Backing up a computer is an essential part of computing in the event of a computer crash or other data loss due to malware or faulty media, etc. If losing any of your computers normal functionality or stored data would cause you problems, then you should consider backing up your computer now!
So when should you do something to offset the possibility of data loss or even a complete computer crash? Well my solution involves two separate types of backup;
Firstly the most important data on your computer is all of the working data like documents, photos, etc. Backups on this data should be done regularly. The regularity of these backups will depend upon how much the loss of a certain amount of critical data would affect you. Just think about how much information you could afford to lose, an hour of data, a days data, a weeks worth of data, etc and this will give you some idea of the important times to backup for you. Most of your important data files will be located in your "My Documents" directory in Windows and the "Home" directory in Linux. However do not forget some applications may store data files in other locations. Take note of the locations that your applications are storing user files, you can then use this information when backing up selected data.
The next type of backup is a total backup of all partitions on the computer, this type of backup gives you the ability to restore everything, and is very useful in the event of a major computer crash or malware problem. On the downside a total backup is usually time consuming, so its frequency depends upon how important it is to restore everything including your computer applications, your settings, etc. You may find that it only needs to be done occasionally, but once again this depends upon your situation, and the importance of being able to restore everything back to the way it was, before any problems have occurred.
Please don't make the mistake of assuming that data loss, or worse, a computer crash will never happen to you, because at some time or times it will, so act now! If you don't know how to best backup your data, look for the coming articles on NiceAnswers.com .
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How often should I backup my computer