aka copying to another location such that each location contains the exact same data. This is the equivalent of avoiding having every egg in the same basket. You drop one basket but that is ok, because you have another with some eggs in.
In the case of a computer backup, you will have all of your important stuff ready and waiting in a safe location to be copied back to your working directories on your C drive in the event a a major data loss scenario.
Seem like a good plan to you? OK.. lets do it.. NOW.. 🙂
You will need a reliable external location on which to store your backups and, quite honestly, DVDs and CD’s no longer cut the mustard. They have a small capacity and the lasting qualities of many DVDs is not good. So what we are going to do is OBTAIN a nice shiny new external drive which will cost less in real terms than the sum total of years full of family photos or emails which contain hundreds of dollars worth of key codes and other critical business information.
You can buy something like this.. WD 2Tb.. or you can buy an enclosure for a fifth of that price and insert your own spare hard drive, should you have one kicking around. The advantage with the Western Digital model is that it comes ready assembled and with backup software. You can actually use any software that you like, but it is a bonus and the software is fairly simple to use.
Now you practice making software backups of varying types, system images, data only, until such time as you are sure that you know what you are doing. Incidentally, you should make a note of the backup names such that you can delete some of them. You need at least TWO of each type just in case one is corrupted. Any more than that is probably overkill.
Note that some backup software will automatically look for and save certain types of documents. If this facility is NOT evident, you will have to make a special effort to back up email, due to there being so many variations in the way that email is stored.
Most backup programs also allow the creation of boot up media, a small flash drive suffices, which you will need to keep safe in the event that the computer fails to boot. It will get you access to your System Image backups.
For data backups, regular access via the backup utility in Windows will see you ok.
So, Now you know how and why, you can ensure that you never hear the words “Sorry but you have lost it all”..