing hard drive to a fresh HDD. But if I wasn’t lucky enough to have had a tech-savvy roommate or if my hard drive was beyond salvage, everything would have been gone.
Of course, if I had previously backed-up my data onto a back-up hard drive, I would have avoided this whole headache. As soon as I realized my drive was failing, I could have quickly and easily grabbed a new hard drive, moved my backup onto the fresh HDD, and been up and running again a lot quicker.
But hard drive failure isn’t the only way for your data to be lost. Viruses and other malicious attacks can not only steal your data, but can also delete it from your hard drive or corrupt it, rendering it unusable. There are also more mundane ways to lose your data, like accidentally leaving your laptop on a bus. And those are just a few ways you can lose your data - we didn’t even touch on accidental deletions!
While backing up your hard drives might not protect the physical device from thieves, viruses, or failure, it will at least protect your data. Backing up your hard drives on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do, especially if you keep important or irreplaceable data on your hard drive, or any of your devices.
World Backup Day falls on March 31st every year and is your annual reminder to break out your backup drive and secure your data! There really isn’t much more to it than that, but having a dedicated yearly event can do wonders to help remind you to backup your data! (Have we mentioned that you should back up your data yet? You really should.)
There are a ton of options when it comes to backing up your data. However, most run through your device and vary based on device type and operating system. We can walk you through a few of the most common types of backups, though:
File Backup: Arguably the most common type of backup, the file backup is focused entirely on, well, your files. It ignores your operating system and applications while backing up files associated with them. In other words, it won’t backup Word, the program, but it will backup your Word documents. The file backup is also fairly customizable, so you can backup only the things you want to keep and ignore the files you don’t need. Depending on how many files you’re looking to save, you may be able to just use a flash drive for your backup, or you might need to spring for a full external hard drive.
Full Image Backup: A Full Image backup is, in essence, an exact copy of your hard drive. If you’re running an image backup on a single-hard-drive laptop, you’ll be backing up the entirety of your computer, including your operating system and all applications. If you ever need to use your backup, you can pick right back up where your backup left off, no hassle. However, image backups are large (the size of the hard drive they’re imaging) and time-consuming, so they tend to be a little less common. Don’t let that dissuade you, however. They’re incredibly helpful in the case of catastrophic failure.
Cloud Backup: The newest style of backup is cloud backup. Cloud backups tend to be the most convenient, but also hold the most risk. They can be automated, so they run even without an external hard drive or flash drive attached. You can choose what you would like backed up, and can control when. But this convenience has a cost, both literal and metaphorical. While you won’t need a physical drive to use cloud backup software, most do operate on a subscription model, so you’ll most likely be paying for it on a regular basis. You will also need an internet connection to both upload and download your files - if you’re on a business retreat and need that PowerPoint, you might not be able to get it. The biggest issue, however, is security. While most cloud backup services are secure, they will never be as secure against hackers as a hard drive that you can detach from your computer and store independently.
Short answer: Yes!
Longer answer: Yes, and we have a variety of ways to do so! We can clone your hard drive and backup your files. If your hard drive seems like it’s starting to corrupt, we can run diagnostics on it to see what can be done to save it. Or, if it’s already corrupted, we can put it through the wringer and recover as much data as possible. And not just hard drives - we’ll also attempt data recovery on flash drives, tablets, cell phones, and NAS and RAID storage!
Looking to do your own data backup, but just don’t have the hard drive to do it? We’ve got four external hard drives to give away, and entering is super easy. Just click on the link below, fill out the form, and congrats! You’re entered to win! There are even opportunities for some bonus entries!
This article does a great job breaking that down: https://www.howtogeek.com/242428/whats-the-best-way-to-back-up-my-computer/
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