Do You Have A Backup Of Your Computer?

Have you backed up the priceless photos, videos and documents on your computer lately? The disasters that result from not backing up your data can not only spell emotional disaster, but financial as well. In order to raise awareness regarding such a significant cause, there is even a dedicated day to raise awareness – “World Backup Day“. It is celebrated on March 31st.

I have discussed the steps of making a backup and restoring the Windows extensively in the post “How To Use Backup and Restore Options in Windows“. This post is basically to re-emphasize the importance of creating backups and the different ways of doing it. You can access the native Windows utility for Backup and Restore from the Control Panel or from the drive’s properties. I will add some important points that should be kept in mind while making backups:

  • Backup should be ideally saved on an external hard disk. There are ups and downs of doing this. In case of total hardware failure where all drive partitions become inaccessible, you would still have your data stored in an external drive so you are safe. But saving in an external HDD raises an issue with the scheduled update of the backup. An external drive is not always connected to the system, and if you have scheduled the update of the backup, you would see an error when the external HDD is not connected to the system.
  • Always schedule updates for your backup. Copying new data is a simple process in Windows 7, which takes place in the background without disturbing your work. It will also only reconstruct the part of files that are new and changed, this way processing time and memory space is saved.
  • Create a system repair disc: A system repair disc is a bootable cd or dvd which will help you in starting your Windows in a situation when it is not booting itself. The repair disc is programmed with a recovery manager which will search for installed system images on your hard drives and then try to restore your Windows to its working condition using those images. A repair disc can be created via the Backup and Restore window of Control Panel as shown below:

Backup Options


  • Create a system image: This is also called as ‘ghost image’ in some references. Creating a  system image is extremely useful as it can be used to recover an installed copy of Windows when the OS crashes for some reason. As a system image is a large file, it can only be saved in a external HDD or a partition on the internal HDD.

Cloud Computing– Online Software for Backups

Vista was the first version of Windows that was furnished with a somewhat comprehensive backup utility which was later improved in Windows 7. Before these resident programs came in fashion and even now,  users have been buying online backup utilities like the ones listed below. The major advantage of all these programs is the off-server storage which saves your data from any damage due to natural disasters, but none of them is free.

1. SOS Online Backup

SOS is  the best rated backup software on PCMag, both by users and editors. It can be used for mobile clients –  one account covers multiple PCs and it can back up external and network drives as well. The yearly and monthly charges vary from plan to plan.

2. IDrive

IDrive charges $4.95 a month for one PC with 150GB storage and $14.95 for up to five computers and 500GB storage. The utility is quickly becoming popular and has earned good reviews from users.

3. SpiderOak

SpiderOak can cover unlimited computers, you can sync and share files from online backup, it backs up external and network drives. It can be used for mobile clients and on multiple OS versions.  It is a little expensive, charges $100/100GB space for a year.

4. CrashPlan

CrashPlan offers unique capabilities, like multiple backup sets and backing up to friends’ computers. It charges $50/year for unlimited storage.It has the ability to backup attached devices as well. It can not be used for mobile clients.

5. Carbonite

Carbonite is a traditional online backup utility that has been around since 2005. It charges you $59/year for unlimited backup space. Carbonite automatically backs up your files every time they change or when a new file is saved to your computer. The downside of Carbonite is that utility chokes while uploading data greater than 35 GB.  It also does not allow syncing and sharing, and will not back up videos by default.

Backup your data by any of the above methods so that you can proudly celebrate the World Backup Day next year!

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