A few weeks ago I started working on a series of videos for this company. The thing is that the video files from the camera I’m using take a whole lot of space, and I have to store them on a little TOSHIBA drive that’s always connected to my computer.
So, one weekend I was working away on the laptop, I reach out for a glass of water and splash… there it goes: all over my little trusty TOSH hard drive. To double my horror my boyfriend decided to ‘save the situation’ and shake the water off the hard drive. Obviously, by shaking the hard drive itself. Still connected to my laptop and spinning away.
And hey, it still worked. For the exact amount of time it took me to save the video files on the SD card I also have permanently connected to my laptop.
And the rest of my 1TB photos, videos and summer holiday memories? Safely backed up on my second hard drive. Actually, I have five of them.
You don’t necessarily have to be such a backup pedant. But, it’s good practice to backup things that you’re working on constantly. Especially if they are important.
So, here’s a bit of nitty gritty on some of the habits you can catch on to so your data doesn’t magically disappear one day.
1. CTRL + S – to save your Word/Excel/PowerPoint document constantly
When you start composing a new document, start by giving it a name and saving it as soon as you get a headline. Once you’re finished with a paragraph – click CTRL + S to save it to the document. That way you will be sure that you have the most full version of your composition in case things go haywire.
2. External Hard Drive
I love external hard drives. But that’s because I love photography and video and I have a lot of files backed up twice on all my drives. You don’t have to go to such drastic extents, but if you do have a lot of photos or you’re working with a video those come real handy
3. USB & SD
Now, if you’re working on your thesis or a small project and you have to constantly use a certain set of documents – put them on a memory stick. You can get one of those USB sticks that doesn’t even stick out of your computer, so you can have it constantly plugged in. SD card (yes, your usual photo card) is also very handy. Most of the new computers come with a SD card slot and you can also use it to back up your data and keep it in all the time without obstructing anything. Plus, your USB slots will be free too.
4. Dropbox & Google Drive
Save your information in the cloud. Say, you’re working on a thesis, and your computer suddenly switches off and doesn’t come back on. You bring it into your local repair centre and they say it’s not repairable. If you have saved your document in the cloud and worked on it while using my first suggestion you could just find another computer and proceed working on your thesis. Of course most of the students forget about those. We always can tell when the deadlines are approaching in our workshop.
5. E-mail it to yourself
Sometimes you might not have a your USB key or external hard drive handy. But most of us have e-mail and access to e-mail from any computer. So, you can just e-mail the file you’re working on to yourself and you can get it on any other computer. So easy!
A little extra…
CD & DVD
ven the above solutions sometimes fail. I once dropped my external backup hard drive and thought that all my old photos were gone forever. Until I found a box of old CDs and DVDs that I used to use before the said hard drive and they were all there. I still have that box. And although CDs and DVDs might be depreciating in time (scratched etc.) – I never actually use them. They just sit in the box under my bed in protective cases and I only used them once since. A little extra solution if you need it.
You see – backing up is easy, you can do it anywhere and it can save you a lot of frustration. So why not make it a habit today?
Let me know if you have any questions or ideas. If you need any memory sticks, hard drives or SD cards – you know where to find them.
Alex @ MicroPro Computers