It’s one of those days – windy and rainy, the start of a good storm. In an effort to avoid long lines, you go to the store midday.
All is well. As soon as you get back to the office (a. k. a. “home”), you’ll put the finishing touches on that project proposal, email it to your prospective client and start dinner for the family.
As you pull into the driveway, you notice that the kitchen light is off. “Hmm, thought I left that on, ” you think. Once you get in, you realize that all the clocks are flashing “12:00” and that you had lost power.
It’s no big deal until you go to turn on your computer and smell something burning. It’s your worst nightmare – your computer and everything on it is FRIED!
You were meaning to back things up, but you’ve been SO busy and the thought of all those files and the hours you would need (not to mention the sheer quantity of CDs or zip disks). . . well, you just didn’t get to it.
There are several different ways you can back up your files – and many are even painless. I’m sharing the options I use/have used in the past below.
First of all, there are two basic kinds of files to protect:
1. Operating System
2. Application or Data Files
The Operating System contains your system files such as Windows. In order to back up your operating system, you can:
1. use the original disks that came with your system and restore the operating system from those.
2. purchase a software such as Norton Ghost (www.symantec.com) which allows you to back up your entire system (or select files) daily – about $70.
3. Purchase an external hard drive that is capable of automatically backing up your operating system in addition to data files.
Application Files include your software programs such as Microsoft Office, QuickBooks – programs which reside on your computer’s hard drive, as opposed to residing on the Internet.
Data Files consist of all the files you create from your application files: all your Microsoft Word documents, your Excel spreadsheets, your PDF files, etc.
In order to back up your application and data files, you can:
1. selectively save files to CDs or zip disks as you finish working with them (least expensive, most time consuming option).
2. purchase an external hard drive that is connected to your computer via a USB cable and automatically backs up your entire computer each night. I have a Western Digital external hard drive and, at 1am each night, my entire computer is automatically backed up.
3. purchase a new high-tech drive that fits in the palm of your hand and holds up to 120 GB of data (most expensive option).
4. purchase a subscription to an automatic online backup company. It will back up your files “online” so they are saved offsite.
Regardless of how you choose to back up your files, be sure that you have a plan in place. Even if you could replace all the work that you’ve done or those fabulous photos of Aunt Thelma, the time and effort involved in doing so would take away from more pleasurable, and profitable, pursuits.
Everyone eventually faces some type of disaster. Are you ready?
Online Business Manager & Entrepreneur, Sandra Martini coaches small business owners to more efficiently manage their businesses while increasing profits and having fun. Sandra's coaching programs are available via teleconferencing, emails and telephone calls. For more information or to sign-up for ‘Effective Entrepreneur’, visit http://www.online-biz-coach.com today. Want to grow your business? Sign up for the FREE e-course “How to Write a Dynamic Marketing Plan" by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org today.