Ten Steps to a Backup Plan

July 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We all store important business and personal information on our computers, and we all know that we should back up that information for peace of mind against system failures or disaster.  So let me ask – do you have a backup plan?  If you don’t, here are some steps to get you started.

1.  Create a Word document or text file of all the software loaded on your computer and the devices attached to it.

2.  Locate the original CDs or pass keys and registration information (which you might have saved in an email folder).  Store them in a safe place, like a fireproof box.

3.  Review the types of files you keep and how much space you are using.

4.  Invest in a suitable external drive (i.e. a flash drive, CDs, or other media) and make sure it has more capacity than what you currently use.

5.  Investigate backup software.  A backup package may have come with your operating system, but there are other options as well, including online backup services.

6.  Set a backup schedule. This can be automated.  Weekly is good; daily is better if you create or update important files daily.  If you’re working on a big project, back it up even more often.

7.  Execute your backup.  All programs should be closed while the backup is rolling and be aware that it could take a while.

8.  Test the results by partially restoring or retrieving results from ALL sources.  Are copies of your documents, pictures, video files and other data files THERE (wherever you intended them to be?)  Can you retrieve them?

9.  Store your external drives somewhere secure, preferably away from your computer.

10. Commit to step 6 – run your next backup on schedule, and keep doing it.  It’ll soon become habit.

Consider using a specialist for guidance.  Frankie OnCall is here to help.  Lastly, remember this: there are two kinds of people in this world, those who back up and those who will.