Data-Loss is Unforgivable
Over the years, I have seen so many people lose data.
Wedding photos, baby pictures, invoices, tax and payroll data, love letters, and schoolwork.
I lost all of my University work (luckily after I had finished!), along with quite a lot of notes and pictures I had made.
Never again! Not on my watch!
There are so many simple ways to back up your data, that I have started using the phrase “If it isn’t backed up, it isn’t important data“.
So, to avoid the Wizard’s wrath, what can you do?
Norton backup, Apple iCloud, Google Drive, Micrososft OneDrive, PC World Knowhow Cloud. There are many.
Most are perfectly good enough, and this article is not a review of Cloud Services.
You have probably heard of USB Memory Sticks and External Hard Disk Drives.
These are Local, as they are in the same building as your PC (as opposed to across the street (Off-Site) or on some other side of the Internet (Remote).
They are connected to your PC via a USB plug. Sometimes with a cable, sometimes not. Windows doesn’t really care. It is on the USB Socket.
So, if you could nip and get one. It may be in your sock drawer, or under the sofa, or possibly still at the shop. Memory Sticks are not expensive (~£20. 32 or 64GB), although the significantly-larger-capacity External hard Disks are a touch pricier (£50-£100 and more. 500GB+)
Go get one. I can wait. I have plenty of work to be doing.
Oh, hi. You’re back! OK, lets get this data backed up!
Doing the BackUp, Just Like We’ve Learnt
- Plug in your Storage Device (USB Stick or External Hard Disk)
- You may get a notification from Windows that you have done this. For my method, we ignore this.
- Open File Explorer, and check that your Device has been recognised. You should have an entry in the Navigation Pane. If you do not see it, click on “This PC” to view all of your Drives. It may be labelled “USB Drive (E:)” or may have the manufacturer’s name.
- Once we are happy that we know where the drive is, we then need to Copy all of our Files to it.
- While you are in “This PC”, you should have a list of your Default Folders at the top of the page. Select Documents. Choose to Copy it (Note, we do not have the usual Ribbon here, so you will have to use right-click > Copy, or CTRL-C).
- Now that the Documents Folder is on the Clipboard, select your Storage device, and Paste (right-click > Paste, or CTRL-V).
- A Progress Window will appear to show how the Computer is getting along with Copying it. This will either be very brief, or quite a long time (My folder can take an hour or more, but it is HUGE! Yours is likely to be done in a minute or two). When done, the Window will disappear.
- Confirm that the Data has been Copied, by going into your Storage Device, checking that a Documents folder exists, and then looking inside that to see that your data is there.
- Go back to “This PC” and repeat for any other Folders you may wish. Usually this will include “Pictures”, and also Music and Videos, if you have anything in these folders.
- When this is finished, DO NOT UNPLUG YOUR DRIVE YET! Always use the Safe Eject command! Click on the Safe Eject icon, at the bottom right of the screen, by the Digital Clock (This is called the “Notification Area”, by the way). You will get a menu, and you can click on “Eject <name of your device>”. Once you get the Confirmation message, you may safely unplug your device.
Now, that looks like quite a task, but I shall summarise it briefly:
- Plug in Device
- Open File Explorer
- Navigate to “This PC”
- Confirm that device is detected.
- Select Documents folder. Copy/Paste to Device.
- Repeat for other Folders.
- Confirm Data transfer.
- Safe Eject device.
- Unplug Device
You may now put your device away somewhere safe and secure.
You are Backed Up!
For now …
Presumably, you will, at some point, take more photos, write more letters, save more interesting stuff from the internet etc.
Every now and then (the more often, the better), update your BackUp by following through the exact same procedure we have just done.
PLEASE let me know if you have any problems following this.
Or let me know what back up solutions you have used, for good or ill.