Backing up your files is important if you do not want to risk losing all your data. If you experience a hard drive failure or simply need to restore your computer to its factory state, backing up your files is critical and easy to do.
1: Purchase an external USB hard drive. One of my personal preferences is the Seagate line of USB External Hard Drives. They are available in various sizes (2 TB, 4 TB and 5 TB) at Best Buy and various other retailers. You need a drive with more space than you have on your computer and considering the price difference bigger is better. These drives come with backup software that can be downloaded and help make it easier to automate the backups.
2: Use the software that came with the Seagate external drive or if you are using a different type of USB hard drive then you can use Windows Backup.
From the control panel select “Backup and Restore”, then “Set up backup”. Step through the wizard selecting your external drive. If all your documents are located in the library files then you can let windows choose what to backup. If you’re not sure then select “Let me choose”. (Don’t forget about your email data file. Read this tutorial for more information. But remember that your mail program needs to be closed at the time of the backup or it will fail). On the final screen it will display the backup schedule. You can accept the schedule or change it as desired. Click save settings and run backup and your documents will now be routinely backed up.
3: In addition to this backup it’s a good idea to backup to the cloud also. There are many cheap cloud backup solutions. You can view some at PC Mag (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2288745,00.asp). There are also some free ones that will have limited storage but in most cases it might be enough. I recommend Google Drive and although it’s not actually considered a cloud backup it will work in that capacity. I will cover that soon in a separate post.