Unfortunately, an all too familiar scenario we see at Correct is people with personal laptops that won’t boot. The issue is that these devices are rarely backed up because they are considered ‘unimportant’. That is until family photos, documents, school assignments and the like are also no longer accessible. That’s when the panic sets in.
Correct’s skilled team of technicians can normally recover just about any non booting device BUT there are rare times when no amount of technical skill will recover a failed hard disk. That is why it is absolutely critical that you back things up.
The easiest way is simply to purchase an external USB hard disk and drag and drop files from your machine there. The problem with that is most people leave the USB drive connected to the laptop which means in the case of a major disaster (read fire) you lose both.
A good strategy to remember for backup is 3-2-1.
– 3 copies of the data including the original.
– 2 different media for storage. say USB and cloud.
– 1 copy off site.
The easiest way to achieve the off site component of this strategy is to use a cloud based storage.
Services like Microsoft Skydrive and Google Drive provide the ability to store files directly in the cloud. Most have a desktop client that allows you to easily drag and drop files and have them synced with the cloud. Alternatively, there are dedicated cloud based backup solutions like Crashplan that will continuously back up your machines to the Internet. Most have plans for individuals and a number of family machines.
The moral is that you need to consider backup for just about every digital devices you have these days. Take the time to configure an appropriate backup for your most important information before you find you can’t access your data.
Finally, even when you have your backup plans in operation ensure you regularly test whether you can in fact restore your data, because a non functioning backup is just as useless as no backup at all.