Many of us have Corporate IT managed systems that include automated backup processes. That’s great for work systems and makes economic sense for the company. How about your systems at home? What are you doing to protect your personal and family data? I’ll suggest a few things you might want to consider.
In a previous blog I mentioned that images and other family data resides on my home system. I want to protect this data so a plan is necessary. I start by setting up my computer like this. I boot to a smaller hard drive and keep the OS, applications and anything I can get by reinstalling (from CD, DVD or online) on that drive. I have a 2nd larger drive on where I keep all of my data. This separation of programs and data was something I was taught years ago in college and I’ve stuck to it. One side benefit of this approach is that I can easily swap out my data drive for a larger one with no negative affects on the system.
Keeping your data isolated on its own drive doesn’t protect it from drive failure or virus attacks. I maintain virus software and make sure it’s current and working. This helps avoid web and email attacks by defeating them early in the process, before any virus has a chance to actually run on my system. As an Intel Employee we are provided with Virus software to help ensure that the corporate environment stays clean. Our license includes home use. I suggest keeping your virus software current.
I backup my data to an external drive which I then keep in a safe in my basement. This offline backup is my failsafe plan. I keep enough drive space around to maintain 3 historical copies of my data. That way I can go back if I realize I accidentally deleted or lost something and can’t find it. I use Acronis to backup my system and I do full backups to my external drives. Acronis also supports incremental backups and many people schedule nightly backups of their data to an online drive somewhere on the network or possibly even an external drive. The incremental backups can be scheduled to run automatically.
One last thing, Windows Home Server is another tool that helps you maintain automated backups via a home server on your network. You can schedule WHS to backup any and all computers on your home network on a regular basis. I have several friends using WHS and they can’t say enough about how great it works for them.
Make a New Years resolution to backup your data regularly.
Here’s a link to learn about Acronis software:
Here’s a link to learn about Windows Home Server:
Here's a Blog discussing Photography and backing up your images: