Disk Drives

Written by Nicole Madison
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Many people consider backing up the valuable data on their hard disk drives when it is already too late. To protect your data, you need to think about backing up before your computer sustains a lightening strike, your spouse accidentally deletes your entire life's work, or some other hideous computer disaster befalls you. By backing up the information on your hard disk drive, you can save yourself numerous headaches and buckets of dollars in data recovery fees.

Understanding Hard Disk Drives

Hard disk drives can hold billions upon billions of data bits. So how do you decide what to back up? Although your first thought may be to back up everything on your computer, that is not a very practical choice. If you have many programs installed, backing them up each day would take a huge amount of space. Instead, opt for backing up data files that hold your important information, e-mail, messages, images, and address books. It is wise to back up your data files at least once per day.

In addition to backing up your data files daily, you should plan to back up your hard drive at least once per month. Hard disk drives are mechanical devices, and like all mechanical devices, they can, and eventually will, wear out, fail, or break down. To prepare for the inevitability of an eventual hard disk drive failure, be ready by having a copy of all your files stored away from your computer. In the event of a hard drive failure, all you would then need to do is replace or repair the damaged disk drive and copy your files to the new drive. This process of backing up and restoring your data can save you an enormous amount of time and energy spent trying to rebuild your drive and recover your data.

Some people disagree with the need to back up the entire hard drive. They argue that you can always reinstall the operating system and software directly from the installation CDs. While you can choose to handle it this way, you should consider the amount of time it will take to download all of the software patches and add-ons you've likely added to your system, as well as the downloaded programs and special settings you have set up and entered onto your system. The amount of time it will take to recover all the programs you do not have CDs for and change all of your settings back to the way you like them, will likely take much more time than it will take to simply back up your hard disk drive once per month.


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