What is backup?
a. Adding more components to your network
b. Protecting your data by copying it from the original source to a different
c. Filtering old data from the new data
d. Accessing data on tape
Were you correct? The correct answer is:
b. Protecting your data by copying it from the original source to a different destination
Backup is the activity of copying files or databases so that they will be preserved in case of equipment failure or other catastrophe. Backup is usually a routine part of the operation of large businesses with mainframes as well as the administrators of smaller business computers. For personal computer users, backup is also necessary but often neglected. The retrieval of files you backed up is called restoring them. Personal computer users can consider both local backup and Internet backup.
These are some options, with the least expensive approach listed first. Backing up critical files to diskettes. This approach is commonly used by people who keep their checkbooks and personal finance data on the computer. Programs like Quicken and Managing Your Money always remind users when they quit the program to backup their data. If your hard disk crashes, you'll be able to reconstruct your checkbook balances.
If you have other files (for example, chapters of a book you're working on), you'll want to backup every single day's work. Copying it to a diskette is quick and economical.
Backing up to a Zip drive, Jaz, Syquest, or similar hard disks. Once a week or so, you should back up your files (at least your own data files and perhaps the entire contents of your hard drive) to an alternative storage device, such as a Zip drive. These devices hold at least one million bytes on a special hard disk. Backing up usually takes a while (about 45 minutes for the contents of a 500 megabyte hard disk). There are also easily removable drives that you can back up to, especially if you have other reasons to use these (for example, for large graphic images that you store offline).
You can also consider sending your files to another site for safekeeping. In case your hard disk crashes, you'll be able to download them from the safekeeping site.
This was first published in April 2004