Your computer is going to die. So is your phone but I’m working on computers this week and thought I’d give you some ideas for how to make your computer’s funeral a little less tragic.
TL;DR – you probably already know this, writing for another group today and Pocketables gets to be the beneficiary of Backup 101.
You know the drill, back your stuff up. A great backup goes to the cloud, and also to disconnected media in case the cloud rains or becomes inaccessible. All of that stuff costs money.
So let’s talk about what doesn’t cost anything.
It’s free, it comes with the operating system, it’s a bit of a pain because it just keeps chugging along and isn’t particularly configurable. Back up your system to an external hard drive you disconnect from the PC (in the event of a lightning strike,) and you’re probably good to go in the event of a crash.
But it’s kind of a pain.
It’s free, you can create boot media and it has the ability to easily restore individual files, can be configured for how many days of backups you want to keep and when you want things to happen, it’s free, it’s free, and also it’s free. You don’t have to put in a real email either.
You can back up to shared folders, a Veeam repository (this costs,) and with a little rigging you can force your cloud file repository to sync the backups off of your computer (this isn’t recommended, but I’ve done it, I have no shame.)
These days it’s not particularly hard to work and leave everything on the cloud to begin with. The problem is when someone manages to hack your account, or the internet is down, you’re without your data.
In that case you’re going to want to back up from your cloud provider to local. But you know what, that’s not what the article’s about – just something you probably want to consider is that you should always have a local copy of your data for those hours when your internet’s down, when your provider is down, etc.
Make that damned recovery media!
You know how all these things beg you to make recovery media? Do it. Your computer’s going to die and when it does, unless you have another computer handy, you’re going to be up a paddle without a steamroller. Or something similar.
Most of these recovery media creation requirements are under 2 gigabytes of USB storage, and considering you can get 32 gig for about $3-6 bucks now, do it.
Now, I did say free, you can also just drop into any sales convention and grab yourself a USB media presentation kit and reformat it. Might save you the big $3.
But yeah, back up, and take that backup device off of your computer. If you don’t want to spend money, take that backup device to work with you. Leave it in the car. Back up to your neighbor’s computer – the one that joined your WiFi and has shared folders enabled for everyone by accident.
But wait, there’s more
Back it up all the time. Not just when you think about it. Make sure you’ve got a routine in place from swapping the drives to moving them out of your house or into a fireproof safe. When you ease up on that is when you’re going to lose your work.