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Data Backups

One of the most commonly advised actions to take is backing up your computer regularly...

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But with today's very large hard drives, what can you do?

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A hard disk failure in which data can not be recovered is the most common cause of lost data.

Most new systems come with a DVD/CD R/W drive that can use DVD-R or CD-Rs  that can written to once but can not be erased or DVD-RW CD-RWs that can be written to multiple times. These disks typically hold 650  megabytes of data to 4.5 Gigabytes of data.

With computers that routinely come with 160 Gigabyte hard drives, backing up to CDs or DVDs has limited utility.

There is a backup utility provided with Windows XP that can be installed from the XP installation disk that will backup your documents directory to a CD. It can be set to run automatically using the window scheduler. The upside is that it's free. The downside is that it always backs up all of the data in your  "My Documents" directory, and if you have a LOT of data in the directory, the backup may not even fit on the disk.

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If you have a hard drive with many gigabytes of data, you will have to go to a different solution. The most practical solution is an external hard drive or an external network storage drive. These are priced from $150 to $1000 depending on size, and design. Most of these backup solutions come with some sort of backup software such as "Retrospect Lite" which will help you back up your own computer. If you are backing up to a network storage drive or a server, or have a complex backup need, you probably will have to buy a copy of "Retrospect" or "Back Up My PC" and use it for back up.

To get automatically scheduled backups, you will have to learn a reasonable amount about your backup program. You will need to know the difference between a full backup, a differential back up, an incremental backup and when each is appropriate. These are the sorts of problems with which we can help.

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There are a number of different backup solutions, at different costs and requiring different levels of effort. We can help find the best solution for you.

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For more information, call 972-390-9090 or

email to broyles.dave@gmail.com Dave Broyles.