How Do I Do a Computer Backup? Is It Worth the Hassle?
Computer back-ups don’t have to be a hassle, and if something catastrophic should happen, you’ll certainly wish you had one! Think of it as insurance- a little work now can save you a whole lot of trouble later.
There are two main styles of back-ups:
File back-ups are inexpensive and easy to do. Simply copy your important files onto a separate device, like a thumb drive or disk. The more often you do this, the safer your files are if you should lose the original copies. Try and do this every time you make significant changes to important documents.
Full Restore setups are a little more time consuming, and require software or equipment, but can completely restore your computer if the worst should happen. These back-ups not only copy all your files, but all of your settings too. If you were to wipe your entire computer clean, this back-up would be able to put it all back together again; even the mess of icons on your desktop!
There are some programs, like Norton Ghost, that can burn all this information to a DVD for you. Apple’s Time Capsule is an actual hard drive that you can plug in that copies all this information as well.
Remember, a full restore copy/burning process can take hours; there’s a ton of data on your computer, and it all has to be copied! You might want to run these programs overnight.
The best way to stay safe is a combination of both back-up types. An occasional full restore back-up, paired with daily or weekly file back-ups, can save you quite the headache in the long run.