I heard an interesting case this week from a co-worker whose computer had crashed. He hadn’t used that particular computer (it was an older one) in about six months, but had started it up to get some information for his tax returns off it.
Unfortunately, that’s when his troubles began.
His computer crashed. Crashed hard. As in, it would not power on, let alone would not boot…
When I heard about the situation, he had already taken the computer to the local computer shop for a repair estimate. When he called to see how much the repairs would be, he heard those dreadful words: "You really don’t want to repair this old computer, do you?"
Fortunately, he didn’t. Unfortunately, he needed some of the data from the hard drive — like all his photos that weren’t backed up or even copied to his other computer. The repair tech thought he would be able to recover some of them.
Which brings me to the point of this article — I don’t care how you do it or what software you use — back up your computer data. As the old saying goes, there are two types of hard drives: those that have failed and those that haven’t failed yet!
You can go all the way with your backup, using an external hard drive (these have gotten really cheap) and an image backup program like Acronis True Image (get 15% off with coupon code AWW-K5N-TM2 for a limited time), which I use, you can use Windows Explorer to drag and drop files, you can burn your important data files (don’t forget your digital photos!) to CD or DVD.
You can use Karen’s Replicator to copy files to another directory on the same computer or another partition on the same hard drvie, but neither of those would help if the hard drive died. You could use Replicator to copy to a different drive in the same computer, or to another computer on your home network. You could use one of the online backup systems like Carbonite Online Backup (which offers a 15-day free trial.
No matter how you do it, please back up your data. Whether you risk having to reinstall Windows and reload all your programs, or not, your checkbook program (e.g., Quicken), your tax program’s years of data (e.g., TurboTax), your digital photos, your spreadsheets, the novel you’ve been writing, and all the rest would be hard or impossible to replace.
Related articles at my Terry’s Computer Tips web site: