Backing Up your Microsoft Windows Desktop

Backing up a personal or business computer can be one of the most important computer support services that anyone can perform. There are, however, many variables to consider when deciding how and when to back up your Windows desktop.

Cloud or Hard Disk?

One of the most important things to consider when planning your Windows desktop backup is where to store your information. There are two options that are readily available; a physical hard drive, or the cloud. Computer services such as the cloud are ideal for many applications, because they provide a readily accessible back up. This also gives you an offsite back up, in case equipment is stolen or destroyed. Backing up on a physical hard disk gives you an easily mobile back up, and can offer more space for storage than the cloud can.

Step By Step

Setting up a Windows desktop backup is actually fairly simple. Beginning at the Start menu, click the Control Panel. From there, go to System & Maintenance, then to Backup and Restore. The system itself is fairly user friendly, and will walk you through the steps to set up a new backup. There is even the option to set up subsequent scheduled backups, including how often they happen. This system is only viable if you want to save your backups to a hard disk, as it doesn’t currently allow access to cloud storage.

What to Save?

How do you decide what needs to be backed up? Most people begin their Windows desktop backup with personal files, such as documents and photos. Irreplaceable photos and files that cannot afford to be lost may need to be backed up on a different style of media, such as an archive disk. Application and computer support data should also be backed up in case of hardware failure. This saves all your settings and information. Media such as music or movies may also be saved, though that is entirely contingent on the amount of space available for a backup. Media files are large, especially video files, and will very quickly fill up all of the storage space.

Disaster Recovery

Backing up your files and personal information is important, but what happens in the event of catastrophic hardware failure? This is where an image or ghost of your computer’s hard drive can be an invaluable computer service. Creating an image actually copies the entire drive, including operating system and all installed programs, in addition to your personal files and data. It can require more storage space than a simple Windows desktop backup, but it prevents you from having to hunt down your Windows disk, or even obtain a new copy of Windows if your computer didn’t come with the restore disks.

Backup your Backup

Never keep only one copy of your Windows desktop backup files, especially if the main backup is on a partition of your main hard drive. In this case, the backup would be lost along with the main files. Buy a secondary external hard drive and keep it somewhere off site, or set up cloud storage back up if size and money allow. Many cloud storage systems are very reasonably priced, as low as $5/month per machine. Keep the secondary backups updated, but do not keep them in the same location as your main computer.

Backing up your computer, especially if you use it for business purposes, can be one of the most important things you can do. Even irreplaceable personal files should be backed up to prevent loss. To find out more about backing up your Window desktop computer, please visit the website below.

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