Quick Tech Tip: Backing it Up

Technology fails and will continue to fail until the robot overlords take over.

Fortunately, we aren’t quite there…yet.

Your computer is arguably the most important tool in today’s college learning and working environment. Unfortunately, it is not infallible and always has the possibility of crashing, leaving your hard drive wiped, and you…a wreck (think “crying emoji” level). That’s why we’re bringing you our quick tech tip of the day: back up your computer!!!!!

old school comp

Keep your files safe by regularly backing up your computer’s hard disk drive onto an external hard drive so that – in the case of utter computer destruction – you can restore your entire system with all of your beloved files to a new hard disk drive or (depending on the level of utter destruction) a new computer altogether.

Use a free backup software like BackUp Maker to connect your computer’s hard disk to an external drive and begin making a full digital copy of all of your files, software, and information. Creating this backup can take up to a couple of hours, depending on how much digital clutter you have, so be patient! In the end, however, it’s worth it! Right now, the best type of external hard drive to buy, due to its incredible durability and limited possibility of breaking, is a ‘solid-state’ external hard drive because it doesn’t have any spinning components like a regular hard drive. But, any hard drive with at least 500GB should do for most people (though 1TB drives are more popular). Check out these great hard drives to give you a better idea of what’s out there.

The best time to back up your computer is just before a major software update (in case something goes wrong in the updating process) AND after you’ve just completed the first draft of that big paper, project, or thesis, or uploaded all of your precious study abroad photos.

For any smaller files (think those under around 16GB) that you deem important (like a word document containing your half-written, destined-to-be-Pulitzer-Prize-winning memoir), we recommend that you, at the very least, copy those files to a flash drive which will serve as an extra layer of pocket-sized protection after you have backed up your entire computer. Pick up a cool school-spirit flash drive here or on your own campus bookstore website!

Written by Guest Blogger, Dan H. of Emerson College

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Are you backing up your computer? Share your tips and computer crash horror stories with us on Twitter or in the comments below!

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