Computer Tips From The Mouse: Backup & Data Recovery

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Backup & Data Recovery

There are many types of backup & data recovery.  There is local backup and offsite backup.  The local backup or onsite where you are is the most commonly used.  The offsite backup is just that at another location other than where you are.  In most cases the offsite backup comes with a cost based on storage space size.  In any event the size you need for backup space determines what you are backing up.  If you are backing up a file or data you need to know its size to determine what size backup space you need.

To find out the size of a file, folder, data or your hard drive navigate to that location right click one time on it a menu will appear click on properties and in the next displayed window will give you information about that item and the size.  To understand computer measurements you need to know some basics.  Try to compare it with money (USD).  The smallest currency is a penny (one cent) ninety-nine pennies = .99 cents the next penny makes it one dollar.  The smallest measurement in size for a computer is a byte.  One byte = one thousand-twenty and three, the next byte becomes 1024 makes it a megabyte (MB). To make it easier round it down 999 byte the next byte becomes 1000 makes it a megabyte (MB); 999 megabyte (MB) the next megabyte becomes 1000 makes it a gigabyte (GB). So roughly 1000 MB = 1 GB, 2000 MB = 2 GB and so on.  To see the size of your hard drive rapid double left mouse button click My Computer (Windows XP users) Computer (Vista & Windows 7 users) if the icon is on your desktop;  if not open it from the start button located bottom left hand side of your monitor, then right mouse button click once on the hard drive typically drive letter “C” local disk a menu will appear, click on properties, the next window will appear and in the general tab you will see a pie chart of your hard drive with the size of the total hard drive, used space and free space.  Based on the information you acquired you can determine how much space you’ll need for backup.  Allocate additional space for growth.

Use an external hard drive for massive files such as pictures, videos, and music or creating a disk image because they are large files.  Do not back up to your “C” local disk. Beware if you see another drive marked recovery or backup that is just a partition of your “C” local disk. Do not use it.  If there is a problem with your local disk then your backup could become lost or damaged, therefore little to no chance in data recovery.  If you are using one to fifty small files a solid state universal serial bus (USB) should be sufficient.  Because the USB stick is harder to recover data from if it is damaged and or lost you might want to have a backup of that backup on another media source CD-RW DVD-RW and such.

Decide what type of backup you want.  Some programs will allow you to choose what you want to back up and how it is saved as a backup.  Some will take all of the data you select and make it a compressed file that can only be opened and viewed by that program.  Some will take the data and allow you to see it as it is.

Remember the data that is backed up can only be restored to the last point in time that you performed a backup.  So if there is any new information that was added after the backup it will not be available.

The choice is yours but make certain you choose to backup.

I hope to accomplish that you know you are smarter than your computer, that the computer is a tool, and you are the master of that tool.  If you have any questions you would like answered in this column please send them to: mouse@pc-s4u.com

Until next month, safe computing. “PC’S 4 U where quality and client satisfaction are priority!” Services rendered: Computer Repair, Upgrade, Networking, and Custom Build (251) 961-1495 http://www.pc-s4u.com

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