If your hard drive was to suddenly crash or you accidentally deleted an important file or document it could be impossible to recover if you do not back up your computer properly and regularly. Backing up your computers important folders, drives, and files is something that should be done on a regular basis.
It’s recommended to have a backup scheduled daily, but in some cases a weekly backup would be sufficient, especially if you do not use the computer that often.
Many people don’t think about this because it is not something that effects their job daily, but if something were to go wrong they will be wishing that they had been doing proper backups. Here is a checklist to help you make sure that you are backing up the right files from the proper locations, and also making sure the backup is set up correctly and regularly.
What Data Should Be Backed Up
Every computer user needs to consider the things that they need to have included in their scheduled backups, so the first thing to do is to make sure that you keep important data in easy to find locations. Some of the other things to consider when setting up your backup include:
- Documents – Check the folders where you keep your important documents. Most users will have a “My Documents” folder on their computer so this is the most common folder. If this is where you keep your important docs than this is a folder you need to add to the backup.
When doing this also consider checking your “My Downloads” folder just in case you downloaded some important documents you may have forgotten about. Your desktop is another place to check, and any important docs on there should be moved to your documents folder so it gets included in the backup of that location.
- Pictures – Most users keep their pictures in their “My Pictures” folder on their computer but just as many people have other locations. Keeping them all in one folder is important, especially if you want to make sure they are all backed up.
For backup purposes it is important to go through common folders where pictures may have been placed besides your pictures folder. The downloads folder and your desktop should be checked and all pictures not in one specific folder should be moved there, and future pictures should always go in that folder.
- Music/Video – These are other files most people do not want to lose, and also something that should all be stored in a specific folder, the most common place to store these files is in your “My Music” folder. Any files that are anywhere else should all be moved into the folder of your music, which is one of the folders that you want to make sure is included in the backup.
- Email – If you use an email program that stores your emails locally on your hard drive be sure to select the folder that you store these in so that folder gets back up.
- Bookmarks – This is a big one that many people forget about, and if your bookmarks are not backed up you may lose some sites that are in your bookmarks that you may need to find again. Backing up your bookmarks is something that should always be done so you don’t forget some of the sites that you felt were important enough to bookmark in the first place.
Most browsers let you choose different file types that you can export your bookmarks as, so backing this up to a specific folder like your documents folder is a good way to ensure you do not lose anything.
- PC Setup – Setting up your computer the way that you like it can take some time, so naturally this is something else you want to backup that most backup software has an option for. So when setting up your backups be sure to include this in every backup, it can save you a lot of time.
This all boils down to proper organization of your computers files and folders, and getting into a habit of storing things in the allocated folders every time you save any files is something that helps you more than just having an organized computer. This will help insure that all of your important files are being backed up when your comp runs its scheduled backup.
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Record Nations provides document and data management services via a network of highly specialized partners nationwide. We have over 20 years of experience in document and data management services. If you would like a custom quote for your data backup or storage needs give us a call at (866) 385-3706 or fill out the form to the right.